Article, Video and Photos by Tennille Barber
The Salty Dog Enduro has been going on for 12 years. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Peasgood and Greg Scharf who run Skookum Cycle and Ski when Mike Gravelle introduced us at the Big White Ski Show. This event was larger than I thought at around 750 competitors total, around 520 adults and the rest children. It’s a good thing the parking lot was a massive field because it was full at 8am, 750 competitors plus their families equals a lot of people. Complete with food, coffee, and a centralized beer gardens, there wasn’t much one was wanting for, and all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the action.
The course is 11km long, and this event is frequented by regular entries, recurring by people who just can’t overlook how fun it is each year. For the biggest reason that a competitor can bring their family to have fun as well. I saw husband and wife teams, son and father teams, and the littlest competitors on their push bikes assisted by moms on Mother’s Day. However, don’t be fooled, I also saw a couple good bumps, bruises, and bloody faces. I’m told the adult race course involves technical downhill.
Walking through the tents, there were many different strategies people use to make it through this kind of event. Some prefer sustenance in the form of V8 juice or soup packages. Duct tape seems to be a crowd favorite, and there’s quite a difference in preference to single or multi speed bikes. Band aids can be used for all different types of purposes and one thing is for sure, this crowd is the fittest I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with, along with being the mellowest. I suppose there’s something to be said for the amount of exercise that must be had to complete a competition like this, and the way it affects your disposition. A chat with Cory Wallace, the winner of the under 40 elite, was much like talking with an old friend. Tom and Greg competed themselves in the event, saying hi to me on the course while I was taking photos. The beer gardens was right in the middle of all the action so everyone could see their favorites finish the race. Six hours and 30 minutes later, they handed out the many awards to some very excited faces along with the tasty pies.
Shimano, Norco, Dakine, Fox, North Face, Sugoi, Pearl Izumi, Giant, Kona, Blue Canoe Bakery, and WaterWay house boats all dedicated prizing to the event. There was a real down home feel to this event with some handmade and thoughtful touches. The medals were made from rounds of a young tree and hand written on by one of the kids for each individual who placed. However, I have to say the most enjoyed prizing was for the winner of each category, Shuswap Pie Company’s apple pie.