Max Plaxton

Career Highlights:

2006 Bronze Medal U-23 World Championships

2 X Pan-American Champion

2 X World Relay Champion

5 X National Champion

8 X Norba Pro Podium including 1 win

October in California

October 12, 2010

Well it’s been a few weeks. I've been pretty darn busy, but having a killer “off season” so far. The stag up on Hornby Island was super fun; I better not share too many stories! The trails were as good as ever, that's all I will say. I came down with a cold after the weekend so I just laid low for a week and did some stuff on the house and took care of some everyday normal life business. I got some mountain bike rides in and I know I brag about how good the trails are at home, but I had not seen them in better shape all year. Just so green and smooth and of course with all the leaves changing and the crisp fall air it doesn't get much better. It's nice being able to ride for an hour or four hours depending on how you are feeling. Gotta love the fall rides......

Last Tuesday, I made the drive down along with Kona's Kris Sneddon to Healdsburg A.K.A Norcal. It's pretty hard to beat it in October. The weather is pretty much how Victoria summer is. After the long drive we got out for a spin Wednesday afternoon though the vineyards full of ripe grapes and nothing but blue sky. We only rode for 45 min or so and pulled over at a saloon style bar and rocked a couple cold ones in the sun! Was good to be back.

Got out for a uber rad mtb ride Thursday on accidental with Roger(the godfather), Sneddon, Levi and myself. The trails were pretty dry, but loads of fun ripping some of the best single-track Norcal has to offer. Friday was a easy day on the road bike getting ready for the 105 mile Gran Fondo the next day.

I hadn't rode over 2.5 hours since August so I wanted to just take it really easy on Saturday. I remember coming into last years gran fondo in about the same condition and cracking with 5 km to go and not being able to get out the fetal position for a good couple hours post ride.

To sum the gran fondo up: amazing. With 6500 people participating to the 3500 last year, it was just spectacular. I actually felt surprisingly good throughout the ride and managed to not crack taking top honors in the “gran”. It was just a great weekend and Sonoma County for sure is one of the hot beds in cycling. I think much is due to Levi.

I was definitely tired for a few days and finally starting to feel normal. I think I went under 5 hours again so I have a right to tired! Looks like I will be headed down Thursday to Morgan Hill to visit Specialized and then carry on down to SoCal to see my Sho-Air bros and try to fit in with the cool crowd.

A little poison oak is the only negative I can think of right now, things are pretty good.

More from Cali next week.

Stay safe

Plax

Off-Season

September 29, 2010

I had a great 10 days up in my hometown of Tofino.... haven’t touched the bike since crossing the line at the world championships. That's soon to change as I have a stag on Hornby Island this weekend, and there really isn't much else other to do then, well, ride! I have to say I am so happy not to be in Vegas, wandering around that massive fake air filled expo...I mean it's a cool spot to go once, but how can you beat exploring waterfalls, old abandoned cabins in the wilderness, chantrel mushroom picking, shooting and cooking grouse, surfing, beach fires, river swimming, fishing, camping and off-roading all in the same weekend?

There is so much world-class rain forest on Vancouver Island, and people come from all over the world to see it. I can't remember seeing some many euros in Tofino, it's great.

Hopefully I should have some good stories after this weekend.... the liver and legs are ready to go!

Cheerios,

The Mountie

2010 MTB season is in the books...

September 13, 2010

It's amazing how quick the season goes by, unfortunately I didn't close it out quite how I would have liked. World Championships were the hardest yet, also the funniest race I have ever done. I never felt like myself leading up to the race, but I know things can change from one day to the next. It was such a hard course, and I had a pretty poor start getting caught up behind a crash. From there I just didn't have the legs at times I had this year. But like I said it was the funniest race mainly in due part to the thousands of Canadians cheering every rider on. On a side note, the people at Gestev and Mont Saint Anne put on one heck of a party; I am still feeling the effects! I am currently hanging out with my dad in my hometown of Tofino for some much needed R & R. I have some great friends here, and have some catching up to do.

I am pretty happy overall with my season winning 10 big races and maturing mentally, but more importantly making some great friends and sharing some great times.

HUGE thanks to Scott, Jessica, Ty, Johnny, and everyone at Sho-Air for making this year possible. I could go on and on about all the good times this year, and for sure many more to come. Thanks to the amazing people at Specialized and really look forward to getting to know everyone better.

I have some pretty awesome trips planned for the off-season so I will do me best to send in some updates.

Thanks to EVERYONE for their support for allowing me to do what I love, and I will do my absolute best to arrive at the 2011 race season at a higher level.

On my way out now to check out a secret waterfall nearby (Virgin Falls), then do some Chantrel mushroom picking as they have just started popping up. Somehow need to squeeze in a few waves too:)

Hasta Pronto,

-Max

So I’ve decided to skip the world cup in Windham

August 25, 2010

So I’ve decided to skip the world cup in Windham this year to focus on worlds. I think I’ve made the right choice, as I will go into it super rested and motivated. Starting in the 70’s or 80’s would make Windham extremely tough. I for sure want to tackle the World Cup circuit in 2011 along with Windham; It's a really awesome place.

My dad Rob came down for a visit last Friday, it was awesome to hang out with him. He is a great guy and such a good person that has been there for me since day one, as I have for him. He is like a little kid when it comes to my racing he has so many questions, but it's good. I tried teaching him how to use a computer/internet the other day. It's actually pretty hard if someone has NEVER used one before; not sure we got anywhere.

We had a good weekend together playing some tennis, working on my place, ripping around in his old yet beautiful 1972 Triumph TR6. There are some many great opportunities to really enjoy a convertible on the West Coast.

Off to Mont Saint Anne on Sunday, can't wait!

-Plax

Great week post TransRockies

August 20, 2010

Man it was sure great to come home after 3 hard days of racing. The guys and gals doing the full 7 have cojones for sure. I hear the weather got bad too right after I left...gnarly.

Took a couple days pretty easy then had a pretty packed weekend. On Saturday I rode the road bike up island while my awesome friend Trish drove my car and we met at a swim hole some 130km's away. The road riding is amazing once you get over the malahat climb, except that it was one of the hottest days this year. The SRM was saying it was between 37-39 Celsius. That's pretty hot for the island! It was well worth the ride up as I got to dunk myself in beautiful spot on the Nanaimo river. From there we went up to Cumberland, a awesome quite little town. My parents have a house I can stay at so it makes it pretty easy to go up there. The BC Bike Race has passed through there a bunch, hence the amazing mountain biking and relaxing vibe. The weekend was probably the most action Cumberland sees all year as it was the Big Time Out music festival. K'naan was the headliner and what a great time it was. It was warm the whole time and it's pretty hard to beat good friends, killer trails, hot weather, some cold ones, good music etc....The ride on Sunday was pretty damn hot but still fun. To give you and idea of how warm it was, I was hanging out at night until 12 Am in just shorts! It's pretty hard to do that on the west coast anytime of year.

Got back down to Victoria feeling pretty tired, but in a good way, Monday was spent sleeping a lot. Got 2 great rides in Tuesday and Wednesday and feeling pretty darn good. The Trans Rockies is paying off and with a good weekend staying put here at home I should be feeling great by Windham.

Off for a Mtb ride here now on some sweet island singletrack, it's actually cloudy out , but I don't mind!

Thanks for everyone's support,

-Plax

TransRockies

August 11, 2010

Man I had a pretty good time out in the Canadian Rockies the last 3-4 days, it's awesome when things go according to plan.

I arrived in Fernie Friday evening and met up with the Kona boys Kris and Barry, and went out for a killer meal at this place called Picnic. If you are ever in Fernie, I highly recommend it. We got out Saturday for an awesome DRY pre-ride of the time trial course, which took about 2.5 hours at a steady pace. It was some killer, and I mean killer single track, almost too much.

Day 1 - 31 km Time Trial Fernie, 1,300 meters climbing

I woke up to pouring rain and cold temps. I had not raced in mud or the cold all year! I did a nice little warm up and went off at 1:31 pm, 1 minute behind Adam Craig. My goal was to catch Adam on the big climb and stick with him on the technical single-track since he has a few skills. I didn't catch him where I had planned, but I did manage to find his wheel with about 10 km's of muddy slick ripper trail, Fernie is a awesome place. I was happy with the outcome taking the leaders jersey, putting a minute on Adam and over 5 minutes on Cory Wallace in third.

Day 2 - 72 km Fernie-Sparwood, 1,900 meters climbing

I had a horrible sleep for some reason, maybe since I went super hard, but I really didn't get any deep sleep, which sucked. At least it was not raining when I woke up, but the start was at 9 am. The stage started off with a huge climb up to the top of a pass. The first 20 km or so was dirt road, but the last 10 were rolling double-track then some really steep moist trail. I was not feeling great so I just did my best to stay with Adam and Cory. The downhill off the top of the mountain was insane, we lost about 5500 feet in about 4-5 km's. Luckily there was about 30 km of fast tail wind fire road up to the finish, so the 3 of us worked together with Cory sneaking away at the end to take a very deserving win. I was happy with the overall stage and felt better towards the end, which normally for me the next day should be a good one.

