2014/15 MTBdryland Performance Program


I’m very excited that the MTBdryland Performance Program is kicking off it’s fifth season this November!

The 2014 season has been an epic season for riding.  There have been plenty of highlights for BONDtraining athletes that have included multiple podiums in DH (at the North West Cup, Cycling BC Downhill Cups, Canada Cup Series) and Enduro (BC Enduro Series, Sea to Sky Enduro). Riders like Nic Rodgers, Henry Fitzgerald, Daniel Shaw (Canadian Junior Champ, WOW!), Matt Beer (World Cup/EWS), and Jamie Biluk have had excellent performances this year.  Each of these athletes have been part of the BONDtraining MTBdryland Performance Program.  MTBdryland participants don’t necessarily all have aspirations for moving up in the ranks of the sport, but do the gym work because they know it will improve the quality of their riding, help prevent injury, allow them to recover faster, and will be a great investment in their ability to ride for many, many years to come.

The next season of MTBdryland Performance Program starts November 4th. I'm looking forward to a season of training with the entire group and hope you can join us!  See here for details and to register!

- Jason

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MTBdryland APRIL-MAY 15th, 2014

It's May and the riding in the Pacific Northwest has been fantastic. MTBdrylanders are off to a great season, some riding, some racing. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share a few of their accomplishments thus far in the season.

APRIL-MAY 15th, 2014 

NW Cup - Port Angeles, Washington

Every race is a lesson and both Henry and Matt took away some great lessons from this race. Henry Fitzgerald, riding for Kona and Different Bikes, put in the fastest qualifying time on Saturday and finished third in Junior Men on Sunday. His time would have put him in the top 33% of the Pro Men - not bad for the first race of the year. Matt Beer had a solid qualifier in the Pro Men's group(13th of 100) but as sometimes happens in DH racing, had a crash in his race run, finishing well outside his potential. Some lessons are harder than others. Event review found here

NSMBA Toonies #1 - Fromme MTN, North Vancouver

Matt Voiles came out to his first toonie and got a taste of Enduro-ing. Matt got to experience just how much fun an NSMBA event can really be and realized the opportunity to use an event like this for some relaxed training while connecting with the riding community. The NSMBA has a loaded schedule of toonie and trail building events for 2014. Check website for details.

Jamie Biluk placed 5th out of 130+ participants. Yozza! You would never know by talking to him after a race but he is one fast mofo!

SEAtoSKY Enduro#1 Gryphon - Squamish, BC

This was the inaugural event for the S2S series and by all accounts it was a great success.  Check the review of the event on www.pinkbike.com.

Matt Beer, riding for Intense Cycles, Troy Lee Designs, finished 2nd overal in Pro Men. This was a great confidence booster as he and his girlfriend, Vaea Verbeeck(2nd, Pro Women) prepare for a season of World Cup Downhill racing and Enduro World Series participation.  Matt and Vaea recently worked with Max Berkowitz to put out a  mountain bike video short that features in my list of favourites. Check the video here.

Jamie Biluk, riding for Giant and Suspension Werx, finished 8th overal in Pro Men- a result to be proud of, especially when you consider just how deep the talent was at this event.


A great weekend for the MTBdryland juniors. A review of the event can also be found at www.pinkbike.com. Daniel Shaw had a fantastic race with 2nd place in Junior men. Right on his heels was Henry Fitzgerald for third. Nic Rodgers, still in recovery mode, had a solid showing in 8th place.

Great work guys!

And the rest of the MTBdryland crew? Well, we're doing what we love to do - riding and exploring and enjoying the great outdoors while on on our bikes.

The MTBdryland program is currently in maintenance mode and running 1x a week. The gang has worked hard during the off-season to achieve high-level fitness and now, with the longer days, are on the trails honing in their riding skills and on-bike fitness. Check the MTBdryland page for details on the 2014/15 session.


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RBC Whistler Gran Fondo: Featured Riders

The RBC Whistler Gran Fondo is an event I've enjoyed riding in since 2010 and this year was a personal milestone in coaching for me.

