Race Report: CDC #1/BCE #2 North Vancouver

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This is where the pucker begins.

This is where the pucker begins.

The north shore is an important place for mountain biking.  Many would argue that much of what we consider today to be mountain biking originated on these mountains.  These trails are pretty rough, and your tires spend more time on root, rock, and bridge than actual dirt.  The race was laid out on Mt. Seymore, which is probably the most mellow of the 3 mountains that make up the shore.  That is not to say that this course was mellow: several sections would not have been out of place on a downhill track.  Practice was open to all as the trails are public, and many people made use of the excellent shuttle road that is Mt Seymore Highway.  With the high temps on Saturday, and a pretty strenuous course, shuttling was a great way to save a bit of strength.

Showing up to the race, the organization was pretty darn good, especially considering that this was a first combined race between two large series.  Course marking was pretty good, food was spot on, and results were timely and accurate.

The line up at he start of the first stage of the day.  EWS heavy hitters were here in force.

The line up at he start of the first stage of the day. EWS heavy hitters were here in force.

Now the course: The pro men, and master 40+ categories headed out to stage 2 first.

Stage 2:  This stage started with a fun section of trail that was pretty mellow, but required a ton of pumping, cornering, and solid line choice.  Next the course dropped onto the shore version of a flow trail, little jumps and pretty smooth trail.  This one wasn’t huge on pedaling, and total times were about 5 minutes.  This one went pretty well for me, a good start to the race.

After stage 2 a short transition took us a bit down the hill and over to Stage 3:

Stage 3 seemed like it was thrown in for a little extra time, and to spread people out a bit.  Mainly a short straight forward section of rock rolls and such, followed by a short pedal and some tricky corners.  This one was fun, but not terribly epic.  My stage went well, no mistakes, and my highest stage result of the race.

From stage 3 we transitioned over a fairly long, but totally gorgeous pedal and hike to stage 4:


Love this thing!

Stage 4 was rowdy.  Right off the start riders dropped into a series of pretty intense chutes and drops, before quite a long section of roots and rocks.  This stage was rad, and line choice, and straight sprint ability played a huge roll in success.  No major mistakes on this one, but not the most inspired effort on the pedals.

At this point, pads came off, and the long transition to the final stage took place.  Not only was the pedal long and fairly steep, but it ended with a solid 15 minute hike up a crazy drainage trail.  The upside of this was the striking forest scenery.  Reaching the top it was time for stage 1:

Stage 1 was long.  No doubt about it, this was really where the race was won or lost.  Right off the bat, riders dropped into a double diamond root blasting rock chute.  Then we transitioned into a clear cut before continuing down some steep and rocky trail.  The middle of the stage flattened out, and then had a pretty aggressive little climb before dropping to the finish.

The start of stage 1

The start of stage 1

This stage was a real challenge.  It was pretty much impossible to have a totally clean run, and unless you live in North Van, you probably had to do some improv riding.  I have no excuses but this stage went pathetically for me.  No legs on the pedal, and a big mistake higher up dropped me a solid handful of places down.

Overall, this was a great course.  Numbers looked like 11.3 Miles, 2,900 feet of climbing, and about 3 hours on the bike.  At the end of the day, smiles seemed to be pretty bountiful.  Personally, I had a great time.  I wasn’t overjoyed by my result, but I took a ton of info from it.  My descending is dialed, my endurance is spot on, but my sprints and intervals are lacking.  Time to kick it into gear, and see if PA can be a different story in a short 5 weeks!

Thanks to Hi 5, and all our sponsors, it was an amazing weekend with the homies!

The crazy hike!

The crazy hike!

Everyone loves a great fire. And a night to hang with Bham homies is always special!

Everyone loves a great fire. And a night to hang with Bham homies is always special!

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