Day 3 - 65 km Elkford-Ethertington Creek, 2,000 meters climbing

First of all I had a great sleep, which is so important during a stage race. With clear skies we rolled out at 9 am for a big day in the saddle. The first 40 km's where rolling fire road, but pretty muddy so it was key to be at the front. I got my Canadian teammate Matt Hadley to set and nice high tempo. I felt really good, and managed to get a little gap with Cory leading into the single-track climb/hike-a-bike/mountain pass expedition. We made it over the top together, and started the long sketchy downhill down to the finish. There wasn't really a trail down the mountain so it was up to you to decide, and make your line was seriously rad. I lost Cory at some point so with a good cushion, I just cruised safely into the finish, taking the stage win and the overall along with some nice UCI points, which should come in handy. The Specialized Epic was absolutely flawless and thanks to Arran my mechanic each day.

I was pretty happy I decided to only do the 3 days of the race, because 7 days of that is HARD! I did it in 2008, and I remember what a painful experience it was. 3 days was the perfect number. I’m pretty excited to get home today to Victoria, and sharpen the knife up a little over the next weeks. The body feels great....

Thanks for your support,

The Mountie

Solid week

August 5, 2010

Summer time is pretty hard to beat...between training, hanging with buds, the lake, bbq's, lounging, parties, the river, and everyday normal stuff it's a pretty busy schedule lately. The break from training was great it was nice being able to do things I couldn't, while in training, but also because now my body feels super rested, and ready to give'r the next month leading up to worlds. I’ve been feeling pretty awesome on the bike since.

Got 3 awesome ripper mtb rides in a row this last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I didn't get to ride my mountain bike much around the concussion, so now I'm loving it! Also took in the two days of the Victoria Electronic Music Festival in downtown Victoria this past weekend. It was so much fun, and a lot of great DJ's and people watching.

Some great training awaits me this week, then off to Fernie for the start of TransRockies 3 on Sunday. Pretty excited, as it is such a great place and fun race. I'll send an update after and should have some good stories.

Shred!

-Plax

Been a while, things are good

July 29, 2010

I am usually pretty on the ball with getting a weekly blog, but sometimes the summer just flies by! Nationals went pretty well despite hitting my head pretty hard in CO Springs the weekend before, which really sucked after having won the Time Trial and feeling amazing. I was really just happy to have been able to start the race since I had been feeling pretty crappy the week with headaches and dizziness. There is no shame in taking the silver medal behind a first class guy like Geoff Kabush. I pretty much have a guaranteed place for World Championships so that's great news. I can definitely guarantee that I will win the maple leaf jersey one of these years.

I took 8 days off the bike after nationals, and made some time for some summer time fun. My mom was over in Canada for a funeral so she got to come hang out for 5 days, we had a great time. We had some really good surfing, camping and hiking and was able to see some good buddies up in my hometown of Tofino. For me it is important to take some time off mid-season, I think. It is hard giving er from March to October without a break, even if you don't feel like you need one.

Of course the first few days are tough on the bike, but tough in a good way. My head feels great and can't wait to race again. Next up the TransRockies 3, then possibly the Canada Cup finals before building up for the big final push of World Cup finals, and then the biggie Worlds. Seems far away right now, but it's really not.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer! I know I am.

-Plax

Durango

July 6, 2010

Man can't believe it's been a week here already in Durango and I leave in 2 days again. Time is going way too fast but that usually means things are going well, which they are.

The first couple days I suffered pretty good trying to hang with Ned here at 7000ish feet. I really hate altitude at first but I start coming around and it feels good. Ned has been showing me around as well as the Wells bros and Adam Snyder of Team Jamis. They got a pretty sweet set up here I must say....

Did a real good 4 hour mtb ride Sunday with a good group of fast guys. The high point of the day was 11,500 feet and shit load of wicked single-track. I was almost happy to be done the downhill as my arms and hands were worked. The body is starting to feel good and pretty excited for the Pro XCT in CO Spring this weekend.

Thanks to Ned for putting me up and if I am even somewhat in the same sort of shape he is when I am his age, I will be pretty happy! What a cool guy.

Out to tube the river with Snyder and Wells and couple cervezas.

-Plax

Wisconsin Pro XCT

June 29, 2010

Wisconsin Pro XCT round 4: wicked crowds and exciting racing

As happy I am to be heading to Colorado and some nice dry air, I gotta say the racing was pretty damn fun. I can't remember a race in the USA with that many people watching and cheering. It really makes the racing funner, and harder at the same time. Maybe Mont Saint Anne tops this one but that is at a whole different level. Good Job WORS, keep it up and come back next year with a C1 :)

Anyway, after a pretty long travel day I met up with the rest of the team Thursday night at a tiny little airport in Appleton-WI. The day actually started off with a knock on the door at about 7am and right away when you hear it you know who it is, CCES looking to collect some urine. I had to go to the airport and couldn't go pee, so I made them take me to the airport while I pounded water. I got them a nice sample after I checked in before going through security, nice way to start the day eh! Not.

The course was pretty sweet down in WI, pretty east coast style and fast but not too technical. It was super hot and humid too so almost even worse then Austin. We haven't really had much of a warm summer yet in Victoria so it's a bit of a shock to the body for me. Despite the weather, the legs felt pretty good and more importantly, I could barely feel the rib pain which took me out of the Test of Metal the weekend before.

The race Saturday didn't start until 3:30 pm which is pretty darn late. I got out for a little 30 min spin and the legs felt good but again the humidity was just killing me.

I took the hole-shot at the start but didn't want to lead much since the heart rate was pretty high right away. Myself, JHK, Sam and Todd got a bit of a gap right away and that pretty much stayed together most of the race. I felt OK, but not great for most the race. It was a hard course with little rest and super fast, I would of liked a little more climbing but overall a really tough course. I tried an attack on the last lap but just couldn't shake the guys behind me and ended up 2nd to a very deserving Sam Schultz. Big congrats to him, the 1st is always one of the sweetest! In 2nd overall now heading into the finals where I won last year. Pretty excited for that one as it's a stage race too. Great job to Ty, Johny and Paul for keeping things smooth and of course to Scott for making this a reality.

Overall I was happy with the race, and looking forward to getting to Colorado and hanging out with Ned and Todd. Going to be tough at first with the altitude, but by Colorado Springs Pro XCT in 10 days, I should be feeling pretty good. Stoked to get some good mountain biking in!

I will send a report next week on how Durango is treating me. Thanks for your support and sorry about the long blog, airplane rides are good for that!

Cheers,

-Plax

Home is good

June 10, 2010

I’m always amazed how fast time goes by at home. It was great to be home here in Victoria for a little over a week. Stepping off the plane last week into pissing cold rain was just a tad different than Austin!

I took a couple off days and got caught up with all the household stuff that incurs, which is never-ending. I bought this house partly because of its low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be done.

I got out for a great hike on Wednesday, and found some sweet new mtb trails. I also got out for a stellar afternoon road ride, although I almost got blown over in the gusting winds. I love exploring, and finding new trails near Victoria. I can’t praise this place enough for it’s unreal mtb training grounds. I did some pretty hard intervals Thursday and the sun was out too. Had a perfect easy day Friday and then did 2 back-to-back big mountain bike rides on the weekend. Saturday was perfect sunny weather but Sunday was pouring rain start to finish. It’s really important to keep up those wet/muddy riding skills.

It was a perfect off day yesterday, and back at ‘er today with some spicy hard stuff, looks like the sun is here to stay. I am sure people in Socal have no idea what I am talking about. I also got in the first swim of the year yesterday here at the nearby Thetis Lake; wow, am I ever looking forward to the summer!

Shred!

Plax

Mellow Johnny's Classic & birthday weekend.

June 1, 2010

Well the legs came around in time for round # 3 of the Pro XCT, which was held just outside Austin-Texas on some guy's ranch. I felt pretty damn horrible pre-riding the course Friday in close to 100-degree humid heat. The course was pretty sweet with plenty of single track, and some fun technical climbing, once again the Epic was sick. My body was in a bit of shock since my last ride was Wednesday back at home in Victoria, and it was pouring rain and about 50 degrees. Just a bit of a change, eh.

With even hotter temperatures expected Saturday, I wasn't feeling too confident up for the race. I did everything I could to stay hydrated and even thought drinking as much fluid, and salt as I did might not be too good for the body. The ice vest worked pretty darn good, once again. Pushing your body in that kind of heat is pretty tough.

I won't write too much about he race since there are probably some pretty good race reports out there! I was pretty pleased with how it turned out though, and I was really surprised to get the W and also being my 25th birthday made it pretty special. It was amazing what a difference a day can make, that's for sure. It was a bummer Sid didn't have the best race, I thought he was going to be the one on top, but at least we got a victory for the team.

Ty, Johnny the blogger, our dope new mechanic Paul and I hit the swim hole after the race, and damn it felt good. Austin is a cool city. I got a nice birthday dinner treat at Flemmings, courtesy of the raddest team manager, Ty Kady. Downtown was going off too, I am not sure if I am sore from the race, or from trying to ride the mechanical bull! I think the dude controlling the bull thought I was all cocky, and he tore me a new one. Needless to say, the head was hurting Sunday.

I’m heading home to Victoria and can't wait to breath in some fresh rain forest mountain air. It's going to be a solid time at home for the next 3 weeks. Looking forward to some camping, and catching up with buddies. Going to be nice to have a couple weekends off. The trails conditions don't get much better this time of year.

Thanks for everyone's support, Team Sho-Air and Specialized. Once again, the Epic was in a class of it's own. I just love railing that bike as hard, and fast as I can.

