Canadian Cyclist


April 2/08 7:29 am - Team BC Mountain Bike Camp

Posted by Editor on 04/2/08

Team BC Mountain Bike Camp
Courtesy Steve Lund

Team BC's fastest U-19 and U-17 XC Mountain Bike racers came together on the Sunshine Coast for a 4 day training camp March 27-30. The focus of the camp was to get everyone's race training into top gear and work on some specific race technical skills in preparation for the 2008 race season.

The riders were greeted with a long climb right off of the ferry, but from there it was straight onto the trails at the infamous Sprockids Mountain Bike Park for some short and fast intervals. After our initial efforts to wake up the legs, it was time to spin to our accommodations for the week at Up the Creek Backpackers hostel.....a big thank you to the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club for providing Team BC with help with our accommodations for the camp.

Some riders chose an easy spin on the road to Up the Creek, while others chose to explore some of the trails that allowed them to ride the 20 km from ferry to hostel on some sweet single track and a short section of very snowy forestry service road. It made for an epic downhill to end the opening 5 hour ride.

Friday the riders set out early and did a series of mini-races to work on their skills in a tight race start situation on a variety of trails. From there it was on to a few long hill intervals up the fire service road where we made fresh tracks in the snow climbing above the snow line that crept down to 1200 meters. The hills were hard, but the technical descents were awesome, as riders came down Pumpkin Patch, Mach Chicken or Black Forest after each big climb. After 3.5 hours on the bike most headed back to warm up, but a few riders did one last big climb and fun downhill to make the ride closer to 4.5 hours.

Friday night Gary from Off the Edge Adventure Sports in Sechelt opened up the shop to go over some of the finer details of what to pack when heading off to a race, and how to use some of the tools in the tool box. The evening finished with a flat fixing race, won by local MTB legend Katherine Short in less than a minute.

Saturday started out rainy, then suddenly nice and sunny and finally snowy, as the group headed out for a long steady ride through some new sections of trail, exploring some of the Rat Race course as well as forging trail on some of the snowy upper trails. Another day with lots of climbing, but lots of fun as we always had to come back down to our base camp. Total ride time did vary a bit by group, between 4 and 4.5 hour on the bike for most.

Sunday saw some tired looking faces at the breakfast table, but the mood brightened as the sun came out for a spectacular day, - finally full sun on the Sunshine Coast! We started the ride with a few more short race start efforts, then headed up the hill to finish off with a mini-race. Unfortunately, we found that the snow had crept down the mountain overnight, and even though it was fun riding through 4 inches of fresh snow, it made the climb on our planned race course more suited to tobogganing! A quick change of plans found us a slightly shorter, but lower down loop that provided some fast and furious racing. Then it was just one more time down trails that no one could get enough of and back to Up the Creek to clean up, pack up and spin to the ferry for the boat ride back to Vancouver.

Special thanks to the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club, Marney and Martin from Up the Creek, Off the Edge Adventure Sports, Heather from Active Life Physiotherapy and the MTB class from Capilano College who were out working on the trails (and doing an amazing job). And, of course, the riders of Team BC, whose hard work and determination make coaching such a rewarding job!

Steve Lund
Team BC MTB Coach


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