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Cumberland served up a dynamite combination for racers today. The course was hard, the weather was hot and it was Day 5!

But racers were inspired to push themselves after a rousing recitation of “I am a Mountain Biker”, a poem written for BC Bike Race by Cumberland resident Kevin Flesher.

“I am a mountain biker
I eat pain for breakfast
my grip is onto death and gravity is my bitch.
Throughout the daily grind as the clock grunts and sputters
in its creeping lethargy, my mind races ahead to the trail
That’s where the roots and rocks wait
to rattle and shake my bones back to life
to stir my blood and lungs”

The Town Crier, a.k.a. Brett Tippie, made an appearance and read the “I Am A Mountain Biker” poem to kick off Day 5.


Today’s course certainly did rattle some bones and stir some blood.

It started with double track that soon turned onto the purpose-built singletrack switchback climbing trail, Sobo no Michi…and then the technical riding started.

From the rooty and punchy climb up Grunt and Grind, which was a hike-a-bike for many racers, to the exposed off camber rocks and steeps of Race Rocks, today’s course demanded that everyone be on top of their game for the 38.5 kilometres.

Racer after racer said this course was the most difficult so far this year, a sentiment reinforced by the fact that the final racer rolled under the finishing arch just shy of 8 hours.

Riders got a boost after the first big climb with a bacon station that had both chewy and crispy bacon to suit both preferences. The aid station a little more than half way through the course was a welcome opportunity to refuel and rest a little.

Want the full story on today’s stage and how the pro riders performed?



Cumberland is our basecamp for the rest of the week. Though small, this village has a powerful mountain biking community and the spirit of the sport is everywhere, from the Cumberland Brewing Company to the Riding Fool Hostel.


With the heat bearing down as the afternoon wore on, some of our younger volunteers decided Brett Tippie looked a little too warm and capped off the awards ceremony by soaking the emcee with water guns.

Overall, it was a tough but satisfying day for racers.

Tomorrow will be a very different flavour as they head to the green room of Campbell River. Stay tuned for Day 6.

Words by Carmel Ecker
Photos by Deniz Merdano, Jens Klett and Carmel Ecker



Plenty of style from this talented rider. Watch Thomas Lapeyrie, who has already raced 4 consecutive big days, show us how it’s done.