-Plaxton

Had a great week at my families farm

May 26, 2010

Had a great week at my families farm near Montreal post Baie St Paul....I cant remember a better Quebec trip hanging out my some good buddies and great weather. We got some great riding in and even got to make a trip into the city to visit Oakley and Specialized Canada.

Mt Tremblant went pretty well too. Felt much better then the previous weekend and the course was the best I can remember. Sat back for the first couple laps then attacked pretty hard with 2 laps to go, got a nice little gap and just played it safe. Kris and I raced to airport after the podiums and bike packing and was asleep in my own bed by midnight.

Been a pretty hectic week so far at home dealing with some never-ending stressful issues. Haven't been able to train well this week but I am hoping I have good legs by this weekend. Heading down to Texas for round # 3 of the Pro XCT. Hoping myself or Sid can pull out a good one.

Can't remember the last time I rode in the rain but it's pissing outside!

-Plax

Canada Cup 1, Baie St Paul Quebec

May 19, 2010

Well I was able to help my father out in Vancouver with his court hearing, and managed to get back home Wednesday night, despite getting lost in Vancouver rush hour! That city has really exploded....

Thursday I got out for a solid hard ride with some tough intervals on my new SL3. Man that bike is so nice, I feel like I don't deserve it, but it does make road riding A LOT better. The legs didn't feel too great having not been able to ride in a couple days.

Friday was an early morning catching a flight to Toronto and then Montreal where I met up with my bro Kris Sneddon of Kona and sidekick Stef Widmer of Rocky Mountain. We got a sweet Dodge caravan and drove up to Quebec City where we hooked up with one of my buddies Frederic, at his parents place. Fred used to race and is taking a hiatus from racing to do something they call school over in Germany.

We pre-rode the race course Saturday in Baie, St Paul, which for most people who have never heard of this place, it is a beautiful little town about 90 km east of the City and 50 km from Mt St Anne. The course was probably the best course I have raced on since last year's worlds, and the weather couldn't have been better. I wasn't feeling too great, but hoped by race day on Sunday I would be feeling better.

The race itself went reasonably well. I felt horrible right from the start, but just stayed near the front and gradually things improved each lap. I was able to stay with Norco's Andrew Watson who is riding really well right now; I attacked him on the last lap to cruise in for the win. The course was really rough, and technical, the Epic was flawless although I burped my front tire on the first lap and rocked around 17 psi for most the race.... sketchy! I felt good to get a W and get some good UCI points being a C1 race. Just happy I am fully recovered from the Guatemala weight loss bug.

I came up Monday to the family farm near Montreal with the boys. I have never seen such good weather here and I am pretty lucky to have this place to come to. This weekend's race is Canada Cup #2, in Mt Tremblant, only about 60 km from here. I love the course there and it looks like it is not going to be too muddy :)

Going to visit Specialized Canada, and Oakley Canada today after some hard training. Looking forward to seeing my aunt and uncle as they are coming up from Kingston Ontario. Uncle Bill is one of my biggest supporters, and a past avid road racer.

A plutot!

-Max

Vancouver

May 12, 2010

The past week had been pretty solid. Pretty unreal weather we have had in Victoria and the trails are pretty damn near perfect and I've been out on the mountain bike quite a lot. Did some pretty hard interval days last week and I'm definitely feeling good again.

The Canucks are out of the the playoffs and it was kinda neat being downtown Vancouver at a bar and seeing everyone super pissed off. What do they expect..it's the Canucks c'mon!

Not sure how long I will be here in Vancouver, I kind of need to get to home, get organized and catch a place to Quebec early Friday for the first Canada Cup on Sunday, but this personal matter I'm having to deal with is complicated and family comes first.

Hopefully it all works out sooner then later.

-Max

I had a good week at home

May 4, 2010

I had a good week at home. It’s been good to get into a routine here, and I feel like things are coming around again. Being able to see all my normal support group of physios, massage therapists, doctors, etc. has made the body feel pretty good again.

It's not too often you can get a solid training block early/mid season so I am pretty happy with where things are at. Sure I wished I had gone to Europe and raced the first two world cups, but at the same time I was in no position health wise to do so. It looked like some pretty tough racing, especially Houffalize.

Pretty pumped I got my Epic last Friday (thanks John) and got out for a good ride Sunday, the trails were in mint condition. I wasn't feeling too sharp after being up pretty late at a buddy’s 40th b-day down at the bike shop. The theme was dress how you dressed when you were 16. Needless to say it wasn't too long for me! We were racing on trikes a fair bit around the shop.

Some fresh dirt is on the breakfast menu.

Ciao,

Max

Well I am happy to report....

April 28, 2010

Well I am happy to report I am feeling a lot better since my last update. That was a 2 week rough patch and for sure, I am glad it now behind me. I was able to get out today for a great 4+ hour road ride here in beautiful Victoria and felt pretty decent although I experienced a wee bit of a bonk around the 4 hour mark, but that can be expected! It is such a great time of year here as all the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, as well as the forest being as green and lush as it can get. Was out Sunday for a fun mtb ride on a friend’s freeride bike and boy the trails are good; really hoping my Epic shows up soon. I enjoy some good road riding and intervals, but I am a true mountain biker at heart and unlike some other pros, I can’t go more than a couple days without tasting some dirt before I go crazy!

Growing the beard out as the Canucks have made it through to the 2nd round of the playoffs, maybe I will challenge the red cowboy to a beard-off.

Not too much other exciting news, just good to be home getting back to 100% health and laying the foundation for the next block of racing.

Thanks for reading,

Max

Wow being sick really sucks!

April 22, 2010

Phew, what a difference 10 days can make….from being in possibly the best shape of my life, to having a hard time riding for an hour. Unfortunately, I got hit with a pretty nasty bug coming back from Guatemala, which has completely kicked my ass. At first it was just an upset loose stomach, but then it gradually left me with no energy whatsoever. I chose not to start the Sea otter XC and I was just super drained and didn’t want to possibly dig a hole for myself. It was kind of interesting being a spectator during the race, but I for sure I wish I had been out there at the front given’ er. It wasn’t the best weekend for the team, but hopefully we got all the bad luck out of the way and there is a lot of big racing to come.

I choose to skip out on the first 2 world cups and come home and get 100% healthy. It would have been a struggle just to get to the 1st world cup with the airline chaos. It’s great to be back in Victoria and it is a good opportunity to get some household stuff done, and work on my new place. Taking an easy week and look forward soon to getting some really good riding in as the weather gets nice. It’s been a while since I rode my mountain bike up here…..

Go Canucks Go!

-Plax

Pan Am Champs.

April 14, 2010

Well I completed my 7th Pan Am Championships this last weekend in Guatemala. The course was good for me, and despite the bit of altitude and heat, the legs felt pretty good leading up to race day...I think you make your own luck most of the time, but some things that happen are just out of your hands. I had a crash in the first 3 minutes of the race that I could not avoid, but that's part of racing. It's pretty tough mentally when this happens, but I was confident in myself, and my fitness to at least make a valiant effort. I came up short of winning the gold, and maybe if there were a few more laps I might of made it up to the leader. A bronze medal isn't too shabby after all, and it's good to see old man Wells get the "W"

Hoping to overcome a stomach bug in time for Sea Otter this weekend.

Thanks to Team Canada for the support.

Max

Time flies

April 6, 2010

Been an week up here in Norcal and I am already about to leave again. It's been maybe the wettest week I have had to train in since I can remember! It was good to have a weekend off, because I really needed it. Four racing weekends in row are coming up so I am hoping to ease into them. The legs are a little hit and miss right now but I am confident I will be good to give'r this Sunday at the Pan Am Championships in Guatemala. I won the race as a U-23 twice so I would really like to at least medal after not such a great race in 2009. It's important to get some valuable UCI points for my start position at the World Cups and also for Canada's nation ranking.

The amazing wine and food has been flowing non stop and thanks to Mr. Bartels for putting me up at his "pad". I'll check in next week and maybe have some good stories from Guatemala City.

Lates,

-Max

Another great Fontana....thanks Team Sho-Air

March 30, 2010

I felt pretty good this past weekend at the opening round of the USA Cycling Pro XCT, in Fontana-CA.

It was some pretty exciting racing overall, and the wind on Saturday sure made things tough! Big congrats to Todd Wells of Specialized winning the XC race with a smart move in the last km or so. Other then my right hand man Sid and myself, Todd is a guy I was pumped to see win. Too bad our team didn't get the win in the XC with 2 guys in the lead group of 4, but in a way, the outcome was positive as we learned from it. I was happy with my 3rd place finish a couple seconds behind Todd. I am for sure up a notch from years past so it's satisfying personally to see the progression.

In the short track Sunday, we re-established that we are in fact the strongest team out there. Sid got a gap early on with another rider and I after a 2nd row start, was happy to cover attacks in the chase group and came in 3rd again with Sid easily taking the win, Awesome!

I'm in Santa Rosa for a week for some quality rest, and great training with some of my Nor-cal buddies. Looking forward to some good wine and food too.

I'll check in before making the trip down to Guatemala next week for the Pan Am Champs.

