By: Felix Burke
At 22, I wrapped up my last U23 season last September. I became Canada Cup champion, a goal I had dreamed of for a long time. It was the culmination of the past 6 years of pouring my heart and soul into bike racing. Those were years that taught me so much about life and myself, years that I absolutely loved.
At 22 years old, a racer will move from the U23 category to the elites. It is the category where the genetic outliers have made all the sacrifices needed to succeed and small mistakes can make a big difference. It is an intimidating yet inspiring category.
As I face this next step however, a feeling of confusion took the place of the laser like focus I had had for a long time. Goals that I had did not excite me as much as they once did and new goals were creeping to the edge of my mind. I found myself in a whirlwind of questions.
Am I willing to live the lifestyle required to rise to the top of the ranks of the elite category of Olympic cross-country racing? What truly are the aspects of riding my bike that fuel the fire of passion I have for the sport? What am I doing to have a positive impact on people and am I having fun doing it? What are these new projects that seem to occupy my mind lately?
Trying to answer these questions while tackling a full course load of an economics degree was driving me crazy! So like any crazy person with an obsession for adventure, I spent all my savings on a car, hitched my bike to the back and headed for the open road with the hope that some of those answers lie along new horizons…
Felix Burke is cross country racer from Mont-Tremblant, Que., training in Victoria, B.C. while studying at the University of Victoria. In 2018, Burke achieved his goal of winning the Canada Cup XCO series overall, racing for Rocky Mountain Bicycles. When returning to studies and training in September didn’t feel right, Burke decided to find answers on the trail. Where the Trail Leads is Burke’s story of the journey that follows. Chapter 2: Planning and Friends. Chapter 3: Mt. Hood, Ore.