Virtual 2021 Fernie Enduro – Ride Fast…Win Prizes

Virtual 2021 Fernie Enduro – Ride Fast…Win Prizes

The Fernie Enduro is going V-I-R-T-U-A-L again this Spring/Summer – Ride Fast…Win Prizes! Turn on Strava, pedal to the top and race to the bottom!

Fernie’s FREE fun speed event has returned and will enable you to challenge last years winners. In 2020 Fernie locals Joy Attala and Strahan Loken took home the titles and lots of prizing from Gearhub Sports! Who will be this years KOM and QOM?

Gearhub Sports will again be crowning the race winners and special efforts with great prizing. Mark Hall, Gearhub Owner/Manager, commented, “We are proud to support this local speed race and have a fun event for our customers and staff to participate in!” Gearhub will be providing event prizing from RaceFace, Evoc, Michelin and others.

The event started on June 1st on the fast rolling Roots Hyper Extension!

The winners of Race 1 will be announced shortly!

There will be KOM & QOM and bonus participation prizes at the end of each two week race and the overall fastest time for all three races will be crowned the 2021 Fernie Enduro King & Queen!

Racers can continue to post times on Hyper Extension for the overall Fernie enduro QOM and KOM.

Race 2 starts June 14 on the Todays Special!

Race Dates / Course
Race 1: Hyper Extension DH / June 1 to June 14 /
Race 2: Today’s Special / June 15 to June 28 /
Race 3: TBA / June 29 to July 12 /

There will be KOM & QOM and bonus participation prizes at the end of each two week race and the overall fastest time for all three races will be crowned the 2021 Fernie Enduro King & Queen!

How to participate:
1. Get your FTA 2021 Fernie Trails Pass, it’s mandatory
2. Sign up for Strava, if you haven’t already
3. Turn on Strava, hit record and ride the course.

How to qualify for great Prizes and the KOM / QOM:

Share your race result along with a pre or post race selfie to @FernieBikeEvents and tag #GearhubSports and #FernieEnduro. The more you post the greater your chances of winning bonus prizes.

The prizes and QOM and KOM recognition will be awarded at Gearhub Sports, the generous prizes are from RaceFace, Evoc, Michelin and others!

If you missed a race or think you can post a faster time…no worries? You can participate in all 3 races and better your time until July 12th and qualify for the final KOM or QOM. Race all three courses in one day! This race is about doing your best and having fun!

Any finisher disputes will be settled by the administrators.

All racers are to respect other trail users, these are multi-use public trails, and yield, slow or stop if necessary. With a virtual event you can ride again!

The 2021 Fernie Enduro virtual event aims to support Fernie’s trails and make a difference with local businesses. Please respect BC Public Health policies and shop local every day!

Spring training in Fernie

Spring training in Fernie

The days are getting longer, the sun feels warmer, the snow is melting, you’ve put your skis into storage and you just aren’t looking at your fatbike the same way that you were in December. That can only mean one thing: Springtime has arrived and it’s time to find your shorts, dust off your mountain/gravel bike and take your road bike off the trainer (if you’re into that)!

In other regions of BC, people have been riding on dirt and roads all winter, or at least since March. But here in Fernie, trails aren’t ready to ride most years until late May. Some lower trails are starting to open however they are busy and too limited for training at this time. So how do you satisfy the need for dirt and prepare yourself for the upcoming season without driving to nearby, drier places like Cranbrook or Invermere? You hit the tarmac and gravel roads!

One of the most popular and enjoyable early season rides is heading out Cokato road right from downtown. The Cokato out and back offers many benefits: It gets a lot of sun, there isn’t much traffic, it has some nice rolling hills, you’ve got an absolutely stunning view of the Lizard range for almost the entire ride and you’re staring straight at Mt. Fernie and the Three Sisters as you come back into town. From town, it’s about 6km to the end of the pavement, then it changes to hard packed gravel. At that point, you can just turn around for a quick ride or if the gravel is still mucky and soft, or if it’s in good shape, carry on for another 11km until you get to the Morrissey/Lodgepole/River road junction. It’s a beautiful ride, and has a few larger hills for some great variety. From there, if you want an even longer ride, keep on keepin’ on down River Rd for another 14km till you reach the town of Elko. The full ride to Elko and back will take a few hours, so it helps build up the endurance and stamina needed for those long days in the saddle. Be aware that River road is a FSR (forest service road), so you’ll likely encounter logging trucks if you decide to go that way.


