Day 2 of BCBR started at 1 am with a treacherous journey across camp to the bathroom. I think these are the moments that really add to the “rough” and “brutal” aspect of the race week. Not only are we pushing our bodies to their limits day after day but we are camping and just “making it work.” At 1 am I awoke with my body reminding me that I had downed liters of water and electrolyte after the race for rehydration. I grabbed my headlamp and journeyed across the field to the Washrooms, only to discover they were locked. A lengthy conversation to the security guard later and I was walking now to the port-o-potty. Then I had to figure out which of the 300 tents was mine. There’s your realism for the day.
From a more idealistic point of view- which is always from behind the handlebars- the course today was once again spectacular.
The course began on a 40 minute steep gravel climb. That left every single racer’s legs burning. I was pouring sweat and dripping out of my helmet. My legs felt strong though and I powered up the climb. I kept the competition within sight up the climb but I chose to manage my energy today and held back a tad at the beginning.
This strategy may pay off later in the week or it may have held me back a bit too much as I entered the extremely technical singletrack sections. With a corner, what felt like, every 20 yards, you couldn’t see anyone ahead. The trail was wet and the roots were pulling the tires out from under you. The roots were an intertwining mess and emerged from the ground in a fashion that looked like it was designed to stop a rider in her tracks. I felt like I was everywhere, sliding from side to side, with one foot unclipped, and playing damage control as I avoid collisions with trees.
I said a prayer of thanks for my dropper post as I felt like it was the only thing keeping me off of the ground. (For the most part).
As we neared the finish, the climbs got steeper and I became very acquainted with my stem, as I felt my face glued down to keep my front wheel on the trail. I finished in 3rd today and made it on the podium for day 2.
We boarded the the bus, then the ferry, and are now making our way to a new base camp in Powell River.
Another absolutely rad singletrack experience out on course today. It tested my skills, my patience, and gave me a nice warm welcome to the wet roots of British Columbia. In case you couldn’t tell, I love it here, I love this experience, and I want to soak it up like a sponge.
Bring on Day 3!!