Thursday, 10 July 2014

BCBR blow by blow

World Exclusive: Day by Day account of BCBR from the one and only Tony "McEnroe" Innes. He coined this particular nickname through the temper-tantrums directed at the poor roots frequenting the forests of British Columbia (anyone riding in group 2 will agree with me). The series includes a day by day account of the goings on in the 2014 BCBR. Buckle up and enjoy the ride:

Day 0: North Shore, Pub

Day zero was supposed to be rego only but sparty convinced me a course recon was a good idea.......nearly 3hrs 1200m of climbing I have concluded

1.Scenery is awesome
2.Going over the handle bars onto rocks really really no really hurts
3.My blood seems to flow quicker in canada
4.An easier trail in BC is like the national downhill in Vegas
5. Whilst I might groan my teeth at least I don't give out random moans.....quite disturbing and we aren't even tenting yet!

Cutting to chase, event goals have changed considerably I now hope to finish day 1 and go from there!

Rock on!

Day 1: North Shore

Well what can you say, the shortest and most technical day, survived the technical but bonked with full body cramps like never before! Bodes well for the rest of the stages which are twice the length! Hard has a new meaning

Seeing sparty having to succumb to being chicked was not pleasant, I just hope he talks to me tomorrow!

On the plus side it should be noted that the gianti wasn't first to have a significant mechanical.

P.S it's ok to shed a tear when you have full body cramps with 3km to go

Day 2: Cumberland

Our first night alone in a tent, highlight was sparty with no thermarest, the look on his face when he saw the foam he had to sleep, closely followed but him considering 'leasing my thermarest for 10 mins, oh to be older and wiser. Lowlight being the Norwegian vikings next door who seemed to not need any sleep.

What did we learn today.....
1: going over the bars still hurts and continues to happy
2: swearing fuck off is understood by all nationalities
3: red bull Galway through a stage is a SUPERFOOD 
4: you will try anything to stop cramping including drinking three times the recommended dosage of some cramp stop magnesium thing the course naturopath was peddling
5: today was much more manageable but still horrendously technical
6: a beer in the sun afterwards with you lily white guns out next to some Norwegian bold building can be humiliating, at least there was a Mexican smaller than me!
7: who would buy a specialised? Another trip to the really cheap bike mechanic anyone?
8: watching sparty get used to my place in the field, and therefore his is arguably one of the meanest and cruel things I've seen a grown man go through...he is a legend ( towed me up 20 spots on one short section of for brake today)
9: there needs to be an international sprint trophy..... And the in inaugural winner is the Lilly white guy in point 6 above!

Till tomorrow

Day 3: Powell River

Well after a horrendous transfer I'm realizing rest is key, many lessons today from Powell River, awesome location:

1. Trails here rock! 
2. The beast was unleashed for the first 30km, enduro challenge here he comes!
3. Learnt a valuable rule sparty seems to live by, so whilst it's 35 degrees and canada also lacks an ozone layer, just because sparty has sunscreen doesn't mean it can be used as sparty rule nimber 2 kicks in - no other male is allowed to touch his skin, so with mild heat stroke today was fast but tough.
4. Highlight of day was last 3km TT to finish where sparty blew everyone away, passed three of out competition so epic effort, obviously took it out of him as yours truly claimed the glory on the line, oh yeah
4a. Trash talking is epic with American teams around us in particular, Spanish hate it when you yell libar libar ondelay ondelay as you pass them, priceless, sparty hangs his head in a combination of shame and disbelief
5. 7th on stage 2, 17th on stage 1, obviously not right, so another sparty life lesson learnt, he will not approach the stewards and have 17th place changed to  a rightful 10th, apparently it's not real competition if you aren't winning....please, good thing I will, game on!
6. 2nd tent night and dispite stealing my side of the tent we survived, even with the most annoying French gimps next to us, the language of love it is not if you are tired
7. Kiwi boys mowed down the walk from the ferry to campsite passing all in their pAth to claim best camping spot ever!

Bring on tomorrow.

Day 4: Earls Cove

I write this hoping to still be able to function in the next few hours, lessons from today:

1: hey I know it's 40 degrees so let's delay the start till midday
2: bonking on day one turns out to be tame compared to bonking with 8km to go on a 15degree 4km long pinch climb! First time I started to think if I was going to finish an event........oh yeah and only the longest steepest enduro of the entire race afterwards!
3: it turns out red bull and two bananas consumed on 20 secs isn't that helpful
4: the beast smoke enduro again, currently second kiwi, can he take the top spot
5: after staying up and studying the course last night on of us knew the sprint would be determined by having the hole shot! Well after Moving to the front with 1.4km to go boom game over! 2-1 to the bonkster
6: apparently as we get to know our completion a bit better they consider me to be the heckling kiwi.....nothing wrong with some smack talk on the climbs
7: some Norwegian addonas is simply asking for an arm wrestle, game on tonight, I'm going to tire him out for sparty! If his shame allows him to turn up
8: sparty life lesson number 4, he hates being asked in company if he's getting any grinder hits here! 

