Team Sad Sacks – BC Bike Race Stage 5: The Pain Sets In

Sechelt to Langdale Course Takes No Prisoners

Words by Brice Minnigh, Photos by Morgan Meredith

With the sea in sight, @BriceMag knows he is one long descent from the finish line.

It was only Day 5 of the seven-day BC Bike Race, and the cracks had begun to show. Bike magazine's own Team Sad Sacks--who had spent much of the race's first four days faffing around taking riding photos, helping other racers with repairs and chatting far too long in the food zones--finally realized that this strategy was not doing them any real favors.

Faced with relentless climbs up both fireroads and technical singletrack, Bike's publisher Morgan Meredith and managing editor Brice Minnigh were forced to put their heads down and simply grind out the grueling ascents.

For the second time this week, they were joined by Pinkbike's tech writer, Mike Levy, who had apparently decided that Team Sad Sacks' strategy of cruising the fireroads and savoring the singletrack was a lot more sensible than pinning it from the start and blowing up.

By the time they reached the 8-kilometer final descent, both of the Sad Sacks were shelled and opted to descend more conservatively than usual. Still, the stage's finale was superb, with a flowy, machine-built section that felt much like a bike-park jump run. Even some of the less-experienced racers said they loved this part of the course and appreciated the flow.

Here is a glimpse of some of the day's action:

This cuppa joe was the defining factor in @morga_deth's decision to leave his tent this morning.

In any mountain-bike stage race--especially those with 500 racers--waiting lines are a necessary evil. The most frustrating one is the morning bathroom queue.

With all the hustling around to prepare for the start each morning, it's amazing that all these racers made it to the start line on time. Team Sad Sacks are usually the last to line up.

Fatigue has definitely set in with most of the racers, and many have begun walking up climbs that they would have tried to ride earlier in the race.

We've spent far too much time wondering if this rider's snow bike was the best call for the BC Bike Race....

@BriceMag puts his carbon Easton Haven wheels to the test.

A quick hose-down before the ferry ride back to the mainland.

After a heavy dose of wet weather, these clear skies and the mountain views from the ferry were a sight for sore eyes.

Racers settle into Tent City in Squamish, with visions of sculpted singletrack flowing through their heads.

But Team Sad Sacks took a break from Tent City for dinner with friends and views like this, courtesy of Bear Back Biking owner Mark Knight.