BC Bike Race-Day 7: Whistler

3 07 2010

Day 7: Crank Me Up

It’s ALMOST Over: We’re on the bus on the way from Squamish to Whistler. We spent two nights in Squamish, so there was some repreive of the usual ‘hurry up and wait’, but now, it down to the crunch… One more ride and it’s over. You can almost feel the relief in the air.  This has been a gureulling week. We have put every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into this race… and now we can smell… the end is near.

Laughing Before Crying: There are a few nasty climbs and a few wicked pieces of BC single-track to be had, and then… we will be saying good bye. So, there are mixed emotions in my heart. I feel like I am laughing before crying, because in a way, I never want this experience to end.

Blue Collar Cyclist – There are nearly 500 of us. We’re off the line in groups of 50…I was in the 300 group which means I was not first, not last, but where I expected I would be… with the working class. I call it that because we have to work harder to get to the line every day. There are no mid afternoon naps for us because by the time we gety in from the days racing we only have  few hours to do all of our chores.

The Play by Play: Off the line and up the hill, then down…. then a long grinding up to the first chairlift. Then down Crank me up which is a bike park trail with huge berms and table tops and kickers, the kind of things that scare the hell out of me, because i have no idea how to position myself or my bike in order to make it safe or fun. So I tried to stay in the groove, roll with the berms and keep the rubber down. We did one more climb and then down A line which was much of the same but more chattery. Down through the crowd of adoring fans, I caught my loved one out of the corner of my eye. ‘Giddy-up little cowboy’ was the look in her eye… so I straightened up, pulled in the reins and locked in for the torrent of stoney single track that is the Lost Lake Loop. It looks easy enough on the map. No great elevation changes, no nasty descents, but those trails are nerve wracking. Just when you get a head of steam up, there is a nasty uphill curve, or a narrow off-camber bridge or a rocky bench to step up to, or a boulder patch that seems to have no clear line through it. You can’t cherry pick your way, you just have to plow your way through it. Big gear, Big power. And man, on day 7 it can be completely exhausting. Luckily, I ate well and slept well.

Los Conquistadores

Tolerance of Ambiguity – One of the things that occurred to me sitting at the post-race BCBR banquet on Saturday night was that no-one came into this race having it all figured out. Every one at our table told a story of setting out on a journey, assessing the challenges, struggling and finally getting to a point where they felt, “hey, I can do this.” In my business, that is what we call tolerance of ambiguity. It’s the opposite of need for certainty. Have you ever been on a ride and the rider next to you says, “How much further do we need to go?” What they are looking for is information, certainty, safety. That is pretty normal. But it takes a special person to put themselves in a position of uncertainty and not to panic.

That’s What it Takes That’s what you see at BC BIKE RACE, 500 people who can handle the heat and are not looking for the door to the kitchen. They are calm, cool and collected even under extreme conditions. They have the drive, the energy, the skill and the emotional stability to keep the wheels turning and the sticky side down. That’s what it takes to conquer 7 super-sized days of ass-kicking single-track. Yah Baby. AND, WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!




One response

3 07 2010
Mark J

I am absorbed by your blog. Interesting reading. I’m really keen to know how it turns out. All the best for day 7!

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