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Dauphiné Libéré
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Photo: © Kristy Scrymgeour

Mr. Congeniality: The Geoff Kabush diary 2008

Popular Canadian mountain bike racer had his best ever season in 2004, winning the NORBA final and overall series, continuing that success through 2005. After a stellar 2007, Geoff will once again be bringing us his unique slant for 2008 on the racing scene in his diary as he campaigns the NORBA circuit for Team Maxxis. He'll also be riding on the road this year with the Canadian professional team, Symmetrics.

The season begins!

Hello Folks. The winter is over and the 2008 racing has started; Fontucky NMBS#1 is in the record books.

Break time while alpine touring
Photo ©: Andrew Pinfold
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The off-season was short and fleeting even though I delayed the serious bike practice as long as I could. I coasted through the fall as usual doing a bunch of cyclo-cross racing which allows for larger consumption of beer, cheese, and chocolate without taking too much weight. was a new website I found and I discovered some of my favourite beer, Tripel Karmeliet and Rochefort Trappistes 8, are fairly well rated. In between cyclo-cross I spent time getting acquainted with Albuquerque's vast trail network which promptly vanished with the colder temperatures and snowfall.

At this point I headed home to my native land for a month or so to hang out until January 1st and the first scheduled day of serious bike practice. I switched to some snow sporting activities in Canada and did some alpine touring which seems to be gaining in popularity. It is kind of like mountain biking on snow and I can definitely see myself doing a lot more of it once I am finished this bike racing thing; I have to stay a little more focused on the bicycle for now.

I also made a major change and followed Adam Craig's recommendation of getting my eyes cut open and burned with lasers. I was a little apprehensive but I got a good surgeon who had already lasered Sir Richard Branson, a few Spice Girls, and some PGA guys; I figured he must know what he is doing. After gritting my teeth while my eyes got buzz-sawed open; I left thinking, wow, that was quick (about 15mins) and this guy must be loaded. Anyway, I am pretty happy not to have to deal with contacts or Rx glasses anymore and you won't see me sporting any horn-rimmed glasses anymore. There were a few changes in optics as during the off-season I made the switch to day-glo green Oakley Radar's.

Ms. Pink came up to hang out for Christmas at the Kabush's and we got to meet our niece, Zoe, for the first time. My younger sister Danielle, as everyone calls her, is all fired up to get back racing Xterra's after a year off. She is actually 2yrs older, although I know I appear more mature, she has a PhD in Sport Psych, her name is actually Danelle (no "I"), and she is psyched to be racing with the Luna Chix in 2008.

For January 1st I headed back down to the desert to start what my old buddy Paul Rowney calls "wank, wank, wank, miles in the bank". During this period of long hours on the bike I really started to elevate my coffee geek-ness; it is getting close on the nerdiness scale but I am probably only just more of a bike nerd at the moment. I have to order my beans in fresh from around the country, I adjust brewing pressure, brewing temperature, talk about things like distribution, clumping, tamping, single origin, and even naked portafilters. Crafting good espresso is kind of like going from dial-up to broadband; it is a one way street.

The new addition:
Photo ©: Keri Pink
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Somewhere near the beginning of January our farm grew by one; Keri decided to bring home a little trouble maker she has named Kabuki. She decided to rescue a little flame point Siamese kitten who likes to beat up on the dogs and see how high he can climb on the window shades. This brings us up to three cats and two dogs; at least she isn't lonely when I hit the road.

I managed to fit in a short training camp in Moab, a complete week in bed with the flu, another three weeks in Victoria without a drop of rain, and then all the sudden my team-mate Mat was in Albuquerque and we only had three weeks to go until the first race of the year. Mat is an espresso nerd as well and we hit the espresso as hard as the training going through some beans from Discovery, Ecco Caffe, Stumptown, Espresso Vivace, and some other local beans to fill in the gaps. If any of these roasters are reading and want to set up a sponsorship let me could save me a lot of money.

After the coffee and a bit of training it was off to the races. This year it is going to be the same crew at Team Maxxis this year with one small addition; 2X World Champion and World Cup Champion Sabrina Jonnier. Not a bad off-season addition. She didn't make the trip but the rest of us gathered out in California to take some photos before the first bicycle meet in Fontana. Mr. Paul Schlitz, an Aussie-French, number savant, runner, wino, and soigneur is also going to be another great new addition to the squad but not starting until Europe.

Zoe Juliana Rapatelle
Photo ©: Geoff Kabush
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We got a few new sponsors and new parts this year and somehow our Litespeed bikes managed to lose at least 2lbs which makes for some pretty crazy light bikes. If you want to check out some more details on the squad and bikes we now have a new pirate team website:; bike nerds check it out. Adam and Gary will be geeking out with there Mac computers and Iphone's as the season goes on to make something interesting to read. My sub 20lb hardtail was pretty sweet for the XC in Fontana and I managed to pull off NMBS/Norba XC win number twelve. That puts me within two wins of all-time leader and MTB legend John Tomac; I hope the kids out there still know who he was because he was my hero; I read about him in the magazines when I was starting out. This was back when he was racing DH in a black latex suit with a tension disc wheel; I can only dream of being like the million dollar man.

We have another NMBS race in Fountain Hills, AZ this weekend and then we are off to Europe for the big World Cup races; these are key for Olympic qualification. I can't take anything for granted but I am hoping to stay healthy and keep building towards Beijing in August; if all goes well I think I can be battling near the front.



For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Andrew Pinfold

Images by Geoff Kabush

Images by Keri Pink