BCBR Day 2 Powell River

Waking up in Powel River to an ocean front view was a very nice way to wake up.

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The temp dropped which was a real blessing. Add in the better shade and this stage was a lot cooler than Cumberland. 

The trails were spectacular but much easier. I remembered many of the trails having ridden them backwards before and this was actually a big help. I knew when some of the climbs were happening and where some of the tricky bits were. 

A few times I latched on to a wheel that was just a tad slower than I normally would have ridden, but stuck there keeping myself in check to not burn out. 

Aloha trail was a hoot. Lots of people dressed up in Hawaiian gear, and a tiki bar serving drinks (shots of pineapple juice). Having seen pictures of this in previous years it was pretty surreal to be part of it this year. 

Sue made her way around the course with the help of her dad and step mom so I got so see her a few times. Definitely a boost to have that extra personal cheer. 

Nearing 51 Dodge I knew we were getting close to the last climb. I made my way up and near the crest we could hear some cheering. Another great cheering section complete with costumes and some shots of coke. 

Then the start of the descent. I passed a bunch of people on the doubletrack and nearly wiped out on one rather loose section. Once in the road I figured we had it made, but there were a couple more hills hidden. On one I was standing and could feel that familiar quad burn. 

A few more small trails and we ended up back on Willingdon trail and crossing the finish line. Another great, and dusty day in the saddle.

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Powell River has such great community support, from disembarking the ferry, to the trail maintenance, to the cheering squads, to the other umpteen volunteers helping out, to a most amazing camping location. Lots of fun, and I can’t wait to get back and ride some more. 🙂

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BCBR Day 1 Cumberland

Done and dusted and a ton of fun. I seeded myself back a ways since I am here to have fun. I ended up at the beginning of a wave of riders which was kind of fun. I’m the start chute I was pretty nervous, but as I neared the actual start line those all went away. Sue and Amy were there to see the start and it was a boost to have someone there cheering just for me.

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Very quickly my wave was off. Hitting dirt for the first time I was immediately conscious of my skyrocketing heart rate. I hit 160 pretty quickly even though I didn’t feel like I was putting out a lot of effort. I chalked it up to the heat and kept an eye on it.

The first climb was a long one and I settled into a comfortable pace and kept at it. I passed a lot of people which I found a little odd. Hitting the single track there was a huge road block. Standing for a couple minutes wasn’t any fun.

Once we got moving it was slow going for a while. I got around a few people and was able to pick up the pace a bit, until the next roadblock.

Once we got going though it was a lot of fun. My bike does excel on the downhill bits and it was fun to open it up and rip down some of the trails.

I was trailing one guy and as we rounded a corner I saw a log ride so I went for it. Halfway down the other guy wiped out and he ended up catching himself on the log. I surprised him as I passed him up on the log.

I bypassed aid station 1, but stopped at the second. I had some of the most amazing watermelon and topped up with water.

The next grind was brutal. Full sun and no breeze at all. Getting back into the single track was awesome and the descent back to the finish line was great. At one point the trail opened up into this amazing meadow. Purple flowers all around, a small singletrack through the middle, and full mountain view in the background.

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Nearing the end I saw Sue and Amy so I made a quick pit stop for some family time. It was a nice boost to see them.

Crossing the line I was pretty pumped on how the day went. I stuck to my hydration and nutrition plan, didn’t push too hard, hard no issues, had a lot of fun, and ended up with a time I was happy with. Clean up time. I handed off my bike to the wash station, got it loaded on the truck, the headed for the first bus off to Powell River.

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Waiting for the ferry I chatted with a few people, then did the typical dip in the ocean to cool down the legs a bit.

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The welcome in Powell River was pretty amazing. Tons of people lining the dock cheering and waving at us. Signs welcoming us to Powell River and a quartet of pipers off to the side.

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BCBR Day 0

Inspiring process so far. I’ve registered, got my roller bag, got my swag, bought some merch, hung out with Sue and have tried to soak all this in. Something I’ve watched from the outside for so long, I am now a part of. It still doesn’t feel real, but tomorrow we race and that is very real. 





I am a mountain biker

 

I am a mountain biker
I eat pain for breakfast
my grip is onto death and gravity is my bitch.
throughout the daily grind as the clock grunts and sputters
in its creeping lethargy my mind races ahead to the trail
that’s where the roots and rocks wait
to rattle and shake my bones back to life
to stir my blood and lungs

I am a mountain biker
cables and sinew merge
with blood and aluminium
my pounding heart is the relentless groove
that spills across this blur of greenery

My wheels – on the trail
A foot on each pedal
and mind – in the middle
surfing through centrifugal force
turning the wheel that turns the tide

I am a mountain biker
and I eat pain for breakfast

He is a mountain biker?
Behold his bulging physique
the rippling muscles of a panther
propel his silhouette across the horizon
through the mossy trees
over the stumps and jagged rocks
careening past streams,
cliffs and beasts and shadows

Spandex! Sweat! Flesh and metal collide
in a joyful symphony of speed!
The gravel flies beneath his wheels
Bones chatter, muscles burn
mud splatters, wheels turn
He is a mountain biker

She is a mountain biker
Her eyes shine with an earthly fire
eyes bright with electrolytes
the horizon crashes beneath her shocks
perched like a falcon
she swoops and dives through splendor

We are mountain bikers
We dream to ride
We ride to dream
We know that a triumphant smiling face
is best anointed with blood, sweat, mud
and washed down with a nice cold beer

We know that every revolution
begins with a firmly planted foot
We know that without the pain
the ride would be meaningless
the sky less blue and the air less sweet
You are a mountain biker, you know who you are
You’ve come this far, give yourselves a mighty roar
Let them see you howl and soar!

Today I did my last training ride under some stunning blue skies. I opted for a road ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. In a few short days the race is going to start, and I am going to be nervous, but filled with anticipation of the hard work for the week. I am a mountain biker, and I am totally looking forward to this race!

 

 

Grow Risks

9 more sleeps until the race starts. 2 more training rides this weekend, and 1 more core workout. Getting down to the wire, and my excitment is starting to grow. It is a tightness in my chest, and a ball in my stomach. I’m sure they will both get worse as the time to leave approaches.

Want to know what else is growing? My paranoia about hurting myself or getting sick. Everything around me these days is something that can potentially take me out of the race. Crossing streets I am very careful about watching cars. No unnecessary risks are being taken anywhere or any time.

9 more sleeps until the race starts, but only 6 more sleeps until I leave.

Tapering Details

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty now. My coaching has everything laid out until BC Bike Race. 


Tapering has started so this week is pretty light as is next weekend. Then the big show starts. It’s been a long road to get here and I am really anxious, but looking forward to starting the race. 

There is still some work to be done though. I need to buy a better sleeping bag, and I think I found one today. After that I start the process of packing for a week of camping and riding. Lots of little things are needed there to ensure that the race goes well. It’s all about the small details now. 

Cracked Time

Well, I think I did it now.

In a 4 hour ride I cracked out over 58 km and 1,550 m vertical, then rode again the following day, and still felt awesome.

Day 1 Cumberland – 45 km 1,153 m

Day 2 Powell River – 52 km 1,080 m

Day 3 Earls Cove to Sechelt – 57 km 1,710 m

Day 4 Sechelt to Langdale – 48 km 1,403 m

Day 5 North Vancouver – 18 km 872 m

Day 6 Squamish – 52 km 1,680 m

Day 7 Whistler – 33 km 1,569 m

During my training I’ve always wondered if I am going to be able to handle the distance and the vert in any reasonable amount of time. I definitely can, at least for one day. Really stoked on starting this race now!

18 days until the race officially begins

Event Building

 

 

23 days to go and people keep asking me how my training is going. Pretty well I supposed, but I’ve never done such a big event so I don’t know if it is enough. I’ll know for sure in a month.

One thing I do know is that I’ve been putting in some long hours in the saddle, and immediately after I am still feeling pretty good and not a total lump on the couch.

This was the last weekend in May’s riding:

For me to ride 130 KM in one day is pretty good, but then to follow it up with another 75 is pretty awesome.

The weekend after was the tail end of a recovery week.

Pretty decent ‘light weekend’.

This past weekend I needed to hit 5 hours on the bike and after a bit of hand wringing and waiting, I got my MTB back from the shop and hit the trails. I explored the Thetis Lake trail system on my way out to the Dump. I got lost, turned around, and generally confused many times, but it was pretty fun to try new trails.

I followed this up with an easy hour ride.

I have also not included all the evening rides I’ve been doing. It is a lot of work to prep for this race, but I have been enjoying it. Knowing that I can ride 56km on my MTB, get home, get cleaned up then head out for dinner is pretty awesome.

I will soon have 7 full days of this. In some ways it is still a little abstract that I am doing the race. The anticipation and nerves are building though.