The BC Bike Race is a massive undertaking. We know you will have a lot of questions as you prepare for your race. Hopefully this section will clarify some details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How difficult will the race be physically?
A: This will probably be one of the more challenging accomplishments of your life – both physically and mentally. Stick to your training program and don’t cut corners. To give yourself the best chance at success, get comfortable riding in all weather conditions. It is important for you to know how you, your clothing, and your gear will perform in a variety of conditions that you may find on British Columbia’s trails. It is also recommended that you consult a physician to be sure you are physically fit enough to do the BC Bike Race.
Q: What’s the overall success rate for riders? Are your cut-off times reasonable?
A: For our inaugural event we had an overall 96% completion rate for riders with success rates staying consistent over the past 15 years. Very few racers do not make cut-off times, except in instances of mechanical failures or medical issues.
Q: What happens if my team doesn’t make the cut-off time one day?
A: BC Bike Race doesn’t have set cut-off times. However, we will assist you in getting off the course and back to Basecamp if needed. We strongly encourage you to ride out the remaining stages of the race to make the most of your BC Bike Race experience.
Q: What if one of the members of the team cannot continue?
A: If your partner is unable to continue, we will switch you to the appropriate solo category. You will be able to finish as an official Finisher and will be eligible for stage wins in your new category, however you will not be eligible for an overall award in this new category. Overall winners in each category must start and finish in the same category for the week.
Q: Will we be able to have our own food and water bottles at the Aid Stations during each Stage?
A: No, racers will not be able to stage your own personal items anywhere on the course. You will have to carry everything that you need for the day. The Aid Stations will have a variety of food, snacks, water and hydration products available.
Q: What if I have food allergies?
A: Racers with food allergies should make their own preparations for special food as we cannot accommodate all at the Aid Station(s) or Finish Line.
Q: Can I tow my partner?
A: Towing will be permitted in emergencies only. It is not a viable option as a regular part of the race.
Q: Why are you limiting registration?
A: Simple: we want to ensure that we execute a world-class event, to this end, each racers enjoyment of the singletrack is taken into consideration via the prologue and seeding. The quality and integrity of the trails and the their maintenance also mandate careful consideration of the routes and the volume of ridership we put out onto the trails. These considerations and certainly a few others are why the number of racers per year is capped
Q: Can I race solo?
A: Absolutely! BC Bike Race has both teams of two and solo categories available. Year to year the numbers within each category change, but on the whole we average 75% solo. What we have found is that most racers will find a group that rides the same speed and your week will be fueled by the shared experience with those riders.
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement to enter BC Bike Race?
A: To compete in BC Bike Race you must be at least 19 years old on Day 1 of racing.
Q: What exactly is a mountain bike “stage” race?
A: In a multi-day stage race, such as BC Bike Race, competitors start each day in a wave start, working their way against the clock and through the course to the daily finish line. Racers’ finish times are recorded at the end of each day which determines their position within their category and the Overall General Classification (GC). At the end of the race, each of the stage race times is added up to calculate the overall winners in each category. In BC Bike Race, we have a short prologue on day 1, followed by 6 days, some days with multiple stages, of incredible singletrack mountain bike racing.
Q: How long is each stage of the race?
A: In general, the daily distance will be from 25-50 km, with a completion time in the range of 4 hours for the average rider. Here are some insights from Andreas Hestler, “Because single track and fire road have different average speeds we will attempt to create stages between 3- 6 hours. The winners’ finish times will be on the shorter side, so an average rider can expect to add 1-2 hours to the top racers’ time on to each day. As a side note, the intention is to vary both the terrain and the completion times. If we did 6-8 hours each day for 7 days we would be dead tired and unable to enjoy the beauty of this region; if we did fire road for 7 days we would be bored silly; and, if we did singletrack for 7 days for longer than 6 hours each, again we would be completely blown. So you see the complexity of creating a truly great course, it takes balance, like baking a cake. We have arrived at this recipe over the last 15 years and have a satisfaction rate of 95%, enjoy!”
Q: What sort of terrain will the course cover?
A: The terrain here in British Columbia is very diverse. During BC Bike Race, you will traverse unique forests, trails and a vast array of singletracks, ranging from duffy, lush and manicured to wild rooty and rocky.
Q: What’s the overall course elevation and profile?
A: Please view each individual Stage page for specifics.
Q: Why no GPX files?
A: BCBR prides itself on our course marking. The pink tape is simple and easy to follow and has the final say for all direction. Our courses can also be affected by several factors that can see last minute adjustments that can cause a mismatch with early editions of GPX files. Our course often gets special permitting and access for trails or property not accessible to the general public, and to be used only for race day so we cannot have anyone pre-riding these sections.
Q:When will actual trail routes be announced?
A: BCBR often gets special permitting and access for trails or property not accessible to the general public, and to be used only for race day. It is also only fair to not give locals more advantage than they already may have over those travelling to the region. So, for that reason we do not make our routes public until just prior to the race.
Q: Will there be a lot of road riding?
