Reliving My BC Bike Race Adventure

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I sit at the kitchen table, fan whirring, muscles still twitching, mind wandering to what seems a dream now… what just happened?

I think “the pause” has begun to set in, after the most epic week since I had my first child. The BCBR was an unforgettable trip of outstanding riding, proud moments, new friends, delicious food, and unparalleled race organization.  Memories, flash to the tight, fast single track, the quivering butterflies at the start line, the sunscreen perspiration rolling into my eyes on the long hill climbs, the voice of congratulations and feelings of pride, and the buzz of the meal hall filled with salutations and personal stories of accomplishment.

I can’t force you to sign up, or take part. But I will say, it’s worth every penny, every moment and every grunting pedal uphill to be a part of the BCBR. It’s a forever memory that I don’t want you to miss.

Here is a sample of what I recall, and if you were there with me, you may remember too.

Day Zero.    Remember that…

-Parking fiasco and the kids excitement for their own race for the North Vancouver registration.

-The cool gear; t-shirt, yoga mat, MEC bag, Rocky Mountain hoody, Happy water, Clif bars, magazines, BCBR jersey – awesome, nice, very cool!!

-greeting old friends, squeezing through the crowd, booking massage and checking out the retail racks.

-watching the superheroes bike race, old school style in the parking lot. Big cheers, big smiles, determination and a HUGE chocolate medallion from Rodgers Chocolates for every finisher.

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-So hot already… start the sunscreen, pound the Happy Water, get under cover from the sun.  Summer has begun!!

-Corralling into the Argyle gym, anticipating Ryan Leech’s jump, learning how to really “wash your hands”, and knowing what a real bear attack means.

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-loading and reloading, dumping your kits and gear, racing back to the ferry. Now the road trip officially begins…

-Buffet dinner and the first sleepless night. Barking dogs and forgetting your sleeping bagJ Whoops, such is life… thank goodness for Handlebar Brooks, who told us how to snuggle if by chance we begin to freeze J

So Day Zero comes to a close, but the epic week has hardly begun. That night, I anticipate, fret, and dream about the adventures I will have, never really imagining that each day would be so unique.  A new venue, a new course, a new tent, a new start time, a new competition, a new day, a new body (each one slightly frailer, but remarkably stronger, tighter, and more bruised J)

 

Day One to Seven – Day break

-Booooocckkkkk Booockkkk Booooccckkkkk!!!!!! No, I’m already awake… I just needed confirmation.

-Breakfast,  … no, first coffee, then breakfast, … no washroom, then coffee,  then breakfast, … no get gear ready, water, race food, bike sticker, …. then washroom, then coffee, then breakfast….

-Race ready?  What does this mean? Where do I go? What’s next? What do I need? Do I have everything?

-How much chamois cream do I need?? Need to pee again (no line up… thank God I am a woman).  Reapply.

-And the butterflies begin… ahh…  I love/hate racing. Am I in the right wave?? Hmmmmm.

The Start

-Squeeze on in, 10, 9, 8… Burst off the line, pedalling for your life? Smiling faces, horns, bells, cheers, “love it!” in the air.

-skitter in the line, quick, slow, now go, jiggle up a head, two men down in front, weaving around sunglasses, bodies and bikes sliding to the left.

-Find a wheel in the dust… stay focused. Drink… oh, how I despise water from a tube.   Race like the wind, be a machine. It’s always a fast start that leaves you yearning for the single track. No time to lose. Catch someone, find a wheel, and hold on!!

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The Race

-Elation… awesome single track ahead. Devastation… slowing, or worse, coming to a complete stop. Oh those Mexicans J

-Hot, hotter, more water, single track, climb, more climbing, single track, hotter… Enduro gates!! – Woot-woot!! Gravel, aid station, gels, bars, pretzels, electrolytes… find a wheel, so hot, climbing, more climbing, more climbing, walk, 1,2,3 downhill, Enduro gates!!- Woot Woot! Gravel, Aid 2, gravel, downhill, downhill, tight, fast, confidence, tired, no spent… but high on life.  These are the moments you ache for J.

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-…three hours later….The BIG BEAR arch!  Finish line, friends, my name, my butt (ouch!), “I made it. Yes!!”

Post-Race

-Food; watermelon, munchies mix, salt, water… Who is this mini princess serving me? Smiles, chit chat, electrolytes, Froot Loops?? Salty chips, Muscle Milk, more water. Gut rot… okay, I’m done, move on…

-The bike wash, friendly Mike?? He’s got lube, he’s got power washers, he’s got assistants. What was your name?? Time to get tidy clean. Power wash the legs, gloves, shoes, bike, new grease. Ready to load it up on the truck!!

-Relax… no, find your tent, get your race bag, check the standings, the Enduro times, eat some protein, chat about the race with new friends, check your cell, power up, more water, more nutrition.

-Shower. All I can say again is… Thank GOD I am a woman. J

-Time for some Yoga! Ahhhhh… pause…. See a lizard in the clouds,…oh that’s tight!!  Yes…  savasana! …relax…  (Or beer time for some).

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The Dinner

SHMOORGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!! Wow, never imagined I could stack a paper plate so high! Oh, the salads, salmon, chicken, cutlets, fresh bread, pasta, gravies, dressings, all the fixings for that pork enchilada!! No wait, there’s dessert; ice cream bar, three types of cheese cake, strawberry shortcake, fudge brownie, berry crumble.

So many new people to meet, and old friends to greet.  How was your day? Where are you from? What’s your niche? Why are you here? What do you ride? Isn’t this all so grand!!

Oh my goodness, has an hour blown by already? I’m still eating. Good thing I chose Plan A, first sitting.

 

Bed time

Head to the trucks for some personal hygiene, hydrate, fill the water bottles, get the gear ready for tomorrow, chat with new neighbours, check out the race bible, set and reset your alarm, make the bed. Head finds pillow…I’m done.

But… tomorrow is a whole new adventure. J

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I would like to sincerely thank Dean Payne, the Crew of BCBR, the community volunteers, the medics and massage therapists! (a definite must), my husband, my mother in law and family, my bike sponsor – Kim Steed of Steed Cycles, Vancouver North Shore, and all the fabulous racers and new friends that pushed me to my limits, put a glowing smiling on my face every day, and made the BCBR everything I could have ever hoped. Outstanding job! High five!! Big hand smack on your back!

So back to the whirring fan above this kitchen table, and the years’ worth of house work I put off to train. I don’t really want to accept that the adventure is over… but,… at least I’m not the only one.

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