The BC Bike Race is a seven day mountain bike stage race (plus a 10 minute prologue) that encompasses some of the best mountain biking that BC has to offer. It includes 202 miles, 27,461 total feet of elevation, and 22 hours of total ride time, multiple bus rides, 3 ferry rides, 600 of our best friends, and LOTS of food.
The first day included two different mountains. I think the purpose of this was to lull you into a false sense of security. The first mountain was gradual beautiful single track climbs, and then smooth flowy FAST descents. The second mountain was an entirely different beast. We came gasping to the top and then immediately pointed down at an angle that, were one to make a false move, would involve careening/ping ponging/ tomahawking/generally having a bad time and getting pretty bruised and dirty until one either reached the bottom, or came into contact with one of the numerous trees or boulders strewn about. And then you’d have to hike back up to retrieve your bike. Thankfully none of these things occurred and with many a whoop (me) and a few how did you not just crash (Jeff to me) we made it safely to the bottom.
Things pretty much carried on in this vein, with a few minor crashes, and the addition of death bridges until day four. An aside about the death bridges…. These were not the happy, wide, anti-slip treated, -with-railings-bridges that we have in capitol forest. Nay-nay-nay. These bridges were out to get us. They were unreasonably narrow with trees at inopportune moments reaching out with strangling twigs and branches, straining to grab your throat and throw you viciously off the tight wire that the crazy trail builders considered reasonable. These bridges spanned miles and miles (it seemed) and had tricky turns to navigate, spectators jeering and waiting to see the carnage, and in really extreme cases, medical personnel to pick up the pieces. I digress. Day four was wet. And short. The shortest day of all the days with the least amount of elevation gain. But it was ROOTY. And slippery. And not one of my brightest shining moments. It wasn’t one of Jeff’s most shining moments either; as I was struggling through, back aching and generally not my cheery self, he coldly told me that if we weren’t going to be racing after all that he was ok with it. And I, quite reasonably I feel, screamed at him and started crying. (I’m not much of a crier under normal circumstances, unless I’m really tired or really hungry, but there is something about racing that sends me right over the edge.)
Days five through seven went swimmingly. We rode bikes. We ate. We hung out with our new friends. We slept; we rinsed and repeated. The weather was perfect. My legs hurt, Jeff was infallible.
The crazy thing, to me; was finishing. Waking up the eighth morning with the realization that we didn’t get to ride our bikes on some of the most amazing trails that the pacific northwest has to offer. Previous to the BCBR I thought I was pretty lazy, I enjoy a Sunday on the couch as much as the next person. But THIS. My body was made to move, and once you persuade yourself that you aren’t going to die, it feels mighty grand.