Bruce Newton’s Road To The BC Bike Race - Part Six

Well that was a lot better!

With another half decent night's sleep the return to Mount Seymour with tour guides Endless Biking was more enjoyable. I got put straight to the test with a big, long fire road and bitumen climb that set us up for four technical descents that will all be in the race.

The good news is I didn't pop on the climb - okay I fell off the back of the group, but not too far. So that was encouraging. Yesterday, I would have had to stop a couple of times to recover.

The hardest of the descents was Lower Dale, which had one steep, rocky, rooty feature after another. Canadians say the tough stuff is 'janky' and this was pretty janky as far as I was concerned!

Our guide Ryan was awesome, showing us the best lines, assessing and modifying our riding styles and being very encouraging.

Each time we'd walk through the feature and then he'd ride it and we'd do our best to emulate him, some better than others. I did ok, getting better and more confident as the day went on.

I'm amazed by what the Trance is letting me do. With 150mm of front suspension, 140mm at the rear and a dropper post all I need to do is get low in the ready position, keep my eyes forward, roll in with the right amount of speed and follow the line. It works.

But it's still a challenge to control my nerves, anxiety and breathing. Everything is within my capability and fitness level I just have to believe it. If I can do this, I can do anything in the race.

Anyway, tomorrow is orientation day followed by a ferry ride across to Vancouver Island and the first of seven nights sleeping under canvas. Then on Saturday, it's race time!