NIMBY Fifty 2014: Race Wrap-Up

Posted on June 01, 2014

Clear skies, sunshine and 39 km of tacky trails greeted everyone who descended upon Pemberton, BC on Saturday May 31st for the 5th Annual NIMBY Fifty.

2014 male & femail race winners. Max Plaxton (right) & Mical Dyck (left).

Trail riding wizard, 2012 Red Bull Downtime podium finisher, and all round nice guy - Arthur Gaillot, who is currently recovering from a year long injury and unable to ride at the moment, was there to support his girlfriend during the race.  In a brief conversation we had Saturday morning Arthur put it very well: “Riding and racing your bike is a privilege”.

When you’re out with an injury, things come into very sharp perspective. You realize just how lucky you are to be healthy enough to take part in an event such as this. The trails are challenging. The climbs are demanding. The butterflies in your stomach may be overwhelming and the cramps horrible. However, all these things are what make it so special. It truly is awesome to be able to ride and race your bike. The privilege of being able to challenge yourself with like minded folks enjoying the effort of turning pedals - going up and down mountains and through beautiful forests - is what this is all about.

The clock struck 11:00, and the race was off.

The fast, fit and fortunate winners earned their spots on the podium completing the ‘savage’ NIMBY Fifty course with blistering times. On the Men’s side, first place went to Max Plaxton with a time of 2:08:33, over 2 and a half minutes ahead of second place finisher Cory Wallace, and third went to Ricky Federeau. On the women’s side, Mical Dyck made it two years in a row clocking in at 2:44:37, just one minute faster than Amanda Sin on her NIMBY debut, and third went to Jean Ann Berkenpas. Full results can be found here.

2014 Men's Overall Podium. From right to left: Colin Kerr, Ricky Federau, Max Plaxton, Cory Wallace and Evan Guthrie.

It’s tough to say whether or not course records were set. There were a couple changes to the track this year which added some time. Organizers took out the final descent of the race and added (depending how fast or slow you were going) approximately 6-12 minutes of punchy climbing to the race, leading to an entirely new descent down the fast and flowy Econodave, Cross Town Traffic and Lower Moose Jah trail trio.

Another change to the course was a re-route of the infamous 2km pedal back along Hwy 99. This year racers took gravel roads along the flat valley bottom at the foot of breathtaking Mt Currie right back to the legendary venue, North Arm Farm.

2014 Women's podium from right to left: Sonya Looney, Jean Ann Berkenpas, Mical Dyck, Amanda Sin and Brandi Heisterman.

As an organizer you sometimes worry when you make an already challenging bike race even more demanding. But when you look at it through Arthur’s perspective, 6-12 minutes of added pain is just the icing on an already very sweet bike race cake.

Riders rolled into the finish as Emcee, Brett Tippie’s larger than life-sized charisma greeted them.  Many looked shatterd, their faces and cramped up legs told the story of a tough day in the saddle.  A few steps away, racers recovered on the lawn, lined up for Kinesio Majo’s coveted stretch and massage therapy and the Pony’s culinary goods, while Papa Josh played his sweet tunes. Finally, awards were given, stories were shared and the delights of racing bikes and visiting ‘the pain cave’ at the NIMBY Fifty wrapped up for another year.


After this race report was written, some very sad news came our way from one of our volunteers. Fellow racer, Matt Klee of Oregon, passed away on Friday May 30th in an accident at the Whistler Bike Park.  Matt’s name was on the start list for NIMBY Fifty 2014. Our most sincere condolences go out to Matt’s family and friends.  The next time you head out for a pedal, just remember what Arthur says - it’s a privilege to be able to ride your bike - and have a ride for Matt.

In remembrance of Matt Klee, we bid you farewell from Pemberton, BC. Home of the NIMBY Fifty.

Russ Wood, Dean Linnell, Terry Evans
NIMBY Fifty Race Organizers

Before you go, have a watch of the NIMBY Fifty Pre-Race video, and recall some of the sweet trails, punishing climbs and fabulous views.

Pemberton - Home of the NIMBY Fifty

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