Gearhub Sports athlete, TransRockies ambassador and Ride Theory coach, Jena Greaser posing with her new Rocky Mountain Altitude

If you’re preparing for TransRockies races such as Singletrack 6 or the Gravel Royale (both are coming to Fernie this summer), or maybe just feel like you need to get your legs ready for the big climbs in Fernie like Project 9 access, Swine Flu, Hypervent, Stove/Mushroomhead/Lactic ridge or Big $, there’s a nice, south facing climb that dries up early and has served me well as a training ground since I moved here in 2018. From Fernie, head North past the visitor centre and jump onto Dicken Rd. It’s a beautiful, flat, 4.5km pavement road with very few vehicles on it and mountains on both sides of the valley. A great warm up for hill repeats you’re about to do! At the North end of Dicken, you have to hop on to highway 3, and ride North for about three more km until you reach Beese Rd. It turns to dirt and starts climbing right away. You’ll climb about 110m over 2.1km (avg grade of 5.4%) if you stop at the top of the hill just a little ways past the cattle guard. Take a sip of water and head back down to the highway. Do this climb as many times as your legs, heart and lungs allow, and you’ll be ready to race or tackle those big climbs as soon as the snow melts! The best part about this ride is the cool down cruise back into Fernie on Dicken Rd. You’re treated with an amazing view of the snow capped Lizard range the entire way.
Heading South on Dicken Rd after a Beese Rd interval session. The Lizard range in all its glory.

If you feel like getting out of town and exploring some new roads, there are plenty of options in the “South Country”. Take the Kikoman/Newgate road from Elko and head South towards Newgate Sandy Shores. You’ll cross Lake Koocanusa and enjoy winding roads and small rolling hills for miles. Another nice option in that area is the Jaffray – Baynes Lake road. Very little traffic and roads suitable for a road, gravel or cross country mountain bike.

Maybe road/gravel riding or climbing isn’t your thing, and you just want to dial in your trail riding and bike handling skills. Usually the first little trail to dry up in Fernie is a short, but fun trail called Space Unicorn, which can be accessed from Coal creek road. If you want to improve your cornering and jumping skills, dial in your suspension settings or maybe try out your shiny new bike early in the season, this trail is for you. Please just respect the trail and the volunteers that maintain them. If it’s soft and muddy, stay off it.

There are many other options out there for spring training; these are just a few of my favourites. Whether you’re by yourself, with your bubble or with a few friends, just get out there and explore the amazing training grounds in the Fernie and South Country area. There’s something for everyone!

By Dylan Bailey

The Dunbar Summer Series is coming to Fernie

The Dunbar Summer Series is coming to Fernie

2021 marks the ninth season for the Dunbar Summer Series and this year’s series will include stops in Fernie, Golden and Invermere BC and will feature two Canada Cups and the Canadian DH Nationals. The athletes will be racing the Canada Cup Downhill course in Currie Bowl at Fernie Alpine Resort on July 18th!

Why should you attend? Because they are so much more than just a race on Sunday!

These events run on time, on some of the best courses BC Bike Parks has to offer and create experiences and friends that will last a lifetime. The Summer Series has Brett Tippie on the mic all day long telling jokes and giving out a ton of swag to racers and fans alike. We have fun competitions such as whip offs, long jump, tire changing, rim toss and we’ve even hosted a pretty epic dance-off. You can expect to find a multitude of small details that will add up to one of your best weeks of the year at the Dunbar Summer Series such as:
• free tools and tubes at the start or within the rock garden sections,
• ample pit space so every team can set up their tent,
• best-attended riders’ meetings,
• prizes for seeding,
• custom billeted awards,
• event photographers and videographers,
• oversized podium checks,
• equal elite payouts,
• podium champagne (or ginger-ale for Jr Ex classes).
• Fox Racing will be at all three stops supporting women in the sport with a free pit space, women specific prizing, rider support, course walks and even guest coaches.

I’m always stoked to announce and host Exley’s events. They are well executed, a ton of fun and have incredible racing for all ages and experience. Looking forward to announcing at all three stops of the 2021 Dunbar Summer Series this year! – Brett Tippie

Shimano Kids Race:
First started by Tara Llanes and Elladee Brown at the 2011 Western Open, the Shimano Kids’ Race has fast become a staple of the Dunbar Summer Series introducing our youngest fans to the addiction of racing. The kids’ race is open to all children between the ages 2 and 12. Registration is open from noon to 2:00pm on the day of the event at Guest Services and is FREE. All kids participating will receive a number plate for their bike and an award for racing from Shimano.

