Monday, July 25, 2011

Single Track Love!

The Gearjammer is another fabulous event part of the Hells of a Series in the Sea to Sky Corridor. This is the event that started it all for me…! Friends have been telling me about mountain bike racing and fun it is and back in 2008, I decided to enter my first ever mountain bike race. I did not start with the easiest one that’s for sure since the Gearjammer is a point-to-point 47 kms race (now 52 kms point-to-point). What makes it event more special is the fact that the milage is mainly covered on single tracks!!! YAAA now that’s what I’m talking about!

Since 2008, religiously it seems, I've been following the tradition and making yet an other trip to the Coast to get a “Gearjammer” fix. Crankworx was also a great reason to go on a road trip and be part of the excitement.

The weather on the Coast has been the same as here in Revelstoke, rainy, cold and wet. Fortunately, to day of the race the sky was blue and the sun was shining. At around 10 am, racers started to show up at the start area near Alice Lake Provincial Park. It seemed like the attendance was lower this year then in previous years. After racing at the Test with 800 fellow mountain bikers, 250 seems slightly quiet… I’m still wondering why is it that the Test is more popular the Gearjammer but that another matter altogether! The race started at a slower pace, which was quite surprising. This race has just the perfect start, from the Highway, racers made their way up the pavement all the way to a double track. From there, there are en

dless opportunities to pass and be pass. The double track goes back to logging road, where, if you are a slow starter, you can start hammering and if you are someone who explode from the start and quickly die, by that point you already fall back. The endless single track goodness start after about 20 minutes of wide road and keeps you going till the end! Some of the trails were Ed’s bypass, Dead End Loop, Bob MacKintosh’s fast descent, Mike’s Loop, Track from Hell, Then back up to Rock & Roll and connecting to Skookum & Power Smart. With all the rain, Skookum and Power Smart were a bit challenging but it was nothing compares to Recycle!!! By that point, the body is starting to feel tired and more then adequate balance was required in order to conserve energy for the remaining of the race! Amazing Pseudo Tsuga was next, wow the work that got put in this trail is just amazing! It’s a nice flowy descent with great burms, a few jumps and technical sections! Wow! Then back on the FSR to climb up to the ever so slippery Plunge. Still alive and on survival mode, we climbed into Crumpet woods for some steady climbing. To our surprise, we took an early right before the powerline climb into a new single-track section that was pretty challenging. By that point, the legs are just about to give in and when looking up, that only thing I could see was more and more climbing… of well. First thing we knew, we were on top of the powerline, and connecting to the last section of the racecourse. A fast rip through the subdivision and down the climbing area brought us to cross the finish line at Rose Park.

Congrats to all the races who completed the event in difficult trail conditions. Thank you to all the volunteers and to my favorite waterboy ever; Michael who gave me an extra bottle full of magic fuel.

As for the results, well check out the following links:

Picture credit: Simon Chester Fotographique

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