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Race Report & Results: The Mega Volt

Oct 29, 2021
by BC Bike Race  

bigquotesThe MEGA VOLT, it’s the first event of it’s kind. It’s an Ebike Event, it’s a race, it’s a ride. Basically, we’re out here having fun with friends. There’s a little bit of competition here and there, but it’s not your average race.Jesse Melamed, EWS honcho, Rocky Mountain Ambassador.

 1 Plate - MEGA VOLT
Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Oct 22-24. Powered By BC Bike Race - Photo Dave Silver

E-MTB bikes are a relatively new category in our sport, and we had a hunch that this new ingredient had the potential to create something amazing. This past weekend kicked off the first-ever MEGA VOLT festival; a fully-charged E-MTB experience produced by BC Bike Race and the Cowichan Trails Stewardship Society.

Keith Yip focusing
Keith Yip, North Vancouver Shredder - Photo Dave Silver

The MEGA VOLT took place in the incredibly beautiful and stunning Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. Cowichan Valley takes its name from Quw'utsun, an Indigenous word that means warm land. The first-ever multi-day E-MTB Festival (in North America), was unanimously approved with three thumbs up for the shape, style, camaraderie, and wicked fun trails!!

Dean Payne heads out last onto the course
Dean Payne, El Hefe, heads out in sweep position for the Consistency Enduro - Photo Dave Silver

Rewind to 1976 - it was a small group of people that went out to race klunker bikes down some of the steepest hills in Marin County - the first ever Repack Downhill. I wonder if they knew what they were starting? Thank you guys for doing what you believed in!!

Rider Awards and general mayhem
Rider meeting - Photo Dave Silver

bigquotesYou know what it reminded me of, the first mountain bike races in the late 80’s; low-key, grassroots, lots of fun. No one cares who’s first or who’s last. Tons of fun, and just a group of like-minded people gathering and riding bikes.Elladee Brown, Legend, Evil Bikes Ambassador

With a schedule packed full of fun and different flavoured events, the MEGA VOLT was aiming to curate a unique experience. From start to finish this event would provide a platform for E-MTB bikers to gather, test terrain, different conditions, and share those thoughts together in an open forum.

Elladee Brown recieves the 1 plate
Elladee Brown receives the #1 Plate - Photo Dave Silver

Remember though – this MEGA VOLT (an ode to 80’s metal music) - is all about FUN and good times on bikes, e-bikes! The format was truly taken to heart by all the participants who spent much of each ride in a large group talking and laughing before the terrain broke the party up.

Fully Charged
Riders T-shirt, Loud and Proud - Photo Dave Silver

STAGE 1, Friday Afternoon - Presented by DLD Financial

The Consistency Trial - 13km, Results
- 3 laps with the least differential being the winner.

The day started out pretty laid back. With all of the beautiful fall colours and the perfect dirt conditions some people were doing pre-laps, while others were simply exploring the scenery of Maple Mountain. As the start time approached everyone was jazzed to get going. This first event was different, and a bit of an adjustment for those with a history of racing. However, after the super fun Consistency Trial was complete, many groups headed up for another casual lap, taking the opportunity to explore other trails, to pre-ride some of the upcoming courses, and to explore the lay of this amazing land. The people wanted more, and the weekend was going to deliver.

James Durand on a mission
James Durand tackles the wet rocks - Photo Dave Silver

Open Men
Terry McKall 00:53.1 Differential
Jared Hicks 01:37.1
Tor Pedersen 03:26.3

Open Women
Elladee Brown 00:43.8

Men 40+
Glen Houle 00:17.0
Graham Fox 00:30.3
Jeff Pilkington 00:48.6

Men 50+
Brent Hill 00:04.2 Overall Stage Winner
James Durand 00:31.3
Zenya Kasubuchi 00:37.6

Gully getting a hi-five
Geoff Gulevich hi-fives Jesse Melamed - Photo Dave Silver

STAGE 2, Saturday Morning - Presented by BC Ferries

The Tech-gnar Challenge - 16km, Results
- A mini-epic on the classic loop of Maple Syrup on Maple Mountain.

gotta know where your going
This trail is a classic, put it on your bucket list - Photo Dave Silver

Open Men
Terry McKall 1:10:41
Alex Cogger 1:15:57
Jesse Melamed 1:20:59

Open Women
Elladee Brown 1:11:16

Men 40+
Glen Houle 1:11:12
Jeff Pilkington 1:13:17
Jon Bula 1:13:29

Men 50+
Gary Jackson 1:04:38 Overall Stage Winner
Scott Hedlund 1:10:43
James Wilson 1:11:02

Elladee Brown charging
Elladee Brown owning the Tech-Gnar - Photo Dave Silver

Roo the trail dog follows a rider through the gnar
Island local Terry McKall leads Roo the dog on a wild adventure - Photo Dave Silver

STAGE 3, Saturday Afternoon - Presented by Harbour Air

The Flowmaster 3000 -13km, Results
- Tony's Arbutus Ridge with a full rip on the new Phloem trail, on Maple Mountain

Andre Weaver
OG, Andre Weaver, still has the moves - Photo Dave Silver

Open Men
Jesse Melamed :43:38 Overall Stage Winner
Chris Johnston :44:48
Alex Cogger :47:07

Open Women
Elladee Brown :47:02

Men 40+
Jon Bula :48:04
Glen Houle :49:58
Dave Drummond :57:35

Men 50+
James Wilson :46:14
Scott Hedlund :47:01
Kurt Flaman :47:03

Zenya Kasubuchi - on the rocks
The rocks of Tony's Arbutus Ridge require some serious focus, Rider Zenya Kasubuchi - Photo Dave Silver

STAGE 4, Saturday Afternoon - Presented by Fox and Race Face

RedBull Downtime - 5km, Results
- A Race within a Race on the Phloem section within the afternoon route.

