Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"
It was all going well, when I saw my whole stage go down the drain. The course tape had been completely broken at the end of a long fast, steep straight. Pretty quickly, I realized that I had missed a corner… I knew I had lost probably a minute or more, and I was fuming!
With the “Trail RS” iXS presents a new helmet that has been developed in cooperation with freeride legend Richie Schley.
The propeller on our float plane slowly works itself up to speed. In seconds, we’re airborne. The plane banks and we see Puget Sound, countless islands and towering peaks stretching away in every direction. It’s so pretty, a blind man would take a picture if he had an camera in hand.
You look at the schematic of each day’s course in your handy Racer Handbook and you mentally gear yourself up for the punishment ahead. Some days are obviously brutal—with jagged peak after jagged peak and humbling mileage and elevation gains. Today, however, looked like a piece of cake by comparison: 30 miles and 2,500 feet of climbing. A long ride, but not nearly as hard as the first two days or the following four. But then…sometimes appearances can be deceiving.
Stage two of the BC Bike Race began and finished in Campbell River. The race rolled to a gentle start with a middle-ring fireroad climb before funneling riders onto Box Lunch, a trail that alternates from steep descent to rolling traverse, but is always technical. There are off camber roots, really sharp rocks that you must power up and attack. Riders flailed about in their stiff soled shoes for several miles, doing a lot more stumbling than riding. By the time racers hit the first rest zone, many of them had that hollow-eyed, walking-dead look.
The first wave of racers takes off, fittingly, to the gentle strains of Guns ‘n Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” The first dozen or so kilometers are a fairly gentle introduction to BC riding—velvety singletrack that rolls and weaves through dark forests. The first hour or so, however, is also a constant congo line of squealing disc brakes, muttered curses and cries of “Sorry!.” Nerves are still high. Racers from dry climes are quickly learning that there’s a slimy root just waiting to take them out every few feet of trail.