Sunday, June 29, 2008

BC Bike Race (day 1) - BC Bike Race 1, Aaron 0

The first stage of the BC Bike Race did not go as planned, well at least not the last 3 hours.

Pre-race...notice the look of wouldn't last

The race started with one "neutral" and one hot lap around Shawnigan Lake School. Unfortunately there was nothing "neutral" about the lap. It was red line from the go and you would have thought this was a short track race by the way teams were attacking the small climbs. It was chaotic to say the least. Half way through the lap the course went into a freshly mowed field were 12" blades of grass was jamming and breaking derailluers.

Rounding the corner of our "neutral" lap before heading out on stage 1

On the second lap on a fast descent and right hand turn two riders stacked it 5' in front of me. Their were limbs and bikes flying everywhere. Not sure how I avoided the melee and after a quick check of the drawers, Andy and I were off for 83km of riding.

The next 2 hours included a rock face descent, 45 minute hike-a-bike through a overgrown fern forest and some pretty neat single track. Then the chills reared their ugly head. I had the same problem several weeks ago at Test of Metal. Instantly I stop sweating and start getting gnarly chills. Very similar to a dehydration problem, the only thing is I am hydrated. Needless to say the engine was sputtering and the eight cylinders were running on four...or closer to two. The worse part, we still had the biggest climbs of the day ahead of us and the sun was only getting hotter.

The second aid station was a god send. I was able to take a break, get some fluids, vomit and then eats some oranges. Lovely!!!! The climb would soon start and the wheels would soon come off. The climb was brutal. The granny gear was my best friend, but even with the help of all her teeth I was still worthless. Andy was doing everything possible to help me up the hill (it may have been the heat, but I'm pretty sure at one point I was riding on his handlebars while he rode and carried my bike on his shoulders). The climb, the heat and my inability to ride my bike wouldn't stop. After what seemed like an eternity we finally reached the third aid station.

The remainder of the ride was survival. We had 10km of wicked fast descent, where we were reaching speed of over 40mph, and then 17km of excruciatingly painful flat double track. I did my best to tuck and draft behind Andy while he threw out some watts that would impress Tom Boonen. However with 3-4km to go my engine let go and I was done. The hurt locker was open, I was shoved in and it shut hard behind me (similar to my high school days, although this time my underwear wasn't wrapped over my head). Andy brought us into the finish line and we passed through at just over 5:30. I was exhausted, in pain, in tears and wanting to be held! I figured my debacle cost us around 15-20 minutes. Luckily we still have 6 days of racing ahead of us and hopefully I can get my crap together and not impede our standings any further.

The temps for tomorrow will again be over 90 degrees and with 128km of riding it is sure to be a suffer fest!

Stage 1 - 5:30:43 - 30th place men's open

Keepin the rubber side down...peace.

Friday, June 27, 2008

BC Bike Race - Day Zero

Yesterday I embarked on an adventure that has been in the works for the past 8 months. An adventure that will take me from a small lake town 30 miles north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC to Whistler, BC in 7 days. An adventure known as, The BC Bike Race.

Blue star polishing the red rocket!

The race will cover approximately 580km over the 7 stages and will include some of the best single track riding in the world. Roughly 450 riders (225 teams of two) will be toeing the line tomorrow morning in Shawnigan Lake, BC to do battle with nature and among fellow competitors. I will be racing with my teammate Blue Star Racing. The primary goal for the race is to finish...second goal is to be able to put in a solid effort every day and be somewhat competitive.

Hopefully I will be able to update my blog on a daily basis to give you the latest and greatest from beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

The zero!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Squamish Part 1 - Victory

This three part story of heroism begins with our hero joining his three teammates for the MOMAR Adventure Race. An adventure of mountain bike, trekking and rappelling in the majestic town of Squamish, BC, Canada, that would test their courage in the face of danger and adversity from a position of weakness.

Armed with their new Gregory Iso Packs from, fueled by Clif Bars and hydrated by nuun our demigods where well prepared for combat. The battlefield was vicious, but led by the fearless navigation and diesel powered legs of MHayz, the team was confident in their abilities for victory.

The contest would start with a 1.5 mile run, followed by a short, lung busting mountain bike ride and then a longer trekking section.

Our competitors would slowly slay one team after another on the trek as they made their way back to the bikes. The team encountered it's first adversity when the saddle of Chris's steed snapped. Unfazed, they slowly nursed the mount back to ride able shape. The repair would cost the team 20 minutes and they would need to persevere to make up lost time. Digging deep into the hurt locker would be needed for the remainder of the bike and into the next trekking section. Adverity would strike again with a errand turn on the trekking section that would take the team several hundred feet down a trail in the wrong direction. The correction was quickly noticed by MHayz and with a drawn sword he would lead the team swiftly back on their way to the rappel. A short run, bike and run awaited our hero's, who in a display of self-sacrifice for one another finished the race with a first place showing in the 4-person co-ed division.

A storybook ending of moral excellence and the greater good, our hero's enjoyed libations and the beautiful scenery that only Canadians can offer.