Silly little things like heavy medication and dehydration don't stop champions.
They certainly didn't stop Squamish's most potent sibling mountain bike duo at the Island Triple Throw Down B.C. Cup Finals at Mt. Washington last Saturday (Aug. 28), where Neal and Meghan Kindree both overcame physical ailments to win their categories.
" Last week I got really sick from well actually I don't know why I got so sick but it sucked. I started puking and then the next day I was still sick and super dehydrated," said Neal. " I started shaking uncontrollably and I started freaking out."
A trip to Squamish General and an intravenous drip had Neal feeling a little better. "I also got a bunch of blood work done along with all those other really fun tests," he said. " I'm still waiting for the results but word is that I may have salmonella from the trip to Quebec back In July when I ate the rancid chicken wrap."
Neal says he felt surprisingly good heading to Mt. Washington for the finals.
"At this point in the year I should be slower than any other time," he explained. "I came off my first peak at the start of August and tried to lie low for a while before beginning to rebuild for peak two, which will hopefully allow me to perform well in the late season races such as the Cheakamus Challenge and G.K. Ripper. Basically what I am saying is that for this race I should have been slow. I certainly felt slow but according to the math I wasn't."
Neal started out fast and got passed by a close competitor on the first big climb. Unfortunately he took a wrong turn later in the race, skipped half the course and then jumped back on the course just in front of Neal 20 minutes later.
"I thought it was reasonable so I didn't say anything to anyone," he said.
Neal eventually found the legs to pass him and win the race, earning a gold medal for the race win, a trophy, a leader's jersey for the overall series win and $100, as well a special award for being the most consistent and most aggressive rider in the B.C. Cup series.
Kindree's sister Meghan also won at Mt. Washington to clinch the B.C. Cup series on cumulative points.
Even better, she won on knees that were pain-free for the first time since tendonitis started plaguing her in June. All season she's been on anti-inflammatory meds to keep on her bike.
"The Miracle Drugs got rid of my knee problems," she said. "I am really really happy. I haven't felt so great all year. It's just nice to be able to go out for a ride and not have to worry about being able to get home in case the knee starts acting up."
Meghan still took it easy after the last BC Cup race in Hemlock Valley Aug. 2, missing the provincial time trial championships in preparation for the finals.
"I was under strict instructions from coach Kindree (my father) to take it easy so my knee could heal completely before I started stressing it in a race," she said.
She finished her last senior expert race in first place and looks forward to racing in the pro category next year and also coming out for the GK Ripper and the Lunar Enduro.
The Kindrees were two of five local racers to place first at Mt. Washington.
Heather Rochetta topped the Jr/U17 Expert category, Aislinn Merkel won the Jr/U17 Sport and Gavin Arnott won the U17 Sport on the men's side. Brennan Covey placed a respectable third in 30-39 Expert while Christie Cunneyworth placed third in Jr/U17 Sport. See Scores & Stats for all local results.