Last month I was invited to BC Bike Race. A 7 day XC event that covers some of British Columbia’s finest single track. This race has been on my bucket list for a while and this year was my opportunity to check it out and challenge myself to some multi day XC stage racing!
Riders gather at Horseshoe bay to catch the first of many ferry rides during the week ahead.
Day 0 was a meet and greet. We got an introduction from the BCBR staff, some of the speeches had all of us laughing our faces off as they described the ins/outs and do’s/don’ts of the week, including “The two types of cougars to watch out for in Whistler” and “If you have a complaint for our staff please just go eat something first before you come see us. Don’t come to us all hangry”… so true!)
We collected our race packs, dropped our bikes and bags off for transport and boarded the ferry headed for Vancouver Island.
It was awesome to have fellow Enduro racer Jesse Melamed along for the week as well, we had some fun days shredding together out on the trails!
Brett Tippie’s words of advice on Day 0 were ‘We take fun seriously’ so I made sure to obey the law of the Tip from Day 1.
Hammering through the woods of Powell River leading out the group -Day 2
Enduro racing is against the clock so the mass starts and riding in bunches made for some adrenalising racing and a reminder how fun XC can be!I’d definitely be lying if I said it was all easy… Day 3 was a hump day for me and to crest over the top of the biggest climb into this descent was a huge relief but it wouldn’t the last climb… I used almost everything to keep charging to the line.
There were daily Yoga/stretch sessions at camp after the racing was done. Awesome to see so many people joining in and giving it a go. A huge compliment to a big day in the saddle.
The Sunshine coast provided the most fun and flow of the week. The trails worked perfectly with smaller travel bikes and you could carry some amazing speed pumping and doubling all the natural features along the trails and it was an 8km descent to the finish line!
Some of the gear I took with me during the week… fresh kit (sporting the maple leaf), good nutrition, spare chain pins taped to my race plate, a tire plug, daily stickers of the stage profile and a Garmin to gauge the suffer levels…
Day 3 kicked off with a float plane flight to Earls Cove, an absolutely stunning commute… Who let CX legend Tim Johnson take the wheel?
Bikes await riders to arrive at the ferry terminal for the stage start
Day 6 in Squamish was a big one. We rode some of the best trails in the network and covered a tonne of ground. We rode everything from jump trails, flowy single track and some steep technical trails. A really really fun course!
Relaxing and hydration are two key factors. We got that dialled in from the start… with Matt Bruhns
The Final day in whistler took us over some classic Whistler terrain. Lots of rock rolls and steeps to keep you on your toes, sharp punchy climbs and the type of terrain that eats tires. The pace was hot and everybody gave it everything they had left. I was stoked to finish strong and take 12th overall in a stacked field.
Crossing the finish line felt pretty good. After such a big week of riding (16+ hours total race time) and being so involved in the whole camp life it almost felt weird to pack up and head home to normal life…
A big thanks to all those that made the week so enjoyable and thanks to BCBR and their amazing staff that make it such a smooth running, dialled event. Now I know what its all about I’ll just have to train more and be more prepared next year!
Cheers – Chris J
Photo Credit – Dave Silver, Margus Riga, Dylan Wolsky, Erin Bruhns, Scott Pilecki