Dunbar MT7 Group Ride:

To kick off Nationals weekend and to remember where it all began, Dunbar Cycles hosts an unorganized – organized group ride from the top of MT7 on Thursday, July 22nd and all parents, siblings and racers are welcome to join in! The plan is to meet at the lower lot by the rodeo grounds for 5:00pm sharp. From there we consolidate into as few trucks as needed and make our way to the top. Once on the summit, we will have a group photo taken and break into two groups. The first group led by some of Dunbar’s fastest racers will drop into Dead Dog and make their way through one of the gnarliest sections of trail anywhere. The second group will take Red Wine down avoiding the steepest parts of Dead Dog, but still getting to ride the rest of the original Psychosis course to the bottom where ice cold pops are waiting.

Whether you are a racer, parent, or spectator, you will have a great week from start to finish!

July 18th || Fernie Alpine Resort || Canada Cup || BC Cup
July 21st || Panorama Resort || Canada Cup || BC Cup
July 25th || Kicking Horse Mountain Resort || Canadian National DH Championships

Information, schedules, and lodging recommendations are available through registration.
Registration for the 2021 Dunbar Summer Series can be found here: www.CCNBIKES.com

Canadian Fat Bike Day Riding Tips

Canadian Fat Bike Day Riding Tips

Gearhub Sports Team Rider Dylan Bailey is sharing his fat bike knowledge with you and inviting you to get out and celebrate Canada’s Fat Bike Day. On Saturday, February 6th Canadian’s coast to coast will be riding fat bikes in recognition of Canada’s fastest growing winter activity.

Here are Dylan’s fat bike tips:

These are the main areas I find people often struggle with while fat biking:

• Climbing

• Cornering

• Gear selection / shifting

• Tire pressure


This article is aimed at the beginner/intermediate riders out there that are looking to improve their basic fat biking skills.  The following tips will hopefully improve your overall experience out there on the trails and may make it easier to conquer all the great fat biking trails that the Elk Valley has to offer.

Dylan climbing in a balanced position with consistent power

Climbing

Although it’s part of this challenging, yet amazing sport, having to get off your bike, whether it was planned or unplanned, and walk up that last little steep bit of the climb can be a downer.  Sometimes it can just be a lack of fitness, but quite often, a loss of traction due to poor pedaling technique or improper body position is the culprit.  

The goal for pedaling is to provide consistent power to the rear tire.  Unwanted surges of power, caused by applying the majority of your force on the downward stroke, will likely result in your rear tire slipping.  This kills all of your momentum, leaving you with no option but to hop off your bike.  Try your best to evenly distribute your power as you pedal.  Think of this: kicking a ball as your crank passes through 11 o’clock, and scraping mud/gum/poop off your shoe as it passes through 6 o’clock.  The smoother you can pedal, the more traction you’ll have!  

The second part of gaining more traction is body positioning.  The goal here is simple: Give your rear wheel weight by sitting up straight.  If you lean forward too much or stand up, your rear end will be lighter and lose traction.  Lean back too much and your front wheel will likely lift off the ground, leaving you with little control.  Moving forward on the seat on the steeper climbs will also help.  This allows you to keep an upright position, which will make it easier to take deep breaths, while maintaining steering control.

Tourism Fernie image

Cornering

Cornering technique, and the speed at which you enter corners, will vary quite a lot depending on conditions.  In firm, grippy, predictable conditions, you can almost corner like you would on your normal mountain bike in the summer and approach corners at a higher speed.  If there is fresh snow on the trails, or it’s just soft because of warmer temperatures, you’ll have to gauge how predictable the snow is, and adjust accordingly.  

Regardless of conditions, there are a few basic techniques that you can apply.  If the corner is sharp enough where you’ll need to lean the bike over a fair bit, make sure your outside foot/pedal is down.  The last thing you want is to have your inside foot/pedal hit the snow as you’re going around the corner.  It also gives your tires more traction which is never a bad thing!

Secondly, keep your eyes up the trail and look ahead! Knowing how tight the corner is and what follows the corner is very important.  This will help you gauge your speed coming into the corner and will help you decide which gear you should be in before the corner (more on this later!)
Lastly, in soft, loose and/or unpredictable conditions, slow down before the corner.  Braking before the corner, as opposed to braking while IN the corner, will give you more control and probably lead to less crashing.

Gear Selection and Shifting

Being in the correct gear is crucial for fat biking.  It can be the difference between making it up the climb or not making it up the climb.  It can also help you smoothly accelerate out of corners and keep your momentum going forward.  

