Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BC Bike Race 2010

Geez. I just did some blog surfing to catch up on what everyone has been doing the past week and find out my Open Mixed competition Catharine Pendrel and Mical Dyck have been posting blog updates for every single day of BC Bike Race. Keeners. I better get my butt in gear.

Norm and I went into this years BCBR with a solid streak of Open Mixed leaders jerseys - 7 for 7 in 2008. Buuuut when we heard that Catharine Pendrel and Geoff Kabush were teaming up we knew we would be doing laundry this year. And with the Mical Dyck - Jeff Neilson duo, we knew it would be a good battle for second. I wasn't sure if the body was up for such a battle but since my motto this year was to kick it old skool and "race back into shape" I didn't have much choice. I was banking on my base from years past to carry me through 7 days and hoping my leg speed would bust through the cobwebs and make an appearance somewhere along the way. Surprisingly, my base did hold true and a teeny bit of leg speed shone through but it was my back that gave me the most grief. Apparently carrying a small human in your belly for 9 months slowly deteriorates your core strength - huh? I did not get the memo.... Anyway this is the short and sweet version of the week.

Day 0 - this ~9minute time trial prologue basically set the stage for the week. 1. Pendrel/Kabush 2. Dyck/Neilson 3. Simms/Thibault If you cheat at choose your own adventure books, you can skip to the end

Day 1. Nanaimo. Home turf! If there was a stage where we would have an advantage, it would be today. As we rolled the neutral start through town, our adoring fans cheered loudly from the sidelines. Unfortunately the RCMP bike cops were having such a great time they forgot to pull off the front and Norm had to sprint up the hill to tell them it was game on or there would be a log jam at the first trail head. Crisis averted. But in a twisted irony Norm burps his tire and eats shit only 5 minutes into our favourite trail on day 1. He flats. His CO2 cartridge head is busted. He cant seal his tire. As I am waiting at the troll circle going around and around hoping the trail gnomes will play nice (0 laps = bad luck, 3 laps is usually safe). I see rider after rider pass by in a long train. When Norm finally appears ~10mins later he is hurt (busted ribs), pissed off, stunned, a little wobbly and we have about half the field to pass. Not the best start to the week. 3rd place with a big chunk of time to make up.

Norms pain face. photo by Dave Silver

Day 2. Cumberland. I love racing Cumberland trails and know them pretty well by now. I told Norm "today is the day we go for glory, and by glory I mean second place..."One of the buses breaks down and the race is delayed. I hear the announcer say the bus isn't even here yet so I casually go to the BMX track to warm up. I head to the bathroom and hear "30seconds to race start". Whatthehell!?! I boot over to the start line, sneak through the side chute and see Norm looking around frantically for me. I have time to yell at him that i am here and the gun goes off so I have no time to take off my warm up jacket. Woah. That was CLOSE. Norm was NOT impressed! I love Cumberland trails so we have a pretty good day - 3rd place - but my back starts to fatigue and I have to pee the ENTIRE race.

Day 3. Powell River. New stage for the event so noone knew what to expect - definitely not the million bridges that we crossed! The coolest part of the day was passing by a primary school on the way out of town and the ENTIRE school was out cheering us on!! Awesome trails but unfortunately this is where my back went on strike. I was the weakest link and Norm looked like he was soft pedalling. 3rd place and a trip to the massage tent to try and get some strength back

Day 4. Earls Cove-Sechelt. I knew this stage and was well aware of the climbing ahead. My back felt pretty good for the first 3 hours and then there was a "TWANG" and i was almost in tears at every rock, root and climb. I limped in not caring how much time we lost. Seems we were solidifying our 3rd place position quite nicely. Another massage.

Day 5. Sechelt-Gibson. Apparently the massage did the trick as I felt pretty good off the line and we decided to try to stay with Mical and Jeff (and Melanie McQuaid who was leading the open women race). I asked Norm if it felt like he was in the middle of a cat fight and he hissed out a small "meow." It was pretty fun to be racing again instead of just staring at Norms wheel hoping to not be dropped. Mical stops to get sharkies at one of the aid stations and we get a small gap and hold it for 2nd place. Small victories!

Day 6. Squamish. this is one of my favourite places to ride and we know the stage pretty well so Norm and I decide to take off up the opening climb and push it every chance we get. I can hear Mical behind us the entire day but we keep pushing and keep a few minutes buffer. 2nd place and feeling stronger.

photo by Joe Sales

Day 7. Whistler. We were about 15minutes behind Mical and Jeff and about 5 hours in front of 4th place. It was a short stage but you never know in stage racing so we were supposed to go hard off the gun and see what happened. Unfortunately there was a screw up at the start that had the front of the pack mixed up with the back of the pack and I had to exert a bunch of energy passing a whoel whack of people up the biggest climb of the week. Normally I would suck it up and get on with it but Tychos sleeping habits were getting blown to bits and I was running on 4 hours sleep. I had nothing to donate to the cause so we kept our lock on the solid 3rd place finish.

Showing off my third place award and the pipes gained from 7 days of BC singletrack. Oh yeah and pale skin, puffy eyes and some scratches and bruises. photo by Smiley

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