August 15, 2022
Little did we know back in 2006 when we put our toddler, Tobin, on a push bike that all of our future family travel would revolve around mountain biking; we’d been a ski family when Tobin joined our family. My husband and I both worked, lived and recreated at the ski resort. Fast forward to 2022, our family is immersed in mountain biking. I now work for Sacred Rides, my husband works for Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and Tobin, now eighteen, is climbing the ranks as a DH (downhill) mountain bike racer. When we are not working, you can find us riding our local trails, and seeking out new ones near race venues.
For the past four weeks we’ve been working remotely while traveling in an RV supporting Tobin at four races in Idaho, Colorado, West Virginia and Quebec. We can now add pit crew to our resumes.
Working for Sacred Rides, I talk a lot about the amazing places we visit on our rides, but I have learned from our guests that the destination is only part of it. The real story is being part of a unique community of mountain bike riders, a community that feels very much like family. It is what we love most about mountain bike racing and the community we’ve become part of. Especially while attending UCI World Cup races where the courses are incredibly difficult, the competition stiff and stakes high, but everyone supports one another.
Nowhere was this more apparent than when Tobin was competing in his first World Cup race. A GoFundMe established by the race team he rides for and supported by the community I mentioned above financed a good part of the cost of getting him there. I will never forget the course walk and seeing just how big the features were. Wow! Since it was Tobin’s first World Cup, we interviewed a couple pros including Pinkbike Producer, Ben Cathro, LSD Channel Producer, Bernard Kerr and retired racer and World Cup commentator, Rob Warner, to ask them what their first World Cup experience was like. They were all so willing and generous with their time. Over the two days of practice Tobin rode and cleaned all the features and was feeling good. The energy grew exponentially as the crowd swelled. It was a sea of red, white and blue, accompanied by chants of U.S.A intermixed with the revving of a chainsaw engine. Unfortunately, Tobin had a bad crash and didn’t get to race, but the outpouring of support demonstrated once again what a great family the mountain bike community is.
I’m sitting in the pits this morning overlooking the Saint Lawrence River at Mont Sainte Anne (MSA) not far from Quebec City. The brand reps for WD 40 and Shimano are setting up their booths. Jordi with Fox just walked by and said hello, another gentleman said “Bonjour”. The Commensal Team and the Santa Cruz Syndicate just headed out for their course walk. We will be headed up soon for our first peek at the course.
We have no idea where this journey will take Tobin, but it has already introduced the three of us to incredible places to ride and amazing new friends along the way. Whether you MTB for competition or MTB to experience different destinations, that is only part of the story. The best part is the community and family you gain along the way.
If all this talk about the World Cup and Mont Sainte Anne has you intrigued about riding in Quebec, consider The Great Quebec Escape or Women’s Wilderness and Waterfalls: Quebec City, both include a day at MSA. I know I’m excited to come back here to ride.
Story contributed by Lori Vandenbrink, Sacred Rides Marketing Specialist.