Stage one of this year's BC Bike Race was short, intense and left nothing to the imagination. The course's 29km was packed with 1500m of vertical, most of which was gained and lost in a pair of super steep continuous ascents/descents. As a race season introduction the day was trial by fire for Eric, who was plagued by cramps but nonetheless rode confidently and spent most,but not all, of his time on the right side of the handlebars. The day was too much for the venerable Panaracers as well, which blew off my front rim on a hard hit with 20min to go, forcing the insertion of a tube and leaving a huge ding in my rim, pictured here after being bent back and filed smooth:
That's one blowout too many and an invitation for a testdrive of some Specialized Saucerwind 2.0 tires with the 2-Bliss bead. Impressions to come...
It's days like today that really make better riders. Crashing through the woods in a train of people with serious technical game (the level of technical riding here is way above that of other stage races I've done) you do a lot of things you never would have even thought of trying solo. Aggressiveness is the best remedy for excessive gnar. Most of the time you come out rubber side down. The rest of the time you aim for the soft dirt.
Overall finish today 26th. Bringing the pain to Nanaimo tomorrow, though the pain might only be felt in my lower back.