Ride on,

Plax

Heading to Socal

March 25, 2010

Just enjoying some last days at home before I commence Thursday, probably the biggest trip of the 2010 race season. I will be racing in Socal, Norcal, Guatemala, England and Belgium before returning back to Victoria in early May. It's always nice to be home and recharge the batteries, even if they don't need recharging. I have missed riding my mountain bike last week as I left my race bike with the team, although I have had some really good training on the road bike. It is hard just riding the road bike and needless to say I am pretty damn happy I race mountain bikes! I love a good road ride but IMO, nothing compares to really good single-track ride. It's hard to even compare I guess.....

I'm pretty excited about this weekend's opening round of the Pro XCT in Fontana put on by the US Cup. I always tend to have a good race there and after finishing 3rd in 2008 and 2nd in 2009, it's pretty obvious where I would like to end up: ) I'd have to say I am most worried about Sid, who just finished 2nd overall in the San Dimas road stage race in front of some big names and teams. Good thing he's my teammate!

Can't wait to ride my Epic again.

Max

Round one of the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown.....

March 16, 2010

Round one of the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown All Mountain Series presented by Specialized, is in the bag.

Was a fantastic weekend of mountain bike racing for all who participated, as there was nothing but smiles everywhere. I had good legs for all three races, although I went down twice which is not normal for me! I hate crashing whilst in a race, but some of that So-cal dirt is like an ice rink and very slippery.

The XC was really hard. There was no rest at all and the race played out to be pretty tactical. Being my first race in 6 months and with real intensity, I decided to keep it smart. With the help of my super teammate Sid, I was able to attack at the right time and get a decent gap and hold it for the final 2.5 laps of the 6 lap race to take my first win of the season. It was hard out in front but I knew Sid would cover any attacks from behind, and it easily could have been Sid out there and myself following others. It's pretty amazing having 2 top riders on the same team and what we can accomplish.

The Short Track was the next day. I only did 1 short track in 2009, and those who were out with me the night it before, knew I was not in top form the next day! I felt good in the short track although I was a little farther back at the start then I would have liked to have been with such a high pace. I had a good spill about half way through the race and got run over by probably the tallest guy in the pack Mr. Trebon! I got up quick but my stem was bent at about 3 o'clock so I decided to ride the race out and not take any risks knowing Sid was up there and he is one the best Short Track racers out there. Sure enough he took the 2nd consecutive win for the team. I rolled in for 5th and happy about it considering the crash and there was one last leg to go.

The 3rd and final race of the weekend was the Super D Time Trial. I have always liked Time Trials and in fact my first pro win ever came in a TT, beating the then Langford native dirt guy and now road pro Ryder Hesjedal at the Nova Desert Classic. I was 18 at the time and was pretty pumped about it. Back to the topic, I pre-rode the SDTT with our team manager Slim Kady and the 2 Canadians on team Kona; Kris and Barry. I really liked the track and it had a really good mix of short climbs, fast single-track downhills with some sketchy off camber corners. I knew I had only given about 70% effort in the short track so I had a good chance to win the final stage and also the overall. The run was going really well until about halfway, when I hit the ground again. I could not believe it. It was in a pretty bad spot to go down too as I lost all my momentum. I got off the ground super fast and had to put the chain back on and got going as fast as I could. I gave it all I could for the rest of the way and to my surprise, I posted the first fastest time and it held as everyone else came in and ended up beating Kabush by 3 seconds. I knew I had gone fast but with the crash, I really thought I had lost it. But the legs were good and I wanted it pretty bad. In retrospect, I think the crash put me back a good 10-15 seconds. I took the overall crown with Sid in 2nd, so a 1-2 for Team Sho-Air and victories in every stage; we definitely owned the weekend.

Pretty happy to start the season off on a good note with the first intensity in several months, and I could not be happier with how the team performed, everyone from Manny setting up my ridiculous fast Epic, to Davy for her good looks, to Pip for making me nervous and reminding me I am at a bike race and no F*cking around! John “blogger” Muller is doing fantastic job so kudos to him, and also Tad keeping it real with his hairy skier legs keeping a little hippie vibe going with all the greased up metrosexual cyclists you tend to find at a bike race.

Thanks to Scott Tedro and his awesome wife Jessica for giving me red carpet treatment, making this all happen and I can't wait for the rest of the season. Thanks Specialized for providing us with THE BEST product out there. I won't go on too much about how fast the new Epic is, but it is really unreal period. I can only say it's up to everyone out there to try one out for his or her own experience. Thanks Randy @ H2O Overdrive for his support in the series and the product he provides us with.

Back to the North Pole for a week or so, then driving down to Cali in my Subie for a month or two. Can't wait.....

-Max

Nice week at home

March 2, 2010

man time sure does fly by fast...The last week has been more of a rest week enjoying the good weather and lots of house errands. It's amazing how there is always never ending house stuff to do; it feels like I could clean everyday.

What a week it was for the Canadian team to finish up the Olympics. I won't get into it too much, but that was one of the best weekends I have ever had. Got out for a super solid mountain bike ride Saturday and discovered some new trails which were just in mint condition with layers of moss all around. Got out to a good buddies place in Sooke which is 30 min away and had a good old guy night involving meat, fire, mini motos, guitar, cerveza etc....The head hurt pretty good Sunday but with a couple ceasers(not the salad), and one of the best hockey games I have ever seen I was feeling pretty good.

Ongoing family stuff stress does not help the training, but I'm hoping I can make way down to Norcal this weekend. The race season is coming way too fast.

Lates.

Tucson......Check

February 22, 2010

Mt Lemmon was a great ride up....and down. I felt really good that day so it felt pretty easy and even spiced it up a little towards the top despite the lack of oxygen. I was surprised by how much snow there was up there. Makes sense since there is a ski hill-Ski Valley. The 2nd to last day we all went out on our mountain bikes to a place called fantasy Island and did a photo shoot with the legendary Canadian Cyclist photographer Rob Jones. Not quite sure why or how it the area got that name but oh well, fun flat and fast trails nonetheless. It was cool to run into Todd wells out on the trails too, he's always got something funny to say and always seems to be in a good mood.

Last day of the camp we were set to get out for a good 4-5 hour road ride, but 2 hours in, we found ourselves in survival mode as it started to howl and pour rain. Was insane how fast the temperature dropped and we were literally swimming in the streets of Tucson trying to get back to hotel hot tub, which we did and just jumped strait in with clothes on and all.

Had a good team dinner the final night, and had a couple well deserved brewskies. We even played some Kabush games, pretty hilarious stuff.

So Canada got beat by the USA 5-3 in mens hockey.....Not sure If it's a good thing I came back home since I can tell people aren't going to be to pumped up. Gotta hand it to the USA, 23 medals and counting to Canada's 8. There is still a lot of games left though and I am going to take it all in as well some quality rest before starting up again another big block leading up to the races. It's been super sunny in Victoria lately, and from what I hear, the trails are minty....Sick.

Wonder when I will get to ride some new S-Works bikes...

Plaxton

It’s been almost a week here in sunny Tucson

February 17, 2010

There is some great riding around Tucson, and lots of friendly people as well. I rolled in here Thursday night and met up with the rest of the Canadian team athletes that are here for the 10-day camp. We have split the days between the road and mountain bike, most days have been around the 4 hour mark, with a couple shorter days, and one long day in the saddle. I did a great mountain bike ride Tuesday, which took me up around the backside of Mt Lemmon. There was some pretty hairy technical stuff, but the Epic took full control, and I managed to clear all but 1 section on the 45 min DH. We followed a river a lot of the time, and there were some pretty amazing swim holes to dunk our heads in. It's been really great to have a good chunk of the national team here in Tucson, it’s a great group, and there is some real good team bonding going on.

3 more days here in the Desert, and then back home to Victoria. I’m looking forward to riding all the way up Mt. Lemmon tomorrow; I hope it isn't too cold at the top! I gotta say the body is feeling pretty good, it doesn't hurt that I am down at the pool lounging in the 75 degree sun, surrounded by palm trees, with a cold one in hand, post ride of course:)

I’m glad I didn't get my new SL3 in time for the camp as the majority of the roads around here about as smooth as teenager's face with a healthy dosage of acne.

I'll check in next week from back home with a full Tucson review, and hopefully some tired legs.

Plax

It's great to be.....

February 10, 2010

It's great to be in the pad and have everything settled down. The last 2-3 months have gone by really quick, but I'll take it. The weather continues to be above normal here in Victoria, I've managed quite a few good rides in the last week and it should only get better. I take off for Tucson tomorrow for 10 days, I’m Feeling surprisingly good after 10 days off the bike. The camp is being held by the Canadian Cycling Association and I sure do appreciate all the help they do for a lot of us. I will be meeting with the national team coach to discuss the year as well as the IST (integrated support team), which is made up of physicians, doctors, nutritionists etc.

Sort of bummed I am going to miss the opening ceremony of the Olympics here at home, but hopefully I will be able to catch it down in the good ol' US of eh. I wonder how much the US commentators are going to talk about Lindsey Vonn.

Will send an update from the ghetto in Tucson, and see how things are going.

Plax

On the Up

February 5, 2010

I have finally got into my new place and it rocks. It for sure took longer than it should of, but being a “pro athlete” and not exactly having the income of Tiger Woods can make it difficult with the banks. Still have not rode in about 10 days. My bikes have been in my local shop and my stuff all over the place. It has been a little easier to get out for hikes and runs, or to the gym, that’s about to change though as the season starts at the end of next month and I am itching to get those saddle sores happening. Not sure if I will be firing on all cylinders for the 1st race, but the season goals come a little later fortunately.

