The Year of Shred

I found myself stepping back from the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team the other day. It was kind of an odd move to make – the support, camaraderie and new riding experiences made possible by the team are excellent. It was a small matter of me not being suited to a lot of the equipment the team are racing with this year (Must. Grow. Longer. Legs.) and wanting to include too many non-marathon events in my calendar to be able to race the events that are important to the team.

The Kona Odyssey in Forest/Apollo Bay was the first big event for the team in 2012.

The Kona Odyssey in Forest/Apollo Bay was the first big event for the team in 2012.

We met up in Alice Springs in May for the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro. Hard to beet that.

We met up in Alice Springs in May for the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro, too. Hard to beat that.

I had so much fun racing with the team in 2012. I rode my bike in more countries than ever before, and raced in more states of Australia than I have in previous years as well. The equipment we got to use made packing for these events ridiculously easy. It has been great getting to communicate with team sponsors who have been genuinely interested in our feedback to improve future product lines, too.

Most of all, I enjoyed getting to know and learn from the rest of the crew. It’s so much fun sharing the excitement of a new event with people looking forward to it as much as you are. For this reason, you’ll still see me contributing written content for the marathonmtb.com website now and then, and I’m still looking forward to hanging out with the crew at the odd event.

Racing in the Dolomiti Superbike in Europe with the team was spectacular.

Racing in the Dolomiti Superbike in Europe with the team was spectacular.

Training in Livigno, Italy, just kept adding to the list of amazing things to experience on two wheels.

Training in Livigno, Italy, just kept adding to the list of amazing things to experience on two wheels.

But in order to race with a specific team, you need to share common goals. And for me, since getting my eyesight back in the middle of the year, it’s been fast technical riding that’s been thrilling me more than seeing how hard I can push my body through longer distance events. I’m still keen for long rides in amazing places, but I also want weekends free for technical trail riding, gravity enduros, and – hopefully – hooking around tracks at some of the more social events on the calendar on bikes set up to to be fast on the singletrack without necessarily being the most efficient when it comes to pedalling. That’s not to say you can’t do this at some of the world’s best marathon and stage races, but my travel budget is looking much more local this year, so I’m looking forward to discovering more about trails in my own backyard as well.

So here’s cheers to 2013. If 2012 was the ‘Year of the Marathon’, 2013 is going to be the ‘Year of Shred’. It sounds like fun, too, doesn’t it?

More sweet trails ahead.

More sweet trails ahead.

And more ways to giggle on the descents.

And more ways to giggle on the descents.

Thank you so much to the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team and their 2012 sponsors for such generous support over the last year – especially to Mike Blewitt for all the work he puts in behind the scenes. The team is looking set for a super strong 2013 in Australia and overseas. I can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s adventures as they unfold as well.

Hopefully there'll be more of these for everyone too!!

Hopefully there’ll be more of these for everyone too!!

Images: Tim MacCormick (Odyssey), Gaye Camm (Dolomiti and Livigno), Rob Parbery (Cyclocross), Brett Bellchambers (while waiting for his own pode) and Kath Bicknell (the rest). Thanks for the rides too!

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