The Stages Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles set the stage in Rossland, B.C.— where adventure and racing have been embedded into the community’s DNA since the late 1800’s when the first downhill ski race was held from the top of RED Mountain in 1897. In the years to come, railway beds, miners' trail and whisky running routes laid the foundation for the 200+ kilometers of trails weaving through Rossland. Today, mountain biking has shaped this small community into a year-round destination for core mountain bikers to experience the authentic, raw trails that are precisely what the Stages Trans BC seeks out.
“The trails in Rossland are second to none, and for all racers, it’s an adventure from start to finish,” said Megan Rose, founder and race director of the Stages Trans BC. “I want to bring racers to smaller communities and get off the beaten path of the West Coast, to explore Interior B.C. It is exciting to see the expression on people’s faces when they cross the finish line on the first day, knowing the week is only going to ramp up.”
For some, this meant riding the line between staying tight and getting loose. For others, this meant race-ending crashes.
“It’s typical for the first day of a trans event to see the highest numbers of incidences when everyone is excited, fresh, nervous and trying to figure out their pecking order,” said Marty Lazarski (Squamish, B.C.) lead medic. “It was our busiest day yet, with seven significant incidences which landed five people in the hospital, but great for our team to dial in our systems and for racers to feel well-supported so they can continue to throttle.”
After sampling the high alpine, loam that left riders frothing for more, and purpose-built trails down BS & Monticola, riders marched to the top of RED Mountain for a crowd favorite.
“Stage 4 was sweet as, I could ride that kind of terrain all day long,” said Tom Bradshaw (Wellington, NZL) Open Men. “It was steep, dry, drifty and had catch-berms right where you needed them.”
Dreadhead is a classic, old-school DH track, pining to be revitalized from its NorAm origins in the early 1990’s. Although it is sporadically raced a few times a year, it is still an unmaintained trail that traces the lines of the first downhill ski race over a century ago.
Two years ago, the day ended here, but for good measure, Rose tacked on one more stage down Paydirt, where jumps, doubles, and endless berms gave racers a taste of bikepark back to the base area where beer and hot tubbing commenced.
“Stage 5 was fun and fast. Pumping the terrain helped you keep your flow and your pace up,” said Eric Hatch (North Bend, Wash.) Open Men. “It was hard to finish the day sprinting, but you had to push until the very end.”
With only Day 1— 38 kilometers, 1732 meters of climbing and 2247 meters of descending —under their belts, some racers already looked shattered from riding a day in 35°C (95°F) heat.
A hearty dinner on the deck of RED Mountain Lodge revitalized racers as they received their briefing for Day Two, which included promises of dry conditions on the Flume—that racers previously experienced as a slip n’ slide in 2016.
However, an adventure usually isn’t an adventure if everything goes to plan. The dirtbaggers got the memo first about the rain moving in around 3 a.m. Everyone else awoke to wet conditions that would clear by the end of the day, but the Flume was not one of them.
Dewdney, Whiskey on the Rocks, and Crown Point warmed up racers’ balance, pedaling and technical prowess up before heading over to Flume, where the majority of the day’s finish lines stories perpetuated from. Filled with the skeletons of Rossland’s OG freeride scene, slippery wood features and steep, rocky chutes, the Flume cast its impression upon many a rider.
“I found myself at home in the wet conditions on Stage 4. I loved every bit of its raw, technical and old-school manners,” said Ruby Morrissey (Squamish, B.C.). “Now that I’ve settled into the mindset of blind racing, I’m enjoying my time out in the woods even more.”
Racers were advised to consider go-arounds of the slippery features, but despite any conservative intentions, all riders found themselves precariously perched upon an off-camber skinny that required a double drift over the apex, or a nimble dismount to three feet down.
“Today was one of the better days I have ever had on a bicycle. We rode decadent trails, and the dirt was amazing,” said Jordan Carr (Ophir, Colo.) Open Men. “Stage 4 was really rugged, steep, chunky and so much loam. The riding in Rossland is world class. It’s really hard to compare anything from the U.S.”
Rossland’s trail infrastructure continues to grow with new projects in the works. The next time the Trans BC visits Rossland, there will likely be new trails to race on.
“We’re excited to show the Trans BC caliber of rider what we have to offer,” said Nicole Briggs, marketing and events manager, RED Mountain Resort. “Our community lives and breathes mountain biking in the summertime and skiing in the winter. When I hear visitors comment on the intensity of our trails— that’s who we are!”
The trans enduro circus loads up for Nelson, B.C. where the journey will continue for the next four days. Rose has a few surprises up her sleeve for the racers. Stay tuned to Pinkbike for updates all week long from the Trans BC Enduro. Hashtag your photos #transbcenduro
to make their way onto the live stream of the Trans BC’s Media HQ.
The Trans BC operates under the BC Singletrack Society. Proceeds go directly into the trails and communities that the event utilizes. Over the past four years, the BC Singletrack Society has reinvested $60,000 back into the trails. 2018 will double the previous year’s ante, with $16,000 from this event alone, thanks in part to financial contributions from Stages Cycling, Yeti Cycles, Tourism Rossland, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism and High Above.
For more information email email@example.com or visit www.transbcenduro.com