Kimberley’s stage has come and gone, and as expected it was a great one! After my massive bonk yesterday, this guys legs just didn’t work. Simple as that. For me the day was just to try to survive and get to the finish line.
Luckily there was ONLY 1200m climbing, and ONLY a 15ish minute downhill section which had a lot of flow and minimal climbing.
Today had a great feel to it. It was like a big group ride and everyone I think is past the ‘race’ part and more into the having fun, and riding with good people part!
The trails today were a mix of everything! Kimberley has a great blend of trails from man-made climbing trails at reasonable grades, to single track climbs with a light dusting of pine needles, roots and rocks. The downhill sections were fantastic. There were the typical flowly trails with a great mix of roots and rocks, and then on the other hand you experienced well made mini-park style descents, with fun small jumps and berms. Today had it all. The terrain would be an in-between of Fernie and the Okanagan. Dry, but with roots and rocks and lush in parts.
You can feel the fatigue in the group. Although some people have great legs with the odd burst of pep in them…for the most part everyone is tired. Naps are a must, and there is no second thoughts about grabbing the second piece of dessert at this point.
Today is a transfer day as well, so the final 2 stages are held in Golden BC, about 250km down the road. I chose to drive tonight to save getting up early and throwing in a drive before the race tomorrow. Luckily(thank god) the stage doesn’t start until 10:30 tomorrow.
Golden is a great little place. Ive fallen in love with all these small little towns, and its always good to come back to them. They have all embraced mountain biking and as a result have a very eclectic mix of youth, and great trail networks. Every one is a little different from the other in some small and big ways.
Golden tonight had a free reggae-dance band playing in the streets, with $2 tacos. The whole town comes out and enjoys the evening. Its great!
For people who are considering this race next year, I thought I would give some insight into what I am carrying with my daily. I would consider myself a bit of a minimalist, and I try to stay away from packs. For this race typically I wear a pair of Specialized ‘swat’ bib shorts which have 3 pockets in the back, and a traditional jersey over that. This way I have 6 pockets.
In total I have been carrying:
-1 digital camera(which took the photo)
-3 gels minimum(I’ve tried to get by with 2 and have been blowing up)
-CrankBrothers multi-tool(after the broken chain, Ive started taking this with me which has almost everything needed)
-2 CO2 Inflators(I tape them together so they don’t rattle, and sound like a banshee down the trail)
Keep in mind there are aid stations along the way to re-fuel. I would recommend never trying to push through on minimal gels and water. Which I have learned the hard way. After the 3rd or 4th day it starts to catch up with you.
Along with all of the great mountain biking, beers, hospitality and pain this race offers. Its great to check out the other sights around. Half way between Kimberley and Golden is a free natural hot spring that if anyone is in the area they should definitely check out.
What are your favorite hot springs in BC?! Let us know in the comments below!