It’s an exciting time of year, as we should start to get some of our new equipment, which is always a nice treat and bumps up the motivation that much more. It kinds sucks living in Canada sometimes and having to have stuff sent up from the USA. Customs can make it tough but hey, there is a border for a reason and I’m happy to be part of America’s hat.

Gotta get out before the rain comes,

Plax

Been a tough week so far....

January 28, 2010

Can't say it has been the best week so far. Last Saturday I got out for a great long road ride in the sun, but then by Sunday the rain had come again and so did a cold. On early Monday morning, I had to go up island and deal with a family matter involving a couple of charges, which was my first experience in a courtroom. No, I am not the defendant, although the family member is close enough to me that it is causing a fair bit of stress. I managed to hire a great lawyer and the outcome Monday was the best possible, but the whole ordeal is long from over. I had to get back Tuesday since I am moving houses this week.

I am looking forward to Sunday when I can wake up in the new place, and all I will have to do is worry about organizing and figuring out what else I need for the house. That garage is going to be nice...

So pretty much no training this week, but hopefully there will be fewer distractions soon and I can get back into a routine.

Max

Had a great weekend,

January 21, 2010

Had a great weekend, Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day. I managed to squeeze in a good 4 hours with one of the few pros left here in Victoria, Rob Britton from the Bissel Cycling Team. On Sunday I got out for an amazing hike in East Sooke Park, I did the coast trail point to point; it was a good 4-hour trek. The trail is stunning, with some amazing rain forest along the rugged ocean side. My grandparents live near where I finished the hike so I just rung to came picked me up. We stopped and had lunch and coffee before they drove me back to my car! Not a bad Sunday getting out there and visiting with family, all within 45 minutes from downtown. Man I love Victoria.....

It’s been a pretty productive week so far with above average warm temperatures. I’ve been getting out on the bike in just arm and leg warmers, while California gets pounded by rain! On Monday, my mortgage was finally approved for my new house that I move into next week...super excited. I think I might spend too much time in the man garage.

It is going to be a pretty hectic next 10 days or so and I am looking forward to being settled down again and in a routine being able to focus 100% on the training.

A day of snowboarding awaits tomorrow, then back to packing up the place.

Cheers,

Max

Had a good ol' time at Mt. Baker

January 15, 2010

Had a good ol' time at Mt. Baker with 12 other good buds. The snow conditions were not perfect, but that did not stop us from having a blast. Most of us all got out for 2 good days of snowboarding on the mountain. Needless to say, a few guys just could not handle the night prior :) Amateurs

My good buddy Kris Sneddon just spent 4 days here in Victoria training. It pretty much rained the entire time, but we managed to get some good hours in. We split the time between hiking, road riding, and mountain biking. I definitely did not feel my sharpest, but I am pretty sure I know why. I am a pretty big sleeper and that is something I have not been getting enough of lately. The weekend looks sunny, and good for a couple quality rides.

Rooting for teammate Sid as he is racing anytime down under at the Australian Nationals. Hopefully by the time people read this; there will be some good news. A cool custom Aussie Sho-Air kit would be neat.

Over and Out,

Max

Happy New Year

January 5, 2010

The last week or so has gone by incredibly fast, which always seems to be the case around Xmas and New Years. The weather has not been too great so I have been doing a lot more cross training then bike riding. I am really keen on trail running; it is a great way to explore new trails, and works the legs pretty well too. Did an awesome long hike Saturday and then a tough 4 hour Mtb ride yesterday. By the end I was definitely feeling it! The type of trails we have here on the island are not exactly "easy", even more so when it is wet and muddy.

New years eve was not too eventful...Watched a couple great hockey games though. In the Junior World Hockey Championships, Canada won over the USA in shootout in the quarterfinals :) They will meet again on tomorrow Tuesday in finals at 5pm. It should be an exciting game...Go Team Eh

Hoping to get out for some long road rides this week before heading over to Mount Baker with a bunch of buddies for 3 days of snow boarding and mayhem. Should have some good stories.

Ciao,

Max

Happy to say I am on a Ski Hill at the moment

December 29, 2009

Christmas was pretty uneventful but in a way it was nice as it was quiet and I really did not get too much involved in the whole madness that Xmas can bring. Did get a few really nice gifts. A custom engraved flask is my favorite though. Thanks Trish!

Had a really nice pre Xmas dinner Wednesday with my grand parents who live not to far from Victoria on a beautiful piece of land in East Sooke. After the dinner Trish and I went to visit some friends who live in the same area. The one guy Marcus is an avid Mtn Biker. I was trying to convince him to get bike lighter then 40 pounds! Some people just don't like too much change. He is a wine sommelier so needless to say we had to stay the night :)

Got out for 3 strait great rides on the Epic Friday/Saturday/Sunday. That bike just keep amazing me, even in the hairy stuff that can be found up island near Cumberland. Last 2 days have been enjoyed on the new snowboard i got from my ever supportive dad. He has a condo right on the mountain and it sure is pretty sweet to be able to ride great trails down below and ride the snowboard just 30 minutes up the hill. Life is good.

I am extremely excited about the new Us Cup Triple crown series. I have feeling it is going to exceed people's expectations and it is going to put the F.U.N back into mountain bike racing. Stoked.

Headed back home to Victoria today, as I have an important meeting with the Mortgage specialist tomorrow. Weather looks good there for some riding to cap off the year.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe new years.

See you in 2010,

Max "the moutie" Plaxton

Just a nice short holiday note.

December 22, 2009

Well my house is 100% sold! The building inspection was fine as expected so the buyers had nothing to complain about. I also have an agreed offer on a nice house, just outside of town. It has a nice 1-bedroom suite, which I will be able to rent out so that will be a nice mortgage helper. I will miss living downtown, but at the same time I will be closer to all the sweet single-track and right next to the lakes for the summer time.

Had some great mountain bike rides lately. I know I should be riding the road bike a little more, but it is just so hard to turn down a 3-4 hour trail rip, compared to a chilly road ride. That time will come soon enough. It does not help when the forest is as green as it gets and the trails pretty darn minty.

No crazy holidays for me, just going to go up the ski hill and have a nice little Xmas with my dad. I am looking at the possibility of going somewhere warm mid January. As in warm I don't mean California, I mean tropics :)

Merry Xmas to all and be safe. I hope everything turns out well for 2010.

Plax

Turn Up the Good, Turn Down the Suck

December 14, 2009

I was able to get out on the Epic this past week for 4 strait dirt rides.....was clear skies for the most part, and there was very little standing water. Mr. Kabush is in town so it's nice to have a riding companion along with some old school guys who just could not resist the fast dry, but chilly trails. There are a few trails being built so that is really exciting. I never get tired of riding the same fun trails over and over but is exciting when some new stuff comes up.

Had a great night out Saturday staying up until daybreak! I don't do that too often, but a bunch of us went to an awesome bar here in Victoria called Hush. Super good techno music and a great vibe. Needles to say my ears hurt Sunday!

Pending a building inspection, I should have my house sold which I am extremely happy about. I still have not found my next house, but something will pop up hopefully sooner then later.

The rain/snow is back today, and up in the mountains it is nothing but snow...Some really fun

trips coming up and looking forward to catching up with some friends I have not seen in a while.

Looks like I won't be riding my bike too much in the next week, but there is not a better time to do some fun cross training.

Cheers,

Max

Bloody Cold.

December 9, 2009

Wow the temperate has not risen much above freezing in the last week, although there is not a cloud in the sky, which is pretty nice. It takes a good 15 minutes to get properly dressed for a ride. The trails are in super dry and fast, so that is pretty nice, but with the arctic air it seems as if you should be on a ski hill, rather then on a bike. The offer I made on a house fell through, but it was not my dream house so I am OK with that. My place went on the market yesterday, and already today we already have 8 interested parties! It's looking good, and I am checking each day to see what else becomes available. Not quite sure how I am going to cope with realtors wanting to show up at my house without much notice, and needing you not to be there. I also have to leave the house super neat, something I take for granted daily!

This weekend is looking good with a trip to Vancouver with some buddies to catch a hockey game, and meet up with some friends. Could be a good opportunity to get in some Xmas shopping, have not been snow shoeing yet this winter so that might be on the list!

Stay Warm,

Max

What a busy week!

November 30, 2009

What a busy week! I have looked at more then a few houses out there. It is not the best time of year to buy a house, but it is a good time to sell a house. This should mean I should have no problem selling mine for a decent amount. Needless to say, it's a sellers market out there.

We've had a few really nice days lately. I am pretty sure November will be one of the wettest months on record. There are waterfalls in some really random places out in the hills. I squeezed a couple really good trail runs in on weekend. Trish and I were going to go up to Mount Washington for opening day, but the forecast called for rain so we decided to put it off for another time. It is supposed to get cold again here with means it will be sunny, and no rain but up at the mountain it could be good. It would be really nice if we got some decent weather to dry up some of the trails to get some riding on my Epic in. I'm sad to say I have not rode the bike since the World Championships! In a way it is good as I will be that much more keen about training for the upcoming season. It is tough doing a bunch of trail running on certain trails you ride your mountain bike on just knowing how much faster you could be ripping it on a bike. Soon.......

