Video & Race Report: Trans BC Enduro Days 5 & 6 - Crowsnest Pass and Fernie

Jul 15, 2019
by Megan Rose  
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Day Five — “The Trans-Alberta Day”

KIMBERLEY, B.C.— The final two days of the Schwalbe Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles brought racers to their limits – of grip and grit. Traversing the British Columbia—Alberta border to Crowsnest Pass on Day Five and rounding out the sixth and final day on Fernie Mountain Resort’s finest descents, racers shattered any preconceived notions about themselves prior to the week and finishing on the ultimate high and party train laps in the bike park.

This was the first time that the Trans BC crossed provincial borders to ride in a completely new and unexpected zone. Located in the rainshadow of the Canadian Rockies about 45 minutes northeast of Fernie, Crowsnest Pass is a sleepy town that was established on the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800s.

Day 5 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Crowsnest Pass' namesake in the background of Day Five racing. The name is taken either from the Crow or from the fact that crows nested below the mountain's summit.

Not necessarily renown as a mountain bike destination, Megan Rose discovered the area by former Trans BC racer Darcy Neniska who was eager to share his backyard trails. Despite the previous days of climbing stacking up against them, Rose didn’t hesitate to throw another 32 kilometers and 1579 meters (5180 feet) of climbing at racers for the day as they pedaled through four stages.

Day 5 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
You know you're on the right track when you hear long-time volunteer Anthony Bousetta hootin' and hollering through the woods. Bousetta has many nicknames, Pocketpieman and Scapegoat to name a few.

“We like to work with people who open their arms and want to showcase their trails,” Rose said. “It was a mixture of feedback – some people said that Stage 3 was the best of the week. I personally don’t agree, but we like to see having the variety where everyone has a day that they get to shine. To me, that’s a good vision.”

Megan Rose cherry picks her favorite stages of the day to pre-run. Tom Bradshaw rode every stage of the week, some of them twice, all the while keeping the stoke high wherever he goes.

Riders from Colorado said they felt like they were at home on the dry, rocky trails. A little flatter, but tight trees to weave in and out of, presented challenges to those who are not used to the higher speeds.

“I was more comfortable on the terrain on Day Five. I’ve been out of the racing scene for a couple of years, and I’ve never have raced blind before,” said Anne Galyean (Seattle, Wash.) “After a couple of days, I learned to stop attacking like it was a regular race, relax and have more fun.”

Day 5 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Gaylean went on to win the Day Five Overall, second on Day Six and 4th place in the week overall. She also won the award for most mosquito bites.

The highlight of Day Five was Stage 3 were big rock rollers on “Big Bear Down” led into “Sooper Trooper”, a fast, flowy technical singletrack through the woods.

Day 5 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Day 5 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Stage 3 was the favorite on Day Five - a variety of rock rolls at the top and fast, rooty shenanigans to the bottom.

The day finished with two short stages back down “School of Rock” – another Rocky Mountain rendition – and “Whistling Post,” a kilometer sprint to the end with smooth berms and flat grass pedaling to the road.

The big rock slab on school of rock nice low angle with a perfect catch berm below. Perfect for racers looking to go fast
The big rock slab on School of Rock - a nice low angle with the perfect catch berm below.

“There’s a lot of variety in B.C. For the most part, Megan chooses steep, rough and long tracks – because that’s what the majority of us like to ride the most. But we also have a lot of other trails – not all of it is crazy steep or made of roots. The difference is in the dirt – there isn’t as much organic material in the soil which can make it just as consequential to slide out as wet roots on the steeps,” said Peter Wojnar (Squamish, B.C.) squid videographer.

Media Squid Peter Wojnar has a whole bags of tricks. Today he throws a slightly different version of the turnbar at the top of Stage 1. He calls it the barturn.

Riding in Crowsnest Pass makes you feel alive and back in nature.

Day Six — “Party Train Finish”

Megan is known for setting the final day as a bit of a cruiser so riders can finish racing early to do more party laps on the lift, snag some pool time, and rest up before the evening festivities. If you make it to the final day with bike and body intact, the finish line feels like it’s just around the corner – only another 21 kilometers, 1211 meters of climbing and 1880 meters of descending until you’re there.

With little to no warm-up after a lift transition, riders raged down Willpower, a single black diamond trail that flowed down the mountain within plain view from the lift and heckling. With another lift up and blue singletrack to transition over to the top of Stage 2, riders were on track to cruise through the final three stages.

Marty Schaffer always yeti for the unknown, sends it on optional lines off of Stage 1 - Willpower.

