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Evan Plews' BC Bike Race Blog - Day 5

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 1, 2010 6:51 AM

It was hump day on the BC Bike Race just like most of you at home. It felt like a typical Wednesday for a lot of us as "Murphy’s law” seemed to be in full effect. We have all heard that "history repeats itself” and the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake… Well, both were true for me today!

If yesterday was one of my hardest three hour rides then today was close but a different kind of hard and still a beating for sure. We began the day with another ferry ride to Earl’s Cove where the racing began with a bit of road work followed by a new trail skirting the 101 highway heading south. The new track was a work of art, but consisted of a rolling series of steep climbs and descents that immediately brutalized my bum leg into submission. It seems that the stage racing MO for most riders consists of going as hard as possible until blowing apart. So while I was out the back to start, I immediately began to ride up through riders as they petered out.

We were riding a point-to-point course to the little coastal town of Sechelt. The majority of the day was spent following a powerline right-of-way with a series of trails on each side of the access road. In 2007, we missed several of the turns off the power lines and today was the same story for many again. Déjà vu began with Harlan Price missing and turn and coming back onto the trail just ahead of me. Then I proceeded to miss the very next turn and ended up picking up the trail further on just as some of the fastest riders were passing through. I turned around and only lost about 10 minutes getting back to the same point via the singletrack. In the process, I was able to chase back to my approximate position within a few miles.

Shortly thereafter my front tire inexplicably went flat while riding down a benign gravel road. This delay was compounded by the seat bag zipper refusing to open so I just ripped the bag apart and added some air. I rode on without further deflation to checkpoint two again regaining most of the positions I lost trailside. However, I immediately gave most of the time back topping off the tire and then chased back up through the same riders for the third time as the course climbed into some beautiful singletrack for the final descent into town. These trails had a bit more flow compared to yesterday, which took the edge off the ridiculously steep grades.

Finally, we turned downhill and I was really enjoying the ride and looking forward to a grin filled descent to base camp. Just as we came to a fire road break I again missed another turn and the road turned steeply downhill. I was to the bottom in less than a mile before coming to the demoralizing conclusion that I was off course. Rather than facing the impossibly steep climb of nearly a thousand vertical feet, I continued on the road until reaching a more prominent road and turned back toward town. Soon it merged with the missed single track. Not only did I skip some fun riding, but I also passed a few riders for a fourth time indicating that more time was lost with the wrong turn.

After a few more climbs we came back to the power line for a short drop into Sechelt. Towards the bottom there were a bunch of spectators lining the double track and I went left to pass a slower riding only to discover a massive washout ditch. I tried to cut back to the right but scrubbed the front tire into the ditch and went over the bars much to the satisfaction of the assembled onlookers. Guess it was a fitting end to a frustrating day with Mr. M…

The last time I participated in BC Bike Race in 2007, the stage to Sechelt was our worst while the next stage was our best. Lets hope history repeats itself as the insanity continues…

Thanks for reading!

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