Campfire Confessions

Words Dan Gronross
Photos Todd Hellinga
Date Oct 7, 2009

It’s an event that re-kindles your love of mountain biking. An end of year reminder of why you slog through endless days of work, just to throw your leg over the bike for a few hours of reprieve. Just before your mind turns to snow, the Full Boar Challenge offers a crowning conclusion to the end of each year. Arriving in the campground, the air thick with campfire and BBQ, you know you are among family.

  The ride up the Duffy was filled with reminders that the summer season was coming to a close.

As usual the 2009 Full Boar Challenge offered treats for riders of all stripes. An XC race covered most of the day on Saturday, capped nicely with the “Lighted Hill Climb” and the Kamloops Premiere of NWD 10 Dust and Bones. The time on Sunday was allocated to the riders that were strong enough to pull themselves out of their tents, hop into the shuttle truck and after the cold ride to the top, throw themselves back down the mountain collecting cards as they rode.

  The Full Boar lifestyle, campfires, refreshments and goodtimes. Even if it was freezing cold.

There was one small difference for 2009; the weather. Mother Nature as always had her own deck of cards and while at the outset it looked good, once arriving at the top of Greenstone Mountain, her cards laid out, reality hit.

  The late season weather meant no one rode the bed of the truck with the bikes. We were all squeezed into the cab.

At some point the previous night, your mind comfortably numbed from the evening’s activities you were probably talking about how good your season has been. In fact, you might have droned on for as much as twenty minutes laying it on thick about all the progression you mustered out of yourself, and that tomorrow you would slay the trail. A personal armchair marketing machine if you will.

Normally that could be a very real possibility, an achievable goal. Probably yes, until that is you see the track in the conditions which it is most known for.

  Thomas Hey weaves his way down the mountain through the fire scorched forest of Greenstone Mountain.

Greenstone Mountain is tall, no, it is HUGE. At 1793 metres, or approximately 5900 feet for the metrically challenged. It can offer whatever it wants for weather. This year it had an ace up its sleeve. The thin veil of snow that looked so pretty from the start line had become ice on certain precarious sections of the track. Most riders ended up in the same rut on the track as they tried to navigate the impromptu bobsled run.

  Mike Jones sails into the first of three pitches not 250 yards into the track.

A third of the distance from the top the snow had melted and riders were left dodging the mud spraying from their tires. To cap it off the final third of the track had riders contend with the all too familiar Kamloops dust.

Pedaling hard across the finish line, the participants were left coughing dust from their lungs. Despite the fine particles no one was complaining because of the event’s usual “wet and cold” record.

  Ex pat Dan Barham illustrates how one cooks a bagel with his trusty “Bagel Wand”, when one arrives un-prepared.

Mitchell Forbes (Cove Bikes) took the win with a course record. He also won the best hand with four 6’s.  The prize for his effort was a Brodie Hellion frame, which he in turn gave to a family in need of a bike for their son.

  Mike Jones, Todd Hellinga, myself and Thomas Hey standing at the top waiting for our start times at the last MTB race event of the year!

The Full Boar Challenge is an event to look forward to each year. It ushers in the days when the sun sets that little bit earlier, and the evening air carries whisps of snow.

  This fine young gent was showing us his bag of tricks while we waited for the times to be listed. Don’t know who the little guy is but man he could throw a mean tail whip with is run bike.

I would like to thank all the volunteers who help make this event a reality each year. A super huge High Five is thrown at Trevor and the guys from Full Boar Bike Shop in Kamloops. For creating and running an amazing event which continuously delivers each year, for the 10 or so years since it’s inception.

Did you get Boared this year?  In year’s past?  Tell us…

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