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  1. #1
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    BC Bike Race 2019

    Anyone care to chime in on this event - my buddy and I are thinking about it in '19...but all in it will be $4000 - $4500 (easy) each. Flights, entry, meal plan, etc... The videos certainly make it look incredible and I like the full service experience (meals, shuttle, tents, etc.).
    Would be great to hear from some actual objective prior participants.

  2. #2
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    We did it this year and loved it and might actually do it again in the future. What would you like to know?
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

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    Curious - would you recommend a xc bike with a 100 mm of travel (looks like lots of climbing) or more of a light trail bike with 120/130mm of travel? Looks like they do a great job of accommodating the racers, keeping them fed and entertained, etc... Anything special you would do again (now that you have ridden it once) training wise or items to bring ? thanks

  4. #4
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    I have entered the 2019 BCBR.

    nya-would love to hear about your experience-

    Topics to cover: your training plan, how you transported your bike (s), top 3 best items brought with you, 3 items you wish you had brough with you, how much single track climbing (as opposed to fire road climbs, how was sleeping...

    I will think of a few more in the coming days.

    Any input will be much appreciated.
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  5. #5
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    Have done it twice. Its a blast. Iíve done the meal plan both, its worth it--especially if you go with time A. If youíre a GREAT bike handler, you can do it on a 100mm bike, but its probably more fun with a light trail bike. I rode towards the back and saw everything around me: Epics, SB5.5s, and everything in-between. I rode a GG Trail Pistol and it wasnít the issue on anything, I was. Tires might be more important. I had great luck with Forekasters.

    Bring cycling clothes (especially bibs) for 7 days, and at least one day of rain gear, and go light on street clothes--you can rewear that stuff. Iíd also go with the best sleeping mat you can get.

  6. #6
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtc1 View Post
    Curious - would you recommend a xc bike with a 100 mm of travel (looks like lots of climbing) or more of a light trail bike with 120/130mm of travel? Looks like they do a great job of accommodating the racers, keeping them fed and entertained, etc... Anything special you would do again (now that you have ridden it once) training wise or items to bring ? thanks
    I would say light trail bike is way to go, even all the fast people changed forks to bit beefier and bigger ones. I was there with a group of 9, most on 100/100 XC bikes and they did just fine, but I think the trails and downhills are technical enough to make up time on a more trailish bike even if you lose tiny bit on the climbs. (I was on 160/160 enduro and loved it big time, and still managed decent time for my amount of training, so as I said don't think more trailish bike will slow you down much unless you are aiming for a win)

    Unless you are planning to do hand washing, having 7 pairs of shorts/inners and perhaps 7 tops is really good. Other than that I didn't feel I need something special and you could buy stuff in the town etc
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

  7. #7
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket88R View Post
    I have entered the 2019 BCBR.

    nya-would love to hear about your experience-

    Topics to cover: your training plan, how you transported your bike (s), top 3 best items brought with you, 3 items you wish you had brough with you, how much single track climbing (as opposed to fire road climbs, how was sleeping...

    I will think of a few more in the coming days.

    Any input will be much appreciated.
    I didn't have a training plan, I just ride a lot. Most of my friends who did it with me had one, but very different for everyone, don't think you need a special one for BC, stages are fairly short and there is nothing crazy you would have to train for. Depending on your technical skills, it might be something to look into and do some training around that and that might give more benefits than some special sessions.

    4 of us used cardboard boxes 1 had hard box and 4 soft box, flew from NZ to Vancouver, then taxi vans to north vancouver to a few days and then we hired a van to move our boxes and luggage to the uni where registration is and we just biked there from our accomodation

    a lot of chamois cream, better sleeping mat, my chase vest camelbak (perfect size) and my bike!

    one more cycling top and short inners, thats about it

    there is decent amount of fire road/farm track/4wd climbs, but also good amout of single track climbs, some of them fairly technical

    sleeping is good if you avoid people who snore, some friends used ear plugs and one even sleeping pills, 2 nights we had bad snorers in close by tent, but rest was fine, first day was probably worst sleep (and the worst snorer) then we got more tired and easier to fall asleep and avoided the snorer
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