I have been hanging out with a lot of friends this last month as well and catching up. It's great being at home for an extended period of time and socializing. Got to say we have had some great dinner parties here at my place lately. We have made some amazing roasts courtesy of a good friend who works on and off in Northern BC. Every time he comes home he brings back a lot of bison, elk, moose etc.... It's all been hunted down so you could pretty much say it's as organic, free run, free range as you get!

It has stopped raining and time to get out for some training. Last day of November and I hope December brings more days on the bike....

Cheers,

Max "The Mountie" Plaxton

More of the same!

November 24, 2009

I am pretty sure I am over the hump with the cold that has rattled me for the better part of the month! House hunting is still in full effect. It's pretty fun checking out all sorts of different places. There are some houses out there for half a million dollars that even a homeless person would not want to live in. The down side of buying a house is dealing with the banks. I have never really liked banks or bankers but I won't get into that!

Been out hiking a lot lately. The trails sad to say are pretty wet and muddy for riding. I think it has rained every day in November so far. On the up side, if it raining down here by the coast that means it is most likely snowing up in the mountains. The game plan is to hit up Mount Washington opening day this up coming weekend.

Off to look at a few more houses!

Cheers,

Max

Hello!

November 19, 2009

Hello! Really don't have that much exciting to talk about......The majority of the last week or so has been spent in bed. I have never been hit this badly with a cold. I have managed to get outside as much as possible, but there has been record rainfall in, and around Victoria. On a positive note, I am inching closer to hopefully buying a new house. I has been a great last 4 years living in my current, which was my first purchase. I was a really fun experience doing all the renovations, and being able to appreciate how nice the finished product is now, and how far it has come. It is always exciting looking forward to a change.

Big congrats to teammates Manny Prado and Ben Bostrom for conquering La Ruta. You don't know how hard that race is until you do it that's for sure.

Until next time, stay healthy!

Max.

Great Weekend

November 10, 2009

Had an Amazing three-day weekend. I definitely got the best of the massive swell that hit the island. Spent all day Friday and Saturday surfing a couple local secret spots. A bunch of locals from Tofino also came down so it was really fun to catch up with some buddies in and out of the water. I think Saturday I was in my wetsuit from 7 am until around 3 pm. It is incredible how tired you can feel after surfing for that long. It is really one of the best all rounded workouts you can do. I passed out at 8 pm Saturday! What a great feeling though....

Got out for great long road spin with my buddy Jayden on Sunday. It must have been the first day it didn't rain the whole week it seems. The roads are so amazing right now, with all the leaves changing colors. It is nice keeping the fitness at a certain level.

Capped the weekend off with a show last night at the best nightclub in the city-Sugar nightclub. DJ Champion ruled the place and it was insane! I recommend anyone check him out. He is no ordinary Dj..... http://www.djchampion.net/

Max

It's been an interesting week.

November 6, 2009

It's been an interesting week. I thought I had kicked my cold, but it sort of lingered for a couple days and it FINALLY seems to be going away. I didn't end up going up to Tofino, and choose to stay down in Victoria.There is huge swell hitting today, and the surf will be much better at south island. I managed to squeeze a couple great easy long road rides in this week as well as a solid hike with Trish in the first day of 4 rain/wind storms.

Went and watched a really cool Ski Movie premier to get stoked for the snow season. It was called "In Deep". Those guys are simply amazing in what they do, and there is a pretty good segment with a tribute to the legend Shane McConkey. Definitely a must see! Can't wait to hit the snow soon. Maybe I could convince some of Team Sho-Air/Specialized to a trip to Whistler? Scott…...Ty? I wonder if Sid or Manny have been on a chairlift before...

The weekend is shaping up nicely.

Max

Rainy days.

November 5, 2009

Had a great last week here in the prime off-season. A couple days after returning home from California, I was lucky enough to be one of the 12,000 people that are part of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics games Torch Relay. I carried the Torch on my Specialized Tarmac road bike for 2 km's, what an experience it was. It was also the very 1st day of the Torch Relay here in my hometown of Victoria, which made it extra special since a fair amount of friends and family were there.

Halloween was a very fun time as well, along with a bunch of good buddies. I dressed up as one of the characters in the Trailer Park Boys called the "green bastard." For some reason that I’m not sure of, they don't allow Trailer Park Boys in the USA. I guess American television is polluted enough!

I’m just now getting over a nasty cold that hit me pretty hard. I have been able to get out on the bike a little bit, when it is not raining and cold. I’ll be heading eading up to the town where I was born for the rest of the week-Tofino for some surfing and some epic hiking. I should have some good adventures to write about next week :)

Max

Socal.

October 27, 2009

I had a great time in Orange County visiting with Team Sho-Air's Ty Kady and Scott Tedro among others. It was a really good opportunity to discus what lies ahead for the 2010 season. I can honestly say I am pretty thrilled, excited and more then anything relaxed as I head back home.

We had an amazing fishing trip out to the Santa Catalina Island. I was the first to catch a good size fish (Bonita) and my Teammate fast man Sid was on hand to take some pictures for evidence! I would of caught 3-4 more fish if it was not the for the "sea dogs" or sea lions. Good thing Scott took upon the duty of having the hot rod and by the end of the day we had 7 big beauties ready for the BBQ.

Surfing Newport Beach, eating unreal food, catching a Lakers game and road riding along Huntington Beach were just a few other activities I was lucky enough to part take in, and all in 80 degree plus weather in late October! Spoiled? I think so.

I look forward to catching up with some friends and spending some quality time with the lady friend. I am happy I don't have a single plane ticket anywhere as of now. Friday October 30th, I am proud to say I will be part of the Olympic Torch Relay for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games as it passes through Vancouver Island. My segment might only last 5 minutes while riding my bike, but it should be an unforgettable experience. I could think of one better experience along those lines, and that would be to participate in an Olympic games! I will do my best.

Over and out!

Max Plaxton

It was a great Thanksgiving weekend!

October 14, 2009

Upon returning home from California, I spent a couple days at home before leaving again. Lucky this time I did not have to step on an airplane. On Friday, Trish and I took the Coho ferry right out of downtown Victoria across the Juan de Fuca, strait over to Port Angeles-WA. We drove deep into the Olympic Mountains National Park, and found a beautiful little campground located on the Elwha River. After setting up camp, we drove to the end of the road, and parked the car. We hiked about a 1-hour to some amazing Hot Springs in the thick of the rain forest. There were at least 6 pools you could choose from, which we shared with a few other people. The Seasonal Pumpkin spiced ales we packed in were sure a nice treat while sitting in the springs!

The following day, we were joined by 4 other good friends, and made our way west out to the open ocean near Cape Flattery. This is one of the truly special places in the world, no doubt. There is a huge Native American presence, and the area is just so relaxing and pristine. We rented a nice little cabin on a beach with great surf right out front. Despite the cool weather, we had an amazing time surfing clean 4-6 feet un-crowded waves, hiking local coastal trails, making excellent meals, and sharing more than a few laughs.

Back home again, and about to head out for a nice little mountain bike ride on some of the best local single-track Victoria has to offer.

Ciao for now,

Max

Levi Leipheimer’s Kings ridge 103 mile Gran Fondo

October 9, 2009

Levi Leipheimer’s Kings ridge 103 mile Gran Fondo was a really great day. It was awesome being part of something of such magnitude. The weather was perfect and a tail wind made for a fast ride. I felt really good having rested up and riding my sweet Tarmac pedal bike. I rode most of the day with Levi himself, Scott Nydam of BMC, Paul Mach of Bissel and my buddy fellow Canadian Kris Sneddon with Kona. At the 4-hour mark with most of the 8700 feet of climbing done, I started to feel a little flat! Fortunately I was able to sit on Scott and Paul who for sure had more endurance in the legs. The last 4 km were on a dirt gravel path and unfortunately I had a close to flat tire so combined with the hard pace I had to settle for 3rd overall with a time of 4:49 a minute behind Scott. It was great to see Scott riding so strong again after a tough year with a few heavy spills. I wish we had the same sort of cycling enthusiasm up north as Sonoma County does.

This past Sunday, the day after the Gran Fondo, I hooked up with 6 other guys and we nailed a rad dirt ride in an area called Occidental, or just Occi as the locals call it. The trails there are so smooth and fast it is mind blowing. The Stumpjumper S-Works hard tail is a sweet ride for that area. It’s great there is not as much Poison Oak as there is the winter/spring. That stuff can really suck if you get in on yourself.

Monday night I was invited over to my buddy Duncan’s. He along with another guy own a Winery called Arnot-Roberts. I highly recommend anyone who appreciates a good bottle of red, to try theirs. The 2007 Syrah is my favorite. It was a great evening with mind-blowing bottles, and some of the best BBQ meat I have ever had. No coincidence the guy cooking it up was from Argentina. Thanks Duncan!

Tuesday night, I took my American hosts Roger “the godfather” and his wife Hilary out to dinner at a restaurant in Healdsburg-CA called Scopa. It’s an amazing little Italian restaurant right downtown by the Plaza. Again, some amazing food and wine was had, I highly recommend it.

So much has happened in the last 2 weeks between Vegas and California it seems like it has been a month at least. Good friends, food, wine, riding, weather etc…. Hard to beat! Back home to Victoria today and looking forward to our Thanksgiving this weekend. I am headed down to the Oregon coast with some buddies and going to do some long overdue surfing and relaxing! I also got a feeling the trails at home should be in perfect shape. Love it

Thanks for reading.

