Jeremy Harris moved to Western Canada to ski and snowboard, but quickly fell in love with mountain biking as well. Last week he competed in the Singletrack 6 series and finished 15th among riders in the 40+ category (56th overall).
Each town that hosted a stage received one free entry for a local rider. The Golden Cycling Club chose Harris, who was accompanied on the tour by his own personal fan club, his wife Terri and children Olivia and Max.
“It was really because of his deep-seated history with cycling in the Golden community,” said Trevor Gavura of the Cycling Club, referring to why Harris was chosen for the free entry.
Harris, who grew up in Australia, moved to Canada in 1990 and immediately took to the growing sport of mountain biking after a visit to Moab, Utah.
“That was it…I didn’t really know what I was doing but it was amazing,” Harris said. “I came out of that ride and my hands were numb, it was awesome.”
He moved to Golden from Lake Louise in 1997 and has lived here ever since.
“I came around here in 1994 and rode the Canyon Creek trail…I was like ‘I gotta get back here’,” he recalled.
Unfortunately, he ran into numerous mechanical issues that made the gruelling race series that much tougher on him and lost his top ten standing in the 40+ category in the race’s final stage in Revelstoke after enduring five flat tires.
“I was definitely feeling burnt out by the last day,” he said. “But overall it was a great experience for me and my family to do together.”
Harris competed with a heavy heart throughout the six stage event, having recently lost his co-worker, friend and riding partner Sean Schacher, who died from apparent heart failure while mountain biking early last month.
“We’d known each other for a long time…(his death) was just one of those things that hits when it’s least expected. It rocked the community,” Harris said.
Harris, along with the Golden Cycling Club, has spearheaded an initiative to raise funds for a new trail that would be named The Schacher in honour of the late local rider. The proposed trail would allow for better access to the trails of Mount 7. Currently, bikers must use the long gravel road that is well travelled by cars and trucks heading up to the Mount 7 launch site.
Harris’ inclusion in the field of the Singletrack 6 was a good opportunity to get the word out for the project.
“(Competing in the race) gave a lot of exposure to the Schacher Trail Project and funds were being donated online,” Harris said.
For more information on The Schacher, visit www.schacherstrail.com.