Trans BC Day 6 Nelson: Nelson's Gnarly Grand Finale

Jul 10, 2016
by Megan Rose  
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:

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Day 6 recap video:

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“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.”

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Emily Sablehaus on stage one.
  Emily Sablehaus on stage one.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

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.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Some of that climbing came the hard way just too steep to ride or riders too beat down to have the gas to pedal anything steep any longer.
  Some of that climbing came the hard way: just too steep to ride, or riders too beat down to have the gas to pedal anything steep any longer.

“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.”

Nikki Hollatz hanging on as the trail cut through a few small snow patches before beginning the insanely steep drop down Cherry Bowl.
  Nikki Hollatz hanging on as the trail cut through a few small snow patches before beginning the insanely steep drop down Cherry Bowl.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

That is as steep as it looks.
  That is as steep as it looks.

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.”

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Alex Petitdemange Sedona Ariz. was racing for 7th place all week long until he knocked himself out in the middle of the final stage. Not knowing how long he was out for he collected his bike and finished the race only to find he was 3 minutes behind the leader s pace for that run.
  Alex Petitdemange (Sedona, Ariz.) was racing for 7th place all week long until he knocked himself out in the middle of the final stage. Not knowing how long he was out for, he collected his bike and finished the race only to find he was 3 minutes behind the leader's pace for that run.

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.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Alex Pavon may paint her nails but that girl knows how to McGuyver a busted shifter back into a semblence of working properly too. Gorilla tape and zip ties and you can fix almost anything it seems.
  Alex Pavon may paint her nails but that girl knows how to McGuyver a busted shifter back into a semblance of working properly, too. Gorilla tape and zip ties and you can fix almost anything, it seems.

Alex Pavon and her doctored up rear derailleur shifter dropping down stage 3.
  Alex Pavon and her doctored up rear derailleur shifter dropping down stage 3.

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.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

“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.”

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

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.”

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

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.”

Not everyone rode the entire stage. Not by a long shot. 23 000 feet of climbing and 6 days of riding consistently hard technical terrain will erode confidence and after a crash or six one learns to hedge one s bets in an effort to just make it down with bike and body in one piece.
  Not everyone rode the entire stage. Not by a long shot. 23,000 feet of climbing and 6 days of riding consistently hard, technical terrain will erode confidence and after a crash or six, one learns to hedge one's bets in an effort to just make it down with bike and body in one piece.

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.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

There s steep. And then there s BC interior steep. The Cherry Bowl trail off Baldface Peak is susteined steep.
  There's steep. And then there's BC interior steep. The Cherry Bowl trail off Baldface Peak is sustained steep.

“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.”

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Stage one s steep rooty and rock infeted lines quickly gave way to loamy goodnes on stage three.
  Stage one's steep, rooty, and rock infested lines quickly gave way to loamy goodnes on stage three.

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 and Instagram 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 megan@ridingbc.com or subscribe to the newsletter at www.transbcenduro.com.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

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 overall

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

TRANS BC DAY 6 RESULTS

OPEN MEN

1. Adam Craig (USA) 21:35
2. Jamie Nicoll (NZ) 21:46
3. Ben Friel (UK) 21:58

OPEN WOMEN

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) 26:59


TRANS BC ENDURO OVERALL RESULTS

OPEN MEN

1. Jamie Nicoll (NZ) 2:58:36
2. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore.) 2:59:57
3. Aaron Bradford (Seattle, Wash.) 3:00:35

OPEN WOMEN

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.

