Free Candy Tour

Pre Candy Tour – Two weeks on Vancouver Island

Pre Candy Tour – Two weeks on Vancouver Island 150 150 The Free Radicals

Last September, with one fully functional bike and seven functional wrists between the four of us, we boarded the ferry to Vancouver Island with a plan that was somewhere between vague and nonexistent. This is a brief glimpse into the aimless and carefree two weeks that followed.

For 2017, we’re embarking on the Free Candy Tour, an adventure that will take us all over Oceania and North America, racing a schedule of Trans-style enduro events. Along the way, we will be documenting all of the uncensored and unglamorous experiences that come with our exploits and releasing eight episodes, one per month throughout our racing season.

Episode 1 – A Verification Situation

Episode 1 – A Verification Situation 1024 679 The Free Radicals

The van we’ve purchased runs great – except when it comes to starting, idling or climbing hills. It has also developed a fairly serious mouse problem and a permanent odor of farts and feet, though that’s hardly through any fault of its own. When we bought the van, we joked that if we couldn’t resell it at the end of our trip we’d just burn it and send it off a cliff. Three weeks later, it seems like that might actually be the most sanitary way to dispose of it.
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Episode 2 – A Case of the Madness at the Trans NZ Enduro

Episode 2 – A Case of the Madness at the Trans NZ Enduro 150 150 The Free Radicals

The Trans NZ Enduro provides everything you need for a positive racing experience: Party Trains. Off trail excursions, resulting in near death experiences. New friends and legends. Life management. Day drinking. read more

Episode 3 – Fading Sanity and a Three-Winged Chicken at the NZ Enduro

Episode 3 – Fading Sanity and a Three-Winged Chicken at the NZ Enduro 150 150 The Free Radicals

There comes a point toward the end of any road trip when both the passengers and the vehicle begin approaching a state of disorder, both physically and emotionally. This is the point we are at as we arrive in Havelock for the NZ Enduro. Combined with three days of torrential rain, any aspirations of “racing” are replaced with mere survival. We make it through the event by any means necessary: tripoding, scootering and flat out walking. read more

Episode 4 – Arm Pump and the RV Game at Trans BC

Episode 4 – Arm Pump and the RV Game at Trans BC 150 150 The Free Radicals

Two days before the start of Trans BC, the boys found themselves even more homeless than usual. While driving through the night to Trans BC’s starting point in Fernie, BC, things took a turn for the worse. Sometime in the middle of the night, deep in the mountains of interior BC, Elaine’s carburetor deteriorated from her normal, finicky temperament to a monumental meltdown that would change the course of the week. All thoughts of actually racing went out the window as the goal quickly became simply making it to the starting line. read more

Episode 5 – On Island Time

Episode 5 – On Island Time 150 150 The Free Radicals

Mountain bikers, by and large, approach vacations differently than the general population. Our breed tends to place traditional activities like relaxing, drinking frozen cocktails by a pool and taking guided scenic tours low on our list of desirable vacation activities. Meanwhile, hitting that new jump line in the bike park or finding a sweet new loamer from the latest viral video are typically at the top of the list. read more

Episode 6 – Full Dust Warfare

Episode 6 – Full Dust Warfare 150 150 The Free Radicals

“Oh shit. Will must have had a mechanical.” It was stage one of the Revy 3-Day Heli Enduro, and as Will rode by me I was sure something was wrong with his bike. After shattering my elbow in May, I had spent the summer on the side of the trail, watching my friends ride with a camera in my hands. By September, I had developed an eye for all the subtle cues in Will’s riding form. I knew what he looked like when he was spent and focused more on fantasies of pizza than the trail, when he wasn’t stoked and was just phoning it in, and when he was riding to the best of his ability. The Will that had just ridden by looked like he had engaged cruise control.
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Episode 7 – Irresponsibly Ambitious

Episode 7 – Irresponsibly Ambitious 150 150 The Free Radicals

Elaine’s recurring malaise had been “fixed” at least four times already this year. Each cure had come with a corresponding revelation—“It’s a carb tuning issue!” “She’s tuned fine, theres just a clogged jet!” “No, it was a tuning issue after all!”—accompanied by a short period of improved performance. Invariably, Elaine was dead on the side of the road again before long. Such was her state in early October, shortly after Will left the four day party that is Trans Cascadia. read more