Ed from Cali - enjoying BC Fall goodness
From as far as California the MEGA VOLT called and Edward Chua answered - Photo Dave Silver

Open Men
Jesse Melamed :09:36.6 Overall Stage Winner
Chris Johnston :10:49.5
Terry McKall :12:38.1

Open Women
Elladee Brown :12:56.3

Men 40+
Jon Bula :13:10.9
Glen Houle :13:37.7
Dave Drummond :14:29.2

Men 50+
James Wilson :12:13.5
Gary Jackson :12:14.6
Kurt Flaman :12:53.6

Always the style guy, Geoff Gulevich - Photo Dave Silver

Four Stages, All Timed plus the Consistency Trial

Overall Results

Three Bike Shop Owners having fun
Top Down; James Wilson, Gary Jackson and Kurt Flaman - Photo Dave Silver

Open Men
Terry McKall 297
Jesse Melamed 294
Chris Johnston 293

Open Women
Elladee Brown 300 Overall Points Winner

Men 40+
Glen Houle 299
Jeff Pilkington 293
Jon Bula 292

Men 50+
Scott Hedlund 291
James Durand 289
Gary Jackson 287

Tire of Choice for loaming
The Tires of Choice around these parts - Photo Dave Silver

Woot woot
Top Down; Glen Houle, Graham Fox and Jeff Pilkington - Photo Dave Silver

Vance and Kurt from Penticton
Vance Fugeta and Kurt Flaman all the way from the South Okanagan - Photo Dave Silver

STAGE 5, Sunday Morning - Presented by Rocky Mountain

The Poker Challenge - 22km
- 2 Laps of Tzouhalem (The Tzoo) First Lap gets a hand dealt, 5 cards. The second Lap gets a Draw of 1-3 cards - simple right (No timing today, just cards).

Chris Johnston leads Jesse Melamed down the Tzoo
Chris Johnston leads Jesse Melamed down Double D at the 'Tzoo'- Photo Dave Silver

With the weather looming large and in charge, a storm was brewing on the west coast of Canada and it looked to be a doozy. The rain came but certainly didn’t dampen the athletes’ spirits on this day. Stage 5, the Social Ride, would take place on Tzouhalem Mountain which is just across the valley from the previous two days of Maple Mountain. Known for its perfect symbiosis of both jank & flow, the “Tzoo” never disappoints.

Andrew Weaver - poppin and droppin
Good times on two wheels, popping and dropping, Andre Weaver - Photo Dave Silver

A pile of riding, beer, charging, and amazing singletrack was all wrapped up with a very casual and enjoyable last day. The storm intermittently thrashed and threw furious waves of torrential rain, but everything came out Aces.

The Dealer Papa John
The Dealer, Papa John Kearns, shuffling the deck - Photo Dave Silver

bigquotesThe bikes are the best they’ve ever been, the trails are the best they’ve ever been. This truly is the golden age of mountain biking.Andreas Hestler, Olympian, Father, Co-Owner of BC Bike Race

You Earned this
Scott Hedlund and Gary Jackson, with some well earned hardware - Photo Dave Silver

There’s something special about the bikes these days. What’s more, the terrain and trails we have access to today are a far cry from those early Repack DH days and the bikes they rode. We now have trail builders and local organizations that are creating amazing networks of trails that the early pioneers of our sport could never have dreamed of. The smiles seen this weekend speak volumes to the gratitude we all share, and the appreciation for all the opportunities that lay before us. This truly is the golden age of mountain biking.

MEGA VOLT, OUT (till next year)!!

The Belt Buckle in it s natural environment
A little momento to remember this awesome gathering - Photo Dave Silver

The Cowichan Valley is stacked with World Class Trail Networks

Author Info:
BCBR avatar

Member since Nov 3, 2011
161 articles

  • 11 1
 Looks like a great event too me, riding or racing your eMTB with friends and drinking some beer afterward, it all goodSmile
  • 8 1
 DAMMIT. i wish i had known. i could have escaped this Alberta snow and had the best time ever.. nice work BC bike race.
  • 1 0
 Was thinking the exact same thing. :O(
  • 8 2
 Yeee Freedom boys!!!
  • 5 0
 Surprised there aren’t more over 50 age classes
  • 4 1
 Finally a mountain bike race event that feels like a mountain bike race event … …
  • 3 0
 No matter how hard you try you will never be incognito robin.
  • 3 0
 Awesome idea! Man we need more of these!
  • 3 0
 Just fun!

No 2022 RM Altitude PP?
  • 1 0
 There were a few MY22 RM PP around, not many pictures though since the event happened pre-launch of the bike Wink
  • 2 0
 we just finished year 2 of ours down here.
  • 2 0
 First of its kind....... LOL... it almost like they have the same marketing team as Arkansas, aka Mtn Bike Capital of the World.. Remind me which bike brand is from there?
  • 1 0
 How many participants in this race? It looks to me like Elladee was the only woman?
  • 2 0
 It was pretty small field being a first year event, trying something new late in the season.
Elladee might have been the only women but she crushed them in the overall standings

  • 3 3
 women don't ride E.
  • 1 0
 Wish I’d heard about it. Worth a brain poke.
  • 1 0
 I thought it was the Mega on ebikes
  • 2 3
 That's reminds me when I was a kid in the 80's, I went to see those custom moped races in the deep countryside... and it was fun!
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