Max ”the mountie” Plaxton

I heart California!

October 5, 2009

It is hard to find a better place to be then Northern California in early fall. I came here directly from Las Vegas after a couple fun nights along side team manager Ty Kady. I find it interesting how you get really excited about going to Vegas but then after 1 or 2 days you want to leave. I flew into Santa Rosa Airport, and was picked up by my American Godfather Roger Bartels, the self proclaimed “fastest dentist on earth.” Along with 5-6 other guys we drove to the Golden Gate Bridge, parked the cars and rode our bikes across the bridge in howling fog, and continued past fisherman’s Warf to our final destination a San Francisco, Giants game. The Giants lost in the 9th inning but it was a great night.

In the last week I have done some killer, and I mean killer Mountain Bike rides. The trails are really dry, but it doesn’t seem to matter when you have a solid group of guys that can ride single track really fast. It has been great having a guy like Levi Leipheimer show us the local trails. Everybody in the area is really fit right now as people are getting ready for Levi’s 100 mile Kings Ridge Gran Fondo coming up this Saturday. I can’t remember the last time I did 100 miles, but it is going to be a great day riding a bike along with 3500 other riders.

I hope I don’t bonk!

Max “The Mountie” Plaxton

Off to Vegas!

October 5, 2009

It’s been a great couple weeks at home after returning from the World Championships. The weather has been amazing, and this has led to some adventures. The most recent was an awesome camping trip to a lake that I had never been to, with my friends. There is so much to discover on Vancouver Island, and my recent purchase of a back roads map book does the trick! I have some good hiking trips planned for the fall.

I managed to get some good rides in on the local trails, which are in mint shape. There is something special about being on a ride and not having a race coming up. You don’t have to worry about your rate, ride time, intensity etc….you can purely enjoy mountain biking for what it is. I have never ended the race season this early before, but I really think it is good for next season.

I am off to Vegas this arvo and I am looking forward to it! It will be my 2nd visit to Vegas, so I know what to expect, and how weird of a place it can be. Following a couple days there, I am going to Santa Rosa for 10 days of great riding, and visiting with some good friends. Hoping to also visit the Specialized HQ and maybe get a ride in. For some reason, I think there must be some good trails in the area.

Big congrats to Burry for winning the World Cup in Champery. Definitely an inspiration and he is 2 years younger then me? Amazing!

I will send an update after Vegas while in beautiful California.

Cheers,

Max “The Mountie” Plaxton

Wow it seems like the Australia trip went super fast!

September 10, 2009

All in all I am satisfied with how the race went. It was not easy starting near the back of the pack but I had great legs and the Specialized Epic was for sure the perfect bike for the course. I ended up 22nd after moving up most the race riding as high as 17th before losing some spots on the last couple laps. It was a really really fun course, but at the same time a very hard course to pass on as there was a lot of narrow technical sections and windy, fast, fire road climbs. It was not your typical cross-country racecourse but the Aussie fans were amazing. Todd Wells rode an awesome race finishing 8th after not the best start. He passed me on the 2nd lap and came from behind me and said “Max let’s go”, but there was not way I could follow him, he was really flying, great to see! I think I’d like to try one of those 29’r bikes! Congratulations to Burry as well for claiming the gold medal in U-23. I could only manage a Bronze medal at my best in those ranks!

Being home is great again, even thought the Jetlag is in full effect. There is something nice about not having a big race coming up and simply riding for fun, exploring new trails doing what comes to mind. I plan on racing some cross and particularly Star Crossed and Cross Vegas and just have a good time. I watched Cross Vegas race last year and told myself I had to do it this year!

Good luck to the Specialized riders competing in Europe at the final world cups. Hopefully next year I can do a more complete World Cup schedule.

More in the fun weeks to come!

Ciao from Canada,

Max Plaxton

It was great to have a solid 10 days at home

August 31, 2009

It was great to have a solid 10 days at home after Windham Pro XCT finals before making the trip down to Canberra-Australia where I currently am preparing for the World Championships. I was stoked to have a solid race in Windham finishing up the East Coast trip on a high note. It was also good mentally being the last race before Worlds.

I had never raced a full US national series before so I got to be happy with how it went for myself and the Team. A Sho Air rider never placed worse then second in any race and if it would not have been for a bad day in Mount Snow, I would have most likely taken the overall. But hey, that is racing and congrats to JHK and the Fisher team. For a 1st year team I’d say we did pretty damn well; it will only get better year to year.

Travel down to Canberra was a breeze and it didn’t hurt getting upgraded to first class and being able to fully recline in a flat bed and sleep a decent amount on a 15 hour flight. I don’t know I will be able to handle flying economy class again on a long haul flight! Or as Roland Green calls it the “peasant class”. It is quite cold down here in Canberra but the air is fresh and crisp. It reminds me of winter back home in Victoria except there are kangaroos everywhere and beer costs and arm and a leg. I mean come on…20 bucks for a 6 pack! Might have to stick to the Vino tinto on this one…..

Checking out the course later today with my roomie Kabush. I have heard good things about the track and it should be good getting it dialed before race day next Saturday.

Will send and update mid week.

Cheers from Down Under,

Max

Being on the road for longer then 2 weeks can be rough

August 17, 2009

Being on the road for longer then 2 weeks can be rough. I am currently in the 3rd week of a month long adventure, and can’t wait to get home. The weather has been horrible, and the racing not much better! The Canadian World Cups did not go as planned and my consistent/mechanical streak ended with a bad crash in Mount Sainte Anne, and a poor choice of brake pads in the torrential down pour in Bromont. Not finishing a race after all the time and effort from myself, as well as everyone involved, is a terrible feeling. The 5th round of the U.S. Cup Pro XCT in Mount Snow did not go as planned. I felt horrible in the race, and finished somewhere in the low teens losing my overall series lead. I can’t explain why I felt so bad, but it can only get better from here. This weekend is the final round of the U.S. Cup Pro XCT series here in Windham, NY. I am happy to say I have felt much better on the bike this week, and have a good feeling going into the weekend. I’m currently in 3rd overall in the series standings a few points back from the leader. It will be hard to gain the leaders jersey again, but nonetheless it’s been fun.

I have also been selected for the Canadian Team for the Mountain Bike Worlds in Canberra, Australia in early September. I think with some good training at home prior, I can end the season on a good note and finish off how I started the season. A few Fosters will most likely be in order (after the race). Is there a better beer in Australia? You think my Aussie teammate Sid would know....

Regardless how things go, I am looking forward to next season, and how to improve on this year. In other news, Vermont and New York state are really nice…No Super Trooper sightings though:(

Wayne’s World is on so I’d better get back to it. Party on, Party on, Wayne's World Excellent!

Ciao,

Max “The Mountie” Plaxton

Close but no cigar

July 16, 2009

Just got back from the Canadian Nationals which took place in St-Felicien, a town located about 4 hours north of Quebec City pretty much in the boonies of northern Quebec. There are pretty good chances that most people who read this will never visit that place. It is hard to believe it took me a total of 17 hours of combined air travel and car to get from my home in Victoria to the race venue and all in the same country. A little retarded IMO. Loosing one of my bags did not help either. A little piece of advice to people who travel with bikes: Do not carry CO2 cartridges, but Big Airs are OK.

But hey the race course was actually amazing. Why can’t this course be some where near a big city or even an airport for that matter? I pre rode the course with my good buddy Kris Sneddon from the Kona team. My bike felt great although I felt somewhat tired from the travel but I hoped I would feel better the next day with a solid sleep.

The race was tough and fast. Surprisingly it stuck quite together with a group of 4 including myself, old man Kabush, Shamoe and Derek Zandstra (not Zoolander). I felt ok but not great and I was really wishing I had at least one of my Sho Air team mates up there with me-maybe we need another Canadian on board J It came down to the last lap and old man Kabush put in a big attack. I did my best to go with him but came up short 9 seconds back in 2nd place. I have a pretty good idea why I did not feel 100 % so can only learn and make sure it does not happen again. That is a cool aspect about racing, if you don’t have the race you were hoping for there is always the next one.

It is great to be back at home, and I have to cherish the time because I have 1 weekend off before a big block of racing starting a World Cup in Mt St Anne followed by another World Cup In Bromont. To finish up the trip come the big Pro XCT races presented by Sho-Air at Mount Snow followed by Windham Mountain. I am absolutely looking forward to defending my lead and putting on a good show.

I love my job and keeping it fun,

Max”the mountie” Plaxton

Summer is great!

July 8, 2009

Sorry for not keeping better in touch, but it seems like time is flying by in a good way. It was great having a couple weekends off from racing, and just enjoying what the summer has to offer. The Test of Metal race was a huge success, hats off to the organization and town of Squamish for putting on such a stellar event. I beat my previous course record from last year by a minute and a half, and I must say the Specialized Epic played a big part. I really wish we had more races like the Test of Metal on this side of the border….

The Canadian Nationals are this Saturday in Quebec, I am really excited and feel great. After this weekend I will come back home for a weekend off, then back out east for 2 World Cups and 2 US Pro XCT races. I can’t wait.

I’ll send an update after this weekend’s race and I hope to have some good news!

