When planning the 2018 BC Bike Race, organizers had one goal—more singletrack. So they switched things up on the first and last days of the event. The new starting location will be the Cowichan Valley, and day seven will now be Squamish instead of Whistler. But don’t worry, Whistler hasn’t been totally eliminated from the event. New for 2018, there will be an optional day eight in the lauded resort town. Days two through six will remain in the same order: Cumberland, Powell River, Earls Cove to Sechelt, Sechelt to Langdale and North Vancouver.

Photo courtesy of BCBR.

The Cowichan Valley is located on Vancouver Island and is traditionally called Quw’utsun’ by the local First Nations. The area has two popular trail networks: Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain. Racers will get to ride both. The two routes involve approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) of singletrack and eight kilometers (5 miles) of rural riding. Both networks will have one timed course with transitions in between to relax and recover. The day will be a mix of flowy descents and ascents, punctuated by tech sections.

Beachside basecamp in Powell River. Photo by Dave Silver

Over the next seven days, small tweaks have been made to the locations to take out road sections and replace them with singletrack. The biggest change to the course, other than day one and day seven, is in Cumberland. The first half of the day will remain the same, but instead of a punishing road climb, the second half will consist of a rolling singeltrack climb accented with sections of descent.

If you decide to stick around for day eight, riders will head to Whistler for a ‘choose your own adventure’ day. Get a massage, ride the bike park, eat a hot dog, drink a beer with lunch. The day is yours.

For all the details on the course and race information visit www.bcbikerace.com.