There was a ‘Fire in the Mountains’ of West Kelowna over the weekend, and it was epic.
Over 160 riders took part in the May 15 enduro race at Smith Creek and despite the rainy weather, pro mountain biker Andrew Pickard said “it was a great atmosphere.”
The event was organized by the The West Kelowna Professional Firefighter Association to raise money for BC Burn Fund, West Kelowna Trail Crew Society, Cris Adaptive Adventures and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.
The enduro-style event uses a “rally format,” said Pickard. Racers pedal up the unrelenting mountain without being timed and are then timed on their descent. Of the four stages of descent Pickard said MotoBomba was his favourite.
“Conditions were bomb,” he said.
The rider with the fastest combined time from the four stages, Motobomba, Santa’s Revenge, FOMO, and Travelling Man, is crowned the champion.
Pickard placed tenth in the pro men’s category, despite being a local rider who is not used to riding in wet and slick conditions.
He said that the trails got slippery towards the end of the day but he “held it together,” and had no big crashes.
He was riding the popular Trek Slash, which boasts 160 mm of travel.
Pickard is looking forward to picking up speed this season at the rest of his planned races in the Canadian Enduro Series and downhill races at the B.C. Cup.