Max “The Mountie” Plaxton

Colorado Cruising

June 23, 2009

Racing and riding in Colorado proved to be tough yet at the same time super fun. I was not able to ride all the good stuff I wanted to but maybe I will save the “adventure” riding for the fall. Most of the time was spent hanging out with the team resting as much as possible and riding the right amount without over doing it.

The first weekend the team and I rolled up to Vail for the Teva Mtn Games. I don’t have a lot to say about the race except that I had a tough go at some 9,000 feet altitude finishing some 8 minutes down on the winner. Sammy J pulled of the top result for the team in 3rd place so that was solid. It was a pure fitness course and Sam was finally able to pull a mechanical-free race together at end up on the podium where he belongs. The day after the race we did a ride at around 11,000 feet in the high mountains surrounded by snow. It’s funny how slow I ride at high altitude being from sea level. It is more frustrating then anything knowing that you have great fitness but simply can’t push hard at all-no fun yet beautiful scenery.

Upon getting back to Colorado Springs (6,000 feet) I knew I felt much better after 3 days at high altitude and a solid rest day spent checking out Pikes-Peak with Manny and trying our hand at some fly fishing. Manny and I did a running sprint at the top of Pikes Peak (over 14,000 feet) and boy did that hurt but hopefully we gained a few red blood cells in the process! The course is CO Springs was my kind of course despite the altitude. A couple days before I knocked out a hard lap with JB and finally felt as if I could push as far as I could. The Specialized EPIC was for sure the right bike as the course had quit a few rocky sections and you could simply pedal through it all yet not sacrifice anything on the climbs. On race day I had great legs and knew I had the perfect equipment. JHK went out hard on the first lap and I was happy to dangle 2-3 guys back knowing I could get close to him on the ensuing DH. I caught up with the lead and battled it for most of the race with JHK who was riding the climbs super fast and me riding the down hills really well. It came down to the last lap knowing the race would be won on the DH. There was fast line near the end of the lap I had noticed Todd Wells take on Lap 1 so coming up I told myself if JHK would not take it then I would. It worked out in my favor and I was able to make the pass and cruise in for my first ever US National series race. I would have liked to have led the entire downhill savoring the win a little longer but hey, a win is a win and I would like to the think this is the first of many….

I’m currently on a BC Ferry heading from Vancouver Island to the mainland for a race In Squamish called the Test of Metal- A classic West Coast point to Point Single track race. I truly recommend this race to anyone who wants to ride some of the best BC Single Track there is. It’s amazing that the entire town comes out to cheer in front of their houses and even on their cars.

Huge Thanks to Scott and Ty at Sho Air for making all this possible and Specialized for providing me with hands down the fastest bikes out there. It’s looking good!

With Stoke,

“The Mountie” Max Plaxton

Diverse Weather, Good Times!

June 3, 2009

It has been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks. I spent weekend of May 23-24 camping with some great friends on the very beautiful Hornby Island, which is nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland. I truly recommend the island to everyone to check out. The island it self is quit small, but there is some of the best single track you could ever imagine along with pristine protected beaches. At low tide we picked and chucked fresh oysters after each ride-delicious!

After a great weekend, it was time to get home and get ready for the Bump N’ Grind in Pelham, Alabama. I got a couple great motor-pacing sessions in and had the Specialized Epic working to perfection, thanks to my good buddy Troy at Pro City Cycle-Victoria.

Travel was smooth getting down to Alabama, and I was stoked to meet up with the team again. My first impression of the race course was that it was fast, very fast. It was hard to say how the race might unfold due to the lack of technical sections, high speeds, a couple pavement sections and 90-100 degree weather with 80 % humidity. The one thing I do know is that Team Sho-Air had the numbers on our side with 3 or 4 potential winners. The race proved to be a tactical one as expected. I had good legs, but was not feeling great on the road sections. Fortunately, my Tassie team mate Sid rode a very smart race attacking a group of 5 guys (myself included) on a steep road popper near the end of the last lap. He took an awesome win and I came in 3rd, 22 seconds back keeping my lead in the overall standings. Overall it was a great weekend for the Team and I can smell a race win inching closer for myself.

Now in Colorado adjusting to the altitude and getting some sweet riding in at Sammy J’s place. The US Cup Pro XCT # 4 in Colorado Springs is just around the corner, and I feel we could not be preparing better. We just did an amazing 3.5 hour mountain bike ride with some amazing single track, hail, rain, thunder and lighting. Despite the lungs burning a bit, I think it’s the first of many great rides here! Nothing better then ripping down some great green moist trail for the first time…….

Big thanks to the organizers of the Bump N’ Grind, Scott Tedro, and Ty Kady at Sho-Air for making it all happen. I don’t think people realize how much effort and time is put into the series to make it a success. If everybody at the race could say a small thanks to the organizers I think it would go a long way.

Happy Riding

Max “The Mountie” Plaxton

Well the Canucks are out of the playoffs

May 20, 2009

Well the Canucks are out of the playoffs. What can I say? I had a feeling they would let us down but didn’t expect them to go out so soon. On a positive note, the weather up here in Canuck land has been amazing. The trail conditions are as good as they get, and the body is feeling great. It has been great getting back into the swing of things here at home, and simply having a daily routine. I’ve been trying to watch the Giro as much as I can. I figured out how to connect my laptop computer to my flat screen TV, and watch the live online coverage, so that’s pretty cool. I hope my buddy Levi kills it; he’s a really great guy. He just came up with the idea to host a fundraiser in his hometown of Santa Rosa, Check it out. It’s called Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo. I hope to make it down for the occasion in October.

Anyway less then 2 weeks to the Bump ‘n’ Grind US PRO XCT. Time is flying by but at the same time, realizing how lucky I am to be in this position and be part of the Sho Air family.

Ciao,

The Mountie

Home for 2 weeks now

May 11, 2009

I’ve been home for over 2 weeks now and time is flying by. It’s been great catching up with friends, and watching the hockey playoffs along with a couple brews. My team, the Canucks were off to a good start, but are on the brink on elimination. It is hard getting attached to the Canucks as they always get your hopes up then let you down. I remember the 1994 Stanley Cup finals between the Canucks and Rangers, which went to a game 7 with the Rangers prevailing. I was 9 at the time, but it seems like it was yesterday. One of my favorite Canuck players all time has to be Trevor Linden. I guess you could say I would like to be like him when I grow up. This guy is really cool, and loves mountain biking and Hockey. Mountain Biking is where it is at for me right now…..

I have been riding my bike aside from watching hockey. I took about 10 days pretty easy after the Sea Otter and the body feels super rested, and recovered. The trail conditions are as good as they get right now. We are getting some good weather usually followed by some rain keeping the trails a little tacky but fast. The next 2 weeks will be heavy training with lots of intensity before resting up for the US Pro XCT race # 3 in Birmingham-Alabama. I have heard the course is super fun, with lots of single track so I am super amped to get out there and race.

Check out the picture from one of my favorite trails. The rain forest around home is so green and lush…..I love it.

Ciao,

The Mountie

It’s been a great start to the year for me.....

April 28, 2009

It’s been a great start to the year for me and for the Sho Air /Specialized Team. I had some very solid training down in Tasmania over the winter where my parents currently live and work at the moment. I was fortunate to meet Sid Taberly which in a way led to me getting on board with the team which I am very excited about.

Fontana Pro XC Tour # 1

After a bit of a disastrous trip down to Chile for the Pan American Championships I was pretty eager to get the Pro XC series under way. Having slept at 9,000 feet down in Chile I knew I was feeling good the moment I stepped foot back in the USA and at sea level. I always tend to have a good run in Fontana and this year was no different. I had the best legs all year and pretty much just went for it leading a lot of the race only to be beat by the strongest rider on the day. Hats off to the Geoff for taking the all time most USA Series wins surpassing John Tomac. At least I made him work for it. On the other note Fontana was my first race aboard the S-Works Epic. All I can say is WOW. No bike I have ever ridden before even comes close to the performance of this bike.

Sea Otter Pro XC Tour # 2

After some great weeks of training up in the NORCAL area I was ready for the Sea Otter. I opted to not to race the Short Track and keep the legs fresh for The XC. I think it was a good call since the race on Sunday was super hard. I am not a huge fan of the heat unlike some of my teammates. It’s not like I don’t perform well but I think I go better when it’s cold an wet and muddy, sort of how it is up at home in my native Canada. There was some serious fire power in the lead group in the race. Sauser, Stander, Wells to name a few. I barely hung to the lead group on for the 1st lap but managed to crawl into the draft at a key moment going into a big head wind. The race got pretty tactical and it was great to have a team mate in the group. I basically watched Sauser ride away and tried to recover from the heat while sitting on. It worked well and Sid and I were able to finish 2ndand 3rd respectively. It was a hard day but I had a lot of fun on the bike in the 100 degree heat and suffering. The 3rd place gave me the overall lead in the Pro XC Tour Standings so I can’t complain! Thanks to Scott and Ty and the whole crew at Sho Air and Specialized for making it happen. It’s going to be a great year on and off the bike with everyone.

Next up is some solid time at home in Victoria resting up and then get some great training leading up to the Pro XC Tour # 3 and # 4 in Alabama followed by Colorado Springs. I can’t wait to ride my new bikes here at home in my local trails which should be getting mint right about now. There is no place like home. I did have an excellent time in California I must add. Californians know how to live it up, bro!

With Stoke, Max

Stats for Max Plaxton are coming soon.