Stage 2 – Verboten – left racers panting at the finish line. The 2.2-kilometer stage included 18 meters of climbing but had a deceiving amount of pedaling through rooty twists and turns.

Day 6 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Since retiring from World Cup competition in 2004, Candian Olympian Chrissy Chrissy de Vall maintains her form and track speed by chasing around her two groms in Whistler, B.C. De Vall placed in the Top 10 at her second Trans BC Enduro.

“Today was a lot bigger than I thought. Stage 1, I was following the one and only Hypeman, Blair Reed. It was a nice coffee to wake up with,” said Tom Bradshaw (Wellington, NZL), the official Stoke Guy and voice behind the #FollowCam footage of the week.

Day 6 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Tom Bradshaw, the official Stoke Guy of the Trans BC Enduro took his job seriously, including flying the turquoise flag wherever he goes..

“This week, my job was to follow people, heckle people, encourage people, and keep the stoke up. I reckon that 70 percent of the people that I have tried to follow have either crashed or had something go wrong, including myself. I saw the biggest crash all week near the top of Stage 3. It was a highlight to see #FollowCamFriday himself get up from that crash and keep pinning it down the hill.”

Grinding across fire roads and doubletrack under the iconic cliffs that Fernie Mountain Resort is known for, racers arrived at a stacked line and description that made the Stage 3 – TNT – sound like the biggest test of the week with the most severe consequences.

Day 6 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Despite suffering on the final big push of the week, the transition up to Stage 3 provided far out views of the valley and surrounding mountainscape.

Steep switchbacks, jagged rocks and committing lines all played a role in navigating the top half of the stage. But once you crossed the road into the bottom half of Rumplestumpskin, you could get off the brakes and pump and flow through loam to the finish.

Day 6 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
That’s blind racing – one person’s exhilaration is another person’s greatest fear. You won’t find out for yourself what that is until you drop in.

“The last two stages today – that’s was people come to the Trans BC for,” Rose said. “Dropping into the final stage of the day and seeing the conditions, I was absolutely frothing, thinking that people are going to either be losing their shit with excitement or pooping their pants. There wasn’t going to be any in-between.”

A last-minute decision by the Fernie Mountain Resort bike crew opened up the top portion of BC Cup race track. In lieu of racing Bicyle Thief top to bottom, they threw in the “Canadian Section” steeps to give Trans BC racers the perfect conditions for one final run top to bottom.

Tom Sampson attacks the roots before dropping into the steeps on Stage 4. Physically, this round was tougher for Sampson than last year, but he managed to stay in contention all week long with a 5th place overall.

Although it’s not mathematically possible at 30 second intervals, all racers dropped within an hour of each other on the final stage. Party trains flowing, the week’s worth of gripping on for dear life was over as racers crested the final wooden ramp and catapulted themselves into the parking lot to beep out one last time.

Adam Procise showing us his true character by failing to let it all hang out. Nudity is only cool if you re actually naked Adam. Jeez.
Adam Prosise flys his team colors for Team Rudeboy on Stage 4 of Day Six.

Celebratory beers and lunch revitalized energy levels mid-day and racers were back in the bike park to feast on loam laps until the lift stopped spinning at 4 p.m. After six days, 165 kilometers (103 miles), 8,300m (27,230’) of climbing and 11,500m (37,730’) of descending, they still wanted more.

Even after the race is over, the riding still continues. This is the spirit of the Trans BC Enduro.

“This Trans BC experience was incredible – the grandness of it – going up mountains, doing jumps and drops, riding ridgelines, and pushing the limits physically day in and day out while racing blind,” said Angie McKirdy (Squamish, B.C.)

Angie McKirdy has a fierce staredown with the steeps on Stage 4 as she pilots her bike to second place in the overall results.

The competition on the sharp end of the fields presented their dominance early on in the week. Scott Countryman (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Hannah Bergemann (Bellingham, Wash.) held their overall leads, never letting up their lead in the overall. The battle came on the bottom steps of the podium. McKirdy edged out Alex Pavon (Flagstaff, Ariz.) by six seconds for second place after Pavon tomahawked off the trail on Stage 4 and had to climb back onto the trail to finish the steeps with twisted handlebars and saddle.

Alex Pavon rode strong on Day Six to place third place overall in her third Trans BC Enduro. Her crash on Stage 4 resulted in her losing valuable seconds and all of her tools in her swat bibs. Luckily, she found her phone in the pile of logs before jumping on her bike to finish the course.

Marty Schaffer (Revelstoke, B.C.) always yeti to shred, rode strongly for second place, beating Trans BC veteran Aaron Bradford (Seattle, Wash.) who raced the final day in jorts and a button-down shirt with a T-Rex shooting lasers out of its eyes.

