The following is a compilation of my day by day diary/narrative of my BCBR 2021 experience.
October 2, Registration Day:
I can’t believe I’m here. Growing up in the PNW, the BC Bike Race—a six day, seven stage race founded in 2007—has represented the holy grail, a spiritual pilgrimage, a mountain bikers Mecca of sorts. It’s the race by which all other North American mountain bike stage races are measured. I’ve dreamed of this race since I first learned about it a decade ago. I’ve been emailing Moniera Khan (Racer Relations Manager) for two+ years, dreaming and scheming about a possible attempt in 2023 or 2024 (a bold and seemingly out of reach stretch goal for a spondy athlete with poorly shaped hips and chronic overuse injuries/tendinopathy(s). Each winter, I dive back into the BCBR videos archives, a montage of inspiring stories and enthralling images. Emailing back and forth with Moneira and John Kearns in the weeks leading up to the event, made you feel like you’re part of the BCBR family, before even crossing into Canada.
And after 3 venue changes and 4 date changes, the stars have aligned, I got a late entry (feeling like a wildcard of sorts), we locked down passports on a wild 20 hour trip to Seattle’s Passport Agency, and Friday evening, Amanda and I crossed the border. When I checked in at racer registration before our racer meeting last night, Moniera had penned ’Be Audacious’ and my ‘WNbL’ my sign off. Finally sharing hugs and laughs with Moniera—a beautiful, bold and brave soul—kickstarted the festivities. Riders from across the globe have descended upon Penticton, BC, for the adventure of a lifetime.
My recent crash flared up my right hip (the one with impingement and a labrum tear) in a big way—keeping me off the bike the rest of the week and in the trusted hands of @momentumptmt who dry needled my neck, hip flexors and glutes like a woman on a mission. Just two days ago, as we began the 10 hour trek to Penticton, it was hard to envision starting a stage race, but the hip is calming down and I’m going to be at the start line for stage one. I don’t have crazy expectations as far as how many stages I’ll race/ride; it’s going to truly be an ODAAT (one day at a time) effort.
There’s so many uncertainties going into day one and I’m feeling vulnerable as a mug, but I’m hopeful, I’m mindful, and I’m present. Health over results. It’s going to all come down to managing the flares, staying upright, and having fun. Head up, eyes forward, feet moving.