Day 5: Sechelt

Day 5 done and dust learning a from today include:

1: 1380m of climbing was supposed to be a quiet day, when 1000m is rooted single track that makes frontal labotomy look flat quiet day my arse
2: Norwegians very strong, too strong so have up the mental mind games, even sparty is getting in on the action and trying break them verbally and physically on the climbs
3: epic battle with Americans, oh how they love to talk smack on the trails, even as they pass or get passed
4: sparty life lesson number 5, alcohol swaps Heal everything, well seeing him cry as he applied to his saddle sore might suggest otherwise!
5: sparty offered to changed break pad 30mins before start, 10 mins before start with job done I have no rare break, nice!
6: sparty is a hit with the older Inuit ladies on the crew, as per the attached. Must be his sparkling personality
7: we have challenged the Norwegians to a roman Greco wrestling challenge in our bibs, Aussie also keen, so might be better than the Olympics, strategy is for me to tire them out whilst sparty does the damage in the later rounds
8: quote of the day.......I'll have the biggest sausage you have..
9: sprint score 3-1 after sparty judged there to not be enough room left on the line, but oh yeah there was, sit up at your peril my friend!

In Squamish tonight, sparty excited as beer tent?

Day 6: Squamish

Longest day today with massive 1800+m of climbing on single track, tiredness setting in, attached photo is BEFORE Start, man it was a tough day, lessons include:

1: best trails by far, enduro top 10 for sparty looking good
2: smoked sparty at Table Tennis, when will he learn!
3: Norwegians too strong today we might have dropped a spot on GC, attrition rate immense
4: beer garden a welcome relief, sparty is such a practical joker as per attached
5; spot prize day today but you have to win an event, after 28 unsuccessful attempts team NZ step up and deliver the goods, Innes hammered the left hand and walks him into a fence whilst sparty takes the victory......all with 100 people cheering as we thumbs wars, hilarious
6: you know u have a beard when it gets itchy, sparty's is an embarassment
7: sprint today was epic photo finish, yours truly boxed in nicely by sparty but came around but 2mm short! 3-2, game on for the decider
8: that's all folks as too tired

Day 7: Whistler

Well we made it, very short stage, still some epically steep climbing through the whistler ski resort, soooo tired, found today hard, lost some confidence riding past a guy who crashed who couldn't feel his legs!

Sparty went with group one to prove he could have survived without bring chicked, and duly smashed the UCI event winning women's leader and was in top 25....nice

Almost too tired to sleep last night, bring on park later today

BC Bike Race 2014

Wow what a week. I've just finished the BC bike race, a seven day mountain bike stage race. Tony and I were entered in the open team category. Rules for a team  require the riders to finish within a couple minutes of each other and time of the second rider counts.

British Columbia riding is a lot different from conditions in New Zealand.  The trails were definitely a step up in technicality.  We ended coming in inside the top ten for open duo's. I was keen to have a cracked at the enduro segments within the race. I was riding my Specialised Enduro 29er which is horribly oversized for an XC race with over 6” of travel. The bike surprised me with its all-round pedalling capability. Its Enduro Specific Blue© paint details gave me extra Enduro swag and gave me a mental edge over the other colour blind enduro competitors.

Trail traffic made things difficult on the first few days, with queues on the trails. The following few days I got into some space and had a better run at it. Riding enduro trails blind is difficult and mistakes were the order of the day. I learnt a bit about pacing from the experience including:

·         Don’t sprint like like a maniac for the first 30 seconds then crash on the first corner

·         Don’t huck rock sections leading into tight corners

·         Get the foot out, moto style for loose corners with camera men

·         One redbull before the stage is good, two and a banana is bad

·         Making barppp sounds actually makes you faster
Beer with the Norwegians after day 2

I ended up 23rd in overall enduro competition about a minute forty down on the leader. Tony cracked the top 100.
The whole experience taught me some valuable life lessons:
  • Riding in a team is a lot different. Tactics between the various pairs was interesting and added a new dimension to the classic sprint finish. We had some epic battles for our mid pack finish, elbows out and coming round on the inside!
  • The trails take no prisoners.  We witnessed several major injuries and bike breakages. Conan the Norwegian broke his hand but kept riding. He makes Arnie look like a pussy.
  • North Americans like to queue. We stood in 15 queues on day 1. We made it our goal to start our own queue and later successfully started one in front of a random bus. We got 30 slightly pissed off people to join!
  • Smack talk is an internationally recognized language.  Tony is the master and had some Norwegians in tears
  • When thumb wrestling a red bull fuelled maniac,  it's best to double team him. Tippie won 30 consecutive thumb wrestles against competitors before Team NZ took him down better than they dropped their pants in San Fran.  
Victorious in Thumb Wrestling. Tippie is one loose man!
  • While Chris Seddon won the race, but Conan was the hardest competitor. 
  • Getting chick’d was just a reality in the BC bike race. On the last day I had a crack at maintaining my dignity and raced the whippets.  I almost threw up trying to beat Catherine Pendral up a climb. I hung on buy the skin of my teeth then layed the smack down in the Whistler bike park. My dignity could not, however, be salvaged.
  • Rupert (Squamish) was my favourite and Tonys least favourite trail of the trip
 Rupert magestic woody
  • Beer is, by far the best recovery drink
  • The jumps in whistler are still “shit your pants” big.
  • Tony only rides park now