Words by Tom Bradshaw
It had been a dangerously long time since I last raced. The Whistler EWS in 2019 was my last outing. Like everyone, I've spent the last two years coming to terms with the fact that you can plan all you like in the current climate, but be ready to throw those plans out the window. This weekend went exactly that way.
Thanks to the legends at Outdoorsy, who arranged for me to hire a RV or trailer and take on two challenges this year. You might've seen my attempt to ride 100 trails in Cumberland on the hottest day of the year
. I thought another genius challenge would be to hire a full blown team bus and head off to race my first Enduro race in two years. It would be just like being on a pro team. Right?
Usually for a race weekend, I'd team up with some mates, set up camp in the car park in my dangerously dodgy Ford E-250 (aka 'The Beast') and have a great time from there. When I found the H.M.C.L.S. (Her Majesty's Canadian Land Ship) Fiona on Outdoorsy however, I knew she was the one and immediately pulled trigger. How good would sleeping in a bus that's bigger than my apartment be before my first race in two years?
What I didn't think about was the administration involved navigating a 36-foot, 10-tonne land ship, 1000 kilometres east from Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies and to Panorama Ski Resort...
The end result was taking plate #69
to the Pro Men podium, a dream result. But at the end of the day it was just a result. I took so much more away. It didn't matter that the event format changed. Seeing 200+ riders stoked, exploring a beautiful part of the world with new and old mates on their bikes, and 36 foot motorhomes, was something special.
Make sure you get a chance to watch the full video, it was a real laugh. A huge thank you to Outdoorsy for making this project possible.
As well as the Canadian National Enduro Series for having us, Jason and the Panorama Mountain Resort team for hosting, the local legends who built fresh loam trails to race, in particular Mayor Jose. And last but not least, all the racers, supporters and volunteers for getting together, rolling with the punches, and having a great event together. You beauties!