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Day 0

July 17, 2010
Standing in line for registration

The first queue of many queues

What was left of 500 bags

Our bags for the week, originally 500 strong!

My cousin took me over in his truck (my bike and bags filled the back).   I waited to get my bike into the repair folks (Obsession Bikes).  Unfortunately, while we got there early, by the time they were open enough to process me, the registration line was completely out of control.  I realized after a while I was in line behind a bunch of Kona racers, namely Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon (who would go on to win the Epic Team of 2 Men).  Maybe I should have rubbed them for some good luck.  😉  It was interesting to listen to the conversations and watch people come up to greet them.  I marveled they were in the same freaking line as everyone else.   Finally though, the forms were filled out, the gear bag and sunglasses picked up and a restaurant picked for Tuesday night, the night we would eat in Cumberland.  It had taken two plus hours.

Some of the pros chatting

Barry Wicks and others chat with Catharine Pendrel (who was racing with Geoff Kabush as a mixed team)

I picked up my bike, and started trying to cram all my gear into the race bag.  79L is a pretty big bag, but I still had trouble getting it all in.   My bag was almost ready and I left to ride the prologue with plenty of time to finish packing – or so I thought.

By the time I found the prologue start, which was only marked well if you knew their system (3 flags mean a turn and they are on the side the turn will be on), I realized I was screwed.   It took about 25 minutes to crank up to the start, which was a great warmup, but there was another queue, probably 30 minutes.  I snuck up to the front and the guys waiting at the front of the queue let me in.  I felt bad about it, but I needed to get my gear on the truck and there was no way I could ride back up that hill again.   The prologue was a great trail.  The fastest guy did in around 6:45, that’s minutes!   I was 15 and change.  I was completely out of sorts from not riding and I had to walk much of the climbs, but felt good over the downhill roots.  I got passed by about 5 people on the flats and climbs but only 1 on the downhill.  If anyone knows me, this is funny.  I can’t downhill to save my life.   I had a fairly middle of the pack time which was the only time all week I would be middle of the pack.  I got back with 10 minutes to finish packing and got my gear on the truck.   I had about an hour riding in on this day, which was good.

North Vancouver Inter River Skills Park

I want one of these -- skills park

With some time to kill before the 5pm racers meeting I stopped to get a killer veggie burger from a vendor lady who had enough cheer to fill the empty places I had.  BCBR is somewhat disorienting.  I watched a Q&A with a bunch of the pros which was fun and checked out a jump, skills and BMX track right there in the park.  I was insanely jealous.  Before long it was time for the meeting.   Each evening there is a meeting that explains the stage coming up (although if you’re doing the Challenge distance they usually don’t say ‘boo’ about that).   They explained the course marking … “aha!”

The meeting ran long and I had one set of bus times to get back to my uncle’s place so I flagged down a van full of guys, from Colorado it turned out, who took me over to the bus stop.   They pulled in front of the bus to drop me off and the bus driver was irate that they had stopped in her way.  It seemed a complete over-reaction as I quietly paid my $2 which saved me a $60 taxi ride across town.   Like an unfolding miracle I made my transfers right on time and borrowed a phone to call for a pickup.   Public transportation that works is totally awesome!  Since my bike was on the truck and my other gear was off to Whistler I just had my 79L Dakine bag to live out for the next 7 days.

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