North Vancouver Individual Time Trial 🙄
Six down, one to go!!!
This morning was a luxury by BCBR standards! Wake-up was a very relaxed 7AM squeaky rubber chicken alarm.
We were already up from 6AM, and find we have become quite institutionalized, packing up our tent and getting kitted up well in advance of breakkie.
Breakfast in North Van was great - French toast with cinnamon brioche and maple syrup!
It was hot and the sun beat down on us as we queued for the late 10AM(ish) start. Our back-of-the-pack “Purple” starters (identified on Stage 1 with stickers on our number plates as we crossed the finish) were nervous about what we knew would be a tough and technical 19km. The announcer warned that to many of us, it would feel more like 40km.
There was a lot of steep climbing, a lot of steep tricky downhilling, and a lot of walking (for many of us). Many of us got hung up on immense root networks that just thumped us one after another after another until we found one we could no longer power over. There were boardwalks and bridges, loose rocks, gravel climbs, gravel descents, rock gardens and basically every kind of MTB feature I can imagine.
I was annoyed that I had to take my bike on this mostly-hiking journey, but so relieved to realize the finish was near! I would have preferred a sensible bike ride on one of the more rideable routes in this area, but the race dictates the route and I do like to finish! Some of our group joked at the start about heading to a pub instead of heading up the mountain, but we all did it - some bloodier than others. I have to say - in hindsight - I did enjoy the bits I could ride, and particularly enjoyed the rocky berms near the end.
John did well, climbing all of the steep switchback ascents, and waited up for me often. At one point, I passed him and he was on the ground beside his bike. He told me he had come off and was worried about his foot. He assured me he was ok and I should keep going.
I flagged a medic up ahead to check on him, and he was back on the bike after some Tylenol and water. He feels like he may have strained some of the muscles that have been underused since his calcaneus surgery in December.
After a quick shower, we caught the bus to Squamish with the rest of the late riders and still made it in time to enjoy the beer tent, dry our towels and kit, eat a hearty meal and chill in the tent. I am going for a massage shortly and then it will be lights out on our penultimate stage of BCBR!!!
Our campsite is situated in beautiful Squamish, nestled amongst some forested snow-capped mountains. We are enjoying the mountain air more than I can describe.
Tomorrow will be a tough stage, made easier by the fact that we will be ticking off kilometers down to zero! The final reward is the coveted BCBR belt buckle, and we look forward to this token of completing a relentlessly challenging week of singletrack in MTB Mecca!
Thanks to John for helping me overcome my writer’s block tonight! 😝