Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race the Ranch

BC Cup #1: Race the Ranch, Kamloops BC- April 23/24 2011-

Hello MTB friends… my name is Trevor Burke and I am riding for Banshee/Trident Racing in 2011. I’d like to share a few words about the race this past weekend, BC Cup #1: Race the Ranch in Kamloops BC. Right off the bat here I’d like to mention that as I am writing this I am drinking Sangria out of my Pro Mens 1st place trophy which is a boot shaped mug just like out of the movie Beerfest... Well done to who ever thought of this for a trophy! Awesome! I also received a spanking fresh “Race the Ranch” belt buckle... STOKED!!!

At the end of summer 2010 I received an email from Zac at Trident Sports (Banshee Distribution North America) asking if I wanted to ride a Banshee Legend MkII with Dorado`s for next season. I had ridden our friend Seb Vickers’ Legend/Dorado setup in whistler over the summer and it felt amazing… so I jumped at the opportunity putting a "for sale" sign on my v10 the next day!

Trev in the Steep bit up above the road gap

After living in Whistler for 18 consecutive months and 2 months into my 2nd ski season, I was over shredding pow and needed to feel 2 wheels ripping up dirt underneath me, so I moved to North Vancouver to crash on a buddies’ floor for 4 months to save some coin and begin training for Summer and the racing season ahead…. in that 4 months I managed to do only 20 days of gym work and only a handful of mountain bike rides (on Zac’s bikes!), not quite the intensive training I was hoping on, but it was something. Lots of cheap beer and playstation got in the way I’ll admit…

Trevva prancing like a reindeer

I got a lift to Kamloops with my buddy, Bart Brown (Masters PINNER!) in style! We drove up in his new Ford F350 van which can take 15 passengers and it was holding just 3 of us, so plenty of room to stretch out, also with his pimped out custom built trailer towed behind, with beds, music system and heating! Definitely the best way to go to a race! We arrived in Kamloops on Friday afternoon and went for a track walk. I had raced the track last year and knew it was pedally… this year the course had a few extra jumps and seemed like there wasn’t any more than 15 meters of track with out a jump or corner. Whilst walking the track I walked past one of the fastest guys in BC, Dean Tennant scoping lines, I knew there was going to be some tough competition for the season opener. My travel mates and I settled into a few cold ones and went to bed ready to hit the track the next day.

Junior X Member Kip Shortreed- Rumblin'

Saturday morning I was eager to get up to the top and go for my first downhill run since November. Mr. Zac Smith arrived at the race site right on time with his Legend which I would be borrowing for this race, as a couple parts for our new bikes hadn’t arrived yet…We set up our pit, I put my Alpinestars gear on, grabbed my Smith Goggles in a flash, swapped Zac’s brakes to the correct side ( front brake RIGHT mate!!! )and got a lift up to the start. First run down the course/ first downhill in 6 months/first ride on the Legend went better than expected as I hit all the big gaps on the course although there were a few corners I still had to figure out. By 2nd run I had all my lines sorted and the rest of Saturday I punched out runs all day not because I needed to practice the lines but because I was having so much fun riding the bike. I have ridden Boxxers for 6 years now and 1 day on the Dorado impressed the hell out of me, they feel so supple at high speeds through rough rock sections keeping my bars straight, instead of twitching off every other rock like other forks often seem to. I think more people need to just get on one of these forks and ride a bit… you’ll see what I mean. They aren’t just faster, they make a bike feel bloody special and I love it. After all these years of rebuilding the brand, the new folks behind Manitou really have something special going on . I’m hooked on the TPC+ damping for sure and they just look so cool! Radical.

Trev nearing the bottom of the course...

After a super fun day of riding bikes, it was time to watch the dual slalom so I headed up the course to watch the carnage with my box of cheese-its and a few viewing beers. Our teammate Dennis had a big crash in practice putting a nice little Easter egg on the side of his head just in time for Easter, but unfortunately putting him out of the competition. Dalen (Trident’s Bike Division Sales Manager) also competed in the Slalom and it looked to be a good time. Dinner and drinks and off to bed after that.

Dalen "The Momentum" Stanley rocking Slalom on his Amp

Dalen and Steve Boucher put in some solid runs in Masters, Steve taking 3rd on his Black/Green Legend looking like a million bucks. Dalen’s girlfriend Cheryl was looking good as well on her spanking fresh BLUE Legend running against the other Masters Women, team co-manager/photographer/mechanic/suspensiontech/pitboss/fleetmaster Zac Smith snapped a snazzy pic of her looking solid just after the hip jump! Good work Cheryl, having fun out on the bike in STYLE.

