Day five of the 2015 edition is the day that BC Bike Race comes to play in its own backyard of North Vancouver. Only 39kms in length, Day 5’s stage still packing in over 1,500 meters of climbing and covered both Mount Seymour and Fromme.
Living out of this bag all week
As basecamp was located in North Van, I skipped out on camping for the night, trusting the tent to my tent-mate, and joined my family in the rented condo just off of Lonsdale. The only thing that could have made the detour better would have been air conditioning! A nice shower, a comfy bed, and a clean bathroom was just what I needed after realizing I dug pretty deep on Day 4. With good intentions of hanging out with the fam and taking in some Canada Day celebrations, I needed a nap pretty bad, and I spent the better part of two hours perfecting my corpse pose on the bed. Wow, I can’t believe how much my daughter is changing by the day at this age. In just a few days she’s developed new interest in learning new motor and cognitive skills. Quite amazing I’d say!
I’m very thankful to have the support of Rocky Mountain Bikes here at the race. One of the mechanics Tyler was giving my bike a once over 45 mins before the stage and noticed my shifter cable had frayed. It most likely would have broken mid stage if he didn’t notice it and quickly fix it before the race went off.
Tyler fixing my bike shortly before the stage today
On with the race – it was a mentally tough one for me out there. I realize I”m not a slouch on the MTB, but I’ll admit I’m a little timid compared to my racing mates on some of these gnarly trails and I let that get the best of me today. I climb fast but descend slow in my group. Descending is more mental than it is physical and practice makes perfect. It’s pretty hard to practice a challenging 10 minute leg breaking arm pumping downhill when I live in Edmonton – but no excuses.
Earlier in the stage, it was really nerve racking. There was a lot of street and gravel bike path riding, with guys taking huge risks around blind corners. At any moment, a dog, a walker, or a car could be in our path and some guys seemed oblivious to this or just plain didn’t care.
Bus to myself and a few Brazilian guys
The scariest part of the whole day was riding down a steep set of stairs, as a pack, super slow! As you may know, stairs are fine to ride if you have momentum. Braking and going slow does not equal momentum. Then throw in a Brazilian guy who climbs really fast but who isn’t a good rider, walking his bike down the stairs while everyone is riding. There was no where to go! But thankfully I made it unscathed.
On the first gnarly downhill, all of the switchback turns were completely blown out with dust. It was like riding on sand. I completely screwed them up and crashed in a dirty heap. This was the straw that broke my mental camel’s back and I was done. My legs wouldn’t push up the hills very hard and my downhilling was not at the level I’d like to push myself to.
But I made it in, and honestly, felt better on the last downhill called Expresso and the legs came around for the final hard push into the finish. I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings in Squamish. The penultimate stage is 53 kms in length with over 1,900 meters of climbing. Another day, another stage.
Tent life. Moving in at Squamish
Thanks for reading,