A word from the founders of the BC Bike Race
Even with our best efforts and hopes to execute the 14th edition of the BC Bike Race this July, we are forced to postpone the race to the fall and are excited to introduce a stunning new location.
2021: October 2 to 8, 2021 – pending Provincial Health Orders
2022: Fall dates to be announced later this year
New location for 2021 and 2022:
South-Central Okanagan, Penticton and the surrounding area
Planning and executing a multi-day mountain bike stage race is a significant endeavour in and of itself; a global pandemic that continues to evolve adds multiple layers of complexity. It takes a year to develop and produce the level of professional event we are accustomed to in pre-Covid times.
You, the future BCBR racer, and our proud alumni of 13 years, from 65 different countries, have trusted us immensely to blow your minds with the best week of your life on a bike and with the ultimate singletrack experience. You count on us to deliver on that promise, and we take that task seriously. We continue to navigate these crazy times as event organizers so that we can deliver on our unwavering promise to you. We always will.
The foundation of our success as an organization is our commitment to executing the very best and most unique experience of its kind which you can’t find anywhere else in the world. While that is still our mission, it is time to evolve the BC Bike Race.
We are laying out significant changes for BCBR going forward. These changes are necessary so that we can not only survive, but thrive. As humans we can resist change, or we can embrace it. We are choosing to embrace change.
“We cannot solely rely on the past. Rather we need to continue to create the future.”
There are so many factors that go into our decision-making process. These include land-use agreements, racers’ wants and needs, bike club and host community support, staying current and relevant, development of trails and trail inventory, Covid protocols, Canadian border regulations …. the list goes on.
We can’t thank the past and present communities we have been working with over the years enough. They have collaborated with us to navigate our ever-changing reality and been willing to pivot multiple times while staying focused on solutions. We appreciate our new host community Penticton and the bike trail stewards PACA, for being so welcoming and working with us on the creative vision of bringing the BC Bike Race to the South Okanagan. It’s truly an honour to be welcomed in as they have and we appreciate their agility in working with us in such uncertain times.
Each community has its unique set of challenges that it is dealing with. For example, Whistler sees the most visitors internationally on an annual basis in all of British Columbia (BC), which has made their experience of addressing Covid extraordinary. This plays heavily into their decision to deny any 3rd party event applications for the foreseeable future. This is just one example, and we get it. We have had open dialogue with Whistler and all the possible stage hosts throughout BC.
Over the past year we have had a unique experience with you, the racer. Normally we would be hugging you and high fiving you all week long, living with you in basecamp, sharing stories and connecting as passionate mountain bikers from all over the globe. It’s a form of a pilgrimage, if you will, to an epic annual gathering here in British Columbia. Our management team at BCBR have been humbled by this entire experience of postponements and uncertainty, and we can’t thank you enough for your patience and partnership.
We acknowledge the challenges you’ve endured, having registered and committed to such an ambitious goal as becoming a BCBR Finisher at a time of uncertainty in the world.
Our hope is that you continue to trust us as we recreate and reimagine a BCBR experience that will leave a lasting impression. The dedication we have to a culture of service and creating meaningful impact will never falter. As we look ahead to the next 14 years, we’re exploring options for returning to the coastal communities that we have such affinity for at some point. Stay tuned – the BC Bike Race continues to evolve.
Our task is always clear for our team at BCBR and that is to blow your minds hosting you here in British Columbia for the Ultimate Singletrack Experience. It’s just going to look a bit different than it used to. But when we see you, the hugs and high fives and tall tales will all feel the same. Perhaps even better when we finally all come together, eh!!?
Dean Payne and Andreas Hestler
WHAT’S NEW AT THE BC BIKE RACE
- We are adopting a cloverleaf format: one central area to stay in Penticton and riding from there for some stages, with day trips to the other stages
- 6 days of riding covering 9 stages
- Camping and showers contingent on what’s allowed by the Provincial Health Order
WHY THE PENTICTON AREA?
- A world class riding destination with 8 distinct trail networks around Penticton
- A community with a rich history of hosting world class events and races
- Best fall climate for bike riding in Canada: 18C/64F Average high with minimal rainfall
- The fall harvest and wine festival
- Convenient local airport
- Strategically located in the middle of Southern BC
- A stunning destination. This is a gem of an area to visit with a combination of big-clean lakes, mountains, a warm-sunny and dry climate and a flourishing wine industry
WHY THE NEW FORMAT?
- Fewer logistics and less moving around to create more time for off bike fun and recovery. It also eliminates the long transfer days.
- As long as we’re permitted to do so by the Provincial Health Order, this will mean better beer and wine gardens and more daily entertainment
- Time for change after 13 years doing a similar route. We are the BC Bike Race and British Columbia is a vast province to explore with exponentially more trails than when we started 15 years ago. Our plan was always to move it around the province of BC.
- New opportunities for our alumni to come back and experience something different.
“We are so excited to welcome the BCBR flagship and gravel races to Penticton and the South Okanagan! With our world-class trails, extended seasons of warm weather, and two lakes to dip into after your ride, Penticton is the perfect destination for endurance racing and training. We look forward to welcoming riders to Penticton as soon as health regulations allow!” ~ Carly Lewis, Economic Development Manager for the City of Penticton
“I was on the very first bike mechanic team with Obsession Bikes in 2007. When I returned to my bike shop in Penticton I dreamed of the day that BCBR would come to our valley. This is a hidden gem in this valley and trail development has been off the charts.” ~ Kurt Flaman , owner Freedom Bike Shop
“PACA is excited to partner with the BC Bike Race to showcase our vast and diverse trail networks to the international community. The evolution of our trails over the past 35+ years will allow us to work closely with the BCBR crew to design a race route that will be world class and meet the standard of “The Ultimate Singletrack Experience.” ~ Terry McWhirter, President, Penticton Area Cycling Association