BCBR in 2021 has made some real adjustments to our course designs as we have switched locations from the West Coast to our Southern Interior. Our design mantra has gone from high percentage singletrack to REALLY high percentage single track. We have removed the long roll outs from the timing in many cases, providing a good warm up that’s not on the clock. This shortens the overall length of the timed section of our parcours, which in turn increases the singletrack percentages. We still use a bit of double track to give passing opportunities. We are required by Health Regulations not to congregate at the beginning or end of each stage so the way we spread racers out on the course is going to be quite different. President Dean Payne will shed more light on that at our team meeting. When racers hit the start line, its go time for some intense singletrack loops!
October 3rd – Stage 1
Stage 1 is a 30 km 630 m elevation break-in stage; with about 95% of the parcours being fun, unique and testy singletrack. A climb off the clock on the KVR under the massive PENTICTON sign goes from the Beach to the Three Blind Mice where this stage will start and finish. Any good tour of the Three Blind Mice will start with this stage’s opening climb “Yellow Brick Road” is the classic trail that started the empire in this crazy huge network of trails. It’s a steady climber with varied terrain on rocks, in forest and grasslands. The Aid Station comes at the top of your major climb for the day. Racer’s undulate on sometimes steep and technical trails, and sometimes punchy climbs as they make their way through the Mice, ending with a Beautiful grassland trail called Southern Dancer that gives southwest views for days before a rocket-ship speed flow finish.
October 4th – Stage 2&3
Stages 2 and 3 are in Summerland, BC and will start at the Rodeo Grounds which is suiting as the parcours are made up of gorgeous singletrack cut into outcropping grasslands; this is real cowboy country! There are two stages on the day with an off-the-clock transition between them. Combined, there is a very fun, 41 Kms of riding with 1280m of climbing. Stage 2 is the longer more sustained route with an uninterrupted 25 km ribbon of single track. Stage 3 is shorter but with a similar profile at 12km. Both are outright XC courses that will roll fast. Cartwright Mountain’s featured climber is locally built by our Stage course Director Carl Peterson who is BCBR Alumni! Look forward to his brand of Southern Okanagan mountain biking as this area shows us unique trail building with a lot of exposure to the open air and massive views of Lake Okanagan. Don’t forget that as Unique as the trails are to this area, so are the wines! Check out the local wineries and farm shops before heading back to Penticton today!
October 5th – Stage 4
Stage 4 is set in the Alpine village of Apex. Apex Mountain and the surrounding terrain is fast becoming the locals’ favourite riding area in summertime when the snow is gone, and temperatures are bit more manageable than the 35 degree centigrade days of July in this area. In early October temperatures will be chilly, but we will make you sweat with singletrack climbing and craggy, high mountain forest trails. A 31 km day with754 m of climbing includes an enchanted forest single track loop followed by a winding XC climb to alpine and an Apex bike park favourite descent from the top all the way down to the finish on The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
October 6th – Stage 5
Stage 5 is set in the Northern Mice, a far-out trail network above the village of Naramata. Warm-up off the clock from Penticton to the Chipmunk entrance to The Three Blind Mice on the KVR. This opening section provides a long low grade drag to the start mat. The 31 km of riding today starts out on the Kettle Valley Railway trail with its gorgeous fall colours highlighting the orchards and vineyards set on the bluffs above the lake. Tuscany has nothing on this place! Once you have your legs prepped, you will be treated to a West-Coaster’s interpretation of the zone, as our stage today designed and directed by BC Bike Race’s own President Dean Payne who is a recent transplant to Naramata from North Vancouver. In true west coast style, this profile has little in the way of undulation, matching one giant climb with one massive descent. Manage yourself accordingly! The total distance on your bike is 30km today with 1000m of climbing! The climb is gorgeous pedal-friendly singletrack on Far Out and Neverland Trails built specifically for the purpose of accessing these way-out-there trails. Once through the aid station and up a bit further still, you crest at the very top of the riding zone and descend a buffet of low angle high speed, narrow singletrack that will get you down the hill in a lot quicker fashion than you came up! Make sure you do some fast descending as part of your training if you want to be on top of the podium today. Consider this a wrist-pump warning! When you are done gobbling up the last section of grass track over the bluff-top vineyards and orchards and rolled the final rocky outcrops of Rattlesnake trail, you will cross the finish line arch and roil back to the quiet and picturesque village with a much better idea of what treasure is hiding in them-there hills!
October 7th – Stage 6
Stage 6 is a 27 km XC race on Campbell Mountain in Penticton with 1015 m of climbing. One of the earliest mountains used for singletrack riding in the South Okanagan, the trails are mixed rock, and dirt both in and out of the trees. Each side of Campbell will be explored, and each has its own special flavour with deep canyons on one side and Okanagan semi-arid forest on the other. The profile on this stage undulates, with a few singletrack climbs, fast flowy descents and some cross-country punch and flow. Campbell really dishes out the singletrack in heaps so we have to put a bit of service road in there to let the racers breath and provide a few places to pass!
October 8th – Stage 7
Stage 7 starts in Penticton, and follows the KVR to warm up for a 36 km cross country singletrack epic with 1200 m of climbing. After 6 stages of riding, this 7th stage will likely feel like the hardest one of all. Knowing the last day isn’t a champaign ride will keep our General Classification riders on their toes; although you can definitely finish today with some popular Naramata Bench bubbly! The profile undulates up and down trending upward to a high point and then undulates up and down again on the way back down the second half of the parcours. This stage gives racers an entirely singletrack route that explores both conventional and unconventional ways of riding in the Three Blind Mice. Racers should be well tuned into the area after a few stabs at it earlier in the week, so there are no holds barred for our design team putting this epic together. Stay steady and follow the markers! You will know you have accomplished something both on the stage and for the week when you cross the finish line for your final time in the 2021 version of BCBR!
Shimano Tech Service
Shimano has been a great partner for BC Bike Race, but when they asked if they could be on course to help out - we really knew that their hearts and minds were in the right place. Shimano has been offering neutral service for many years, they populate and stock 2 complete Tech Zones that are located out on course and alongside the Feed Zones - “getting each and every racer through to the finish line is our daily goal.” said Shimano representative Ben Pye.
We will have up to two Aid Stations set up per day to feed and water you along the way. And, if distance or hot weather conditions dictate, we may add more stations during a stage. Aid stations will follow approved health and safety guidelines.
Drinks : Water, Nuun Electrolyte Drink, Red Bull Energy
Food: Fruit, Cookies, Chips, Protein treats, Clif bars, Clif shots bloks and Clif gels. (Items may vary)
Aid Stations will also function as check points for Course Control purposes.
Note: We will not be able to stage personal food/water supplies for racers at any of the Aid Stations. You must be self-sufficient when it comes to bringing specific personal nutritional supplies.
Course Marking at BCBR is achieved with a consistent style from Day 1-6. There are many kinds of ribbon in the BC forests from years of logging and route finding by prospectors. In keeping with that heritage BCBR uses a 3 inch wide bright pink, BCBR branded ribbon. It is put up with enough regularity to make riders feel attached to the course without disturbing the natural beauty of our forests wherever possible. As riders approach turns ribbons become more densely placed. At the turn riders will see three ribbons dangling on the side of the trail or road that the turn must be made. Once a rider makes the turn a confirmation ribbon will be in a sightline. Never pass a trail junction or road junction without taking note of ribbons, and you will never get lost. Have fun!