Mountain bike race series now underway

Trailblazer Series inaugural race was held at Fraser River Heritage Park

The Fraser Valley Mountain Bikers Association (FVMBA) kicked off the 2013 Trailblazer Series in Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission April 27.

Named after sponsor Mission Springs Trailblazer Pilsner, the series features the cross-country race at Heritage Park and three enduro races throughout the valley. While the series is aimed to bring together everyday riders from across the Fraser Valley, many participants came from Vancouver or even farther to sample some of the amazing trails the Fraser Valley has to offer.

The trails at Heritage Park are an example of the hours that FVMBA volunteers put into building and maintaining trails.

Eugene Sepke, one of the volunteers who helped prepare the race course, said, “A few of us here put in hundreds of hours building bridges, cutting back stinging nettles and brush, and ensuring that the trails are in excellent shape, not only for mountain bikers but for all the users of the park.”

Even the youngest got out and did some riding, with a kids race for ages 12 and under.

Race director Karla Stowards said, “I was especially excited to see a number of first time racers in our beginner and under 15 categories. That is exactly what the FVMBA is hoping to do ­— create a great experience for all levels of rider from first timers to seasoned professionals.”

With lots of prizes donated from sponsors such as Wentings Bike Shop, Pinkbike, Answer, and Kintec, free coffee provided by Clearbrook Coffee, and a delicious lunch from Suburban Spoon, participants were sure to go home happy.

The next three races will be enduro style; which is an event that mimics a group ride. The enduro race is the hottest new trend in mountain biking, said the FVMBA, blending traditional disciplines of cross-country and downhill, and favouring bikes which are able to do a little of both.

Participants ride up to the trailhead at the top of the hill or mountain, and the clock begins at or near the top, and riders pin it down the trails. Enduros may feature one long downhill segment, or several shorter timed segments. The next race is scheduled for June 2 at Vedder Mountain.

Visit FVMBA.com for details.