I shared a photo on the BONDtraining facebook page earlier this summer of a couple road riding, mentioning they were the 'fittest couple I know'. They were riding the sea to sky highway on a rainy Sunday morning preparing for their first RBC GranFondo Whistler. The couple, Sharon and Ray Markham, went on to have very successful rides in the 2013 edition of the Whistler Fondo (with times of 6:10 and 6:37 respectively). What's remarkable about their rides is that they were the oldest male and female participants. Sharon's age is a secret (but she was the only participant in the women's 70+ category) and Ray is a very young 81. Sharon finished aprox 412th of 812 women and Ray finished ahead of 670+ other men.  I was very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team helping them prepare for their Fondo and am proud to be training these two influencers who are an example of living a healthy active lifestyle at any age!

How are Sharon and Ray recovering you might ask? By enjoying 2200km bike tour in China this month. Congratulations Sharon and Ray!

BONDtraining clients, personal training vancouver, Whistler Gran Fondo

The Vancouver Sun caught up with Sharon and Ray at the startline prior to setting out on their 122 km journey in the RBC Whistler Gran Fondo. See below and read  the full Vancouver Sun article.

"At 81 and 71 years old respectively, both Ray and Sharon were some of the oldest racers in Saturday’s event, but the sprightly pair appeared to have the energy and exuberance of 20 year olds.

Ray joked that his only challenge in the race was that there was no over 80 category.

“They only have over 70,” he said, laughing. “I think there should be an over 80 so I know where my competition is.”

Neither have raced before but they wanted to prepare for a 2,100-kilometre cycling trip they are taking next week with a tour group in China, where they will face many steep climbs.

“We’d like to know if we can do it,” said Sharon, adding that they’ve been working with a trainer Jason Bond of BONDtraining in Vancouver to prepare for the trip.

“My challenge is just to finish ... I’m thinking maybe seven hours. I’d be very happy with that.” said Ray. Added Sharon: “I’m hoping for six hours. We’re a bit nervous. I don’t think either of us slept much last night.”

- Jason

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Escape Velocity GP of Cyclecross

It's been a fun and fast season of cyclecross so far! Check out this great video from a race in Burnaby I participated in last Saturday. It was a fast, sunny and sweaty day. It was great to see my training partner win our category. Thanks to Escape Velocity for organizing the event and to Warwick for capturing the day. Until next time!

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Registration now open: MTBDryland Performance Program

Entering into it’s forth season I’m excited to announce that registration for the MTBDryland performance program (program starts Nov6th) is now open. Now available in two time slots and in a brand new space in North Vancouver, it's going to be a great season of training. The program is a six month commitment, starts in the first week of November and runs twice a week until April 30th. Just in time for the race season to begin!

BONDtraining Dryland Mountain Bike Program, North Vancouver

What's the program all about?

When I raced Downhill (MTB) back in the late-90's I wanted to get a leg up on my competition. Not sure how to go about it I tried to ride my bike hard ALL the time and worked out in the gym doing classic Arnie-style body builder exercises. The strength I gained in the gym gave me confidence on my bike and I felt that by being stronger I was less likely to crash, if I did crash I was better able to take the pounding. At the time, I wasn't a personal trainer, I was a DH racer trying to work my way up the ranks and seeking to get an advantage through hard work on the bike and in the gym.  Over the years, I moved away from DH racing but my love for riding and competition never let up. I continued to seek out information about how to use the gym in the best way possible for helping my riding exploits. I hired trainers to teach me basic training form and technique and read up on the latest strength and conditioning research and techniques. Always striving to learn the latest training techniques and methods, through the eyes of a cyclist, the information on training for cyclist has become more sophisticated.

The MTBDryland performance program is my opportunity to share what I have learned and help you make the most of your time in the gym so that you can enjoy a better ride. Its the program I wish I had access to during my DH days - a bike specific program on a privateers budget.  I strive to teach safe technique, proper form while sheding light on the nuances of training smart.  All this while working out with other like-minded and focussed riders!

Periodized training:

The MTBDryland performance program training progresses from laying a strong foundation and getting the technique and form dialed in November and December so that as we move into the new year and get closer to April our work is more focussed and specific to the sport. Beyond April participants will have a program to follow on their own and the option to do a 1x week maintenance program.

