BC Bike Race – A Nomad’s perspective

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!IMG_0622

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. FullSizeRender 32

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!p2438448870-o655301551-6

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.

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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!p2438456667-o655301551-6I’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.

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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.

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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 startIMG_0806

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!IMG_0777

Relaxing and hydration are two key factors. We got that dialled in from the start… with Matt Bruhnsp2422677348-o655301551-6

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. _MRP5586

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

 

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Back Yard Back Country in Nelson, N.Z. – with Jamie Nicoll

Earlier this year I got back to NZ to visit friends and family and introduce my son to his first kiwi summer. Of course my bike was in tow and I planned to ride as much as I could on our almost country wide tour.

We spent a few weeks in Nelson and I got to ride a tonne of trails around town with friends old and new. Nelson is quickly growing into a top mountain bike destination and has some of the best trails around.

Fellow SCB rider Jamie Nicoll is a Nelson local, where he lives a modest life in his 60’s Bedford bus. For those of you that know Jamie, you know he’s down for an adventure and is not afraid of a bit of hard work. I had suggested to him that we should do an ‘off the beaten path’ adventure ride and of course he was keen. We didn’t have a lot of time to spare between our other commitments so he said “Lets just ride from town and head up into the mountains for a day trip” so thats what we did…

 

Words by – CJ

Filming and video editing by – CJ

East Bound And Down

Who would have thought that British Columbia is not the only destination to ride bikes here in Canada. Its so easy to get caught up in out little bubble here in BC and not venture to far from the nest when it comes to exploring and riding new trails for the summer months.

Last weekend Chris and myself headed out East to Toronto, Ontario. Flying in Friday morning to Toronto we were scooped up by Matt Morrish from Cycle Solutions and made our way out to Blue Mountain Resort for a weekend of racing, riding and good times!

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All loaded up and on our way to Blue Mountain

Those of you that have not heard of Blue Mountain Resort it is located northwest of Collingwood and is situated on a section of the Niagara Escarpment. The resort is a major destination for skiers from southern Ontario and the mountain sells more than 750,000 lift tickets per year, making it the third-busiest ski resort in Canada.

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Looking down from the top of the resort on to Nottawasaga Bay on Lake Huron
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Johnston checking the trail conditions Sunday night after some heavy rain
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Collingwood’s most iconic structure

 

We were fortunate enough to be hosted by Matt and his girlfriend Brittany at her family Chalet right next to Blue Mountain.

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Home for the weekend

Saturday morning we set out with large crew of staff and shop riders from Cycle Solutions for a social ride on the “Three Stage” mountain bike trail network. The network is littered with 40km of intermediate to advanced single track. After heavy rain all week we jumped into the thick of it with plenty of laughs and banter as we slid around the trail network in the mud.

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Awesome Crew ready to ride.
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Quick warm up before we dropped in to the trails

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Post ride beers and swag bags for the riders

After lunch back at the Chalet a few riders joined Chris and myself to practice the BC Enduro Series Course for Sunday. Blue Mountain is clay based and after heavy rain the conditions varied from super tacky to all out slippery fun.

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Over an hour to clean this rig ready for race day
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Tasty

Sunday was race day and the Cycle Solutions Crew was out in force to cheer and heckle us on and support all the racers out on course for the day. The stages for the race had a good mix of fun and technical terrain.

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The Best cheer squad out on course

Sunday evening finished off with a few beers with new friends and a look back on some new riding experiences we had shared over the weekend.

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Post ride froth!

 

Monday morning we packed up at Blue Mountain and we made our way back to Toronto. Rainy weather kept us away from riding the much anticipated Don Valley trail network located in the heart of the city we had heard so much about.  I guess it will just have to wait until next time as I think this wont be our last trip exploring out East!

 

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The Whistler Toonie Scene

Every Thursday afternoon in Whistler mountain bikers come from all over to rip out their lungs on the trails of Whistler for this fun summer race and ride series held by Whistler Off Road Cycling Association. This one is unique racing up the Olympic bobsled track!

Cypress Mountain DH Laps!

 

Chris has been shuttling DH laps with some mates on the shore. Check out some of the follow cam action…
It starts off with one gentle little double then into some savage trail gaps followed by some of the fastest white knuckle gripped riding on the shore… so much awesome!
Such a solid day shuttling with the boys…

 

New Bike Day!

Chris’ fresh Tall Boy is ready to hit the dirt!

Check out his set up and parts build below –

  • Frame – XL (Rider height – 6’0″)
  • Fork – Fox Float 34
  • Shock – Fox DPS
  • Wheels – Enve M60, 32h bladed spokes
  • Hubs – Chris King, Mango Boost 110x15mm Front, 148×12 Rear
  • Crank – Shimano XTR double 28-38
  • Front derailleur- XTR Di2 Synchro Shift (One shifter)
  • Rear derailleur- XTR Di2
  • Cassette 11 spd XTR 11-40
  • Handlebar – Enve DH cut down to 770mm
  • Stem – Enve AM 40mm
  • Grips – Ergon GE1 Slim
  • Seat Post – Fox Transfer 150mm
  • Saddle – Ergon SME3 with Ti rails
  • Tires – Maxxis DHR2 Front, Maxxisd Minion Semi slick Rear