A: There will not be a lot of road riding, but during some stages to get from A to B we will spend some limited time on pavement, doubletrack, or gravel fire roads, most of these will be at the start or finish and assist with getting riders out on course or bringing them home. Roads between singletracks are some of the only places to consume food and water along the journey, please take advantage of these breaks to recover and refuel. These epic cycling events are by nature about travel, distance and experience, and our goal is to offer more user-friendly singletrack than any other race in its category. Given that we are in British Columbia, the mecca of mountain biking, that won’t be a problem.
Q: What sort of weather should we expect during the race?
A: BCBR takes place during the summer, which usually guarantees perfect riding weather. Comfortably warm, but some days and evenings can be cooler – especially as you gain elevation. Come prepared with a kit to accommodate all types of weather (It’s BC after all.).
July’s average high-temperature on Vancouver Island are 22°C (71.6°F), and the average low-temperature is 14°C (57.2°F).
What does this mean? Come prepared for anything. Even when a day starts out sunny and warm, you could be finishing in the rain and cold. For this reason, every racer should carry a jacket with them on course. We also recommend bringing warm clothes to wear at night, as the temperature can drop rapidly at the end of the day.
Q: You’ve mentioned that insurance is strongly recommended for all racers outside of Canada, what should our insurance cover?
A: We highly recommend travel medical insurance for all racers traveling from outside Canada. It should cover all potential medical expenses you may incur, including any additional non-medical costs incurred during treatment. In the event that you need to be transported to hospital, or extracted by helicopter you should have coverage for these costs (including the costs of extraction in the event you need to be pulled off trail). If you need to return to your home immediately, your insurance should also cover any repatriation costs. Any future rehabilitation costs should also be covered. If you do not have ample insurance coverage, BC Bike Race will not be responsible for covering anything not covered by your insurance.
Q: How can I protect myself against a personal situation that may cause me to miss the race?
A: BCBR offers no refunds or deferrals beyond our listed parameters found here.
But new within this past year, our registration service provider is now offering optional 3rd party insurance coverage to purchase at the same time you register.
It’s pretty straightforward. Provided the race itself is not canceled, you can insure yourself against a personal calamity or circumstance that prevents you from attending. Find specific details here.
Q: What’s the point of insurance? Can’t I just come another year if I am injured right before the race?
A: Race insurance** is your best and at times, only option should you have something come up that prevents you from participating at the last minute. BCBR is working hard throughout the year to bring the race together and race entries provide the funding to do so. At some point the funds are spent and the race is on – and we are all committed. Please make yourself aware of BCBR’s policy for refunds and deferrals can be found here.
As stated, there are no % refunds after these deadlines are past. There are no deferrals for any reason.
** Please note: The insurance is offered by a 3rd party provider. It is not managed by BC Bike Race, nor does BC Bike Race have any say or influence in any of their rules or procedures. Insurance MUST be purchased at the same time as you buy your entry or upgrade, it cannot be purchased afterwards or applied retroactively. For more information visit https://www.refundable.me/
Basecamp & Transportation
Q: Why are upgrades not included in the base registration?
A: We appreciate the financial investment required for the race. By separating these different components, each racer can now customize their week to include as much or as little according to their unique needs and preferences.
Q: Can I camp at basecamp the night of day 7?
A: Yes. We plan to celebrate after the race and want you to be able to take part and enjoy it. So, if you have a basecamp camping package Day 7 accommodations are included as is breakfast the following morning for those on the meal plan.
Q: What is on the program for July 3
A: July 3 is a full day. Registration/check-in is from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Those with camping packages will check into tent city. The prologue course will be open from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, followed by the mandatory racer orientation meeting at 4:00 pm.
Q: Can I park my vehicle for the day even if I am not camping at basecamp?
A: Yes. These are small towns and street parking around town is available. Please be courteous to local residents and respectful of their properties and daily life. We are a large festival for the size of these towns, and we are fortunate they are so welcoming and accommodating.
Q: Can I bring my own tent and just set it up at basecamp and save the cost of a basecamp package.
A: For reasons of security as well as operations, only those with camping upgrades and a BCBR issued tent will be permitted to camp at basecamp.
Q: I will have family members accompanying me for the week. What – if any – upgrades could they be part of (camping, meal plans, or transportation.)?
A: Providing for and managing our racers is our top priority. So only racers themselves can purchase upgrades for basecamp camping, meals, or transportation.
Q: Will there be enough parking at the start/finish locations if I am driving myself?
A: Yes. Most of our stages will begin from basecamp, but where they do not it is important be careful parking along rural roads. Traffic can be swift moving, and roads are narrow.
Q: Can I buy a transportation plan if I am not sleeping at basecamp?
A: The transportation plan is only from Victoria to our basecamp, between basecamps and then to any of the remote starts. The transfer on day 8 back to Victoria is also included.
Unless you are staying within walking distance from basecamp, the transportation package will not be helpful. There is no shuttle service to hotels or Airbnb’s available from basecamp.
Q: If I have friends or family supporters with me, will there be a way for them to get to cheer stations to watch?
A: BCBR does not provide transport to these spots, but, when possible (course dependant), we will have dedicated cheer stations set and marked for anyone who would like to cheer the racers on. Fancy dress and exuberance is always welcome here!