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A Little Tiddly about ‘Homage to Ice’ 2012

April 16, 2012

The 2012 cross country season has begun with the annual, and unpredictable, ‘Homage to Ice’ event (H2I) at the Mansfield Outdoor Centre and surrounding Dufferin County Forest. Unpredictable only because of Mother Nature. This early season race has seen snowy fields and icy trails in the past but despite the call for steady rain the trails were hard packed and dustless this year. Perfect to test winter legs, hone rusty technical skills and ride the new bike.

As I stood at the start line I marveled and drooled at the newer bikes especially the single speeds for their simplicity and sheer beauty. While the Mansfield terrain is not overly technical the relentless roller coaster hills make for a challenging ride and choosing the right bike is paramount for comfort. Those aspiring to land a podium spot will also spend time choosing their steed wisely. And, perhaps this is why I enjoy this event so much – it is one of those rare races where any bike goes and race results largely depend on fitness, bike choice and skill. This year, a record number of 29er’s came out, one cyclocross, a Fisher Price three wheeler, a multitude of dualies and the effervescent hard tail rocked the trails.

Over 140 riders came out to enjoy the days festivities. Dan Marshall of Substance Projects executed a flawless 25 km and 50 km loop with the right amount of climbing and lots of fun, flowy single track. In between, über cool music shaked the camp while hamburgers flew off the barbeque feeding hungry riders filtering in from their single track exploits.

Set in picturesque Mulmur Hills, Ontario the terrain consisted of rolling hills, deep valleys, fire roads and all the single track you can handle. The trails were nicely marked with big bright orange arrows and getting lost was not an option. Most wore long sleeves on this cool cloudy day that saw a few patches of drizzle and riders smiled as they settled into rhythm letting their legs dictate the pace over curvy turns and climbs.

For some H2I was an all out race fest in comparison to others who simply wanted to ride some great single track and not get lost. The following hammerheads, as I affectionately call the fast ones, clocked some very fast times.

H2I 2011 trails were under snow making skill and fitness a large factor in the standings.

Taking home the gold, Liam was visibly knackered after a hard fought race on trails specially built for little cruisers. His little legs rocked that Fisher Price!

Mikaela Kofman (first place women open) working hard knocking off the 50 km one by one.

Welcome riders to H2I 2012.

Tanya Hanham riding the downhill in style.

Kelsey Krushel krushing the competition with a 7th overall and hamming it up for the camera.

Deep valleys and short steep climbs require riders to choose their bikes properly.

Jonathan Mckinley winding through the hardwood forest.

Chatting it up before the start of the 50 km race.

Chris Blacklock breathing hard under drizzle.


Congratulations to all the participants for a race well done. It was great to see everyone and seeing everyone ride with smiles on their faces made me miss riding myself. Whether you ride downhill or cross-country going the distance is a great way to test early season fitness levels. And, as we all know the better shape you are in the more enjoyable your ride! Full results can be found here: http://www.substanceprojects.com/sites/default/files/Results%202012%20H2i.pdf


25 km
Under 20 Male
1. Aaron Thomas
2. William Elliott
3. Sennen Morris

20-39 Male
1. Tom Kakamousias
2. John Cauchi
3. Mark Brusso

40+ Male
1. Alex Sanchez
2. Mike Vantil
3. Johnny Yeaman

Single Speed Male
1. Peter Hennessy
2. Louis Wong
3. Larry woo

Open Women
1. Catrina Cauchi
2. Lenka Branichova
3. Sara Lee

50 km
Under 20 Male
1. Michael Liralametto
2. Trent Meyers
3. William Clarke

20-39 Male
1. Jacob McClelland
2. Kevin Massicotte
3. Tyson Wagler

40+ Male
1. Paul Cooney
2. Jeff Shikaze
3. Ognjen Sokolovic

Single Speed Male
1. Andrew Maemura
2. Chris Bryce
3. Jonathan Mckinley

Open Women
1. Miraela Kofman
2. Cailey Brooks
3. Linda Shin

Cécile has a few passions in life - her kids, her bikes and her camera. Previously, she spent most of her time on the trails racing DH, DS, HS, MX and XC. She even stepped onto the podium a few times. Although no longer riding as much as she would like she still loves to coach and is currently teaching her eldest son how to wheelie. He can often be seen on his 12" bike at Joyride cutting off his mommy in the corners of the pump track. Cécile now focuses on Fine Art and Action photography.


  1. Tweak, Nate, and Tom. Lot of familiar faces at this race. Looks like an awesome event to kick off the season. Thanks Cecile!

  2. Was a super fun race!!

  3. “She even stepped onto the podium a few times”

    I remember pulling a metric nut off the motor of my car to get a fork back up and running for one of those podiums.

  4. Deathfromabove…and it is because of fine people like you that made my mtb experience awesome. i hope it was the top step too 🙂

  5. 97 Nationals at the Heights of Horseshoe. You won.

  6. hmmm…i got third there.
    I was so stoked that i pretty much drank all of Damiaan’s bubbly on the podium 🙂

  7. D’oh. 3rd. I got the results of the of the provincials and nationals mixed up.

    Your friend Gary with the Hercules, is that Gary Richards? Last time I was at Helmut’s he had 2 Hercs complete and was working on restoring a third, and I know Gary had one.

  8. His last name is Shackleton. He knows Helmut (than again who doesn’t). Do you ride?

  9. Stu. Trail Blazers. Used to race against the hubby BITD. Last time we spoke was on the ODSC forum when you got your 200, then they called a bunch of us parasites because we didn’t fatten their coffers, and we migrated over to dirtybikes.ca.

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