Words by Brice Minnigh, Photos by Morgan Meredith
The long-persevering riders in this year's BC Bike Race got their reward on Friday for all the brutal climbs, greasy roots and rainy weather they endured throughout the week—and that reward was a magical place called Squamish.
With the fair weather of the past couple of days allowing the trails to dry out, conditions were perfect for milking the most out of Squamish's superbly crafted singletrack. As the field set out for the first climb of the race's penultimate stage—with hundreds of knees and ankles taped to temper the edge of overuse injuries—spirits soared in anticipation of the flowy goodness that was just beyond the first few climbs.
And their anticipation was duly rewarded, with legendary trails like Half Nelson, Pseudo-tsuga, The Plunge and Hoods in the Woods giving riders from all over the world a taste of some of British Columbia's best trail work.
From the moment racers first rolled their wheels into the machine-sculpted Half Nelson, it was clear that the second half of the day was going to be a blast. Even relative newbies to the sport later confessed that they could see the appeal of the banked turns and tables. Though some of the more road-oriented riders said they felt out of their comfort zone on Half Nelson, they conceded that it had its appeal as a standalone work of landscaping.
A post-race straw poll administered by Team Sad Sacks after the ride indicated that the Squamish section was the most popular stage yet, despite the fact that many XC-oriented riders found the trails to be a bit burly for their tastes.
Check out the photos below for a glimpse of why the day was so outstanding.