Canadian Cyclist


November 13/07 10:30 am - Cross on the Rock #4 Report: Cumberland Coal Cross

Posted by Editor on 11/13/07

Cross on the Rock #4 - Cumberland Coal Cross

Village of Cumberland, BC
Report by Dave Nowak

Organized and in Partnership with United Riders of Cumberland (UROC)
Brought to you by Multi-Sport Promotions:

November 10, 2007
Conditions: 12 degrees, sunny

Series Sponsors:
Converse All Star
Lighthouse Brewery
OakBay Bikes in Nanaimo and Victoria
Frontrunners Nanaimo
eNVy Chainrings and Chainring Protectors

Local Sponsors:
Trail Bicycles
Riding Fool Hostel
Eat More Sprouts

Special Thanks to: The village of Cumberland, No 6 Mine Park Committee, Comox Valley Cycle Club, Comox Valley Road Runners and the Residents of Cumberland.

Well, after a huge downpour the night before (which probably kept the hooligans in Cumberland from tearing down the course) the sun came out and the temperature rose to nearly 12 degrees. The Cumberland course was new to the series and proved to be a marshalling nightmare, requiring almost 20 volunteers to direct traffic at the more than 10 road crossings. With that being said, the Village Residents were awesome and supportive of the event and did not seem to mind delaying the travels by a minute or two to let riders through.

The course itself was in pretty good condition, considering the rain the night before. It started with an uphill road start to a sharp right and a tight entrance into the gravel collery road. The little 'whoops' halfway down that road threw a little spice into an otherwise fast section of gravel. Riders then returned to the start/finish area along 4 sections of grass alleyways before being sent back into the Historic, No. 6 Mine Park to tackle cobbles, a double set of barriers a short run-up (for some and ride-up) and some twist and turns through the flora and fauna of the park.

We polled a few riders afterwards to see what they thought:

Justin Mark commented afterwards "Great course, but the alleys...I kept changing lines in the grass but it all sucked."
Jeff Beeston retorted during the race: "It needs more 53 more turns"
Andrew Brown: "It's Classic"
Norm Thibault: "It was hard"
Kiara Bisaro: "Were the barriers higher than normal?"
Dave Nowak: "What crazy mofo decided to put 800 metres of wet grass into that course?"

Race #1: Beginner Men's and Women's (4 Laps plus the opening half lap)

After a free race last week at the Beban Race a number of those 'now hooked' riders returned this weekend to test their mettle in Cumberland. On the men's side, Ian Beveridge(UROC) ripped through the first lap on a borrowed Cross bike and kept the hammer down. Dan Frey (Frontrunners) tried desperately to close the gap but first timer Beveridge never looked back. Of note, Beveridge moved up to the Intermediate race the next day and finished mid pack. On the Woman's side a battle would ensue between Yvonne Visser (Arrowsmith) and Sue Croft (Wheelers-OBB). Croft went out hard winning the prime but Visser rode a steady race eventually gapping croft by 47 seconds. I see a cross bike in her future.

Taking the Lighthouse Brewery Prime were Sue Croft and Ian Beveridge

Race #2: Intermediate Men

With the last weekend of racing upon us and a double points race the next day made for some fast and furious racing. Points leader Trevor Jones (Experience) would be looking to hold his lead while Paul Brend (IRC), sitting in second in the points was looking for a good result. But you could not count out the 'Dynamic Duo' of Dawes and Glassen both of OBB, who have been racing extremely well and consistently all series. Terry McCall (OBB Victoria) and Evan Flater (Rocky Mountain) drilled it from the start and kept the pace fast leaving the rest of the field chasing. Paul Brend who was hoping to move up in the standings had a flat on the long back section of gravel road and had a long run back the pits. Matt Dawes also flatted and was forced to chase down the group. At the end of this chaos McCall was first, Flater second and Mark Adey (Straight up Cycles) was in third. Trevor Jones rode steady and retained his lead in the series. However, there was a big shake up in the series standings from 2nd through 4th and it would be down to the double points race "Jungle Cross" the next day to decide the series champion.
Taking the Lighthouse Brewery Prime was Evan Falter (Root Beer as he is only 18)
The Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider went to: Ben Glassen