  8. #8
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    nya-Thank you very much for your input. All good stuff.
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  9. #9
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    I just registered today, what about insurance. Did you guys get any travel insurance? Just to cover all possible situations

  10. #10
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarin View Post
    I just registered today, what about insurance. Did you guys get any travel insurance? Just to cover all possible situations
    We had normal travel insurance from nz for the whole holiday and extra medical insurance for the race since nz insurance doesn't cover racing so I found a Canadian insurance online that does cover it

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nya View Post
    We had normal travel insurance from nz for the whole holiday and extra medical insurance for the race since nz insurance doesn't cover racing so I found a Canadian insurance online that does cover it
    Wild you mind to tell me the company?

  12. #12
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarin View Post
    Wild you mind to tell me the company?
    https://www.coverme.com/products/travel-insurance.jsp
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

  13. #13
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    Thanks a lot!

  14. #14
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    Want to get inspired? Find "BC POV" on YouTube. He's also a member here. He has a playlist on his channel where he filmed himself on every stage of the race one year. It's really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtc1 View Post
    Anyone care to chime in on this event - my buddy and I are thinking about it in '19...but all in it will be $4000 - $4500 (easy) each. Flights, entry, meal plan, etc... The videos certainly make it look incredible and I like the full service experience (meals, shuttle, tents, etc.).
    Would be great to hear from some actual objective prior participants.

  15. #15
    nya
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    To add one more thing that helped us, we prerode the stage 6 (TT, the most technical one) in North Van and did some riding around to get used to the surface and style and since it was the most techy one everyone knew if they can handle that, they can handle the rest of it (most likely!)
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

  16. #16
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    Iíve done it twice, and itís a great event. Well run, primo trails, good vibe etc. But itís gotten very expensive (I think my first time I got early bird special at about 1600 with meal plan...). Honestly, unless I really wanted to race, Iíd just hire a car with a few friends and spend a week riding Vancouver, the island and Squamish/Whistler.

    For sure Iíd prefer something along the lines of a 120/120 bike with aggressive geo. The downhills will be so much more fun. And if you are not used to roots (lots and lots of roots...), your body will thank you. And get insurance - I spent a few hours in the Squamish ER getting stitched up (but Iím CDN).

  17. #17
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    The wife and I did it last year, I was training for the Breck Epic and 2 entries came up for a smokin price so we jumped ship (doing Breck 2019 now). So, I was partially trained and my wife, honestly very little - (actually, I'm in the 2018 video and we got interviewed 3 times I think!), she finished near the end every day, but finished every day!

    Anyway, as others have said if doing it again I'd go with the light trail bike for sure, bring compression sleeves (quad/calves) to help with recovery, get the meal plan as it makes life so much simpler and as someone else said, a really good airmattress. We took our lightweight thermarests from back in the day and the day before Day 0 hit MEC (camping store) and got some light weight down filled air mattresses that rolled up the size of a football - best thing EVER! sleep is key.

    D
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  18. #18
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    Do the meal plan. Even being in the first group I found that I didn't have nearly as much time after each stage as I expected. They have you do a lot of traveling around and stuff. If you're finishing later in the day, I know it can be hard for sure. I can't imagine trying to figure out food on my own.

    It's expensive. Doing a massage every day, buying lunch from a vendor, paying for the odd bike service, it adds up quick!

    Figure out a hotel and travel back from squamish way ahead of time. There are literally 600 people trying to figure out how to get back to Vancouver. The shuttle buses do sell out.

    An xc race bike, a trail bike, an enduro bike, it doesn't really matter. You can do this race on anything. It's not very technical, it's not frequently technical either. Honestly there's more climbing tech than downhill tech. There might be 0-2 spots a day you would have to walk if you are comfortable on black trails.

    The climbing isn't bad. It's not super steep and I don't remember any real long climbs except day 2 had a long climb at the beginning but it wasn't steep, you can just spin up. Unless you want to really fight at the front I wouldn't worry too much about a light weight XC bike. It's a long race, it's very tiring. It's a good idea to have a bit more margin for error with a trail/enduro bike and a beefier front tire. You're going to get tired and make a mistake or slip on a wet root or something. So unless you really want to battle, just take whatever bike you'll have the most fun on.

