Chris Vater of Nanaimo streaks past a stump-mounted monument while competing in the Rumblefest downhill mountain bike race near Port Alice Sunday

Riders rumble on mountain

PORT ALICE-Rumble Mountain slopes draw Vancouver Island's top extreme mountain bike racing competitors.

PORT ALICE—Gathered with the rest of Vancouver Island’s mountain bike racing enthusiasts for the awards ceremony Sunday, one mud-spattered and smiling rider turned to his mates.

“Well, boys, another season in the books without any major injuries. I’d call that a success.”

Not that the annual Rumblefest Mountain Bike race series failed to exact its pound of flesh.

Early in Sunday’s Rumble Tumble downhill event, one rider suffered a broken collarbone in a spil down the rock- and root-strewn slope.

And women’s rider Lora Stockand performed a somersault over her handlebars while executing a drop from a wooden platform, causing her helmet to compress and leave her with just a narrow slit to see through.

“I guess that’s why we wear these things,” said Stockand, who was bruised but otherwise uninjured from her spill.

The weekend-long event kicked off with a cross country race through the village and up and down Rumble Mountain Saturday.

The field included five first-time local competitors in the kids beginner division — Aidan Watson, Spencer Smith, Tanner Roberts, Tiffany Watson and Tynan Klein-Beekman — and all five completed the course.

A salmon bake, bike- and unicycle-riding demo and party with several DJs followed as riders camped out and partied into the night.

Rain early Sunday morning left the trail muddy and slick for the downhill, which was the final event in the Vancouver Island championship points series.

 

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