The Trans BC Enduro
powered by Stages Cycling
saved the best for last to conclude the six-day epic adventure of Interior B.C. It may have not been the biggest day, but racers rejoiced in the uncanny conditions as they slid their way down Cherry Bowl, the steep alpine goodness that was Stage 1.Day 5 recap video:
Day 6 recap video:
“Everyone has been saying that the level of the trails we selected has been challenging, and they didn’t expect it to be so full-on every day,” said Megan Rose, race director and founder of the Trans BC. “Every day we have been figuring out what everyone’s limits are. But we definitely had a solid crew of riders here, and everyone was excited about it.”
Racers were transported via bus, then vans, and then rode and pushed their bikes an additional 832m before peaking out in the alpine above Baldface Lodge
, which sits at 2,057m. They crossed over a few snow fields before down-hiking to the start of Stage 1. Rose prefaced the day that if the conditions presented itself, the views are out of this world. But on a day like yesterday, it felt like you were dropping out the stratosphere into the alpine abyss.
“The last day was beautiful, a little wild, and a whole lot of fun. I am glad to be down in one piece,” said Cashion Smith, Open Men (Pisgah, N.C.) “Stage 1 required some skills over and above just riding a bike. It was like riding a strider bike— feet out of the pedals, skiing down the hill while on your bike. There was snow, and tons of squirrely, slimy mud.”
Although the snow and mud hid the true beauty of this trail for some, others emphatically enjoyed the experience. “The first stage this morning… hell yeah! Someone built that trail to ride mountain bikes down, and you can certainly ride down it depending on your level of optimism and conditions,” said Adam Craig, Open Men (Bend, Ore.) “I thought that was a really beautiful trail. To have a little bit of rock work, lets you know that it is a mountain bike trail, and you are going the right way. I’m proud of Megan for sniffing out trails like that to have people race on, and make some serious memories on.”
Racers knew they only had two stages left, but riding for days on end had accumulated, and the impending rainstorm expedited their journey to the finish line. Stage 2, Swamp Donkey, traversed through a valley bottom, and contained hidden sinkholes after wonky woodwork. This awkward and semi-pedaly stage was rewarded by sizzling bacon, shots of Fireball, and an energetic crowd of locals who ushered riders on to their final stage.
The twenty-ninth and final stage of the Trans BC Enduro didn’t hold back the fun when it came to shooting down the long, twisty, turning, ear-to-ear grinning run down Shannon’s Pass. It was physically demanding for 13-20 minutes, and incorporated every element that racers encountered throughout the week into a symposium of BC’s finest elements. The 4.7km track took riders to the shores of Kootenay River for a scenic tour back to the beach where riders euphorically high-fived each other as they rolled in to celebrate their week together.
“I started a project during the week to take portraits of riders the moment they clocked out. Many of them were elated, over the moon. But as the week wore on, you can see they were shelled, muddy, and ready for a beer and a hot tub,” said John Canfield, social media guru of the Trans BC Enduro. “You could see wild eyes and wild rides. Their faces tell the story in a way that a photo of someone riding their bike through the woods could never fully capture.”
In the Open Men’s field, the times were tight, but not enough to change the final overall standings. “I ended up right where I started. It says No. 2 on my plate. Megan in addition to being a trail sniffing genius is also a prophet. I won the last two days in Nelson, which were the most important to me,” Craig said. “I threw away a bunch of time on Day 1 and Day 2 with mechanicals and flatting. That time gave Jamie a couple minutes so he could ride and be smart, and let us light the world on fire, which you can’t do in these races.”
Jamie Nicoll came off of the Trans Provence a week before the Trans BC Enduro began, and put down a strong effort on Days 1 and 2 before settling into a steady rhythm for the rest of the week. “The results can change easily at any time. It’s about looking out for your bike and making it down without mechanicals,” Nicoll said. “Navigation is a huge piece, keeping your head up, and tracking the next piece of trail efficiently. The wet and slippery days were my favorite and more my style. It’s hard to make time when the only challenge is how hard you can pedal. I like smashing down gnarly trails.”
