Snow Pentathlon: Interview with the founder and CEO
New this year: MEC is teaming up with the Snow Pentathlon that will be held in Quebec City from February 22 to March 9. Very popular after 10 years of existence, the event began as a retirement project of Jean-Charles Ouellet, a big fan of cycling and adventure races, among other sports, and is now the race director of the Snow Pentathlon.
MTB Photo Show: Tales from the trail
MEC Envoy Stephen Matthews recently headed to Kamloops for some end of season riding. Between the trip, the friends and the trails, there was plenty of opportunity for memories to be made.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a lot of mountain biking trips over the years. Taking a spin through the photos you bring back always brings on a flood of memories, which for me, is part of the whole trip experience.
I love the crazy group dynamics that result in some pretty interesting events pre, during, and post-journey, and know that there is always a lot more going on in a photo than what an image shows. I’ve pulled together an album to give you the inside track on our recent biking trip to Kamloops. After taking a look through these shots and seeing our stories, I hope you leave wanting to create your own journey stories and memories.
Do we put the seats up or down? Do I have to move my brake levers? Assembling bikes onto a rack is an adventure in itself. There always seems to be a system, and it always seems to need changing.
I love rolling into riding towns. I’ve ridden in Kamloops before, and I think the best part about this particular viewpoint is that you can see how a lot of the different trail networks link together.
I’m a sucker for a home-cooked meal. I can confidently say I’d be OK with eating bacon every day for the rest of my life.
I’ve always been really interested in maps and the information you can glean before you’re even out the door. Taking what you think you’ve understood from the map applying it to your surroundings makes you realize there is a lot more to an area than what can be printed on a piece of paper.
Part of mountain biking is understanding your gear, in an attempt to be both proactive and reactive to problems. Diana was smart enough to get her bike dialled in before we hit the trail.
What tire pressure should you run? I fill to about half-of-a-thumb indent.
The one on the right is locked. And there was no chance we were going to try to open it. Short of that, this spacious plot of land had all the amenities one could ask for.
There’s always a lot of turning wrenches when you’re setting up for a big ride. Understanding a bike’s mechanics keeps your gear running in better condition, longer.
The best part about the Race Face Ambush knee pads is that you can put them on without removing your shoes.
Devyn took every opportunity mock me while I fixed a flat. Then he took it to a whole other level by opening up some food without offering to share.
Nothing beats leading a train of riders through a section of fast, open singletrack.
Q: What do you ask a sad horse?
A: Why the long face?
Holding a flat corner through the sage brush and staying on Devyn’s wheel kept things exciting.
This trail follows open ridgeline for a lot of the descent, and then slowly work its way into the forested valley bottom. The trail’s dynamic changes almost immediately when you hit the forest – it becomes tighter, windy, and the soil holds more moisture, which adds traction compared to the open ridgelines.
Don’t you get it!? Horses have long faces!
Devyn rides foot out to take the mandatory left corner and to avoid a fallen Ponderosa Pine. The bark on these trees is super abrasive and likes to snags clothing on your way by.
Everyone has their priorities. We figured it was more important to crack into a post-ride beer than it was to cook dinner or clean up.
Everyone’s a photographer these days, including Diana.
What I say? That fire wasn’t going to start itself.
Unwinding by the fire, swapping stories of big rides and narrow escapes. We were also probably trying to figure out a way to stoke the fire faster, leading to another future narrow escape story.
Hanging on the porch as the daylight fades is a clear indication of not wanting the day to end, just being content to stay put in our web of stories.
Usually, when you’re dipping low in the grass, the only thoughts going through your mind are “I hope there isn’t a tree stump where my low-side hand is” and “I hope these tires hold tread.”
This corner has a great feel to it. It’s an upwards right-hand berm that ends with a fade away transition, which allows for a bit of creativity upon exit.
Relaxing trailside with a bite to eat is one of my favourite ways to refuel for more riding. A good laugh and some sugar is enough to get me back in the saddle, ready for more.
Diana logging a well-deserved lunchtime rest.
The climbs in Kamloops aren’t overly technical, but what they lack in trail features they make up for in speed. Take the technical aspect of climbing out of the picture, and all there is left to do is drive a hard pace.
Another ride in the books and everyone is still smiling.
See the journey in action in The Open Road
Check out Stephen’s bike
Ride in Kamloops
Nomad for the Holidays
Six-year-old Emma has some hard-hitting questions about Santa for her parents F-X and Cécile. After all, the whole family is on a cycling and climbing trip around the world, so there’s no home address, no mantle for stockings, and no chimney for Santa (unless he’s into climbing). Get a sneak peek at how MEC Envoys F-X and Cécile will make the holidays happen for Emma while they’re on the road, along with some tips on cycle touring with kids.