Cheryl Moore on the move

Kip Shortreed- About to take a dirt nap!

Race time came around for myself and the rest of the Elite field, I sat in the trailer and listened to some fast tunes on my Ipod and drank a herbal energy drink supplied to me by Bart, I filled up a water bottle and jumped into the back of Tyler Gorz’s truck to grab a lift to the start gate feeling a little nervous.While waiting for the Pro Women to finish I did few laps around the bmx track on the Legend to get my legs moving. As our class began to race I looked around at my opponents who are ALL very fast guys from BC, Tyler Gorz is always a threat, Dean Tennant, Ryan Vanderham, Tyler Allison, Jeff Bryson, Dan Skogland and Andrew Mitchell (3 time national champ!) to name a few. Quite a stacked field. Teammate JS Therrien won this race last year on the Banshee Legend so of course I knew he would do well here, if not repeat another victory… this track is practically his after all! Nobody looked faster in practice than JS. I was nervous seeing all of this intimidating talent around me but it calmed my nerves to just think of doing well regardless of results against all of these great riders.

JS Looking very fast!
My run started off not quite the best only by fault of my own- I was having too much fun riding my bike in practice and I did not practice what gear to start the race in… I started in a harder gear than I should have, but as soon as I railed that first corner of the track I forgot all about it and had the time of my life pinning my way down the whole track. The top half of my run was very clean and I just felt happy riding my bike at speed so quickly because this bike and suspension setup is so sensitive and stable. Half way down the track after a blind hip jump over a rock garden, a fast straight goes into a very fast loose left hand corner- all weekend I had been cautious around this corner as most people were taking an inside foot off the pedal just in case... during my race run I hit the hip over the rocks and nailed this corner with perfect confidence in my bike setup. I just didn’t even think of putting a foot down because this bike with this setup just DEMANDS SPEED and helps you through everything as if automatic. I just can’t describe it any other way and I’ll say it again: The Legend MkII with Dorado Pro/Ti Sprung Revox Pro is like freaking auto-traction. What a bike.

A well earned brew- Cheers!
As predicted my wheels stuck to the ground and I cranked out of the corner into the most pedally section of the track popping and pumping all the jumps, this is the moment of the race I knew I was on a hot run, Zac’s Legend pedalled amazingly well through the next long flat section of track and pumping through the small jumps like I was on a pump track on a hardtail or something. Coming into the final drop section of the track I took my line which no other rider was taking allowing me to get a couple of extra cranks in before the final straight. I hit the final jump keeping it nice and low then cranked hard across the finish, I took over the hot seat from the awesome Ryan Vanderham by a mere 0.02 of a second, with approximately 12 of BC`s best racers still to come I was very nervous sitting in the hot seat. I have never won a Pro class race ever before, sitting and watching rider after rider come very close to my time was possibly the most nerve racking experience of my life, Brett Tippie helped calm those nerves with his awesome humour. Four years on 3 different V10’s seemed to do nothing for me personally, while a day and a half on a borrowed Legend that had seen over a year of battle-action came up trumps. What can I say our man Zac knows how to tune a bike. He was in the pits all weekend cleaning and repairing seemingly everyone in attendances’ gear. He even rode this bike in-between race day practice and start time on Rio trail and had the bike not only re-set for me personally but fully rebuilt, cleaned and tuned, what a champ. Despite being so nervous at the starting gate I won the race against so many talented athletes in the most stacked field I have seen with a time of 1.53.11, the fastest time of the day, borrowed bike and all... ON ANSWER FLAT PEDALS MATE!!!! I am really happy the race turned out so well for our Team. JS had a minor bobble in the top end of the track but recovered with apparently blistering lower-track speed for a decent time of 1.56.26 in 9th place. Two Elite racers on the team running the track that day, and two top ten finishes. I am really excited to run the new bike this season and represent all of the top-end brands we have kitting us out. We have a lot of great people pitching in to help us out including Banshee Bikes of course, Manitou Suspension, Hayes/SunRingle/Answer Products (ProTaper handlebars can’t be beat!), Gamut Chainguides, WTB Saddles (Thanks for the fresh Silverado’s boys), Alpinestars extra fine Pyjama’s and Armour Systems, and Smith Optics keeping our vision crystal clear and our riders looking fresh.
Trevor gets his first Elite win aboard the Legend MkII!!

See you all out on the trails, in the Whistler Bike Park and of course at all the BC Cup races! Come one come all, we’re going to have a classy good time.


Trevor Burke

Team Banshee/Trident Racing