Thursday, 10 July 2014

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

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