With the Canadian Dollar scraping rock bottom, this winter I opted to head west instead of south. Victoria has had a lot of hype in the past few months. Fellow teammates were telling me how amazing it is, the national team training centre became officially involved with Victoria, but I was sceptical. I was unsure how great it was mainly because of the rain. After spending a winter in California it was hard to imagine training in Victoria where (I exaggerate) it rains all the time.
Needless to say, yes it does rain, but not as often as thought. The trails are amazing. They are very #SoBC and involve all the types of riding I love and am deprived of in Ontario. Some great jumps, berms, rocks, drops, slippery trails and massive ‘hucks’. I also learned that if I spend the money to buy proper rain gear I am actually excited when it rains. It’s funny. If I have my rain jacket with me and it starts raining I think, “Aw yea, look at that, I’m not getting wet today. Bam!” However, I do stand by my opinion that riding on the road while it’s raining is still not fun, unless you invest in fenders! Then I aim for puddles and think the same think. “Bam!”
British Columbia is a beautiful province. Since I was a kid doing social studies I have always been interested in Canada’s west coast. I will one day live here, I just have to finish school first. Yes, I am still in school this semester. Three courses: Water Management, Numerical Methods (advanced ‘counting’ – lol, but it’s very abstract), and Environmental Systems Analysis (the ‘big boy’ of the semester). With the cooperation of 2/3 professors and my program councillor I have been lucky enough to take extended periods of time away from school and attend camps to get some early season racing in.
Currently I am in Victoria for the National Team training camp before the first race of the season up here on Bear Mountain. The owners of Bear Mountain, EcoOasis, have been kind enough to help out the National Team by providing us with a refuge from the rain in their 5-star resort. As for the race, the course is shaping up to be a good one, the legs are coming into form and the new Norcos are about to arrive. I think this will be a great start to the season. Regardless of result, this course has some good gaps jumps, rollers and a steady climb. It should be great.
Wrapping up, Victoria – I am no longer sceptical. This place offers some of the best riding and weather for winters within Canada. I can’t wait to come back! Maybe next time with a Norco Sight, go bigger!
Here are a few shots from the west coast: