2011 BC Bike Race Blog and Report
July has arrived, which for me seems to mean it is time to do the BC Bike Race. I'm ready to tackle the race for the 4th time in 5 years and the routine is becoming familiar. The support vehicle is mostly packed, the bikes are ready and registration is just a few hours away. 7 days of riding gear, key spare parts, lots of riding fuel, everything is organized. The last day or two before the event are a mix of relaxation and nervous anticipation. No point in training now, rest is good, but one feels like going for a spin anyway. I'm keen to get immersed in what we call "Singletrack summer camp for adults" and begin another 7 day journey that will be familiar and all-new at the same time.
This year the Different Bikes network is well represented - 3 owners including myself are racing, 1 staff member and his spouse, several friends and regular customers, including 2 who received free entries from Different Bikes and Cycles Lambert as a result of a promotional contest. We'll try to post during and after-race reports from many of them here. I'll update along the way if time permits.
For 2011, the course has changed again, this time starting in Cumberland BC, (skipping the North Vancouver prologue and Nanaimo stages of last year) and will add a stage in Campbell river before heading to Powell River, Sechelt, Squamish and Whistler. Again this year the courses are much shorter than the original events in 2007 and 2008, focusing on less grueling but still challenging single-track heavy days - sure to create fun rides and tired bodies at the same time. For me, the big change this year is riding as a solo racer rather than part of a team. I enjoy the team format and its particular challenges and rewards (you have to try one to understand two person team dynamics), but for my 4th attempt, riding solo seemed like a new challenge. The solo class has become popular with all solo age groups appearing significantly larger than the team classes, a change from previous years.
Day 0 & 1 Setup: Cumberland
I have raced this event on a hardtail singlespeed, and on various full suspension XC bikes. This year I'll be on a 2011 Giant Anthem X Advanced SL 0, pictured below. I've been enjoying this bike so far this season - it is light (22.34lbs as pictured), the Maestro suspension is active and plush but efficient, the bike climbs extremely well and is still confidence-inspiring on descents. Our team has a complete spare bike, a 2010 Rocky Mountain Vertex RSL with SRAM XX, and lots of extra parts should any mechanicals occur. Our DB-related crew will be racing on a range of nice bikes including NIner Air9 Carbon 29er, 2 Rocky Mountain Element RSL, several Rocky Mountain Element MSL, another Giant Anthem X like mine, a Norco Faze and more.
During the race I carry some essentials like spare tubes, multitool, quick link for chain, zip ties, spare der hanger etc to handle some trailside emergencies, For 7 days, lots can happen and being perpared can help make the difference in finishing all stages. For fueling, this year I am using Hammer Nutrition products, Perpetuem in the botttle and gels in the pocket, plus Recoverite after the race. I find this will work well for me for the expected average 3 hr stage times.
It looks like a fast field in the 40+ "old guys" class that I ride in, and I'm looking forward to some challenging and fun racing for the week! Stay tuned for updates and/or post race addition to this blog.
Andy from DB
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