Race #3: Master Men

After setting the course I couldn't help but feel nervous knowing that this was another course that would favour Steve Bachop. He never showed. At the start of the day there were 3 riders mathematically in contention for the Series win, Cruikshank (Aviawest), Brown (CVCC/Blacks) and Nowak (CVCC/Frontrunners) and a win for any of these three would make the double points race on Sunday pivotal. As always Brown and Nowak tried to set a fast pace from the start however, this course favoured the 'roadies' and after the first half lap a group of 4, Brown, Cruickshank, Aaron Dusseault (Russ Hayes) and Nowak went through first. However, after dropping his chain in the cobbles, Dusseault went down taking Nowak out and letting Brown and Cruickshank go. A chase group formed with Robbie Bitz (Local Ride), Brian Griffin (Experience) and Nowak. Bitz laid it down for several laps and earned himself the most aggressive rider as a result. Brown and Cruickshank played a game of Cat and Mouse the rest of the race fighting for valuable points. But it was Brown with the greater horse power at the line and Cruickshank would settle for second. Nowak eventually gapped the chase group and finished in third. The race left Brown and Cruickshank tied in the series and the next day would determine the series Champ.

Taking the Lighthouse Brewery Prime was Andrew Brown.
The Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider went to: Robbie Bitz

Race #3: Women

Kiara Bisaro (Opus) returned to the Valley after a successful season on the mountain bike to participate in this local event. Trish Sinclair (Kona) took it out hard and won the first lap prime over Bisaro. But it was Bisaro who laid it down, putting almost 2 and a half minutes over the rest of the field. Behind her, a fierce battle between Sinclair and Dawn Berg (OBB) erupted with Sinclair trying to nab series points and reclaim her series title from 2006. Sinclair was eventually able to put 2 seconds into Berg for second place, Dawn would have to settle for third and it was Carey Sather and Kristen Magnusen coming across the line in 4th and 5th, respectively, to finish out the women's podium.

Taking the Lighthouse Brewery Prime was Trish Sinclair
The Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider went to Trish Sinclair.

Race #4: Expert Men

Almost a carbon copy of last week's race at Beban, Matt Hewitt (OBB/Berg) and John Fokkema (Avia west) got away early with Norm Thibault (Frontrunners) chasing hard in third. Fokkema managed to get through the first lap in first winning beer prime but apart from that it was hard to tell who was controlling the pace. Every move either one of these guys made was so well covered by the other. But it was Hewitt who managed to dig into the suitcase of pain and eke out a win over Fokkema. Thibault, always looking relaxed, finished third. Rounding out the top 5 was Jeff Reimer in 4th after his best race this year, beating out Russell "I am always in 5th place" Anderson. But the real story was the bittersweet rivalry that has developed over the series between Jeff Beeston (Trail Bikes) and Justin Mark (Arrowsmith). Today's race didn't favour Beeston's technical cornering prowess but it took Justin Mark: 3 shake and bakes, 2 chops, 4 tokyo drifts and 1 fake crash to get ahead of Beeston and earn himself the most aggressive rider.

Taking the Lighthouse Brewery Prime was John Fokkema.
The Converse Chuck Taylor most aggressive rider went to Justin "Elbows and Knees" Mark.

Being a new course we were unsure how long it would take to set up and tear down. A special thanks goes to the more than 20 volunteers from UROC, CVCC, and the CVRR, not to mention my friends, colleagues and Family. The course went up fast on Friday afternoon. Special thanks to our set up crew: Wally Nowak, Paul Brend, Jamie Moore (Late but he got there) and Chuck Sinclair. I would also like to thank Andrew Brown, my right hand man, who pounded more posts and managed to use every pylon in the trailer to ensure the safety of all racers and residents of Cumberland. Another big pat on the back goes to Linda Sinclair and Pat Nowak (My Mom) for doing registration. Tear down was ridiculously fast as well, if you pulled even a few posts out and rolled a hundred feet of tape it all helps. Jeremy and the boys from UROC put on a great post race social Sponsored by Lighthouse Brewery with burgers from the Butcher's Block, salad greens from Eatmore Sprouts and fresh buns from the Village Bakery. The Village of Cumberland deserves a round of applause for taking a risk on this crazy event and coming out in droves to ring bells, clap, and cheer on almost 70 riders ripping through their streets, parks and alleyways.

Next race on Vancouver Island: By now it should be all over, the last piece of tape picked up and the final pair of Chuck Taylor's handed out. See you next year for another great race in Dodge City!!!

Pictures for this event can be found at:


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