The BC Bike Race is a 7 day mountain bike race in British Columbia. 625 riders, 7 days, 300km, 10,000m of climbing, 80% single track and ... well that probably says enough.

I've been working towards this race for about 18 months. Strava - which I joined around the time I started training says I've ridden 5247km. That's probably not a lot, but it was all off-road (except for a couple of rides at the Tour Down Under last January). Elevation gain so far in 2018 has been 50,120m. So you can see that's what the emphasis has been on.

Anyway, today was my first ride since I landed yesterday morning. I was part of a guided group that rode part of the day 6 course at a place called the North Shore (or more specially Mount Seymour). This is a legendary place amongst mountain bikers, a bit like Bathurst for car racers - technical and steep up and down.

It was fun, the stuff we rode reasonably challenging. The trails wander up and down through an amazingly beautiful forest, the surface is incredibly grippy, but littered with rocks and roots (more rocks). Something is always happening. The photo is on a black trail and I could ride almost everything. The stuff I couldn't get was weird - an uphill ess bend (I completed harder ones later) and an up and over on a log roll. I also felt pretty knackered on the climbs (we did 430m in 10km) and my heart went a bit nuts. It's jetlag, lack of sleep and all that I reckon. I am out there again tomorrow so after a better sleep and couple of good meals see how I go.

To finish up, I have to acknowledge a few people: Mostly my wife Jane who despite falling seriously ill just three days before I was due to leave insisted I still come and do this. Sadly, she can't fly at the moment so the holiday we planned in BC post-race has been postponed for 12 months.

Also, many thanks to Justin, Phil, Damo, Anne and the rest of the crew at Bicycle Superstore Mornington. The Giant Trance Advanced 01 is riding beautifully. I'll send a daily update, but they'll be shorter from now on. Promise! Hope you enjoy the ride with me.

Cheers
Bruce Newton