Today was the big day: the start of one of the world’s toughest bicycle races along the world’s longest mountain bike route. Seventeen racers, including myself, gathered outside of the Banff YWCA, snapping photos and checking out each other’s rigs while anxiously awaiting the mid-morning start time.
When the clock finally struck 10:00 a.m., we all rolled out on pavement for about a mile before entering a trailhead while letting out whoops and hollers. It would be the last time any of us would see most of the others. Race on.
Ride time: 10:00 a.m.-10:14 p.m. (12.2 hours)
Miles ridden: 71 on-course + 4 off-course = 75
Total on-course miles covered: 71
From the Notebook
- Rain, mud
- Two “walls” of a climb that I had to walk up
- Last 10 miles very sloppy
- Went over creeks, branches
- Rode with Kevin Hall the first half; with Stephen Gleasner the last 10 miles.
- Stephen Gleasner had serious navigation problems. He and Karl Wilcox got 12 miles off course and was very demoralized. He would have gotten more off course if I wasn’t riding behind him and would yell out, “you’re riding the wrong way” when he’d make an errant turn. He was writing down numbers on his map and trying to do calculations, but it didn’t seem like he had a good system down yet.
- Loose hub which I initially misdiagnosed as brake/tire rub. Tightened with cone wrench.