The 2008 Bearspaw Open

Presented with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary.


It's now been just over a week since the first running of the Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary, and I'm starting to feel like I've recovered from the whole organizational thing!

On the whole I think that the race went really really well. Lots of great feedback about the race course, with several people telling me that it's perhaps one of the best in Alberta. It's certainly different! It was also pretty safe, with only one relatively serious crash. Luckily the outcome was (as far as I know) some road rash and a chewed-up jersey. Racers seemed to cope with the heat (+32c I think) pretty well, although I noticed from the Commissaire vehicle that quite a few folks need to work on getting their bottles in the feed zone!

For sure we had some organizational cock-ups, but nothing too major and we'll have 'em ironed out for next year. More on this subject in a later post.

I know that the RCMP thought that it was a great event also, and the internal feedback I'm getting is very positive. We've a had a very brief discussion about next year's event already, and I'm hoping to sit down soon with them to do a full review of this year's event and to schedule a kick-off meeting for 2009.

Some quick notes on "lessons learned" as a first-time organizer:
  1. Find out who your Chief Commissaire is and get him/her involved early. Carol Mayne was the Chief of the Open, and I can't say enough about how awesome she was to deal with
  2. Talk to the ABA. Lots. Again, easy to deal with them and they were quite helpful
  3. People in Alberta register at the last second. Try not to panic when only a handful of folks have registered a week and a half before the event. Next year I'm going to try and alleviate this in 3 ways: A. No race-day registration, B. Publish field limits, and C. Have some great early-bird registration incentives
  4. Work on making your race more of an "event" than just a race. The "Dinner & a Bike Race" concept worked well, and I think it's going to be way more awesome next year
  5. Try to find a race course with shorter loops so that the spectators can stay interested
  6. Get your permit WAAAAAAAY early and then start talking with local residents/businesses. Give them lots of notice and information, and don't forget to invite them out to the event. You will sleep better at night having 'em on your side
There's a lot more I have to say on lessons learned, and I'll do a post about this subject soon. These are just the highlights that are sticking in my mind right now.

Running this event was a ton of work, and it was a whole lot more stressful than I could've imagined when I told the Midweek Mayhem board of directors "A race? Sure, ya, I'll handle that." In the end, though, it was great to develop something that people are looking forward to coming back to next year.

We've got some great ideas on how to make the event better for next year, including some potential changes to the race course to make it even better. Stay tuned.

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Race Report

The inaugural running of the Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP – A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary took place yesterday in the NW of Calgary on a challenging new course for the Alberta peloton. The tough course was made just a little bit tougher with temperatures in the low 30’s throughout the day and blistering sun.

As expected, the 1k+ Campione Cycles Climb proved to be the decisive obstacle of the day for all races. On each ascent of the climb the gates would swing open at the back of the pack and a selection made of the strongest and smartest riders. After cresting the top of the Campione Cycles Climb riders then had to cope with a technical trip through the rolling and narrow back half of the course, where many battles were played out for position at the front – crucial for the tough corner leading into the base of the climb after the fast descent down 12 Mile Coulee Road.

The first races of the day were the Alberta U15 M/F Provincial Road Championships. The men’s race saw Samuel Beaudoin from Juventus CC out of Edmonton taking the win over Ben Marquart (Independent, -0:20) and Robert Dunn (Independent, -3:54). The women’s race was taken by Andrea St. Germain (CMC/Bow Cycle) over Zoe Dahl (CMC/Bow Cycle, -0:44). All competitors in these races are to be congratulated on the exceptional sportsmanship observed out on the course. In such tough and hot conditions, and on such a challenging course, it was excellent to see these athletes treat each other with such respect. They set an example that the rest of the peloton should strive to match! Congratulations to all of you!

