Jaedon Chase thought his chance of snagging the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association's (WORCA) Lumpy Leidal Award had passed.
But it turned out that his time was still to come.
"I was truly surprised because I thought it was supposed to be (presented) at the AGM. When I later found out that I was awarded it, I was blown away and incredibly honoured," he said. "It was at the final Toonie ride, the Halloween Toonie ride (on Oct. 27)."
According to the WORCA website, the award is given out each year "to a local junior who has been found outstanding as a sportsperson, a volunteer and someone who epitomizes athleticism in our local youth." It is handed out in honour of Geoff "Lumpy" Leidal, a local athlete who was killed in an avalanche in 1998.
Chase, to this point, has focused primarily on the enduro discipline, winning the Kidsworx Enduro at Crankworx while also lining up during the North American Enduro Tour's Whistler Fall Classic in September.
"I just do a lot of riding. I don't race a lot but I just love to ride," he said.
Chase explained he likes enduro because it takes several different skills to excel at it, but it's also an enjoyable way to spend time with friends as well.
"It takes all the aspects of biking — you have to be strong in climbing and you have to be fast in the downhills and it's a lot of fun, everyone is out there having a good time. It's not as competitive. You're not always racing against each other," he said. "You're out there having a good time and shredding the best trails in the world."
The award is not given out to a strong rider exclusively, as Chase has worked hard to give back to the local mountain biking community as well.
"I always help out with the WORCA bike swap, so I've done that for awhile. Also at the trail-building days, I was out there helping. I've been riding with the youth camps for nine years and hopefully, in the following years, I will be able to coach them or teach with them with (longtime coach) Munny (Munro)."
Though he's not a huge racer, Chase acknowledges that he hopes to be at more start lines in 2017 in different places across the province, and everything will fall into place from there.
"Next year, I would like to do the B.C. Enduro Series. That would be very exciting. I'd also like to do more Toonies next year... I've realized how fun they are and I'd like to get out to more of those," he said.
Local residents perform well at Taxco DH
A trio of Whistler residents cruised through Taxco, Mexico as they hit the top 10 in the Taxco Urban Downhill event on Nov. 5.
Frenchman Remy Metailler, who now lives in the resort, ended up with a fifth-place finish, while fellow French rider Yoann Barelli ended up in seventh. Junior World DH champion Finn Iles was a spot behind in seventh.
Johannes Fischbach took the top spot on the podium with a best hit of one minute, 39.64 seconds (1:39.64) while Filip Polc and Bernard Kerr rounded out the podium.