This afternoon, 21 October 2018, competitors from around the Kootenays and the Okanagan competed in the 5th annual Cedar Shaker Cyclocross at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR).
One of ten designated races in the BC interior cyclocross season, the Cedar Shaker offered athletes a dry, fast course.
“Cyclocross races take place in the fall, so muddy wet conditions are the norm,” says event coordinator Mike Welch. “So it was a nice change. It was the first time in five years the course wasn’t mucky.”
Welch, a longtime Revelstoke resident, is a local mountain guide and the area manager at Galena Lodge for Canadian Mountain Holidays. He always enjoyed biking, but after suffering a severe break to his leg after a ski touring accident, Welch became more involved in biking during his injury rehabilitation. It turned into a personal challenge. He became active in cyclocross six years ago.
“Cyclocross bikes look a bit like a sturdy road bike but with wider, knobby tires,” Welch says. “You can compete on a regular mountain bike, but only in the novice levels.”
The course itself, which Welch helped design, is three to five metre wide trail that covers two and a half kilometers, winding its way around the base of RMR. Depending on the level of competition, athletes complete as many laps as possible in either an hour or forty five minute time frame. Each lap takes an estimated eight to ten minutes to finish. With multiple groups competing at once, it is normal for lower levels to be lapped, sometimes more than once, by elite competitors.
There were three sections where riders must dismount and carry their bikes. One section had stairs, one was a steep bank, and one required jumping over small barricades.
Welch competed as well as organized. “I had a good race,” he says. “I compete as an intermediate. For me it is not about where I place overall, but for the personal challenge. I wasn’t lapped by the elites until near the end, so that was a good day for me.”
With the event gaining in popularity each year, the Cedar Shaker will be back next fall for year six.
*All photographs courtesy of Alexis Welch