Well, it’s been about a week and a half since Mark™ and I rolled over the finish line in Canmore, after 7 very tough days racing in the TransRockies X. In that time, I’ve had a fabulous week in California to recover and reflect on the race, and I thought I’d put my thoughts down in my last ever blog post…probably (after all, the blog title is rather limiting!).
- the organization – despite my grumblings about the lack of information beforehand, everything seemed to run very smoothly, and most things were taken care of for the riders (most…see The Bad below!)
- the downhills – they were “awesome”!! Fast, flowing, technically challenging…and just brilliant fun! The standout ones were Porky Blue on Day 2, Verbotten on Day 3 (and in our warmup ride) and the one off Cox’s Mountain on Day…er….5? 6?
- my uppy-downy seatpost – get one!!
- my bike – Trek Fuel EX 9.9…it never let me down, was brilliant to ride and nice and light to push!! (Mark and I didn’t have any breakdowns or punctures the whole week)
- the weather and the views – when we did TR09, all we had was rain and mud. This year, we only had a couple of days of rain, and the rest was brilliant sunshine, stunning views and fast dry trail – well worth going back for
- the people – from competitors, to volunteers, to supporters, to the TransRockies crew, it’s the people that make events like this. It’s great to meet like-minded folk from around the world, knowing that you can bore each other rigid talking about bikes and biking! (Big shoutout to Lostboy, Stuey and Racing Raf!!!)
- Um…a bit of a big one this….the route! For me, a TransRockies without the “Trans” bit is missing something – 3 days in Fernie followed by a 3 hour bus ride and then 2 nights in Little Elbow, we only really went anywhere on 3 days. Put the “Trans” back in TransRockies!
- I know the organizers want to give riders as much great singletrack as possible (and they certainly did that!), but for me they’ve gone too far – singletrack climbs are all well and good but as soon as one person in the line starts walking, then everyone behind has to walk too. Day 3 was particularly bad, with a long unrideable climb straight off the road.
- Day 3 – I felt like we were riding the downs to get to the next up, rather than the other way round, and the finish at Island Lake Lodge seemed pointless – the views weren’t that great, it was full of mozzies, and we all had to ride back 10km down the road to get back to Fernie!
- After the finish – all our luggage was in the Radisson, and there was no transport provided to get riders and their bikes and bags from there to the other partner hotels – it was a real pain in the bum, especially after 7 days hard riding! It was provided in 2009, and I can’t believe it would be much effort or cost to provide, would it?
- Minor one…I would have a mass start on Day 1, so everyone gets that huge buzz from starting a mass participation event, then have the time trial on Day 2
So, what next? I can’t see myself doing the TransRockies again – twice is enough I think. BC bike race? TransAndes? TransPyr (Pyrenees)? TransPortugal? There’s one in Colorado that sounds “challenging” (aka “hideous”)? Something “self organized”…Mark has some route from the Alps to the Med in mind. Maybe back to running stuff. Who knows? One thing’s for sure – I’m going to get some windsurfing done…bring on those Autumnal gales!!
Thanks to my loyal reader (stalker) for reading…I hope you, and anyone else who stumbled across this, has got something out of reading this stuff for the last 8 months…you never know, I might even come back in a new persona, blogging about whatever my next challenge turns out to be! (On the other hand, maybe you should keep an eye out for a blog about Fat Orangutans on Bikes…..)