To anyone who's been reading along with my journey, you'll know that I'm not great at climbing… or distance. Throughout this 45 day challenge I must say that my endurance has improved, however, it's definitely not where I'd like it to be yet. Recently I was asked by the organizing team at the Innovative Fitness Adventure Challenge (http://www.ifac.ca/) in Port Moody to check out the mountain bike portion of their 3-part challenge. At first I was completely stoked. In fact, I wanted to do the whole challenge: kayaking, biking, and running. Then I took a look at the biking course and realized it was 17km and thought, "oh no what have I done?" BUT, not to be dismayed by a seemingly giant distance (I'm basically toast after 4km usually) I called up my buddy Bryan (of the unicycle fame) as a road cyclist and cyclocross star extraordinare to hold my hand through this harrowing experience.
When I picked Bryan up it was apparent we were a mismatch. Not including our foot and a half height difference, we were definitely geared out and dressed for different outings. The person who took this picture even said, "you two weren't riding together, were you?"
Even though I was terrified of going such a distance (and so much of it steeply uphill), we set off with determination and excitement for something new. I have to say…. we had a lot of fun! Luckily on race day, the course will be marked for everyone because Bryan and I definitely got lost and had to backtrack quite a bit. Somehow we still made it to the 17km by the end and tested our exploration abilities.
The trails themselves are a combination of paved and gravel walking/riding trails through the park, residential roads, and proper trail climbs complete with roots and rocks. There are some downhill segments but definitely beginner-friendly and easily done on a cross country bike.
What was not ideal, however, was me on a full mountain bike and Bryan on a cyclocross bike. We took turns leaving each other in the dust: him climbing over flat, grippy surfaces like a champion, and me shredding anything downhill or with less traction like a bat out of hell. What WOULD be perfect is either an enduro or a cross country bike. Don't be like us. Dress and gear appropriately.
There's still time to sign up for the Innovative Fitness Adventure Challenge (https://raceroster.com/events/2017/11617/innovative-fitness-adventure-challenge?target=blank) which supports two charities: Physical Literacy For Life and I AM SOMEONE Ending Bullying Society. The race itself is September 9th. If you want a fun day out with friends and a very BC way to get some exercise go ahead and sign up. If it's not your thing, come out and cheer the awesome folks who are out there killin' it or donate to one of the participants.
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