We’ve launched a new ambassador program at Gibbons where we connect with our staff members to learn about their passion and how we can be part of pushing them forward.
For Zenon Murtagh, this is downhill-mountain biking. Here’s his report from the field as he competes in the elite category for the BC Cup Downhill Series.
The terrain at Silver Star Mountain, located in Vernon, is very different from Whistler. It’s more moto style, with flaky rock, loose shale and dark, traction filled mud. I worked a double shift at Garfinkel’s the night before the race, leaving early Saturday morning fuelled by caffeine.
Going from the familiar in Whistler last week to the completely new terrain in Silver Star was challenging during the first few runs. We were tackling a trail called “Dags Downhill”, which included some lovely loose rocky sections. My friend was riding in front of me and misjudged something, which sent him flying over his handlebars coming down hard. This wasn’t good motivation for the qualifying rounds.
My run felt sloppy – I just wasn’t in the zone. At this point I’d been up for 32 hours straight, and it was starting to take its toll. I made it through, but it was time to chill out before Sunday’s race.
It did not start well. Already shaken from learning my friend had a nasty torn rotator cuff, my day started with a flat back tire and snapping my gear shifter. I used a rock to jam it into a high gear, but it wasn’t an ideal situation. The racers started at noon, but with lot of flats caused by the rough and rocky terrain and also some bone crunching crashes I didn’t get to the start gate until after four.
Finally it was my turn. I hit the right lines but without my gears I didn’t get the flow I wanted. In the end I’d grown to love the challenging track and when it was over I wanted to get right back up there and do it again. I finished with a time of 3:23:74, with the fastest rider coming in at 2:49:36 – not too much to shave off.
My momentum is picking up and I’m gaining confidence as I go – bring on Crankworx!
For the Pinkbike Article where some of these images came from, visit: