It's just like Christmas...you wait all year for the BC Bike Race, so excited for a week of nothing but riding, eating and sleeping....then it's over, just like that. Just under 22 hours of mountain biking....predominately singletrack!!!!! no wonder my arms are huge!!..hehe.
Day 1 was all in Naniamo, great job Norm and the rest of the trail designers on the amazing and hard first day...what a way to knock us into reality quickly grinding through the abyss. Day 2 in Cumberland was definitely a highlight.....well, everyday is pretty much a highlight.....hammering up Forbidden Plateau, followed by loosing 500m of elevation in under 4 km!!! Day 3 in Powell River was a new stage, some amazing trails there....now that 500 racers have traveled over them they are going to be really sweet to ride! Day 4, Earl's Cove to Sechelt was a killer climbing day. Started out with a water taxi ride from Saltery Bay to Earl's Cover...super neat experience. Hump day last year was the day I cracked hard, so we budgeted our energy a little better this year, and with way more singletrack this year on this stage then last year....it was a really good idea!
Rainy day 5 from Sechelt to Langdale was the rough day for me, this was my day to crack (eating breaky an hour before hammering made my guts crack a little too.....and I thought it'd be a good idea to eat turkey sausage....Right!!)...the only thing that kept my pedals turning a couple times was the knowledge that this stage ended with I think a 12 km amazing downhill to the ferry terminal!!! YEAH!!!!!!! That one got more then a few hoots and hollers outta of our train. Day 6 .... Squamish....they always do an amazing job here. What, with the new government funded Half Nelson trail mixed in ....... I totally want to go do that one again soon. Day 7 in Whistler was somewhat interesting....as per usual from what I've heard....but better then last years course. After the lead group taking a wrong turn about a minute in and circling back up the mountain to slot ourselves back into the thick of things, we hammered straight up the mountain for about 20 mins, then straight back down on Crank it Up....similar to Squamish's Half Nelson, but really beat in and rough from the downhillers. Finishing up the stage and the week on the Whistler Lost Lake trails...which are pretty freakin fun.
Had a great time racing again with Jeff (the Mule) Neilson. The first 4 days we road really strong and didn't leave much of a time gap between Catharine Pendrel and Geoff Kabush in front of us and Wendy Simms and Norm T-BO nipping at our heels. Day 5, just as Jeff's legs were really starting to come around, I cracked a little and had to really dig deep to keep moving. My guts weren't super happy either, so keeping moving was definitely a necessity. Nothing like passing out for 2 hours right after the race before supper.....did I ever need that! Day 6 was also a struggle for me, but the course was so much fun that I started to come around again near the end......followed this day up with a good long nap too. I think that was my problem, just not recovering properly at the end of each day and it slowly creeped up on me and slappedd the life outta my legs on day 5 and 6. Day 7 was hard....full on short race pace for the entire loop!!!
Now, I'm walking zombie like around struggling to focus on the smallest tasks...hehe...definitely in need of a couple of days of recovery :) Casey, my brother, flew out to support us, it was super cool having him there for the week...doing my laundry and buying me food...hehe. Regan got a lat minute entry as a blog writer for pedalmag.com and it was really neat seeing him experience the race from a racers side versus the support side that he did last year. Considering he had zero prep time going into the race he did an amazing job!!!
Thanks Jeff for riding with me again :) and I can't wait to tear your legs off at the TR....right :)
My Trek Top Fuel was an amazing bike for this kind of race. I've really enjoyed learning how to ride and race a hardtail again this year, but for the longer stage race a full suspension is sooooo nice. The Fuel climbs so well and with a flip of the switch on the rear shock from pro-pedal to open, it rides like a bigger all mountain bike on the rough trail. I love it.
2 weeks until Nationals in Canmore...yippeeee!!!! Hope my "secret training" works good this year!