  19. #19
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    My recollection of the climbs in 2017 is a bit different that is seems 2018 none were crazy technical, but quite a few were long, but then I did not do 2018, but 2017. In 2017 we had long climbs on every stage, might be wise to look at the course profiles.

    The climbs that stick in my mind from 2yrs ago..

    Cumberland Day 1 started in town and after about 10min, I think we climbed for 45min or so.

    Day 2 (or 3?) the hydro corridor - multiple relentless and very steep climbs with most people walking (pitches steep enough to be standing over your bars for short sections). I recall clearing the first one then realizing there was more and resorted to walking with most everyone else.

    Day 3 (or 4) - a trail called Frogger, damn, it was awesome but pure climbing for another 40-45min or so

    Day 5 N Van - the climb after the start was steep with lots of baby head rocks. Actually, I recall it well... it took me and 3 other guys almost an hour to get to the top of that climb that morning and I remember joking with the guys that Geoff Kabush is probably finished the entire course that day... he came in a 1:05 I think! And we just cleared the hill!

    Day 6- the climb out of Squamish sucked balls, long and steady pavement climb - an awesome morning!! Haha!! (But Iíd do it again!)

    Itís funny how you remember things! I will say, I am not a leader pack rider, I was towards the back of the 5th wave, could have been a little higher up but was comfortable there for the long haul, so everyoneís experience will be different.

    Morale of the story - check the course profiles!
    D
    Last edited by osteo; 10-01-2018 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Changed the wording
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  20. #20
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    Osteo and Litany-

    Many thanks for the info.
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  21. #21
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    I have done the race three times: 2015, 2017 and 2018. I would do it every year if I could! Love, love, love BCBR. It's a fantastic part of the world to race a mountain bike. Other than the addition of the Cowichan stage and the elimination of Whistler, the courses have been pretty similar.

    Most days I'd finish in the 30s or 40s. The people around me were most definitely racing, but there certainly seems to be a group for whatever a person's approach is. Great atmosphere. The people around me were mostly on some version of the the "modern" XC bike - 100-120mm travel, wide bars, short stem, dropper post, slacker head angle and maybe a bigger front tire. This year I rode a new-style Scott Spark with all of those features and Maxxis Ikon 2.35 tires. Perfect. A little more bite for the front tire might have been required if it rained more.

    For me, coming from Ontario Canada, there was "a lot" of climbing. Some long fire roads, some steep singletrack, lovely "climbing trails"... It's all relative though -- if you regularly ride big mountains it might seem way less difficult. The first time I did the race I was actually a little surprised by the climbing. I guess I'd just been envisioning ripping endless downhill singletracks, like in their videos... But ya gotta get up to get down! The advice about going by the course profiles makes sense.

    I guess you could say the same thing about the "technicality" of the course -- it's all relative. I'd characterize it as very technical for an XC race course, but it's not body armour territory. I mean, people are riding it "blind" and not dying. I enjoy rocky trails and technical features but I'm no enduro pro, and I never walked anything or felt in danger. Loads of thrills and high-fives though. You race in plenty of storied places: North Shore, Squamish etc. but it's not on the gnarliest trails. Which makes sense, of course. It's a cross country marathon race with a lot of great trails, but it's still an XC race, in the end.

  22. #22
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    I was mulling this over a couple of years ago after watching "Seven." Instead of the BCBR, I decided to do a BC bike reunion with riding buddies over the years (they all still ride, but only a couple still race). We got with Big Mountain Bike Adventures (Big Mountain Bike Adventures) out of Whistler and did a private tour of BC (a variation of their Sea to Sky trip). They did a great job.

    For a bit less cash than the BCBR, we got a week of riding with our own guide, lodging, transportation, and meals. It was a great trip that sampled Whistler, Pembertson, South Chilcotins (with floatplane), Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast (Gibsons).

    If the actual racing is not important to you, a tour is a great option. For us, it was great to be able to pick our week rather than work our schedule around the BCBR. All of that said, I would love to do the BCBR to meet new people and to be part of such a big event.

