Dryve Factory Racing athlete, Jacob Hull recently completed the renown BC Bike Race, here's a write-up of his experience!
The BC Bike Race (BCBR) is a 7 day, mountain bike stage race, across the beautiful and rugged Canadian Province of British Columbia. The stages range from 16 to 36 miles each day, on trails that are extremely technical by cross country standards. Every stage is different, designed to highlight the diversity of British Columbia's mountain biking. Some days are loops centered around a special trail system, others are point to point and highlight the amazing countryside.
Over the course of the week we balanced on logs, bounced over roots, plunged down steep rock faces, and flowed through old growth forest on spongy loam. I got the chance to see, first hand, that everything in BC is bigger. I railed berms twice as tall as any I have seen before, and rode a narrow boardwalk that was almost a mile long. The whole week I struggled taking pictures of the landscape because I never felt I was able to do it justice. The mountains, valleys, and views are just too vast.
The trails we race on during BCBR are world class, but it is the communities that make it truly special. They all take great pride in showing off their little corner of the world. When we landed in Powell River, it felt like the entire town had come out to greet us at the ferry, ringing bells and cheering as the entire BCBR caravan disembarked. In every community we stayed, dinner was always special, one night we ate by the seaside and another we ate on the floor of an ice hockey rink. The dinners are cooked by chefs from the area we would be staying in, which gave us a great variety of meals.
I originally signed up for the race after hearing about it from two friends who were going, and was even able to talk my dad into joining in on this crazy adventure. BCBR is the first stage race I’ve done. I enjoy doing longer marathon mountain bike races, so I hoped my body would hold up well. I had never even done a 2 day race before, so I wasn't really sure how my body would respond to day after day of racing.
Stage racing is a fine balancing act. You want to be careful to never go too deep because you know there are still more days coming, but you still want to race hard every day. There is extra fatigue that comes with constantly being 'on' mentally for a week straight, wanting to make sure you make every move perfect, a single mistake can result in a crash and you will lose all the hard work you put in over the preceding days.
Overall, I am extremely happy with how my race went. I finished 17th out of almost 600 racers. My body held up great for the whole week, and I didn't crash once, even though the trails were way more technical than I usually ride. During the week I was able to climb with the top 10, and I realized how much more I have to learn about descending. The race was an excellent opportunity to try and follow the wheels of world class riders and ride some features that I would have never ridden if they didn't suddenly appear before me in the middle of a race. Beyond a few highlights, the back-to-back racing blends together in a blur. But, I loved the experience and feel so lucky to have been able to take part in it. Now I can't wait for my next trip, back to BC, to explore the beautiful countryside and trails even more.