Personalized programs:

Each participant training program is personalized. Each participant will work within their own parameters inorder to achieve their personal best. It’s important in the BONDtraining program that participants safely learn how to maximize their strengths, and minimize their weaknesses, so that when race season comes around they are confident about their fitness and excited to line up on the start line to hear...."Rider Ready,... watch the lights....GO!!!!"

Ready to take your riding and training to the next level? Visit here for more information or contact Jason to reserve your space today!

- Jason


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High Cascade 100 – Race Report

Mandie and I made the trip to Bend Oregon for the High Cascades 100.  The HC100 is part of the NUE US series of 100 mile mountain bike races. Getting to the event involved a long drive(aprox 9hrs one way) but it was well worth it. We felt prepared (see previous blog post for some insight into Mandie’s training) and were excited for the event.  On Saturday July 21st, our alarms went off at 4:00am and at 5:30am the race start was greeted with anticipation and wonder. We set off with over 320 other participants and left the start feeling ready for the 100mile adventure that laid ahead.

Mount Bachelor can be seen through the trees.

And off we went riding beautiful, high-plateau trails under the shadow of Mount Bachelor.  We experienced a lot of climbing and a few fast fun descents.  I have to give Mandie huge props as she had a really good crash at about the 4hr mark taking a significant hit to the hip. She was a little shaken by it but did very well to manage the damage and push on for another 4+hours. Of the 160km course we made aprox 90k before we missed a timing cut-off. Timing cut-offs are often used in longer events and can be placed at a couple points along the course.  They are used so that the volunteers and organizers don’t have to wait on course until the whee hours of the night for riders to finish - its for everyones safety. After not making the cutoff we chose to pedal back to the hotel rather than wait for the broom wagon - the ride back added an additional 30k to our day for a total of 120k - epic right? To put the amount of climbing we had completed up to this point in the the day into perspective - over 80% of the ride on the highway back to the hotel was spent descending.  If you look at the 90k mark on the garmin info you can see the profile of the course.

Details for the entire ride.

In Mandie’s preparation, and participation in the event itself, she successfully pushed her boundaries(see previous blog post). As a result she is very comfortable with the idea of riding 120km’s ON HER mountain bike. After the HC100 I jokingly said to her “Fondo shmondo - anybody can ride 120k on a road bike”. She knows that isn’t totally true but she also knows the point I’m making - She took on a bigger challenge and in the process conquered some major milestones along the way.

Valley view

Gorgeous valley view seen while on-course.

The portion of the course that we rode had a LOT of climbing(see the Garmin print out). Upon reviewing our experiences, and looking forward to a successfully completed 2013 HC100, Mandie will be doing the long training rides regularly over the months, rather than weeks, prior to the event. She will also be focussed on bringing up her average cruising speed too - specifically on the climbs. The training plans are already being drafted.

Mandie and I were in Bend for all of 36hours. Its a lot of driving for such a short stay but I needed to be back to Vancouver right after the event. Mike(the organizer) and the Mudslinger crew have a great event on their hands. I can’t wait to participate in this event and events like it in the future. Based on my snap shot-like view of the community, and doing some preliminary online research, Bend Oregon has a strong mountain bike scene, with a great network of trails, bike shops, event organizers etc.. There are a boat load of trails to explore. Definitely what we saw on course catered to the XC crowd, but I have had word from @EricWongMTB that the big bike trails are very fun and definitely worth checking out too. In addition recent web chatter has been buzzing about the burgeoning SuperD/Enduro scene in and around Bend. I can’t wait to go back and next trip I plan to stay put for a little longer in order to explore the area further. More importantly Mandie and I both have plans to go back and successfully ride the 2013 edition of HC100.

Event Awards

Awards Event - late finishers rolled past and had a huge crowd cheering!

Good video of the HC100 as it unfolded for the race leaders here.

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High Cascade 100 – One Week Out!

High Cascade 100 MTB Race - One Week Out!

