This just got serious: 6000 feet of climbing after three days of hard racing. Oh and buckets of rain to boot.
Here’s the low down from Emily Sabelhaus on Day 4 and 5 of the Trans BC endure. If you missed the Day 1 recap, check it out here. And the scoop on Day 3 and 4 can be found here.
DAY 4: Rossland
Our second day in Rossland (Day 4) was a bit of a blur. Mostly I remember climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more. By this point, everyone was feeling fatigued, both physically and mentally.
Day 4 was the biggest day of the week – the longest, most exhausting, but undoubtedly the most fun-filled day. During our massive 8-hour day, we climbed 6000 feet during transfers and descended 7,654 feet in total.
After a long shuttle high up into the hills of Rossland, Stage 1 was a fast and furious descent that necessitated a 2-hour climb out during the next transfer.
Alex’s face sums up the collective exhaustion felt by racers at this point. May as well eat a sandwich and see what the rest of the day has to offer.
As usual, the girl crew stuck together today encouraging one another, sharing snacks, and taking care to refuel before the next big 1.5-hour transfer. A healthy serving of mid-race Beta Red was had by all.
Stage 4 was a doozie. Unknowingly, I dropped into this stage before a few pro men, one of which passed me overhead on a bridge as I opted to ride through the creek below (perfectly executed!!!). It was rowdy and exciting from start to finish, my favorite of the day. (Photo Credit: Dave Cronin)
Following Stage 4, racers took a quick snooze while we waited for a shuttle to take us back toward Red Mountain for the final two stages of the day.
Shuttling and recuperating with the girl crew.
Under grey skies we wound our way back up the mountain to Stage 5, Redhead, and then Stage 6, Paydirt, which felt like a mini version of Whistler with big sweeping berms and playful tables all the way back to the base.
The longest day was over and I celebrated with a massage from one of the therapists Megan brilliantly hired to tag along with us all week long! After my 30 minutes of bliss, I joined the crew for our nightly ritual of eating more than we thought we could, watching the race recap video from the day before, learning about tomorrow’s trails, and then packing up our bags in preparation for a trip to Nelson in the morning.
Day 5: Nelson!
I’ve heard so much about this magical mountain bike land and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself. I popped out of bed full of energy, ready to conquer another day on the bike … until I looked outside. The forecast had called for a little drizzle, but it was full on raining. Pouring. Nuking. To compound things a little further, while fretting about the rain and hustling to pack up my gear that morning, I forgot to grab my timing chip.
I watched in horror as my lady shred crew took off to climb without me, and I was stuck waiting for the last bus to bring the remaining timing chips to the trailhead. I stood in the rain for about an hour waiting for my chip to arrive. It was my own fault entirely and I was crushed I’d made such a rookie mistake.
In the pouring rain I climbed/walked the entire 60-minute transfer with the sweep. Although steady, I am not a fast climber. I couldn’t shake the vision of the entire race crew waiting for this “slow kid” to finish so they could get out of the rain and get back to Nelson. (Photo Credit: Colin Meagher)
By the time I got to the top of the first stage I was cold, wet, lonely, and defeated. I’m not proud to admit it, but I cried my way down Power Slave. I was the last racer to drop in and it felt more like a water slide than a trail. At the bottom I felt more composed, but barely. I raced Stage 2 a few hours later and began to get my groove back. (Photo Credit: Riley Seebeck)
I was glad to see a shuttle waiting for us at the end of Transfer 3. Cold, muddy bodies piled into the van and headed toward the next adventure. I finally found some fellow lady racers and my day turned around during stages 3-5.
Nelson offered riders some incredible rock riding. To me, it felt a little like Squamish mixed with Bellingham. Steep, loamy trails speckled with grippy rock despite the rain. My favorite!
My “stone washed purple” Juliana Roubion turned to a mucky brown by the end of the day. Although the bike was supremely muddy, it performed without any mechanicals.
Some racers felt Stages 4 and 5 were a bit too much in terms of technicality, but I LOVED them something fierce. The steep loaminess felt just like home and left me looking very much forward to our final day of racing.