I’m home fromBC Bike Raceand enjoying the recovery time. My energy level will be back any day because BC Bike Race was the shortest stage race in the 6-7 day range I have ever done, but that doesn’t mean it was easy! Most stage races outside North America feature courses that try to beat you down; they are long, grueling, and involve an insane amount of climbing and very rough dirt road riding. North America focuses on the fun and the trails.
I am working on writing more detailed reports for MTBR, but for now, I’ll give you a quick rendition of the 2014 BCBR!
7 stages, lots of techincal singletrack, almost all days were point to pointWe were transported by bus, bike, ferry, and those of us who were lucky – float planes!2014 had the most competitive women’s field by far in race history600 racers
Rocky Mountainhad free beer every day.
I did it self-supported until after Stage 6 when Matt arrived, and it was awesome to have someone wash my bike, pin my number, and be of general help when he came!I am happy with my performance!My wedding is 3 weeks from the finish of BC Bike Race
Quick rundown of each stage:
Stage 1: North Shore ….. 2nd Place
I was nervous at the start. I was afraid of getting hurt since my last BC Bike Race in 2012 resulted in an IV one day and a broken wrist. My wedding was on my mind; I didn’t want to be injured on the special day, but I told myself I could get injured riding at home too! I was also nervous because I wanted to feel good and perform well. Everything worked out great! It had poured rain for days leading up to Stage 1 and the North Shore was in typical form. Wet roots, rocks, mud and technical. I was running too much tire pressure. It was frustrating and I was struggling with the roots. The ideal tire pressure after a couple days of tweaking was around 17 PSI for BC coastal riding. I rode strong on the climbs, smooth on most of the techincal and finished 2nd place, less than 2 minutes behind Olympian Lea Davison. I was surprised and stoked. I knew 3rd place for the day, Wendy Simms (multi-time winner of BCBR) would be turning it up a notch after Stage 1!
Stage 2: Cumberland…. 5th Place
Cumberland was wet and treacherous. The rocks were extra slippery, like ice! I felt really strong at the start and rode for an hour with the chase group of pro men. I was caught by Lea and Wendy on a twisty, tight, sloppy DH. My rear suspension had stopped working…then I crashed on a slick feature and bent my derailleur. Buh-bye shifting. I started going backwards. Buh-bye mental strength, hello excuses! I couldn’t get my head in the game and was frustrated. I didn’t ride hard and didn’t care. I didn’t want to be on my bike and I wasn’t having fun. Later, I was surprised with myself because normally I can overcome mental breakdown. I lost 14 minutes in the GC was disappointed with myself. The truth is I could have mitigated my time loss by about 5-7 minutes, but I simply gave up. I am not proud of that, but going easy on myself because in 10 years of racing, giving up mentally doesn’t happen often. I attributed it to having not much mental rope before getting to the end with everything else going on in my life outside of bike racing, but no excuses! I got my bike fixed and forced myself to fix my attitude for Stage 3.
Stage 3: Powell River…. 3rd Place
I finally got my tire pressure dialed thanks to Jason Sager. Running less than 20 PSI seemed crazy to me, but it made a big difference. Lea and Wendy outrode my on the roots, but I was happy with my result. After riding behind Wendy on the trail for awhile, I learned that I pedal way too much. She would coast any chance she got and put time into me doing that. For the remainder of the race, I tried to coast more to save energy and work the trail with momentum instead of brute force. I rode a clean race and was happy with my podium finish. I also knew the next day was the longest of the race!