A common mistake beginner riders make is waiting until it’s too late to shift into an easier gear while transitioning to a climb.  As I mentioned earlier, look ahead on the trail so you can see what’s coming up and shift into a lower gear just before the climb.  You may lose some of the speed you had because of this, but it allows you to be in the right gear as the bike starts to slow down.  Shifting later than this can be hard on the drivetrain and will cause you to apply lots of power in a high gear, likely resulting in slipping out.  
The same principles apply for corners.  If you are coming into a corner pretty fast and it looks like it may be a slow exit (tight corner or maybe a little hill after the corner), pedal a few times and shift gears before the corner, not afterwards.

Keep it simple: Look ahead and shift early.  I can’t emphasize this enough.

Tire Pressure

I get asked about tire pressure almost daily, whether it’s in the shop or on the trail.
There are a lot of variables involved here such as tire size and tread, snow conditions, rider weight, experience and riding style, so there isn’t a magic number, but here are some good general guidelines.

If the snow is firm and provides decent traction, run a higher pressure. This will allow your tires to roll faster and give less resistance.  Having pressure too low with firm conditions may cause your front tire to oversteer in corners and if it’s too low in the rear, you may just be bouncing up and down unnecessarily while you pedal.  I normally run about 6-9 psi on these days, but again, that’s just me.  Experiment with your tires and see how it feels!

On days where the snow is soft and/or slippery, drop your pressure.  Doing this has many advantages.  Mainly, it will give your tires maximum traction for both climbing and cornering, and increase the surface area of your tires. This prevents you from leaving massive ruts in the trail, which can ruin the experience for the next rider.  I find that 4-6 psi is usually low enough but some people will go lower than that if needed.  Just be aware that running a really low pressure can result in getting pinch flats, even in soft conditions, so bring a spare tube. 

Most people know that air pressure drops when it’s cold, but how much? If you’re checking your tire pressure with a gauge at 25ºc, your psi may drop by as much as 4 pounds by the time you get outside. While 4 psi might not sound like much, if you’re running 8 psi in a fat bike tire, losing half of your air pressure is a pretty big deal.

Using the chart above, it should be a bit easier to arrive to your destination with the desired pressure right off the bat. Obviously temperatures on the trail may change, and you need to know what the temperature is when you’re inflating your tires. This is definitely not for the riders who simply go by feel, but for those looking to run specific psi it could be pretty useful.

That’s it for now! Get out there and celebrate Canada Fat Bike Day, enjoy the fresh air, be courteous to other trail users, be safe, keep your head up, ride smooth and smile!

The Fernie Gravel Grind 2021

The Fernie Gravel Grind 2021

The Fernie Gravel Grind is a weekend long gravel cycling experience located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, home to some of the best gravel riding in Canada. Over the course of the weekend, riders will experience the rich history of Fernie, a genuine mountain town known for its iconic mountain biking, epic vistas, and welcoming hospitality.

The Fernie Gravel Grind is an event for anyone and everyone, as it offers a Friday industry night, multi-distance races on Saturday, and group rides on Sunday, all of which will be closely following Covid guidelines from provincial health authorities.

The Fernie Gravel Grind extends a warm welcome as we invite you to take part in the weekend long gravel festivities rescheduled to September 17th-19th., 2021 – The spirit of gravel is that anything goes.

Founded in 2019 by Carter Nieuwesteeg, professional cyclist born and raised in Fernie who’s passion lies not just in racing but also in giving back to the community, and co-organizer Nakoda Mason, another deeply rooted Fernie-ite who’s event organizing experience runs deep as previous director of Wam Bam Dirt Jump Jam. Together the two have joined forces with Chris Hatton, past event manager of the Canadian National Enduro Series (CNES), President of the Queens Cycling Team, and severe speed and adventure junky.

Our philosophy is that we’re doing this for riders, as riders. By having numerous years of experience in the bike industry, attending races, and pursuing our passion for riding, our organization knows what people want in an event, and what gets them excited to ride.

Their mission is:
– To Inspire everyone on two wheels through inclusivity and community.
– To bring excitement to gravel biking through inclusive events and organizing information to all cyclists.
– To inspire healthier, more inclusive communities by connecting people through two

What inclusivity means:
– Equality between male and female participants.
– Any sort of background (and gear) is welcome.
– New and old/experienced and inexperienced riders are welcome.

The Fernie Gravel Grind is a judgement free, positive, and fun environment for all.

Registration here: www.ferniegravelgrind.com

@ferniegravelgrind