KIMBERLEY, B.C.— The Schwalbe Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles
packed up the circus at Panorama and drove south to Kimberley and Fernie, B.C. to continue the tour of the finest enduro trails of the East Kootenays.
First stop — Kimberley, B.C. to explore Megan Rose’s backyard trails. Previously residing in Revelstoke, Rose discovered Kimberley years ago when organizing the BC Enduro Series. With a small ski hill, epic trails under the radar, and a true sense of community, she packed up her life, Nellie her pup, and relocated earlier this year. Rose made quick work of integrating into the local mountain bike scene and had big plans to utilize the new local trail network at Bootleg Mountain. Due to local politics and permitting, Rose had to move through a handful of alternative plans. Day 3 — “The Day That Almost Didn’t Happen”
With the fatigue setting in from the big adventure the day before, riders cried “earmuffs” when Rose mentioned 4700 feet (1430 meters) of climbing for the day. Broken up over two big climbs and four stages, riders enjoyed pedaling their bikes up the liaisons for a change in pace from Panorama.
The 482-meter (1580-foot) grunt up Ski Field Road got the legs turning after the previous day of hiking, only to smash down the rocky Mussers Plateau. Rose warned everyone that 20 percent of the field would find themselves with flats.
“The trail started off fast, zipping through the trees. Then it got real rocky. There wasn’t a whole lot to do other than try and ride light or make quick work of fixing your flat. We had a consultation with a few of us on what was going on with our tires out there,” said Nate Hoax (Bellingham, Wash.) Open Men.
Flats fixed, racers carried on to Stages 2 and 3, weaving through Kimberley Nature Park, the largest municipal park in British Columbia. At 840-hectares, the park is family-friendly when it comes to mountain biking. But put a start/finish on any given segment, and these 2-to-3-minute stages left racers panting at the finish line.
Weaving through town, the next 10.2-kilometer and 640-meter liaison was not for the faint of heart. The racecourse conveniently routed by Rose’s backyard for the aid station and laps on the pump track before continuing its way towards the final stage of the day. Little did racers know what was in store for them.
While the final stage will forever remain one of Rose’s best-kept secrets, if you can find a local to take you for a ride, perhaps you’ll experience the deepest duff of your life. Or you’ll just have to sign up for the Schwalbe Trans BC in the future.
Siblings Dane and Zach Peterson came from Eldorado Hills, CA for their first backcountry enduro stage race. “We heard about the sick backcountry days and good times. And the sweet dirtbag deal,” Peterson said. “Stage 4 was definitely the highlight – steep, loamy with sick sightlines.” Dane usually beats Zach between the tape, but the tables were turned on Day 3 with Zach putting 11-seconds into Dane. Day 4 – “The Day of the Old School Steeps”
Some say that Day Three is the hump day, but for most Day Four in Fernie was the physical and mental hurdle of the week. Just shy of 3200 feet to the top of Stage 1, racers eagerly anticipated the largest sustained steep trail of the week – Al Matador, a brake pad-burning 776 meters (2526 feet) in 3.2 kilometers.
En route to the starting line, racers passed the drop-in to Dirt Diggler, Fernie’s destination downhill trail. Since 2006 the Fernie Mountain Bike Club has run a downhill race down the infamous 6.5-kilometer track with 3500 vertical feet (1152 meters) of descending. The Trans BC opted for its less technical, but steeper, sibling down the ridgeline to send racers down.
“It was fast and loose all the way down. You couldn’t get off your brakes for most of it,” said Sam Redman (Denver, Colo.) “The bottom was this loamy, world cup track, chute all the way down.”
Depending on where you were at around 2 p.m. the skies above unleashed the fury of three kings, creating slick conditions on every stage — some racers were finishing Stage 1, while others were en route to Stages 2 and 3.
Marty Schaffer (Revelstoke, B.C.) has volunteered for the event since 2017 but decided to return in 2019 as a racer.
In the Open Women, Hannah Bergemann (Bellingham, Wash.) continues to crush her field, even with a flat tire on Stage 1 of Day 3. Alex Pavon (Flagstaff, Ariz.) is steadily closing the gap taking the win on Day Three and second on Day Four.
Two days of racing remain. Stay tuned to Pinkbike for updates all week long from the Trans BC Enduro. Hashtag your photos #transbcenduro
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Trans BC Overall Results – Days and 4 – Kimberley and FernieFull results can be found at www.transbcenduro.com.
1. Scott Countryman 1:35:08
2. Marty Schaffer 1:37:27
3. Aaron Bradford 1:38:19
4. Zach Mehuron 1:39:20
5. Tom Sampson 1:40:24
1. Hannah Bergemann 1:58:17
2. Alex Pavon 2:01:37
3. Angie McKirdy 2:02:09
4. Ingrid Larouche 2:03:51
5. Anne Galyean 2:05:47
Master Men 40+
1. Shane Jensen 1:45:18
2. David Hutton 1:50:29
3. Jon Burton 1:51:30
4. Kevin Eaton 1:52:37
5. Colin Jacoby 1:54:49
Old Boys 50+
1. Arama Jillings 1:55:20
2. Tim Bergemann 2:04:35
3. Emmett Purcell 2:04:39
4. Cary Smith 2:08:39
5. Chris Urban 2:08:59
ABOUT MEGAN ROSE — Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 14 years and organizing bike events for the past 10 years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand, running Trans BC Enduro and Trans NZ Enduro races. Over the past six years, Megan has personally raced in over 40 enduro races, timed over 65 days’ worth of enduro races, and organized 30+ enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.
ABOUT SCHWALBE — We are "tire fanatics" and 100% committed to bikes. You will find SCHWALBE bike tires in the USA, in South Africa as well as in Japan and Australia. In Europe, we are even the market leader! Our tires are not available everywhere, but exclusively from specialist dealers. We insist on qualified advice and good service and we know only the specialist trade can provide both.
ABOUT YETI CYCLES — Founded in 1985, Yeti Cycles makes race-bred, obsessively engineered, masterfully crafted mountain bikes proven by the fastest riders in the most demanding conditions. Based in Golden, Colorado, Yeti is owned and staffed by riders who are more likely to be out riding the company’s latest creation than sitting in a conference room. Visit www.yeticycles.com to learn more.