Posted by Editoress on 06/8/12
This year's edition of the Shredders Camp was the biggest one ever!
36 “young guns” showed up for an awesome day of riding at Hardwood Ski and Bike on May 26th, having fun and making friends. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and all the athletes showed up ready to show their stuff. There were several new faces this year and a big group of girls just itching to show the boys how it’s done!
Girl Power at its best !!
The morning started with an introduction to one of the most amazing group of coaches ever assembled for such an event. The athletes also got a special video message from some of Ontario’s/Canada’s top athletes who were unable to attend due to race commitments. Special thanks to Peter Glassford.
Mitch Bailey, Cayley Brooks, Marc-Antoine Nadon and Hayley Smith were there, and the message focused on why these high performance athletes love to ride their bikes and the opportunities to travel and make friends. A special message from Provincial Coach Mike Garrigan reminded the shredders that this is the first of many camps and that “we have our eyes on you.”
The gang assembled and prepared for the traditional warm up ride over “thunder bridge” and down the BMX section. Then it was time to break into groups and prepare for a fun morning session focused on efficient single track riding. You could hardly hold the shredders back and the only thing faster than their legs spinning was all the talking they were doing with their friends.
As the groups rolled in from the morning session, there was a healthy mix of dirt and some monstrous appetites ready to do some damage to the lunch table. There were more than a few cool stories and a couple of crashes were the topic of discussion around the table. There was also a group of coaches that were very impressed with the level of riding they were seeing.
Bunnyhop Contest !
Anyone who has attended or followed this camp for the last couple of years knows that after lunch comes the world famous, patented “Lunch Olympics.” Four gruelling, arduous events that test the skills and determination of even the most seasoned mountain biker.
That is seriously low – Skillz !
The teams gathered, chose a name and then proceeded to tackle the bunny hop high jump, bike limbo, team relay and the balance gauntlet. Several shredders broke the bike limbo record, which was thought to be “untouchable.” The competition was so close that the judges had to do a careful recount. Winners of the “coolest team name” went to the Purple shredding Aliens of Doom. Winning the competition and in keeping with the purple theme was the Purple Polka Dotted Pandas.
The athletes went back to the chalet to fill up their water bottles and break into groups for the afternoon training session. The coaches switched groups, eager to share their knowledge and get their chance to learn from the shredders. Many of the athletes chose to preview the Canada Cup race course and almost the entire group conquered the ever popular “Boneshaker.”
Trek's Brendan Matheson having a good time with the shredders!
Coming back from the afternoon session there was an abundance of dirty, dusty faces, and lots of laughing and stories about more cool adventures and a couple of hall of fame crashes. The end of the afternoon session is always followed by the traditional freezie break and these freezies were well earned! There were also cookies and cinnamon buns and there were a few times when it looked like we may need a bouncer to keep order. As the shredders devoured their cookies and freezies, prizes were awarded for the lunch Olympics and special coaches prizes were awarded as well. What were the categories you ask?? Well, I believe “chattiest athlete” was one, and best “girl power” shout or chant was another. If you haven’t guessed by now everyone was a winner and prizes were awarded for FUN!
Olympian Leigh Hobson at the Camp – Truly inspiring words!
After the prizes the athletes had the opportunity to hear one of our special guest coaches, Leigh Hobson, talk about her Olympic experience and some of the things she does to prepare for a race. We were also very fortunate to have one of our other guest coaches, Annie-Foreman Mackey, talk about her experience on her recent Team Ontario High Performance project in California.
Annie Foreman Mackey (Right) and Minime Athlete Samantha Fuller (Left)
Well the day was winding down, but there was still one last piece of business to take care of: the Sprockids race. But this is not your traditional race. Athletes broke into two groups. Group 1 had to ride the course in one gear (single speed) and group 2 rode the course in their granny gear. No times were recorded, but I do believe we may have witnessed a new cadence record; it may be hard to confirm as there was only a blur of spinning legs heading to the finish line. Some very tired, dirty but happy faces gathered to say goodbye and wind up an amazing day with their friends. I think more than a few shredders passed out the minute they got in the car.
Ready, set... for the the Sprockids race
To say an awesome day likes this does not happen without a lot of fantastic support would be an understatement. Let’s start with the amazing coaching staff who dedicated their time and expertise to help make a memorable day for the athletes. A huge thanks goes to Chris Wong, Val Leonard, Jube Leonard, Leigh Hobson, Annie Foreman-Mackey, Brendan Mattheson and Jake Sternberg.
What can you say about our host Hardwood Ski and Bike? A great venue with great trails, who has been supporting grass roots cycling for ever. A special thanks to Margaret for an amazing lunch and snacks. It is a huge undertaking to feed the mob that had assembled for the day.
We added a new sponsor this year, but one that is by no means new to supporting developing cyclists. A big thanks to Mark Summers from Joyride 150 for the prizes. If you want to work on your skills head to Joyride 150; many of Ontario’s best go there on a regular basis.
Once again, thanks to our two main sponsors - Jeremy at Trek Store Barrie, and Andrew and Ron at Velocity in Orillia. Both of these stores have a long tradition of supporting cycling, racing and youth development. Let’s support shops and people who support racing. If you want great advice and products you know where to go.
The future of cycling in Ontario looks really bright!
Report courtesy Rob Fex
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