Our Killer Mountain Challenge is no different. By the time the trash talking ended, and the dust had settled, one could have sworn that one was in the company of Olympic level mountain bikers.
Case in point: Emile, a former road racer, and generally all round excellent rider, hails from Holland. Which is flat. As in - without hills. Thus, Emile is a terrific, strong and fast rider on the flats. Fredie, whose idea of a relaxing ride is traversing the Swiss Alps for exersize after work, is ok on the flats, but can navigate up a mountain side as effortlessly as the billy goats of his native Switzerland. By placing these two characters together in this competition, one is almost suffocated by the levels of testosterone. Emile blasts away from the group on the flats, while Fredi seemingly without strain floats up the mountain. At the end of the ride, they both turn on Big Al, whose riding strengths do not include either flats or mountains, but rather the technical, single track trails of the rolling hills of Canada.
That aside, despite Emile's greatest efforts, he was able to climb only 50% of the way up the mountain. Always only as far as a certain metre deep pit, on the left side of the trail. Fredi has since christened it the Emile pit, as Emile seems unable to veer away from it, and consequently winds up falling into it.
For all of the other guys that attempted the mountain - keep training, and we'll see you again next year!
The competitive spirit is alive and well among the women, as we have had many women attempt the 'Killer Mountain Challenge' as well. It is interesting to note the differences in preparation between the men and the women. There is less trash talking, more checking of the equipment, and more hydration among the women. Some of our female competitors logged their best effort after several attempts at conquering the mountain. One such woman is our Women's Killer Mountain Challenge Champion for 2006-2007.
Diane Horton - The Women's 2006-07 Killer Mountain Challenge Champion
After several gruelling yet determined attempts, Diane logs in as our female champ with a well deserved 50% of the mountain conquered. Congratulations, Diane!
Killer Mountain Challenge - 2007-2008 Season
We have had a very strong season so far, with many attempts at the mountain challenge. The trash talking among the men continues unabated, while the women continue to hydrate.....! However, I must share this story - about my three favourite Frenchmen.
Please meet Christophe Chaput, Patrick Casalino and Frederic Chevalier - of France.
After a few attempts, this is Christophe's ride. The others in the group, stood by the side of the trail and cheered Christophe on, as he made his way up the mountain.
Al and I had so much fun with these guys, that we invited them to our 'White Party' to inaugurate our new swimming pool.
For all of you extreme athletes out there, you gotta hear this! Christophe is planning an epic bike ride journey, from his home town in Marseilles, France to northern China. This mammoth undertaking is called "The Iron Bike Adventure". If anyone is interested in following Christophe's progress, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass along his contact info to you. Christophe - Good luck on your ride, and may the wind always be at your back!