  23. #23
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    This is a great idea. Probably a lot less stressful too.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrHog View Post
    I was mulling this over a couple of years ago after watching "Seven." Instead of the BCBR, I decided to do a BC bike reunion with riding buddies over the years (they all still ride, but only a couple still race). We got with Big Mountain Bike Adventures (Big Mountain Bike Adventures) out of Whistler and did a private tour of BC (a variation of their Sea to Sky trip). They did a great job.

    For a bit less cash than the BCBR, we got a week of riding with our own guide, lodging, transportation, and meals. It was a great trip that sampled Whistler, Pembertson, South Chilcotins (with floatplane), Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast (Gibsons).

    If the actual racing is not important to you, a tour is a great option. For us, it was great to be able to pick our week rather than work our schedule around the BCBR. All of that said, I would love to do the BCBR to meet new people and to be part of such a big event.

  24. #24
    nya
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    I wouldn't say BCBR is stressful at all to be honest.
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    Most days I'd finish in the 30s or 40s. The people around me were most definitely racing, but there certainly seems to be a group for whatever a person's approach is. Great atmosphere. The people around me were mostly on some version of the the "modern" XC bike - 100-120mm travel, wide bars, short stem, dropper post, slacker head angle and maybe a bigger front tire. This year I rode a new-style Scott Spark with all of those features and Maxxis Ikon 2.35 tires. Perfect. A little more bite for the front tire might have been required if it rained more.
    Do you recall what pressure you ran with those tires? I'll be doing my first BCBR next year and typically prefer riding higher pressures. I'll most likely be doing maxxis ardent race 2.35 on the rear and ardent 2.4 on the front. Just curious if those trails are conducive to higher pressures or if you were more benefitted by lower pressures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Do you recall what pressure you ran with those tires? I'll be doing my first BCBR next year and typically prefer riding higher pressures. I'll most likely be doing maxxis ardent race 2.35 on the rear and ardent 2.4 on the front. Just curious if those trails are conducive to higher pressures or if you were more benefitted by lower pressures.
    Wasn't a question for me, but I will reply anyway!
    It is a fairly techy race compared to most, so grip is in a demand and the tracks don't have sharp rock or anything you would generally pinch flat anyway. So I would ride lower pressures rather than higher. Friend who finished in top 20 used ardent race/icon (afaik) and he used his normal low pressures (low 20) the girls in my team had 20ish, I had 20 up front and 30 back but that is different tires different riding style.
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Do you recall what pressure you ran with those tires? I'll be doing my first BCBR next year and typically prefer riding higher pressures. I'll most likely be doing maxxis ardent race 2.35 on the rear and ardent 2.4 on the front. Just curious if those trails are conducive to higher pressures or if you were more benefitted by lower pressures.
    I ran about 25/22 psi in the big 2.3 Ikons. I weigh about 175lbs. Same pressures I use on my home (rocky) trails. The BCBR course is certainly technical, but itís not littered with sharp rocks. That said, I did pinch flat a rear tire. It was a fluke thing though (sharp rock hidden in a deep puddle on a fast doubletrack...)

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    Awesome, thanks for the replies. So were both of you using tubes?

    I still haven't converted to tubeless, but plan to over the next few months, as it's apparently highly recommended for the BCBR.

  29. #29
    nya
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the replies. So were both of you using tubes?

    I still haven't converted to tubeless, but plan to over the next few months, as it's apparently highly recommended for the BCBR.
    tubeless of course, all 10 of us who did it this year are tubeless
    XCO results, races, riders etc http://mtbcrosscountry.com

    gearing ratios calculator http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorbackMTB View Post
    Awesome, thanks for the replies. So were both of you using tubes?

    I still haven't converted to tubeless, but plan to over the next few months, as it's apparently highly recommended for the BCBR.
    Tubeless. Iíd highly recommend it for most all mountain biking and certainly for a big expensive outing like BCBR. This year I used Stanís Race sealant (I wouldnít recommend it). Some kind of protective sidewall is a good idea too. Maxxis EXO seems to be the overwhelming choice in BCBR and has always served me well. I would also suggest starting the race with new tires. Do a couple shake down rides on them before the race, of course.

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