A local biking enthusiast headed to the Sunshine Coast and Powell River last weekend to compete in large competitions.
Pelle Gustavs, 20, has been biking since he was 10 years old. Growing up on a mountain in the relatively secluded area of East Sooke, Gustavs became inventive and used cycling as his main source of independent transit.
Since then the habit has grown, snowballing from an extracurricular activity to a competitive sport.
The Coaster on the Sunshine Coast on May 5 was Gustav’s first long distance event, where he ranked second in his age category (20-29).
The second event of the weekend was the Powell River Island Cup Series on May 6, which he began attending last year.
Gustavs began the Island Cup season in the intermediate category, and quickly moved up to expert after two wins.
In five races, he has had four top 10 finishes.
The results for the Powell River race were not posted by press time.
His love for biking is evident. Gustavs works in a local bike shop, has five bikes to his name, and builds his own biking structures on his parents’ large acreage.
Former structures embodied the North Shore freeride style, which have been replaced with more conscientious structures like a one-kilometer long cross country loop.
Although Gustavs acknowledges his fortune of having a vast space to craft biking structures, he said Sooke’s natural landscape provides plenty of hot spots for the avid cyclist.
In the last two years, Gustavs’ stylistic preference has evolved from adrenaline driven downhill mountain biking to cross country and road riding for fitness.
“There was one fall and I just got too many concussions,” he said. “I couldn’t really imagine not riding a bike so I had to find something else that was sort of a little less dangerous, I guess.”