Yesterday was Day 7 (the final day) of BC Bike Race. This morning I woke up feeling a bit of “stage race hangover.” Despite the exhaustion, I feel my body preparing to battle once again. It doesn’t yet know that I’ve finished. I feel a bit sad to not have a race to line up for this morning and it almost feels incomplete to not be managing an adrenaline rush. There are no course markings, no timing, and no rushing around. It’s just a quiet Saturday morning in the Vancouver airport.
As people pass me by I feel a bit smug because they have no idea what I’m conquered, seen, experienced, and navigated this past week. My bruises and scrapes are all that I outwardly show from my journey.
The scene of the start line for day 7 was like something off of a calendar. We stood ready for one more day of hurt at the base of beautiful overarching mountains. 36 miles and 5000 feet of climbing separated us from the sought after finish line. There was no holding back as we blasted up the climbs on the first day. I gave it one last huge push but was separated up the one of singletrack climbs. I never held back and never gave up as I charged forward up and down the mountains of Squamish, British Columbia. My legs felt strong and I almost laughed at the thought that this was actually day 7. I let go of the brakes and tried to show off my speed on the famous Half Nelson descent. I was beaming from the cheers of my mom and uncle who came up to cheer me on for this final day of my adventure. I finished the final day in 3rd place and secured my 3rd female overall spot on the podium for the week. 19 hours 20 minutes and 1 second of racing later I was holding my trophy and holding even more memories in my heart.
When I showed up this week to race the BC Bike Race I felt nervous, unsure, worried, and a little bit alone. I spent the night before day 0 in a hotel room pumping up my tires with a hand pump and praying that everything would just work out. I finished this week feeling empowered, excited, ecstatic, in control, and surrounded by people I love. My bike worked beautifully throughout the week and the only thing I ever had to do was put fresh tires on before day 5. I’m walking away a better bike racer, mechanic, and human being. I gained knowledge, experience, love, connections, strength, fitness, and a best friend.
I am so grateful to Clif Bar for sponsoring an event that showcases such inspiring human feats and such incredible adventure opportunities. I’m thankful to the Clif Pro Team for supporting me and sending me to rock n’ roll at this event. I’m thankful for my coach Chris Mileski who made sure I was 100% prepared to tackle this physical challenge. I’m thankful to a village that I couldn’t possibly list out every impactful person. A special thank you to BC Bike Race for such a well run and smooth experience. I’m thankful to God for my abilities, my opportunities, and a World that will always make my jaw drop. And finally, I’m thankful that you all took the time to follow along on this journey.
I am now headed back home for just a few days before leaving for Snowshoe, West Virginia for the National Championship. This journey truly, never ends.