Day 6 of the 2019 Trans BC Enduro.
Aaron Bradford hung in the back of the pack all week. Even when the trail conditions evolved throughout the day, his speed and prowess remained the same. Kind of like a T-Rex with lasers.

But at the end of the day, the Trans BC is not about the race results. Whether it’s your first blind enduro stage race or you’ve become a familiar face, each year will present brand new trails and challenges, and unique experience of a lifetime because of the people you are surrounded by.

“I think the consensus that this was the easier year out of all four years. It wasn’t a conscious decision. We happen to get some of the best trail conditions, and each region has its own flavor and trails. We will continue to rotate locations every three to four years to give communities a break and opportunities for new trails to be discovered and developed.” Rose said.

The Trans BC acknowledges that we are racing on the traditional territory of Niitsítapi and Ktunaxa for Days Five and Six.

The Schwalbe Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles will continue to rotate through the West Kootenays, East Kootenays, and the Okanagan, returning to Rossland, Castlegar and Nelson, June 29 – July 4, 2019.

For those who missed out on this epic adventure, registration will open for next year, October 2018. Keep tuned in to Facebook and Instagram to follow along. For more information email megan@ridingbc.com or visit www.transbcenduro.com.

2019 Trans BC Overall Results

Full results can be found at www.transbcenduro.com.

Open Men
1. Scott Countryman 2:15:18
2. Marty Schaffer 2:18:21
3. Aaron Bradford 2:18:37
4. Zach Mehuron 2:21:33
5. Tom Sampson 2:21:34

Open Women
1. Hannah Bergemann 2:45:10
2. Angie McKirdy 2:50:29
3. Alex Pavon 2:50:35
4. Anne Galyean 2:52:39
5. Ingrid Larouche 2:53:13

Master Men 40+
1. Shane Jensen 2:28:34
2. David Hutton 2:35:12
3. Jon Burton 2:36:38
4. Kevin Eaton 2:38:28
5. Colin Jacoby 2:39:30

Old Boys 50+
1. Arama Jillings 2:42:12
2. Tim Bergemann 2:52:36
3. Emmett Purcell 2:53:59
4. Cary Smith 2:56:29
5. Chris Urban 3:00:18

Writer's Note: These reports were brought to you live all week from pedaling up and sliding down every meter of the Schwalbe Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles. This year was not about setting records but getting back on the horse to continue to report on every Trans BC and Trans NZ event since 2016. The experience of riding alongside and interviewing racers is a privilege that is not taken for granted — even when the mosquito bites become excessive, the hours behind the keyboard stretch out into the wee hours of the night, and your RoboArm periodically locks your arm into a 90-degree bend. Working behind the scenes with the volunteer crew and the media team has become like an annual family reunion. A huge thanks to Ben Duke, Ben Saheb, Dane Cronin, JC Canfield, Nate Hills, Noah Wetzel, Peter Wojnar and Riley Seebeck for pumping out coverage all week long while riding your hearts out. A special thanks to Anne Galyean, partner in crime behind the Working Woman's Trans BC, for providing words of encouragement to show up and ride every stage. Of course, we would be remiss without recognizing the legendary Megan Rose — you are the unicorn of race promoters.

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.




12 Comments

  • 5 0
 "Aaron Bradford (Seattle, Wash.) who raced the final day in jorts and a button-down shirt with a T-Rex shooting lasers out of its eyes."
No picture? Seriously?
  • 1 0
 Thanks Megan and all the volunteers at the Trans BC enduro! Best bike trip ever! They run an amazing event, don't even think about it just go! Ive Never been so challenged day after day on my bike, met some amazing people, and ill never forget a single moment of the riding!!
  • 5 3
 YEAHHHH Eveyone watch for the homie Zach Mehuron from Devou Park Trails as he heads to Whistler EWS!! We out here Cincinnati, OH fkin representin!
  • 3 0
 Biking makes me happy ????, gotta make it happen BC enduro...some day!!!
  • 3 0
 Am I missing the pic of the guy who won?
  • 1 0
 more countrydude!
  • 4 0
 Looks like everyone's winning to me...
  • 1 0
 I'm now going to send you back up to find the guy who seems to be wearing only knee pads & a helmet. Not the shot of the guy in the Jamaican souvenir.
  • 3 0
 Outdoor wipes.
  • 1 0
 nice trails! also, I am wainting for naked segment of the video, so many naked people there lolz Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Who's John Denver?
  • 1 0
 Awesome event! Thanks again to Megan and the volunteers

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