Meggie Bichard ran away with the Open Women’s contest from Day 1 as she continued her winning streak throughout the entire week over Mical Dyck. Gina Jané (Sedona, Ariz.) leapt onto the podium after riding strong on Days 5 and 6.
“Today was kind of rough. There was a lot of running on the first stage on the steep stuff. I need to learn how to commit,” said Mical Dyck (Victoria, CAN). “I finished fourth on the day and held onto my second place overall. I would definitely do this again. I know what I need to work on to be more comfortable in the future.”
The combination of trails throughout the course of the week at the Trans BC Enduro was described by racers as incredible… awesome… brilliant… an experience that you can’t replicate without coming yourself.
“I’ve done Trans Provence a few times, and that is the Grand Daddy of these type of events. This is of that caliber, and I didn’t expect it to be,” Craig said. “We raced more at the Trans BC than you do at the Trans Provence. Every single stage was memorable for some reason or another; even the cruisy ones to relax and push some berms.”
The Trans BC Enduro
powered by Stages Cycling
will turn into into the first annual event in 2017. The timing of the year will be completely dependent on the location selection. “I have a bunch of ideas for next year already,” Rose said. “The tough part is if you include the Okanagan, you have to go early, because it gets hot there. And if you want to put it up in the alpine in the Kootenays, you have to put it later.”
A special thanks to Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism
and Nelson Cycling Club
(NCC), and Jeff Pensiero from Baldface Lodge
, for supporting the Trans BC Enduro in Nelson, B.C.
For those who missed out on this epic adventure, registration will open for next year, October 2016. The field will be limited to 120 riders, so keep tuned in to Facebook
to follow along. Hashtag your photos #transbcenduro
to make their way onto the live stream of the Trans BC’s Media HQ. For more information email email@example.com or subscribe to the newsletter at www.transbcenduro.com
Writers Note: These recaps were brought to you through the lens of racing the entire 6-day event through all of the mud, rain, exposure and sliding that the photos captured and the reports conveyed. The tenacity and grit that was left out there was truly remarkable, and even more so the media team who battled the elements, battered equipment, late nights, and on the final day a heli long-line evacuation for a broken leg. It was almost too ironic that our drone operator was lifted out of the woods as the human drone. Heal up Glen!
— Sarah Rawley
, Open Women (Keystone, USA), 11th overallTRANS BC DAY 6 RESULTS
1. Adam Craig (USA) 21:35
2. Jamie Nicoll (NZ) 21:46
3. Ben Friel (UK) 21:58
1. Meggie Bichard (NZ) 28:57
2. Gina Jané (USA) 33:10
3. Sparky Moir (USA) 33:25
MASTER MEN 40+
1. Matt Patterson (NZ) 24:28
2. John Jacob (NZ) 26:21
3. Ali Quinn (NZ) 26:59TRANS BC ENDURO OVERALL RESULTS
1. Jamie Nicoll (NZ) 2:58:36
2. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.) 2:59:57
3. Aaron Bradford (Seattle, Wash.) 3:00:35
1. Meggie Bichard (NZ) 3:35:46
2. Mical Dyck (CAN) 3:55:02
3. Gina Jané (USA) 4:03:07
MASTER MEN 40+
1. Matt Patterson (NZ) 3:18:17
2. Rene Damseaux (ZAF) 3:20:25
3. Zach White (USA) 3:25:56
About Megan Rose— Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 13 years and organizing bike events for the past six years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand, running the BC Enduro Series and the new Trans BC for 2016, and running the Trans NZ race. Over the past two years Megan has personally raced in over 24 enduro races, timed over 58 days worth of enduro races, and personally organized 22 enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.
About Stages Cycling— Stages Cycling LLC, based in Boulder, CO, launched the Stages Power meter at Interbike in September 2012. The new Stages Power meter immediately made waves for the power measurement category in all disciplines of cycling, including enduro, where the sport's top pros collect and trust its data for training and racing. Since the brand has expanded into the commercial and home fitness category with the SC3 commercial indoor cycling bike, with groundbreaking features including: CarbonGlyde featuring Gates CarbonDrive, SprintShift, FitLoc, RoadBar and, of course, the Stages Power meter. More information at stagescycling.com