The next start of the day featured a large combined field of Elite Open B (Categories 4/5), Open Masters Men, and the U17M Alberta Provincial Youth RR Championship, racing 10 laps of the 5.3km course. As expected, it was primarily a race of attrition as several riders would be splintered off the back of the race each time up the Campione Cycles Climb until the race stabilized with a main group of 8-10 riders out of approximately 35 starters. As the main pack settled in Open Masters rider Stephen Kenny (Speed Theory) executed a perfectly timed solo attack, quickly getting down to business and establishing a lead of 30 seconds while the main group tried to figure out how to react. As the race wore on Kenny grew his lead as the chasers were sporadically working together to reel him in. With a couple of laps to go it was pretty clear that Kenny wasn’t coming back barring a mechanical or issues with the heat, and the pack began to race for second place. In the end the Speed Theory rider won by a commanding 1:04 margin, a tremendous feat given the conditions and the length of time he was out on his own.

The U17 Provincial Championship finish was tight with Graham Courtney (Synergy Racing) taking the win over Mac Garvin (CMC/Bow Cycle) and Kris Dahl (CMC/Bow Cycle), all finishing with a time of 1:26:10.

Open Masters, and the overall win for the field, was taken by Stephen Kenny (Speed Theory) after his epic solo move. Blaine Richter (ERTC/Revolution Cycle, -1:56) and Yuri Lipkov (Bicisport, -1:59) rounded out the top 3.

Open B saw Torrian Watson (Bicisport) taking the the win over Christopher McCue (CMC/Bow Cycle) and Tom Charlton (CMC/Bow Cycle).

The Open Women and JR Women Provincial RR Championship combined field was won by the aggressive riding of Nik Volger (Independent) who came all the way from Revelstoke BC to exert her will over the field. Second in the Open Women was Tori Fahey (Deadgoat, -7:09), with third place going to Sandra Yaworski (Speed Theory, -8:20).

The JR Women Provincial Championship saw Samantha Grover (Juventus CC) winning over Jessica Kissel (Bicisport, -3:00) and Lauren Lankester (CMC/Bow Cycle, -6:41). The U17 Women’s Provincial Championship was won by Caeli Barron (Synergy Racing) over Alison Beveridge (Bicisport, -1 lap) and Gina Kissel (Synergy Racing, -1 lap).

The main event of the day was the Elite Open A race (Categories 1/2/3). Alberta’s own Team H&R Block was extremely well represented in the field with 11 riders, and were clearly looking to exert their strength over a field that included strong riders such as Jamie Sparling (Trek Red Truck, p/b Mosaic Homes), Dan and Jon Wood (ERTC/Revolution Cycle), Dan Skinner (Total Restoration), and Shawn Bunnin (Bicisport) to name just a few.

From the start Team H&R Block started sending riders up the road until a break of 3 containing 2 of their own riders (Mark MacDonald and Chris Devries), along with Jamie Sparling (Trek Red Truck, p/b Mosaic Homes). The break hovered at 30-45 seconds for several laps, and looked to be almost getting absorbed more than once until Sparling would move to the front and start riding some strong tempo with MacDonald. As the race came into the final few laps the combination of the heat and difficulty of the repeated trips up the Campione Cycles Climb caught up with MacDonald as he dropped back to the main field. On the final lap it was Dan Wood (ERTC/Revolution Cycle) bridging to the 2 leaders as they headed up the climb. Devries took the sprint out over Sparling and Wood (both S.T.) and the field was led home by Shawn Bunnin (Bicisport) and MacDonald (both at 0:05).

Congratulations to all riders from the Midweek Mayhem Cycling Association! It was a tough course and a tough day, and it was great to see fast, fierce, and safe racing in all events. Thanks also for your cooperation in creating a great impression on the local community; it will really help us in securing this new race course again for next year. Another word of thanks to Campione Cycles ( for sponsoring the Campione Climb, and to the RCMP for providing traffic safety and control services. Their presence on the roads contributed to a safe day. Thanks also to the Olympic Oval Youth Cycling Development Program parents for putting on a fantastic meal for all participants as part of the “Dinner & Bike Race” event. We look forward to seeing you all out there next year!

