Shane Kroeger grew up in Saskatoon, but it’s safe to say that his heart was always in the mountains.
Even as a youth, Kroeger spent much of his winters in Western Canada as a competitive skier. After finishing high school, he moved to Golden to be closer to the mountains and all of the sporting activities that this area offers.
Kroeger has taken full advantage of his new environment, epitomizing what it means to be an adventure-seeker in the Columbia Valley as a mountain biker, heli-ski guide and whitewater kayaker.
On Monday, two days after he finished third in the second race of the Kootenay Rockies Enduro Series, Kroeger said he was planning to take a break from biking. For most, that might mean a day on the couch to recover from a gruelling weekend race, but Kroeger was planning to go whitewater kayaking later in the afternoon. The word ‘relax’ appears to be mostly absent from his vocabulary.
It’s mountain biking that will be his main focus over the next couple weeks, however, as he competes in both the local leg of the Enduro Series and the Singletrack 6 series (which will include two stages in Golden). Kroeger started out as what he calls an “urban” mountain biker while living in Saskatoon where he would ride the river banks of the South Saskatchewan River.
Biking has remained a mostly recreational pastime for him up until this summer.
“I’ve always been a fairly competitive person, right from ski racing as a kid,” Kroeger said. “I think the big emphasis to do some of these races is because they are actually in Golden, as well.”
Having races staged in Golden is not just convenient, but could offer Kroeger and other local athletes a distinct advantage over their fellow, out-of-town competitors.
“(Knowing the trails) could potentially be a little bit of an advantage,” he said.
Kroeger says the biking community in Golden is full of friendly competition, and he often competes with others through an app called Strava which logs and tracks times along the trails around town.
“The real competitors are some of my good friends so we go out for training rides together and we’re always pushing each other on the training rides, which is great for training,” Kroeger said. “You can push each other to get yourself stronger. Everybody wants to keep up or push and there’s always that little bit of competition in there.”
Similar to how any car owner places a premium on finding a good mechanic, Kroeger knows that his race results wouldn’t be the same without some help.
“One of the hardest parts of bike racing is to keep your bike running,” Kroeger laughed. “Jon Simpson at Derailed has been really good at keeping me on the trail.”
To track how Kroeger is doing with both his training and his races, log on to totallyspokedgolden.com and click on the ‘Get An Athlete’s Inside View” tab.