Sechelt to Langdale:
The word from the organizers was that this day was going to be shortened due to unpassable river crossings. After the long day we experienced the day before and the late day finish (5pm) it was good news to all.
Cooper still kept with his 5am wake up time and it was actually nice waking up early and going for a walk by the water as we waited for the coffee shop to open.Â It calmed my nerves and kept me from getting too worked up about the day since I had my little guy to focus on.Â Once we were organized my dad dropped me off at the start and as I saw people already lining up I figuredÂ I should do the same…another start with no warm up…
The legs felt heavy and unpleasant…to no real surprise;Â Â I know IÂ was in good company after yesterdays big 65km day in the heat. I was told I would have a bummer day during the raceÂ week and this was definitely it. Although in the end I didn’t finish far off the pace even though I didn’t feel too hot and struggled to find my mojo for most of the leg.
We climbed for awhile on road and double track until we reached some singletrack. These trails had a fair bit of woodwork and tricky bits but were also full of fun and flowy elements.
We hit the well known trail of Highway 103 that provided someÂ North Shore flavour (skinnies!).Â It is a difference experience riding them when clipped in and in race mode; heart rate high!Â I managed to keep it together and the real treat was the fantastic downhill for the last 10km that took us right to the Langdale ferry terminal where there was no time to spare; Washed the bike and headed to the ferry.
It turned out we rode 42km instead of the expected 30 and longer than the original route of 38km. Only those with pedometers would really have noticed since I never have a clue how far I have gone when I am riding such fun terrain.
My folks had caught an earlier ferry they had added so we met in Horseshoe Bay and headed up to Squamish as the rain started to come down. I was quite thankful to have a cozy bed to sleep in that night. We checked into our hotel and I took Cooper to the pool before we settled in to bed. Squamish fun tomorrow!
Now we are getting into somewhat familiar territory. I have a group of close knit friends that live in Squamish so riding here is something I enjoy whenever there is a chance. I love the great combination of fun and challenging climbs plus the rewarding descents that make you smile from ear to ear.
I rode this day feeling pretty good after the first 2 hours had passed. We hit the Powerhouse Plunge and then climbed up to Hoods in the Woods and with this I felt like my technical skills were really helping make ground on some riders. They linked some fun trails to take us to the FarSide which believe it or not even make climbing fun. I was making up ground as the day passed and got into an awesome groove near the end and hammered home feeling strong and thrilled. I realized that I wasn’t far behind alot of the stronger women (finished 6th for the day) but that was bonus since I rode my own race and just truly had a fabulous time on my bike.
My folks and Cooper were waiting at the finish and after a brief interview with the BCBR MC and buddy of mine Dave Howells we headed to the medical clinic in the town. Race aside, I am a mom first and my folks felt that Coopers’ lingering cough needed to be checked out to make sure it wasn`t a concern.
Layne was there that day to join us for the Friday night and Saturday and headed out to golf with one of our good friends. So I went to another friends for dinner and enjoyed a home cooked meal before I had a solid nights rest before the final day!…Time sure flies I tell ya.
The Finale is here…already…yikes! I had mixed emotions. Part of me was looking forward to finishing and enjoying a feeling of satisfaction after an amazing week of riding and racing; and another part of me was sad that it had to come to an end. It is a pretty great lifestyle riding new trails each day and hanging with my folks and Cooper in beautiful settings. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
We made our way up to Whistler the final morning with time to spare so Layne and I did a brief warmup together with the dog (who I also missed). While we pedalled I noticed riders were lining up quite early so I headed over to the start line and found a spot. I was never bold enough to start too far up so I took my usual mid pack stance. We headed out at 10am and the course was a big climb for the first while (up the Bobsled Olympic area) before we headed down an ATV track and into some singletrack. I know they were limited with course options on the village side of the highway so we made our way up some awkward climbs…overly loamy and nasty with roots. I thought the big boys up front were cleaning these trails but found out later they were running their bikes up them too!
We finished with a fuper fun descent down the lower part of Comfortably Numb and into the Lost Lake trails. This was a definite time that having bike skills was necessary. I heard a few grumblings that the course was too hard and many had to walk alot of the descent; how quickly we forget that many areas do not have the terrain we do to keep us tech saavy!
I was greeted at the finish line by my folks, Layne, Cooper and to my surprise my older sister and her family! She is so awesome…always been such a great support of my endeavours and I really appreciated her being there.
After a few family photos we headed out to the local burger spot where I enjoyed an awesome turkey burger and my first beer in a long while…heavenly. The place we rented was spacious for us all to enjoy some relaxation and pool time before Layne and I headed to the banquet.
We sat with some friends who had volunteered for the final day and enjoyed the videos by Dave Norona and photos by the BCBR team. I have to say the food was a major disappointment (a reflection of the caterer and not BCBR) and $7 for a can of Kokanee….a reminder that Whistler is a big resort town I guess!
We got home and hit the hay before 10pm. My folks were still up watching a movie when we got back. Hard to get too carried away when your knackered and know that Cooper will be up and at ‘er at 530am so my as well enjoy the comfy bed and a good nights sleep.
BCBR is done and it was amazing! I finished in 6th place for solo women and this was beyond my expectations. To be honest regardless of placing the real goal of racing hard and finishing strong was #1 and I felt satisfied with how I made it work and the experience my family and I had together.
I will recap my thoughts on different aspects of the training, prep and racing in another blog. All I know is in some ways it is simple. Put in the time and you will get to the finish line!