Despite a difficult start, Trevor Thew’s second year on the Enduro World Series tour has gone downhill quickly.
In his sport, that’s a good thing.
Thew dislocated his shoulder last winter and spent three months on the couch before jumping straight into the World Series when it kicked off in New Zealand in March. He admits that was a challenge.
“It was hard getting back in the flow mentally,” the Duncan rider said shortly before flying to Switzerland for the last stop on the World Series on Sept. 21. “I was tentative coming off the injury.”
Thew has raced in all eight World Series events, as well as three or four other races, making for a busy year of riding and travel.
“This time of year, you’re sacked out and ready for a break,” he said, noting that the flying and added stress of having to make sure his bike makes it to the same part of the globe where he’s heading is the most stressful part of the series. “I can’t complain though, I get to ride in a lot of cool places.”
The 2019 series has taken Thew to New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Italy and France, as well as a Canadian stop in Whistler and a U.S. stop in California. His additional races included the June 9 Island Cup event on Mount Tzouhalem, literally around a few corners from his home, where he won the Elite Division for the second straight year.
“It’s cool to have one close to home,” Thew said of the Tzouhalem race. “I have to keep coming and hold down the crown. I make sure I’m around, even if I have to fly out the next morning.”
The Island Cup race is about half the length of a World Series race, and the terrain isn’t as challenging, but it’s important to support the local event, Thew said, and it helps him keep a competitive mindset between World Series stops.
“Even if you’re doing a grassroots race that’s not super challenging, it still puts you in the racing mentality, which is good to get used to,” he noted.
Thew also competed in the Canadian Championships at Panorama in July, where he placed seventh.
“I missed last year, so I made a point of going this year,” he said. “I went in with no real expectations.”
As far as the World Series goes, perhaps Thew’s biggest achievement this year is just finishing every race, something not every rider can claim.
“There are a lot of people crashing out,” he pointed out. “It’s pretty gnarly.”
That statement came with a knock on wood as there is still one race left, in territory Thew has yet to lay eyes on.
“I don’t know what Switzerland will be like,” he said, adding that he heard they’ve had snow already. He had to ride in snow at a race in Scotland last winter, and didn’t care for it.
“It’s not ideal,” he said. “It sucks. I hate riding in snow. But you grit your teeth and do it.”
Once the World Series is over, Thew might ride the Island Cup Enduro Final on Maple Mountain on Sept. 29, then he’ll try to take a proper break.
“I’m pretty tired right now,” he admitted. “I’m ready to take a break. It would be nice to take maybe a month and not have to push myself, just have fun.
“I always tell myself I’ll take a month, but it usually ends up being a week or two.”
He plans to spend most of the winter at home in the Cowichan Valley.
“If we get hit with a heavy winter, maybe I’ll go to California where it’s still ridable,” he said. “That seems to be what lots of people are doing.”
Next spring, Thew plans to return to the World Series circuit, which kicks off in Colombia and Chile, returning to South America after a year’s absence. The Colombia stop was “really sick” last year, Thew said, despite a lot of rain.
“It would be nice to go back and ride in dry conditions,” he said.
In all, Thew is pleased with his second year on the Enduro World Series, and eager to get off to a healthy start on next year’s circuit.
“This year there’s been a lot less of a learning curve, which is nice,” he said.