Results available here

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Race Website & Facebook Group

As we get closer to race date, please be sure to keep checking in at the 2008 Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary race website.

We have also created an event in the Midweek Mayhem Facebook group: click here for the event.

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Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2008 Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary.

Please visit the Midweek Mayhem website to register, purchase meals for "Dinner & a Bike Race", or make a donation to Youth Cycling.

Please note that your meal for Dinner & a Bike Race is included with your race registration. Also, although we are not charging an entry fee for Alberta Youth Provincial Road Race Championship entries, we are requiring that participants purchase a meal for Dinner & a Bike Race.

FYI, there is currently a slight discrepancy in information about pricing for Dinner & a Bike Race. Meals purchased seperately will be $12.00, not $10.00. We will update the information on the Midweek Mayhem website as soon as possible.

Registration payments will be made via PayPal. You do not require a PayPal account to pay, there is a "continue" option which allows you to skip creation of a PayPal account. When you have completed payment, please click the provided link. This will return you to the Midweek Mayhem website where you will provide details such as which event you want to race in, License #, UCI Code, Team, Emergency Contact, etc. You will also need to provide your PayPal receipt ID, which you can find in the confirmation email that PayPal sends when payment is completed. If you have any questions or problems, please email us at midweekracing[at]

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Dinner & a Bike Race

The Midweek Mayhem Cycling Association would like to welcome all spectators and participants to join us at Race HQ on event day for "Dinner & a Bike Race", a fundraising BBQ for the Calgary Olympic Oval's youth Cycling Development Program. Come out after work to watch the Open A and Open B races while enjoying some tasty food and the spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains across the Bow River Valley from the start/finish area.

  1. Beef on bun (or vegetarian alternative)
  2. Corn on the cob
  3. selection of salads
  4. dessert
  5. refreshment
(subject to change)

Meal is included with your race registration. Pricing for the meal only will be $12 for non-racers, and meals will be able to be pre-purchased through our online payment system. There will be limited quantities of meals available for people wishing to purchase on race day. Please pre-purchase to avoid disappointment!

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We're less than a month away from the inaugural running of the race, and we've got some news!

The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary
We're excited to announce that the RCMP has come on board with the race, and that the event will now be known as "The Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary". The RCMP is hiring, and will have recruiting staff on-site at Race HQ throughout race day. Forget ordinary. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers meaningful work, vast opportunities, the chance to serve across Canada and a career like no other. Visit for more details on a career nowhere near ordinary with the RCMP. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new heritage edition retro highway patrol cruisers and Harley Davidson motorbikes as part of the race caravan on course. The Mounties will also be providing traffic safety services, and will have lots of displays at the Race HQ expo area. They will also be installing 2 speed trap display signs on the course, 1 on the 12 Mile Coulee Road descent, and 1 on the fast rollers on Hamilton Dr., so we'll be able to communicate speeds back to the festivities at Race HQ.

The Campione Cycles Climb
Campione Cycles has signed on with The Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP - A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary, as the sponsor of the Campione Climb to the finish. The Campione Climb goes from the exit of Corner 3 all the way to the finish at Race HQ on Nagway Road, and will be the decisive obstacle of the race. Stay tuned for a possible "Campione KOM" competition within the race.

Established in 1996, Campione Cycles is the final version in a long line of bicycle stores. The product of four generations in the bicycle industry, Campione can trace its lineage back to the province of Trentino in Italy, and parallel to the expansion of professional road racing in Canada.

We are a brick and mortar bicycle company with stores in Vancouver and Calgary.

Campione Cycles remains 100% family owned and operated.

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Like any other race or event out there we are in the process of seeking additional sponsorship. If you are interested in becoming involved with Le Circuit please let us know. As a first year event we understand that it's difficult to see what the actual ROI in associating with us will be, but we do have some numbers/metrics that could be of interest.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact us at and ask for a copy of our Sponsor and Expo package.

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