About a week before the start of the North Shore Overlord Race, I convinced my friend and fellow Muddbunnie, Ming Robin, to join me in a team of two for the event. The Overlord race featured teams of two or four riding Mount Fromme and choosing our own course. We were tracked by GPS throughout the race and were only allowed to ride each trail once over the six hours allotted for the race (with the exception of some common connector trails). It turned out that we were the only female team enteredâ€¦.oh well â€“ We were both looking forward to the day, as we both love to ride Fromme! There was one co-ed team entered too â€“ yay!
The day of the race was a beautiful sunny day, and my husband loaded up the mini-van with the kids, Ming and the bikes and dropped us off at the top of Mtn. Hwy. He then continued on to take the kids to the beach for the day â€“ not a bad deal!
The event was very well organized and â€œTeam Muddbunniesâ€ moved through registration with ease. We were handed our FLAIK GPS tracking system and were instructed on how to install it on our bikes. We then had to wait for the start, but this gave us time to plan our â€œstrategy.â€ Ming, though, was tempted by free chiropractic and massage treatment that was offered to riders before the race, so we discussed the plan quickly and Ming proceeded to have some great pre-ride â€œadjustmentsâ€. She was a very happy customer!
All the teams were starting to gather at the starting line and Brett Tippie took to the mic to get things going â€“ always entertaining, but also a bit intimidating having the mike in your face as he goes about his usual Tippie â€“ crowd banter. Part of the experience, for sure.
Then it was time to â€œrace.â€ We all lined up in our teamsâ€¦.the starting order was decided in order of registration. Since we registered only a few days before, we started last, but it didnâ€™t matter as the time set backs were accounted for in our overall 6 hour allotment.Â Teams were spaced out by 15 second intervals and Tippie had the honour of announcing the teams at the starting line.
Last, but not least, it was our turn! Ming and I headed up the road and discussed what trails we should ride and in what order. The majority of the Fromme trails were â€œopenâ€ for the race, but there were a few that were off-limits. Our day consisted of the following trails, listed in the order that we rode them: Upper Oilcan, up to 7th, Leppard, Crinkum Crankum, Kirkford, Cedar Trail, Griffen, Lower Griffen, up King of the Shore, up to Pipeline, back up to Lower Oilcan, back up to Ladies, then Natural High, and finally back up King of the Shore. But wait! There was still time left….so a quick spin up to Floppy Bunny! Â It was an epic day of riding for us â€“ it was like packing three Fromme riding days into one!
Ming and I had a fantastic time, but with every long ride there are some ups and downs (figuratively and literally). During the first few descents, Ming had a few wipeouts (which is rare for her) and it shook her up a little. Luckily, as we kept our flow on the main Crinkum Crankum descent she got her groove back and was the good olâ€™ Ming that flies down the hills! I took a few new lines sticking on her back wheel, which felt great!
After about 3 hrs, I was starting to fadeâ€¦..In fact, I think on our climb up to Lower Oilcan, I donâ€™t think I talked much. Ming was great as she kept chatting along and encouraging me to drink and have a snack. Somehow, near the top, I got my second wind (thank you protein bar and electrolytes!!!!!!). We then proceeded to have a great ride down Lower Oilcan. Now, we were back in business and it seemed to me that our pace increased.Â It was like we were sessioning the whole mountain and getting the trails dialed in! Â (Turns out, I even had the second fastest downhill “top speed” of the day……that was a surprise!)Â And we even fixed a flat in record time!
What a day! We were proud of our accomplishments and had a GREAT time! The atmosphere was full of camaraderie and support. Since there was no set route and riders were spread out over the entire mountain, it didnâ€™t have that typical â€œraceâ€ feel.
There were lots of great features of this race tooâ€¦. a police escort parade down Mtn. Hwy to the Lynn Valley Rec. Centre., (started by DNV Mayor Richard Walton), a great BBQ put on by Tommyâ€™s, and Prizes, Prizes, Prizes!. The volunteers were AWESOME and Jeff Linton and team put on a great event. Highly recommended if you want to try a different type of race, plus ride Fromme for multiple laps! Fun, Fun, Fun!
More photos can be found on the Overlord Facebook pageâ€¦â€¦http://www.facebook.com/northshoreoverlord?sk=photos