Archived General DB Blogs
BC Bike Race 2008 - Wow!
Posted: Jul 04 2008
First of all – as participants – hats off to the BC Bike Race crew for a great, world class event. The organization was tighter this year and even with a sell-out of over 200 teams, the race went incredibly well. A special thanks to all of the volunteers who were friendly, supportive and truly out to make the racers happy.
You can read all about the race, results and see tons of incredible photos by hitting the official web site at www.bcbikerace.com
Questions for us about the race? Post them here in Shop Talk and we’ll do our best to answer!
Here’s a quick summary of race course and event details as we saw it:
- Day 0 – beautiful and welcoming location at the Shawnigan Lake School. Registration process was very smooth and fast. All racers received an amazing pile of free stuff from a wide range of sponsors – one of the best hauls we have seen at any event like this. A great opening dinner that set the stage for a full week of some of the best food you could imagine at such an event. Comfortable accomodations in the school dorms set us up for the race!
- Day 1 – the day dawned bright, clear and promised to be HOT! Other than the “grass attack” (riding twice through a fresh mown hayfield in prologue laps) that caused a mayhem of jammed drivetrains and some mechanicals, the stage went well. The course looked innocent enough on paper, but the 95-odd km trip to Lake Cowichan mixed over 1700m of climbing, some tough singletrack and the hot day to make this a stage a challenging start for most of the teams.
- Day 2 – another clear hot day combined with almost 130km of dusty rolling logging roads to further test the field on the way to Port Alberni. There was precious little singletrack due to a late course change due to some route access issues, but the day was still exciting in its own way. Try pack riding with 50 or so of your MTB friends on a dusty loose logging road for an hour or two and see how relaxed you are. Then once you get used to that, increase the heat, throw in a few climbs to total over 1200m of vertical and you’ll be dreaming of the finish line (and the excellent ‘mobile shower’ facilities available at every stop!).
- Day 3 – Clear, hot weather again for an 85km romp to Cumberland. This time the logging roads were mixed with more singletrack, almost 20km of it, some refreshing river crossings and another 1500m or so of vertical. Before Day 1 and 2, many of us would have found this a hard stage but it seemed a bit of a break after those initial days. More great dinner food hosted in friendly Cumberland.
- Day 4 – An early start (4:30 am) to make a couple of ferry crossings to our race start point in Earl’s Cove on the Sunshine coast. BC Ferries provided the breakfast, the ferry rides and some great friendly hospitality that more than made up for the early wake up. Race start at 11 am took us over 60km of incredible trails that felt like almost 100% singletrack, although the course was probably closer to 50-60%. 1500m more of climbing during this short but tough stage into Sechelt, BC was felt in even the toughest legs! Have we mentioned the great food and base camp organization yet? This location was no exception.
- Day 5 – Much anticipated from last year as a stage with some of the flowiest singletrack on the planet, Day 5 from Sechelt to the ferry at Langdale BC delivered even more than last year! The trails were excellent and seemingly unending – this innocent-looking 65km day ended up with the most climbing of any day at 1750m, lots more hot sunshine and may have combined to be the toughest and most fun stage at the same time! Another BC ferry ride and shuttle to Squamish happened before the usual evening feast and awards ceremony.
- Day 6 – New for this year, day 6 started and finished in Squamish, allowing an incredible sampler pack of the great riding in this area. A combination of some of the best of the famous Test of Metal race course and it’s lesser known brother the Gearjammer were combined for almost 70 km and around 1600m of climbing. But the numbers don’t tell the story of how fun this ride was – many riders chose this day as even better than Day 5. It all depended on how steep and fast you like your singletrack!The heat relented a bit this day, and maybe everyone was getting used to the lactic acid in the legs but it seemed almost easy…
- Day 7 – Starting with a shuttle up the road to Whistler, the final day was to be an exploration of trails around that ski resort town. Another significant change from last year, the length of the Whistler stage was almost double that of last year and gone was the time-trial format. The stage looked short at around 50km, but with 1600m of climbing and most of the course tight, rolling singletrack, the day was long for most teams. The tough course made the reward of getting to the finish line that much sweeter, where finishers got a belt buckle, T-shirt, more schwag and a chance to finally rest. It was all capped off by another excellent dinner high atop Whistler Mountain in the Roundhouse lodge.
In summary – the BCBR is a great event. The organizers have learned from other multiday events like it and improved on the model. Combine that work with incredible trails and scenery of coastal BC and you have a race that should be on your to-do list.
Our recommendation: Sign up for the 2009 version if you can!Read more Archived General DB Blogs »