Parksville’s Darren “Bearclaw” Berrecloth is back on his bike after an injury in early July sidelined him for a month.
After returning from a competition in Europe, Berrecloth was back training on the hills and clipped his foot on a rock during a ride, breaking his big toe.
“Having a break always sucks but luckily we had some time in between events,” Berrecloth said. “I’m all healed up and ready to go here before Crankworx in Whistler, so it’s going to be all good. It feels good to get back on the bike again though.”
Back on the bike and preparing for Crankworx in Whistler, Bearclaw has also been spending his time preparing the course at Mount Washington for the annual installment of the Bearclaw Invitational.
Running Aug. 21–23, the invitational has been added to the Red Bull Freestyle Mountain Bike Diamond series, which consists of five events that the world’s best freestyle riders compete in.
“The course is looking real good, it’s coming along nice,” he said. “I’ve been able to make adjustments to a couple of the spots on the course but other than that, it’s just been getting a few tweaks here and there.”
The event started in 2006 and ran for two years but was put on hiatus without a “home.” Mount Washington has been home since 2009, bringing in the best of the best for what is being called the “riders’ favourite” due to the relaxed vibe and picturesque setting.
“It’s a great course and a good contest,” Cam Zink said. “It’s put on by one of the best in the world so you know what is ahead for you.”
Berrecloth is in Whistler this weekend and has been on provincial TV talking about the event. Running for 10 years, he has been a major name and has seen it evolve over the years.
“The course is in really good shape, the guys have done a great job setting it up,” he said. “I’ve been there since the start of it all and seeing the younger guys come up and setting the bar higher each year, it’s great to see it happening.”
Berrecloth has also lent his expertise building the course in Whistler. It’s something he has become quite familiar with, setting up his course on Mount Washington and being able to lend a hand when it comes to improving things for the riders.
“A good, smooth riding course is what we look for. The less we can be on the brakes, the better the course is.”
“We’re basically looking for something that’s going to give us optimum flow without having to worry about hammering on the brakes at all. Good speed and a good ride through the whole course is really key to setting up a great course for a competition.”