As I write this post Mandie and I are just over a week away from doing the High Cascade MTB 100(HC100).

After a wild Test of Metal(TOM),weather wise it was the wettest in history, we were both wondering what would be our next challenge. We were happy with the results of our training and were seeking a new training goal. About the same time I received a Facebook message about spots being available for the HC100 and so we were presented with a potential candidate for the next challenge.

LSCR Bowl - An example of an amazing vista one may see while cycling in, or near, Vancouver, BC.

I’ve been intrigued by the ultra distance MTB movement currently happening in the USA. There is a National Series(NUE) of 100mile mountain bike events, the AZT 300/700 and the CTR, Leadville etc. These events are on my radar and I am looking forward to completing them in the near future.


HC100 is a 100 mile mountain bike race that starts in Bend Oregon and circumnavigates Mount Bachelor Ski resort. 100mi is 160km - Over 11000 feet(3300m) of climbing - it’s a crazy load of cycling, even more so when done off-road. 80% of the race is on single track and based on my preliminary research the trails look fast and flowy(Check out this footage of Upper Whoops). Bend is nearly 4000 feet above sea level and the race course only goes higher. Last year the winners did the race in about 8.5 hrs. The slowest riders, that made the various cut offs, did the ride in 16.5hrs.

I’m a passionate cyclist and use cycling events to push my own fitness and skill level. I love cycling so much that I've created work around sharing the sport with others - so I coach on the bike and have specialized my personal training to help individuals with their cycling goals. This year I did TOM for my 2nd time. The TOM and Whistler GF are my “A” events for 2012. I had a great TOM ride this year but was WAY off on my goal time - so its back to the drawing board I go. Mandie is a client of mine and I had the pleasure of introducing Mandie to mountain biking in 2007 and MTB racing, her first race was the Sunshine Coaster, in 2008. She has since gone on to do the BC Bike Race, Police Games, Ore Crusher and other great rides. This year we trained together for the Test of Metal. Since TOM she has purchased her first full suspension bike. The new bike is just one part of her story in the sport. In her own words she is “built for the long haul” and I know she is excited about doing the Cascade 100 as a stepping stone to doing the CTR.

Looking Ahead to the HC100:2012 Edition

If the weather is good in Bend on July 21st our biggest challenge will be staying well hydrated as both the moderate altitude and heat will be working against us. Two other challenges we are currently facing down - I have been racked with a "Code 5 Flu" that 1 week later is lingering in the form of low energy - I’ve got a week to get my strength back. Mandie is on a brand new bike and shoes. Both serious upgrades from her previous set-up but the changes are happening with a small window to get acquainted and adjusted. We are one week out, Mandie has hit her training goals leading up to this week (she had a heavy training schedule last week) and here is our plan for the week leading up to the HC100....

Schedule - July 15 - 20
Saturday-8 hr ride on the new equipement. Zone 1 HR
Sunday-Rest or easy ride/run
Tuesday-Moderate workout. Gym session for Mandie, I will be doing the UBC road crits
Wednesday-Easy 30min ride
Thursday-Easy 30min ride - Pack and prep.
Friday-Hit the road by 7:30am. Drive to Bend, Or. Easy ride.

Details on Saturday's Training Ride

Saturday. 8 hr ride on the new equipement. Zone 1 HR riding the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve(LSCR).

There are 4 things we are trying to achieve with this ride.
+ Keep our fitness primed for the July 21st event.
+ Nail our nutrition for the training ride.
+ Make sure comfort on the new bike is dialed.
+ Stay true to Zone 1 Heart Rate during the ride.

2 sub goals...
+ Use the Circuit 8 trail to tune Mandie into the joys of riding a Full Suspension bike ie. better climbing, better traction(therefore better control), ability to pump the bike AND to get her tuned into the power of pumping for speed and efficiency.
+ Use Homestead trail for the initial hard climb. If/when we end up walking homestead than we will cut this section out of the ride and use the twin bridges climb. Both Circuit 8 and Homestead will be the only areas where HR is going over Mandie's Z1 limit.

