Sam Shaw’s EWS Diary
EWS Italy Canezai
Tuesday 25th June
Woke for a morning routine of pilates and a swim at Lake Les Gets, took the rock for a walk from side to side (daily routine). Packed the Fiesta up with bikes and gear for a couple of weeks and headed for Canezai, Italy. Huge drive in a heat wave and no air conditioning. Made a compulsory glacial river dip before making it to our destination and hitting the hay.
Wednesday 26th June
Staying with Team NZ Arapi, headed up the mountain with the squad. We ended up having a few altitude beers and getting lost a whole bunch before all splitting in different directions and somehow all making it home on different routes – nobody found a proper mountain bike trail. Team feeds before sleeps.
Thursday 27th June
First day of practice and the tracks are mint! Super long stages with primo dirt and a few rocks and roots aboot. Managed to blow a shock so spent the rest of the day doing admin.
Dee cooked up a mean feed for tea – and cooked all our meals and lunch for most of the next week! 😊
Friday 28th June
Second day of practice, another couple of good tracks! Pretty similar to yesterday’s description. Finished up and got everything ready for racing.
Saturday 29th June Rae day
One dayer, with a nice relaxed start time at around 11am. Had some brakefast, put the gear on and headed to the venue to get things underway.
Headed up to stage one via gondooola, stage one was around 10min of fast euro style trail. I got down without anything too outrageous happening, the rest of the stages were similar, and I got down all of them in the same kind of fashion. Apart from having a wee tumble on an open ski run section on the last stage.
Headed out that evening for a celebratory dwink or four for p.69
Sunday 30th June
The classic pack up and gap it. Headed to Lake Garda where Bubbles had booked the team a villa to celebrate Dee and Bubs birthdays. Too meke fooze ball was played.
EWS France Les Oress
Tuesday 2nd July
Finally dragged out of the villa at Lake Garda and en route to Less Oress, France. Big drive back into the mountains and back into another nice mountain home for the week 🙂
Wednesday 3rd July
Big fish with Chaz to the top of the hills, wee hike, a bike and a swim in le lac. Out to dinner for Bubbles’ b’day with a bunch of enduro mates
Thursday 4th July Enduro
Training day tahi, tracks are pretty enduro gnarly in places! Post practice dip in the lake and a wee fast-food stop to get the body feeling enduro. Big nap.
Mexican night at the house with team enduro.
EnFridayduro 5th July
Practice day round two, managed to strike a pedal in a fast pace alpine section and enduro whacked my shoulder on a square edge of a rock. lay around for a bit before finding a truck down the mountain, got an enduro scan and got away with nothing broken ayoo. Took all the painkillers and went to bed.
Elduro Saturday 6th July
Went and watched Bwookes race the EWS100 before gearing up.
Attempted to race and got through every stage all goodies! Headed straight to bed for some rest after that. Still can’t lift my arm very high after yesterday’s flying sesh.
Doneduro Sunday 7th July
Got up and watched Bwookes race again before heading up the gondy, lucky a thunderstorm rolled in and cancelled the stage I got rolled on! Rode the whole day without having practiced any of the tracks and managed to do better than yesterday, it is a lot funner to race these things for the first time as well. Celebratory fireworks session, P.74
EWS Canada Whistler
Monday 5th August
Laps on laps of dirt merch mmmmm
Tuesday 6th August
Morning ride up Dark Crystal and a few laps on the park for the shoot out don’t show up thing. Then some more laps in the park
Wednesday 7th August
Morning ride up Dark Crystal followed by the compulsory laps in the park.
Thursday 8th August
Got a few stage recky in and managed to break my rear wheel. It’s been a whole year since I’ve smashed anything on the bike so guess it was coming!
Practice on the top of the world stage, hoooooge stage (from the very top of the world!!) some reason it didn’t take us down dirt merch, but that’s ok this one time.
Celebrated Ol and Bracks 21st birthdays oufff.
Friday 9th August
Practice on the rest of the trails, got through all the stages (still on the broken wheel). To home and cracked into the admin.
Saturday 10th August
Top of the world stage day. Managed to get my xc wheel onto the enduro bike. Very last minute stop at Shimano to get the correct rotor size setup (the one I had was barely contacting the pads).
Had a wee spill on the stage, but had my best top section ever on this stage … followed by my worst lower section.. ah well!
Sunday 11th August
All the rest of the stages, and it’s raining! Pretty happy about that though, got to wear my Ground Effect wetsuit for the day (luckily it was also pretty cold). All the stages were slippery with many roots, apart from the rocks they stayed grippy. I managed to get faster throughout the day while thinking I was going easier and just having fun riding the bike (this downhill side of racing I still haven’t figured out).
As per usual we headed out for a celebratory post race/compulsory whistler outing, p.67.
EWS America Northstar
Monday 19th August
Tried hitching a ride from Whistler to Bellingham. managed to catch a ride to Vancouver and got stuck with all the bikes in the city (missed all the buses and trains). Ended up renting a car and driving over the border with a stop at some burrito place, elyumo. Got to Skye and John’s house and hit the floor.
Tuesday 20th August
Got up and headed to Transition to meet Lars (Bars) with John Richardson and Alex Mcandrew (and the Wookes). Bars hooked us up with seltzers and breakfast buns and we hit the road in the Transition van, headed for California … 17 hours later we arrived. Got educated on the way with 10 hours of podcasts (Mike Tyson, Shrooms, and the FBI).
Wednesday 21st August
Woke up with at the NZ Arapi house for the week, Dee came all the way over from Wellington to look after the squad of kiddies.
Slept the whole day, chur.
Thursday 22nd August
Track walk with Jesse, Rae and John. Scoped out all the lines, heckled the media crew to crash, saw some rocks, found out I was broke. Chanui.
Dee cooked us a mean feed and I hit the hay early.
Friday 23rd August
Got some practice in, the tracks are as gnarly as they look! Dust and rocks and not much else. Lots of jank. Kinda liked them still and had a good day out.
Saturday 24th August
More practice, stage four stands out for the year, with some super gnarly sections (one right at the top to start). You may have seen videos of people getting recked from Northstar, this is the track (was my favourite track of the race). Home for sleep. Since leaving home this is the most uninjured I’ve been hah.
Raced two stages and didn’t feel fast, but the body was working better than usual!
Sunday 25th August
Got the rest of the race done, managed to crash on stage 3, losing a lot of time. Started an internal race with Dave McMillin (we always seem to finish within a couple seconds of each other and often on the same second). The loser had to do a shoie. Not surprisingly it came down to the last stage and I lost out by two seconds, ol mate did one as well for the good times.
Celebratory stay at home and rest (I’m pooped).
Monday 26th August
Big chill start to the day, headed to the lake for a shwim then found Skye, John, Marco, and Have for a shuttle ride and an evening shwim. Headed out for Thai later on.
Tuesday 27th August
Got up early as for a big day of #oncoil filming, hoopoe day, all the pooped. Pizza and beersies for tea.
Wednesday 28th August
Made the drive back to Bellingham in the Transition van and got educated on “Heavens Gate” via 10 hours of podcast. Chur to Skye for driving most of the way and Johnny doing the rest!
Thursday 29th August
Steer clear of Bellingham riding … its an average time