Written by: Steve Storey
A quote that dominated my thoughts when deciding whether to accept an invite to represent Canada at the EWS Trophy Of Nations in Italy. I received an unexpected and exciting email from the Enduro World Series organizers earlier this month stating that I had qualified for the Masters Canada team. 3 weeks prior to the start of practice to be exact. Not a lot of time to plan an international trip by any standards let alone one that involved an EWS race in a country totally unfamiliar to myself.
photo from https://www.enduroworldseries.com/news/1917-trophy-of-nations-teams-revealed/
After struggling to decide if I had the budget and time to attend, I ultimately decided that any concerns I had were trivial. They paled in comparison to the regrets l'd most likely have in not attending. I mean...how could I turn down a chance to represent my country on an international level in the sport I love in a place I've never traveled to?!
And then the difficult part began. Organizing time off work, booking flights, accommodations, rental vehicle, packing, and ramping ride time back up to stay race ready. This time of year I’m usually working on film & photoshoots and enjoying the epic fall conditions in BC and Washington state. Perhaps even a road trip further south if the weather deteriorated. As time consuming as organizing the logistics were, excitement built each day as the departure date got closer. Less energy and thoughts on lists and deadlines. More on riding, racing, and the experience of travel.
First things first, packing. Riding trips and racing trips are different beasts altogether. I pack lighter with bike gear for media trips leaving more space for camera gear. Racing requires a few more spare parts and more protective gear like full face helmets and back protectors. You're still limited by a 32 kg weight limit which requires a bit of creativity and compromise when weighing your options. So what do I pack?
Well, obviously a bike. In this case I chose to bring the Chilcotin for its versatility. A longer travel bike that will handle the rigours of racing rough, technical terrain while maintaining speed while still remaining pedal friendly for 50 km plus days. A spare set of tires, tubes, a back up shock just in case, an extra derailleur & cable, full face and xc helmets, goggles, extra gloves, and tools to name a few other items which I'll jam in the bike bag getting as close to that 32 kg limit as I can.
Clothing is the easiest part. It also happens to take up the least amount of space. Much smaller than my camera bag which is quite compact compared to what I'll take on a media based trip.
For camera gear I've limited myself to a few necessities. A Canon R5, 24 -105 F4 and 35 mm macro 1.2 lenses, travel tripod, and GoPro 10 along with various mounts. This time around I opted to leave the drone at home knowing more time these couple will be spent on training rather than shooting. Just enough to capture the sights, sounds, and memories of riding, racing, and touristing in Italy.
With the business end of the trip behind me, I met up with the rest of the masters team halfway through our flight at a stopover in Montreal. With the last minute scramble to organize everything this was the first time we were all in one place since accepting our invites to Trophy Of Nations. It was at this moment the stresses of last minute travel organization disappeared and the excitement of racing/traveling finally kicked in. This is going to be an incredible week!
We're now in Finale Ligure with a couple rides in the bag while looking over the official course announcement. Couldn't be more proud and happy to be sitting here with my Canadian Teammates planning out strategy and rides for the upcoming week!
For further updates on our time in Italy, you can follow along on: