It’s been a year since Victoria, B.C., resident Kitt Stringer made history for Canada by landing on the podium at the 2013 Red Bull Romaniacs (See our story from July 2013). This year, the Red Bull Romaniacs—which is taking place right now—reminded us of Stringer’s accomplishment, so we decided to catch up with the Island racer to see what’s he been up to.
As promised, Stringer set his sights this year on training for the upcoming 2014 International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) in November. He was accepted by Team Canada ISDE to help represent our country at this prestigious event. We were eager to talk about his ISDE attempt, but Stringer, unfortunately, had some sad news for us . . .
Hey Kitt, what have you been up to?
I’ve been training hard, but before we go too deep, I just pulled out of the ISDE because I crashed really bad and cracked my pelvis, and so I’ve been off from racing for the last three weeks. They said I probably wouldn’t pass the medical right now, so I decided to pull out of the ISDE for this year and I’m going to re-apply next year.
That’s too bad. What happened?
Part of the ISDE is a couple of special tests that were going to be motocross days and I don’t have a lot of experience with motocross, so International Motorsports hooked me up with a Husqvarna Tc-250 motocross bike and I’ve been doing the local track and trying local races. I went off a double funny and landed on top of the other side of it and then high-sided at high speed and slammed into the ground.
Ouch! So will you be able to ride at all this summer?
I’m going to recover for hopefully another week and then I’ll be back on the bike full time. I’m going to stay off the motorbike until I’m fully healed but I’m hitting the pedal bike and the gym again really hard and I want to get fast. Last year, for Romaniacs, I started my fitness program in January and this year, I want to start it September 1st, so I’ll have an extra three months and I hope to be a machine. And racing starts up again for the PNWMA (Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association) series August 31st so I have September, October and November to do some local racing and train here. I actually won all three of the first Island series, and until I got my injury, I was first place in the Vet Expert category. But I don’t think that’s going to last because I have missed three races in a row. I might still be able to finish Top 3 in the PNWMA series—we’ll see how things go.
Kitt Stringer competes in the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association's off-road series. — Vera Dyck photo
It sounds like you’re planning on racing both the ISDE and Romaniacs next year.
I’m not 100 per cent sure. I’m going to look at the schedule and the timing. Romaniacs is now, so it’s later in July and sometimes, the ISDE is in November and sometimes it’s later, so if they coincide, I think it would be really neat to do a double-header and stay over there. I’ve got my eye set on one of those two races for next year for sure. It’s just going to depend on timing. It was pretty neat to be selected for Team Canada ISDE.
What was it like when you came back from Romaniacs last year?
I didn’t actually take much time off the bike. A lot of people thought I’d be burnt out. It was pretty funny because all the local riders wanted a piece of me after Romaniacs so I got invited on a lot of rides, just because people wanted to say, “We beat that Romaniacs guy up that hill.” So I was kind of a marked man for a while but that was OK. I ended up bumping up into the Masters class on the Island when I got back and then finished second overall for Masters. Then I just kept doing the local races and then rode all through the winter. Since January, I have spent 90 days on the bike so far. I just love riding.
You also did the Desert 100 in April, placing 59th overall?
Yes, and there were 1,000 people in that race. It’s a really neat race because you line up bar to bar with everybody, so the start line is literally 1½ to two miles long, and you’re in a huge desertous sagebrush and everyone has to get between two flags a couple of miles down the way. They have a big cannon they fire off and it’s a Le Mans start, so you run to your bike 25 metres away, jump on your bike and everyone goes tearing off across the desert.
It was pretty intense, and for me, it was the first time I’ve done the Desert 100. The year before, I just did it as a participant but this time, I actually raced it.
Sounds like you’ve been busy.
Yeah, it’s a good sport and a good lifestyle. I’ve made lots of friends. I met a lot of people I didn’t know before, people who you can call on for whatever now. It’s like an extended family.