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.. another one for the books.

Coming in at a final #5 in the overall team standing, Trail Bicycles Racing had a successful, fun and mudfilled cross season! 

Read for yourself..

Thanks Trail Bicycles for being a part of our community, and for your continued support!

- Tom Skinner, Trail Bicycles Racing


Cyclocross racing is back on in 2021, after a year that saw the Cross on the Rock series cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. It feels great to reunite with friends and racing enemies (these people are sometimes closer than friends), and it's great to feel the sense of community and camaraderie that this series creates.

The first race in the series was held here in our backyard, at Cumberland Village Park. The highlight for many was seeing how the whole community came out to help with course set-up and tear-down, and how everything seemed to come together so smoothly, with such a positive and enthusiastic feel.

Racing again on cross bikes was a bit of a shock to the system. I only re-learned how to corner on 33mm tires about half way into the race, which was about the time that I started to lose some of the punch in my legs after accelerating out of the corners for 30 minutes. The Trail Bicycles team had Sam Schum, Niko Schum, Hudson Webster, Malcom Lehton, Kip Manktelow, Eryn Freeman, Brailyn Webster, Annabelle Whitehead, Carlin Christensen, James Prattley, Dan Lehton, Sarah Hauser, and Tom Skinner all having strong races in their respective categories.

Two weeks later, Qualicum hosted the second round of the COTR series, with a course that forced riders to bring out their mountain bike skills. There was a long sand section, multiple strings of rooty singletrack, and a few steep chutes to navigate. Sam Schum, Talia MacPhail-McGrady, and Kip Manktelow all finished on the podium once again, with Nico Schum, Annabelle Whitehead, Brailyn Webster, Kip Manktelow, Hudson Webster, Ian Lehton, Joa MacPhail-McGrady, Malcom Lehton, Dan Lehton, Chuck Ashton, and Gavin MacPhail all having strong races. Eryn Freeman and Tom Skinner were just off the podium in the Open Women and Open Men's category, but they promised for next time that they will live up to the expectations set for them by our junior riders.

Jordie Lunn Bike Park, Langford - November 7, 2021

The Trail Bicycles Racing team had a great showing at the latest round of the Cross on the Rock series, with a new venue in Langford providing some proper mud, lots of technical sections, and a bit of elevation to contend with. The series has been going great for the team as a whole, as we're currently in 5th place in a tight race for the best overall team.


Sam Schum was 1st in U15, Nico Schum was 3rd in U13, Kip Manktelow was 1st in U17 and Intermediate Men, and Annabelle Whitehead and Brailyn Webster were 3rd and 4th in U15 Women. Justin Wolfe overcame a bad crash to finish 24th in Intermediate Men, and his partner Eryn Freeman showed him how it was done to finish 4th in Intermediate Women. Dan Lehton and Chuck Ashton were 40th and 57th in the biggest field of Masters Men, and Sarah Hauser was 12th in Expert Women. Tom Skinner clawed his way back from a bad start to finish 5th in Expert Men, and Scott Manktelow finished top-20 in his first race back after recovering from a bad crash a few weeks ago.

We'd like to give a big thanks to Trail Bicycles and all of their annual sponsors: Hornby Organic Bars, Rob Nygren/Royal LePage, Sew What I Sew, Eatmore Sprouts, UROC, Nikkei Ramen, and Wedler Engineering. Thanks so much for all of your support, and we look forward to reporting back after the series final, and after National Champs on November 27th.

- Tom Skinner, Trail Bicycles Racing

Cyclocross is so much fun!

I have been racing the Cross on the Rocks cyclocross series since 2017. With my dad and brother. We were very excited to find out that the series of 7 races was returning this fall after being shut down from Covid. My parents bought me a new bike this September. I love riding it. My favorite race this season was the Coal Cross race because I got to help set up the course. The big pin wheel was really cool, and I like the route behind the B.M.X track. I came 5th in the Lauch Men and 2nd in U13. It was really encouraging for me to have so many of my friends and family cheering for me.

I have raced all four of the cross races so far and look forward to the last two. I like wearing my trail bike jersey and being part of a team. 

- Nico Schum, Trail Bicycles Racing

Nanaimo, times two - October 24 & November 14, 2021

This year in cyclocross I raced beginner U15. I could have raced intermediate but I had never been on the podium in a cross race before. I think that learning how to win a race is just as important as learning how to lose. I feel like I have improved greatly this season. From race experience to my technical skills on the course I feel I am getting better. Next year I need to focus more on my fitness training then I did this year. This season we had lots of windy, rainy, and cool races, which makes it difficult to enjoy the race, but when it’s over I am always longing for the next one.