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale

Trans BC Day 6 Nelson Nelson s Gnarly Grand Finale


MENTIONS: @TransBC / @TransBCEnduro




23 Comments

  • + 5
 I am conflicted.
I have participated in several of these BC Enduros with my wife and kids and they make for really great days. Megan and her crew do a fantastic job. As I understand it they pick the trails with consultation from the local bike clubs and they give back some of the proceeds and help with trail improvement. Next weekend we will be racing in Golden and we are all very much looking forward to it.
I also volunteer building and maintaining trails with our club in Vernon, NOCS. I just got in from riding a bunch of stuff that you guys rode on day one. Our trails are different now. Like your house the morning after a good party, there are stains in the carpet that will be hard to get out. I would guess that 36DD for example gets about 100 rides/year. It’s a sweet old school trail built by a couple of guys long ago who never imagined that in one day 100 racers from all over the world would descend it.
Trails of course are made to be ridden and it makes me feel great to know all were stoked on riding in Vernon. It supports tourism in our town and in theory can help with funding.
What I am going to propose to our executive is that we designate and build an enduro loop of existing and new trail for events like this with the proceeds from events going directly back into building and maintaining these specific trails. This way we can build sick purpose minded enduro type trail. If you want to enjoy our other trails with your buds, we should have some system of volunteer “ambassadors” of all abilities on our website that you can email to hook you up with the stuff you are looking for during your stay. This would ease my guilt as a rider and concerns as a builder.
Cheers.
  • + 1
 Ya.. That happens..
  • + 3
 Megan and the Trans BC Enduro do inject money back into the local trail organizations for the areas that the race goes to, with a purpose for trail sustainability and rehab. In fact,. Large chunk of cash gets given back. So before people openly criticize the race (which was amazingly well run), ask your executive what they will plan on doing with that money that they are getting.
  • + 1
 @bigmike9699: I did acknowledge that Megan and crew do a great job and give back and that I very much enjoy these events. Talked with the executive last night. Smart hard working folk, lots of options for discussion to make things better/sustainable. Just growing pains and very small in the grand scheme, sometimes the grumpy old man part gets the best of me. The ride tonight should reset it.
  • + 2
 Wow stunning shots! So Nelson is entering the corperate world of mountain biking. Slippery slope down hill. Keep the stashes quiet. A build flow trails for the masses. Thats the way it is now.
  • + 2
 Is there a trail forks or strava map of some of the trails ridden? Ill be down in 2 weeks in Nelson and wanting to find some good fun trails.
  • + 3
 I'm sure there's gotta be a killer shop that'll hook ya up. Looks like a great place to go!
  • + 5
 The Sacred ride is the shop they sell really good full colour maps that have everything and it supports the club trail builders.
  • + 2
 search trailforks and strava pretty sure it will be there , when I race a couple BC Enduro,s this year the courses where all loaded into trailforks and you could wishlist it .
  • + 2
 Yep, they're all on Trailforks.
  • + 4
 @jetpilot: or support the local cycling clubs by buying guide where the money goes towards the trails!!
  • + 2
 @trickland: what he said ^
  • + 5
 @trickland: Better to donate money directly to the club www.trailforks.com/region/nelson-16/karma Maps and guide books are often sold by private interests and only give a small portion to the local trail association. I know Nelson is an exception, but as a consumer its hard to know. There is also costs associated with producing such products. Where as a donation is pure funds for the local association.
  • + 2
 @canadaka: Agreed. Why buy a guidebook if your interest is donating? @alexv @trickland do you need a prize for your "altruism"?
  • + 3
 @trickland: Oh trust me, I support the purchase of maps more than anyone , but the original post was looking for maps of the trails ridden......Baldface is not in the map book
  • + 2
 Not sure you can access Baldface, as its private, and I think they have land tenure (correct be if I'm wrong). Even so, it's a hell of a pedal up. It was 1.75-2hrs to the ridge from the shuttle drop. From the highway add another hour at least.
Shannon Oass is accessible and amazing, and accessed a lot lower down-doable!
  • + 2
 @ukr77: Its certainly accessible, it's ridden all the time right from the top.
  • + 2
 @partymob Talk to Sacred Ride or Gericks in Nelson. They can sell you a trail book (which is really well done & ALL the proceeds go back into the network) & they'll give you pointers on what to ride (or not!)!
  • + 1
 Yea will probably go down and talk to the shop didn't realise that one if my friends got some connections down in one of the shops to so will probably get him to hook me up. Thanks for all the tips guys and happy riding!
  • + 1
 Go buy the trail map book at sacred ride or gerricks, $20 and all proceeds go to the Nelson cycling club!
  • + 2
 Coincidently Bichard and Nichol train and ride in a town called Nelson just on the bottom of the world.
  • + 2
 I feel like we should have a bike (rider) exchange between the two Nelsons...
  • + 1
 Which "Got A Feeling" remix is the track for the Day 5 recap video?

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