By Ambassador Bella Roelveld

It’s hard to believe the last time I officially raced was in 2012 on the BC cup circuit. Cycling BC reached out because I was the only junior woman to ride in the Canadian Open DH at Crankworx in 2011. I spent the summer of 2012 traveling around the province and racing with so many talented riders including fellow Kona teammates, Miranda Miller and Kyleigh Stewart.

After that season I decided to take a break from competitive racing to focus on school and my career. Riding bikes became more of a hobby for me and I never really got back into the race scene. After participating in the local Fiver series here in North Van the racing bug started to come back. Now that I have my dream job it seemed like a perfect time to get back between the tape.

I started off the season with the Canadian Enduro Series stop at Harper Mountain. Other riders have always raved about the course and the awesome vibes at this event. About a month before race day I had an unfortunate crash in Squamish riding with the DHaRCO crew. I knew something was wrong with my thumb so I called it a day. Turned out to be a sprain and little did I know… thumb injuries are a bit of a dog’s breakfast.

Top Image by Dharco, bottom images by Kyleigh Stewart

In order to get my hand ready to race I knew physio was going to be my second home. Rehabbing an injury in a short period of time reminded me of a similar mentality I had in 2012. Health always comes first and you have to do it right before getting back in the saddle. Luckily after 3 weeks off the bike my physio gave me the ok to take it easy on race day. I was blown away by the women’s race scene. There are so many ladies of all ages tearing it up. It was so refreshing to see after being the only junior woman to race the Canadian Open in 2012.

Images by Joe Woywitka

Next on my list was the Merritt Tiara. If you know me well, you know I am definitely not an uphill oriented person. I somehow let my friend talk me into signing up for this 60km XC suffer fest. I stocked up on snacks, tuned up the Process X and made my way to Merritt. Quickly realizing I had one of the biggest bikes there, I knew the downhill is where I could make up some time. I was completely shocked at how well the bike performed, even on the climbs. It’s questionable whether I’ll do this race again but we’ll give the type-2 fun some time to set in.

This year has brought back so many fond memories from the BC cup and made me hungry for more.