Today in Canada begins a bike race dubbed “the ultimate singletrack experience.” The annual BC Bike Race, now in its fifth year, puts a pack of competitors on a seven-day stage race that takes a tour of the best trails British Columbia can offer.
You’ve never heard of it? Well, with a pack of 500+ riders — including Gear Junkie contributor Ryan Stuart, as well as champ biker Marzio Daho — and with a staged group of races that visit Powell River, Sechelt, Gibsons, Squamish, Whistler and other epic locales, the BC Bike Race should potentially be on your calendar for 2012.
But for now, the 2011 race starts today on Vancouver Island in the town of Cumberland. Unlike most multi-day mountain bike races, the BC Bike Race is mostly on singletrack trails, not dirt roads, earning its “ultimate singletrack” moniker.
“It’s a totally unique race,” says Andreas Hestler, a yearly participant in the event (who also happens to be the race’s marketing director). “We travel by ferry four times — there’s a chance to see whales! — and we ride the best trails in the world and camp in waterfront parks.” Hestler notes “swooping singletrack,” après beers, and time spent with friends as highlights each year.
Despite the competitive field, most of the racers are in it for the experience, Hestler noted. “Lots of people think I’m nuts for entering,” says Gear Junkie’s Ryan Stuart. “But for me it’s a good excuse to go ride some of the best trails in the world — why wouldn’t I want to do that?”
You can monitor Ryan Stuart and the BC Bike Race pack on the event’s news page. Post-race, Stuart will report on his experience and gear used in the epic event.