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Ever since my first year of university, I knew I wanted to be a bike racer. Additionally, there were a few bucket list events that planted the seed of desire deep within my brain, and these seeds have germinated exponentially as I’ve become more involved in the racing scene. On the top of the list is BC Bike Race; (typically) a seven-day stage race around the mountain bike mecca that is Southwestern British Columbia. I remember sitting on a couch in southern California watching a YouTube film titled ‘Seven: theBC Bike Race Movie’. It chronicled the experience of BCBR throughout the seven days of racing, incredible ferry transfers, and tightknit community formed by racers pushing themselves through a week of all-out exertion. From that moment on… I was hooked. Somewhere deep in my mind I set a goal for myself to line up under the iconic start/finish arch, and pit my skills against the best of the best, as well as the unforgiving BC terrain. This year, I finally accomplished that goal, and after two years of nearly single-minded focus, all I can say is… wow.

Lets back it up a few months, all the way to December of 2019. Everyone was beginning their training for the 2020 season, and most professionals had a generally solid idea of what their race schedule would look like. I, on the other hand, was characteristically behind the ball on planning. I knew there were a few major events that I wanted to go to, but overall, it was shaping up to be another fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants season for me. Then I got a calendar. By some random chance I got onto a mailing list that crossed the BCBR organizers’ desks, and they were promoting the 2020 edition of the event with a calendar. That dormant fire of desire lit on that California couch was rekindled, and since I was now living in Bellingham, Canada was only a stone’s throw away… I had no excuse not to go. From then on I had a nearly singular focus for the season: perform at BC Bike Race.

Read the rest on Payson’s blog

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