Saturday, 3 July 2010
The last seven days breezed by. When I crossed the finish line of Day 7 of the Challenge Course for BC Bike Race at the base of Blackcomb in Whistler, Dean Payne the Founder and President asked me to take my helmet off. He then dawned me with the BCBR belt buckle. The thing that dangled in my head on those 4:15 a.m. wake-ups to get that three-hour ride in before work.
I couldn’t help get emotional. I DID IT! I rode all seven days. And I’ve got at least two or three bruises or cuts from each day to prove it.
As I move through the finish shoot I’m asked for my t-shirt size. Next I receive the official Finisher shirt. I call my son.
While I climbed through Whistler today I thought to myself, what now? I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and not have to worry about getting in the breakfast line early. I’ll have to make my own coffee, find my own breakfast. I won’t have Christian from Austria (pictured above) to talk to about today’s course. We were both Challengers. (He Googled mountain biking sightseeing and found the BC Bike Race.)
This morning as we were packing up in Squamish I could hear Australia talking about their plans for a Walkabout in BC. Another claimed Alaska. Then I heard from the Belgium’s, a canoe trip. A few of the folks from Calgary unfortunately had to bolt back home and to work.
Tourism BC must love the BC Bike Race. I heard 21 countries. Many with support crew travelling with them. Most staying longer in BC and elsewhere. Some support crews volunteer with the BCBR crew along the way. We’ve all become a family. I feel sad to leave it.
During last night’s dinner we had the Squamish logger chainsaw demonstration. Everyone thought stool when he did his cuts out of a piece of firewood. Instead he made a ‘B’ out of the wood and then pulled out the rest for BCBR. I got quite emotional.
It takes a team to make this happen. Yet a leader with a vision and charisma to pave the way. Constant reminders of areas for improvement, suggestions or ideas to make it even better were always announced.
I can’t say today’s course was my favourite. I’m not a downhiller, even though my son is the current Junior National Champion. The skate through the Whistler Bike Park was a three-bike pile-up for me. The inverted lip of a pump found me in high gear with no oomph to get over it. Bailing but my clips wouldn’t let me. Crash. Then Australia piled into me and US I think it was after that. We managed to grab our bikes and shake off the bruises enough. I keep going. Next it’s the Lost Lake Trails. Pure single track. Good challenges. Then a big hill climb. I take to the downhill trail this time knowing we’re almost done. Today’s course being a mere 20 km. The same for the Epics. The least, besides the Prologue on Day 0 that we’ve had week.
So to ask the question what could possibly be improved upon for the BC Bike Race? Not sure, at the moment, that I know how to answer that.
I’ll be heading to the Banquet shortly. To say goodbye to everyone. To yack with South Africa a bit. And Calgary, the US, Belgium, Australia, maybe New Zealand, Switzerland and Boston and so on. We’ll find each other on the BC Bike Race Fan Page I’m sure. Or on the trails somewhere, some time. What a week.
As I walk back from the finish arch I see someone running and think to myself, maybe the half marathon next?
For more information on the BC Bike Race Challenge and Epic courses go to www.bcbikerace.com