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With his decades of competitive mountain bike racing experience, Andreas Hestler has certainly picked up a few tips and tricks to make the race experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. From Base Camp necessities to extra racing gear and team dynamics, Dre shares a few pointers for you to ponder while pulling together your gear and packing your bags for BC Bike Race.

Life at Basecamp

In the morning before each stage, and in the afternoon/evening following, it’s key to have the following items on hand to keep you comfortable.

  • Gear
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Sleeping Pad (Therm-a-rest type)
    • Towel
    • Head Lamp
    • Waterproof Bags (to store wet stuff)
    • Camera
  • Personal Items
    • Toothbrush (very important)
    • Chamois Cream
    • Sun Block
    • Lip Balm
    • Canadian Currency
    • Credit Card
  • Clothing
    • Base Layers
    • Warm Hat
    • Warm Jacket
    • Rain Pants
    • Sun Hat
    • Swimming Shorts
    • Sandals
    • Shoes (for walking around)
  • Riding Kit – In addition to the Mandatory Gear List items, you’ll thank yourself at the end of the race if you’ve brought these items (and quantities) with you for your many hours of riding:
    • 7 pairs of Riding Socks (including 3 woolen pairs)
    • 7 pairs of Cycling Shorts (a clean pair for each day, though laundry, will be possible at some Stage endpoints)
    • Mixed Base Layers for riding
    • Arm Warmers of varying weight/thickness
    • Riding Gloves of varying weight
    • Booties

View the Racer Documents here.

Team Dynamics

I would also like to add some insights about what it’s like to share an experience like BC Bike Race with a teammate; or, more to the point, how you can share this experience with a teammate and make the most of your time. Consider the distance and the time together, grunting at each other will become your cues to understand each other. Riding in single file, no more than 3 feet from each other, should allow you to listen and talk through this amazing adventure. The partner in front should be aware of the 2nd partner’s breathing/exertion and don’t let your egos rear up – it’s about two people. Don’t ignore your partner, if you push your partner too hard you will both not have a good outcome. Communication is the key if it’s ‘too hard’ tell your partner; don’t wait until it’s too late and you have exploded your legs, this is a patience game, only time will tell. Eat and drink diligently and help monitor each other. Sometimes we get carried away and forget – don’t! Remembering to look around and enjoy the scenery will also take conscious thought, so don’t lose yourself in your own world. Race consciously and carefully, staying in verbal and physical contact with your partner – this will enable you to grow as friends and succeed as a team. Good Luck!