In preping for the Test of Metal, Mandie used the services of Peak Centre for Human Performance to dial in her HR zones for both her running and cycling. Mike and the crew at Peak did a great job in giving her concrete HR numbers and a plan to follow as she prepared for TOM. Mandie did a great job in working the plan and her follow up test at Peak was a testament to their programming and her hard work.


Yesterday(Saturday July 14th) we did the big training ride - 100km Mtb'ing over the coruse of 8+ hours. Mandie did it all on the new bike and with the new shoes. She is really excited about the new gear and we are both excited that comfort and performance have only improved over what she was using before. We nailed all 4 goals plus the 2 sub goals for the ride. Mandie was thrilled by the ability to pump the bike through the trails AND she climbed Homestead trail TWICE!!! The second climb we did at the 70km mark. So awesome!

Mandie-First time cleaning the climb on Homestead trail and so STOKED!!!

She claims its the new bike - the traction offered by a FS bike really helps on those steep loose pitches, but its also a testament to her fitness. I was really proud to see her clean that climb for the first time and its proof that her fitness is improving. One is bound to have a great ride in the LSCR - such a gorgeous park minutes from downtown Vancouver. We took our time to explore some of the spurs in the north end of the park - neither of us had seen Lost Lake. We were pleasantly rewarded with the new bridge near the dam that connects the East and West sides of the valley allowing us to make a giant loop.

LSCR Bear Island Bridge

Whoever had the forsight to invest the resources necessary into this bridge and accompanying trail I just want to say a huge THANK YOU! I am very grateful. On that note is it possible to develop a bit more of a Richard Juryn inspired trail network in the north end of the park? There is so much great terrain within the park and a new XC trail would take some of the traffic off of the paved path - I'm just sayin'. Well all in all yesterday was a great day and a great confidence boost leading into the HC100.

100+km's and standing strong!

I look forward to providing an update on our final prep this week. I’m so excited to take on this event with Mandie and can’t wait to soak in all 100mi of epic riding.

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Train like an endurance athlete

In my previous blog post I wrote about Four Smart Training Principles that every cyclist needs to consider when training for a fondo. One of the four principles is training as an endurance athlete. Training to complete a Fondo or other long distance cycling event is no small goal and it requires time. As a new cyclist, the time required to train may sound overwhelming. Below I'll discuss the four main components of endurance training and how I suggest you fit them into your weekly schedule.

Early morning training ride

Your weekly training plan should incorporate the following three types of rides and cross training workout:

1. Long Slow Distance (LSD)
Your LSD ride will be about "time-in-the-saddle." Moving along slower than your goal pace or at a conversational pace. You're striving for progressively longer periods of time in the saddle and, for most, weekend days with an early start are ideal for these rides. The majority of your training schedule will consist of this type of ride.

2. The Tempo ride
This ride can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an an an 1:45 minutes in length and will be at a higher intensity than your LSD ride.  The goal of this ride is to be moving along at your desired pace for the fondo.  Be smart about your route selection for this ride (as with all rides) as you will want to be safe while striving for a higher average speed. Scheduling this as a weekday early morning ride will allow you time on the road without all the traffic.

3. Intervals/Skill Development
In classic terms, intervals refer to hard, intense short efforts broken up with periods of ample rest and then repeating. These efforts should be at an intensity that is harder than your desired pace for the fondo. In training for the fondo, intervals of 1:30 to 5 minutes can be useful and I would recommend starting with a 1:1 ratio of work to rest.  So if your interval is 1:30 in length, you would take 1:30 (or more) to recover and then repeat the interval. As your fitness improves and you become more competent, you'll want to increase the intensity of the interval, shorten the period of rest and repeat the drill more times in a session.  For someone that is just getting into cycling the focus of this workout should be skill development. Whether climbing hills or sprinting along the flats, taking turns at the front of a group of riders or simply practicing drinking from your bottle while rolling along - the goal of this ride is to increase your cycling strength, efficiency, speed and confidence.