Muc-Off in Nanaimo was so windy I felt like I was going to be blown off my bike but I ended up third on the podium. The final race of the season, Hot Cross Bunnies in Nanaimo, was a crazy mud fest. It was slow going because the mud was so thick. Every pedal stroke you would barely move forward. At the end I was covered from head to toe in mud but luckily my grandma was there with a cooler full of hot water to clean us off with. I came second in launch men in this race.

My favorite race of the season was Coal Cross in Cumberland. Not only because it is close to home but because I always do well. This year I won the launch men. We helped set up and take down the Cumberland course which was fun.

I was looking forward to racing the nationals next weekend but unfortunately they have been postponed. Hopefully I will have a good season next year. Thank you for your support!

- Sam Schum, Trail Bicycles Racing

Hot Cross Bunnies @Beban Park, Nanaimo - November 14, 2021

This was my 3rd time racing at Beban Park and boy, was it the most interesting. The Weather Network described it as an “excessive deluge” and that was far from an understatement. The course used to have lots of fast off-camber grass sections but most of the grass had disappeared by the time everyone had pre-ridden it, and it had become a mud bath. The rest of the course is a mix of horse paddocks with small gravel, and deep mucky wood chips.

I was a bit nervous going into this race, because I knew I had to do well if I wanted to do well in the overall standings for my age. I pre-rode the course and quickly realized it was just silly. You could not keep any speed on any part of the course except for the pavement start spot, and brakes were barely needed anywhere on the course because the grass and mud would slow you to a stop the moment you stopped pedaling. All the races started very fast and spread themselves out quickly due to the cement straight away, right into a bunch of grassy corners. Then came the mud, then some more mud, then some mucky wood chips and then, you guessed it, more mud.

I had a great start and got out ahead of most of the pack. After one lap I was in second, and on the next grassy section I moved into first. My lead kept growing slowly and I was feeling strong and smooth. Then disaster struck. I got caught up in some mud, nothing new, and my derailleur got full of mud, the friction was too much, and my derailleur broke and went flying into my spokes. I had to run about ¾ of the lap with my derailleur running into every spoke of mine before I got to the pit and could take my dad's bike. Luckily, because of how slow the course was, I didn’t even lose that much time whilst running and only lost seven spots. After I got my dad's bike, the gap to the next person was too far and I finished my race in 8 th . In the end I was quite happy with where I ended in the race, because I was the 2nd U17, which was just enough to get me the win in the overall series for U17.

Rest In Peace to the three derailleurs on our team that didn’t survive the race: Dan Lehton's, mine and Justin Wolfe’s. And a big shout out to the rest of the team who had great races and persevered through the soggy conditions.

Shout out to the rest of the team who had great races and persevered through the soggy conditions:

Sam Schum – 2nd in Launch Men + 1st Overall U15 Men
Nico Schum – 11th in Launch Men + 3rd Overall U13 Men
Talia MacPhail-McGrady – 1st Launch Women + 5th Overall U15 Women
Brailyn Webster – 4th Launch Women + 2nd Overall U15 Women
Annabelle Whitehead – 7th Launch Women + 3rd Overall U15 Women
Kip Manktelow – 8th Intermediate Men + 1st Overall U17 Men
Hudson Webster – 32nd Intermediate Men + 8th Overall U17 Men
Justin Wolfe – Mechanical, DNF + 28th Overall Intermediate Men
Eryn Freeman – 3rd Intermediate Women + 3rd Overall Intermediate Women
Chuck Ashton – 45th Masters Men + 52nd Overall Masters Men
Dan Lehton – Mechanical, DNF + 59th Overall Masters Men
Gavin MacPhail – 15th Super Masters Men + 25th Super Masters Men
Sarah Hauser – 12th Open Women + 10th Overall Open Women
Tom Skinner – 7th Open Men + 5th Overall Open Men
Ian Lehton – 37th Overall Intermediate Men
Malcolm Lehton – 16th Overall U17 Men
Joa MacPhail-McGrady – 19th Overall U17 Men

A Huge Thank you to Trail Bicycles for supporting the team for this cyclocross Season. And an equally big thank you to all of the sponsors that helped out! Rob Nygren realtor, Wedler Engineering, Nikkei Ramen, Eatmore Sprouts, Hornby Energy and Sew What I Sew.

- Kip Manktelow, Trail Bicycles Racing

See you all next year!

Race Results and more: