Another day done…and what a day! The first mass start of the week, with the Fernie vintage fire engine leading out 300-odd (very odd) riders to the TransRockies soundtrack – Highway to Hell.
The route started off much more like the “old” TransRockies…a huge long fireroad climb! Over the course of 3.5 hours we wound our way up a mixture of doubletrack, singletrack and probably 20km of fireroad to the top of the world I was getting serious flashbacks to 2009, with one major difference…it was dry! And sunny! And warm! The last 5km of gently climbing doubletrack was punctuated with big mud pools, we’d been warned that some were deep enough to drown in! 3 of us decided to test that out – we rode in side by side, got to the middle and stopped dead in knee deep water! Now it really was TR2009 all over again…wet and muddy! Another few kms of singletrack climbing and we got to the top of the descent we’d all been waiting for…1100m drop over just 5km!!
This was just a bonkers descent…steep dusty singletrack going on and on and on, with tight switchbacks, roots, rocks and trees to keep you on your toes! At the race briefing on Sunday night, we’d been told that only proper double-black diamond riders would be able to ride the first 500m….well, Mark and I must be proper double-black diamond riders, ‘cos we rode it all! We both wiped out a couple of times, but nothing major…though one of mine was right in front of the videographer, so I may get to see it on the big screen this evening!!
With brake pads down to the metal and disks practically glowing red, we popped out at the final food station, grinning like idiots! Then a quick 10km mix of fireroad and more sweet flowing singletrack and we were back on Main Street in Fernie, crossing the line in 4:53. A much better day for me…heart rate was much more sensible!! Tomorrow promises to be a killer day…43km with 2,200m of climbing…and none of your namby pamby fireroad climbs…all punishing, steep singletrack like day 1. Methinks this calls for an “eek”!