4. Cross training
Include some physical activity other than cycling into your total training time. Cycling involves repetitive movement for long periods of time and reinforces a posture that our modern lifestyle (think driving or being seated in front of a computer) already exacerbates. A good cross training program will help keep overuse injuries at bay, address muscles imbalances, address mobility issues, reinforce good posture and will contribute to your longevity and performance on and off the bike.  The gym, yoga, pilates, field sports, hiking, running, skiing, and climbing all have something to contribute to your cycling fitness.  At the very least leaving 10 minutes after a ride to throw down a mat, do core work and stretching will go far in contributing to your health and fitness.

It's ideal to fit three rides into your week, however life happens. With limited time you may want to consider alternating the tempo and interval or skill development rides while maintaining the weekly long ride(s). While it's important to adhear to a training plan, missing a ride or two does happen. In my upcoming blogs I'll discuss rest weeks and how to come back after taking time off. BONDtraining offer's group training programs in the Learn to Fondo and Train to Fondo faster programs which begin this April. Private training programs are also available.

Have questions or comments? Please feel free to comment below.

Enjoy the ride!

- Jason

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Smart Training to Get Fit for your Fondo

On Friday evening I had the pleasure of speaking at Caps Bike Shop in New Westminster at their  Train to Fondo Fondu event. All of the attendees were enthusiastic cyclists with a range of experience and there was a lot to learn, from bike fit and gear selection to training and fueling. Caps did a great job pulling in experts to cover it all. In my talk, as a coach and trainer, I wanted to cover something that every cyclist needs to consider when training for a fondo - Four Smart Training Principles to get Fit for your Fondo.

Caps Bicycles Fondo Fondu and BONDtraining

Four Smart Training Principles to Get Fit for your Fondo

1. Pick a Goal 
Use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria in deciding upon the goal. Be specific about the goal - if it's your first fondo, then perhaps your goal is to commit to train and finish the event. Make it measurable - identify how you will determine success, based on a specific time you want to complete the ride or again by simply completing the event.  Ensure your goal is attainable and relevant. Training for an endurance event is a big deal, make sure your goal fits in with your other responsibilities and ambitions (work, family, etc).  Make it timely. You've picked the event and registered, now you have to set aside the time to train.

2. Train like an Endurance Athlete
The Fondo is an endurance event and requires that you train like an endurance athlete. It's a sport that requires time in the saddle and consistency. Your weekly training plan should incorporate the following three types of rides:

Long Slow Distance (LSD). This is "time-in-the-saddle" and is often a weekend ride building up in time.
Tempo. This is a shorter ride intended for working on riding at your desired race or event  riding speed.
Intervals/Skill Development. A workout where you will push your cycling speed or focus on cycling skill development such as riding in a group.

3. Cross Train. Include some physical activity other than cycling into your training. Cycling involves repetitive movement for long periods of time and reinforces a posture that our modern lifestyle (think driving or being seated in front of a computer) already exacerbates. A good cross training program will help keep overuse injuries at bay, address muscles imbalances, address mobility issues, reinforce good posture and will contribute to your  longevity and performance on the bike.  The gym, yoga, pilates, field sports, hiking, running, skiing, and climbing all have something to contribute to your cycling fitness.  At the very least set aside 10 minutes after a ride to throw down a mat, do core work and stretching.  It will go far in contributing to your health and fitness.

4. Look after yourself.
You have control over two things that science is showing time and time again affects your performance - a lack of sleep and being dehydrated. So look after yourself! Get the sleep you need, hydrate, have a good nutrition plan and pull in your health experts (chiro, acupuncture, physio, naturopath, nutrtionist) as  you need them.

Most importantly make sure you're having fun.  Endurance events are as much about your mental space, as your physical ability. Riding a bike should be fun and allow you to clear your mind. Have a great ride and enjoy the training!

BONDtraining offers a small group training program called Learn to Fondo that will get you ready.



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The Spring 2012 riding season is coming!

The Spring 2012 bike season is just around the corner and I'm looking forward to another great season of riding and coaching. New this spring and summer, I am offering Train to Fondo programs in addition to the BONDtraining Learn to Mountain Bike Program. BONDtraining's group bike programs began with the Learn to Race Program in 2009. Here's a video from a few years back that still inspires me.


- Jason Bond

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