Q: What's the overall success rate for riders? Are your cutoff times reasonable?
A: For our inaugural race in 2007, we had an overall 96% completion rate for riders. The last few years have yielded similar success rates. Very few racers did not make cutoff times, except in instances of mechanical failures or medical issues. We base our cutoff times at twice the anticipated time it takes Andreas Hestler to ride the route. BCBR routes are pre-ridden before the race by Andreas.
Q: What happens if my team doesn't make the cutoff time one day?
A: We will assist you in getting off the course and back to Base Camp. Missing a cutoff time does not mean you must dropout of the race; it only means that you will not be awarded a Finisher Medal. And we strongly encourage you to ride out the remaining stages of the race, as you will still receive a Participant Medal!
Q: What if one of the members of the team cannot continue?
A: If your partner is unable to continue, we will switch you to the solo category and issue you a new racer number and bike plate. You will be able to finish as an official Finisher, but you will not be considered for category awards as you did not finish with your registered partner.
Q: Will we be able to have our own food and water bottles at the Aid Stations during each Stage?
A: You will have to carry everything that you need for the day. The Aid Stations will have a variety of snacks and water but you will not be able to have your own personal items staged there.
Q: What are the pre-race logistics?
A: You will need to register in person at a designated time on either June 29th, 30th, 2013 (Day Zero). There is a mandatory general meeting for all participants . 2013 TIMES AND DETAILS WILL BE POSTED SOON. You will need to give us your luggage, bike box, and bike on Day Zero. You will be given a Racer Bag on this day into which you can load all your gear, then keep it with you overnight. We will collect your Racer Bag on the morning of Day One before you get on the bus.
Q: I'm trying to make plans to travel home. What time will the race finish on July 6th, 2012?
A: The race will wrap up on Saturday
afternoon in Whistler and an awards ceremony will follow shortly
after, followed by the optional Final Banquet. For those who have
purchased a meal plan, the Final Banquet is included in your
fee. Those who have not purchased a meal plan (or family and
friends) will be able to purchase tickets separately. We have found
over the years that, for multi-day races, it is best to travel the
second day after your race finish. Though many of us have to get
back to work, we strongly recommend traveling home on the Monday.
Take the time on Sunday to chill out in Whistler - you will be
tired and there is plenty to enjoy! Although it's renowned as a ski
resort town, the best time of year in Whistler is the summer -
there are beautiful, warm lakes and beaches, many great places to
dine, etc. You will love it!
Note: to get back to Vancouver, you will need to arrange your own transportation. We recommend traveling with PCL Bus Lines.
Q: Care and feeding of our bikes: how will bikes be transported and loaded/unloaded? How will they be stored? What is the system for protecting bikes at night?
A: The security and protection of your bike is of the utmost importance to us at BC Bike Race. We will transport your bike on six occasions - start of Days 1, 2, 3, 4, end of Day 5, and the start of Day 7. In all instances, the bikes will be moved in transport truck trailers and will be packed tightly to limit any movement during transportation. Our packers are sensitive to the challenges of clustering expensive bicycles and all precautions will be taken to ensure no damage is done to the bikes. After each ride, you will be able to store your bike in our bike security area or a transport trailer until you need it the next day.
Q: How big is the bag for all my gear?
A: 30" x 16.5" x 12" - 79L capacity (subject to change)
Q: Am I allowed to have an extra bag for my daily gear?
A: You will be able to fit everything you need into the Racer Bag provided on Day Zero. You will not be permitted to strap anything to the outside of your bag. BCBR will provide a designated "mini-bag" which you will take with you on the BC Ferries crossings, then drop with us at the Start Line. This means you can bring a jacket or warm clothes for the crossings, then drop it all with us at the Start Line.
Q: Do I need to bring a sleeping bag and Therm-a-rest?
A: Yes. A +5C bag would be fine. We are including insulating foam padding in each tent...but feel free to bring a Therm-a-rest if you want extra padding!
Q: Does my sleeping bag have to fit in my gear bag?
A: Yes, compression sacks work wonders!
Q: What is the menu for breakfast and dinner?
A: The menu varies each day and is determined by the community we are visiting - we will not know the menu until closer to race week, but we will post it online when we do - vegetarian options will be available, but we cannot accommodate any other dietary requests.
Q: Are the meals pre-plated or buffet-style?
A: BCBR wants to make sure that each racer gets their fill at each meal. It is our intention to provide all-you-can-eat meals; but again, the presentation method is determined by the community at each venue.
Q: When are breakfast and dinner served?
A: There will be fixed times on each day. Closer to race day, registered racers will be able to download a daily race schedule from our Documents Page.
Q: What if I am really late finishing one day, will there still be food left?
A: Absolutely! We are scheduling multiple set serving times or rolling dinners for participants.
Q: What if I have food allergies or special meal requirements?
A: Racers with food allergies should make their own preparations for special food - BCBR cannot take responsibility for customizing racer meals.
Q: Will there be any options for me to purchase other menu items or eat elsewhere?
A: Not from BCBR, but certainly from the communities hosting each Stage. In some cases, we will have local vendors set up at our Base Camps.
Q: Do I need a support team for this race?
A: No, your all-inclusive race entry covers everything you need to get from the start line to the finish line on your bike. Of course, you have to supply the pedal power. Check out our Registration page for detailed information about our standard all-inclusive entry package.
Q: Is this race suitable for riding a tandem bike?
A: Due to the nature of the singletrack trails, we really don't recommend using a tandem bike. However, it's your race experience and if you want to attempt it on a tandem bike we won't say no.
Q: I'm on a team of more than 2, which means we could have people not riding each stage. Can we swap out riders in the middle of the day?
A: We do not permit teams of more than 2 to exchange riders mid-stage. The riders who start the day must finish the day. No tagging out mid-stage! While you're out there racing each stage, think of yourselves as a team of 2 because all the same race regulations apply.
Q: If, as a team of more than 2, there is some really sweet singletrack one day can all of us ride it?
A: YES! All regular race rules apply.
Q: Does our team have to stay together?
A: If you have registered as a team of 2, 3, 4 or 5 we strictly enforce you riding together. A maximum spread of two minutes will be permitted between each rider. Your finish time will be based on the time the last team member who crosses the finish line.
Q: Can I tow my partner?
A: Towing will be permitted in emergencies only. It is not a viable option as a regular part of the race.
Q: Can I drive to the Start Line each day?
A: On many days, we will be starting and finishing in different communities, so you personally will not be able to drive between the two. If you bring a vehicle, your support team would be able to take the vehicle for you on these days. On many days however, the only way to get to the Start Line will be by traveling with BC Bike Race, as there will not be space on the ferry crossings for other vehicles. Days when you'll need to travel with BC Bike Race (and put your bike in our care for transportation) include Days One, Three, and Four. Remember that if you have a support team driving, they will need to have a Parking Pass to get near Base Camp.
Q: Can I stay in a hotel on some nights and in a tent on others?
A: Yes, but all means! You can stay in hotels every night if you wish, in Tent City every night, or whatever combination you choose. If you'd like to be in a hotel, we recommend the ones listed on our Accommodation Page. If you choose to stay in hotels, you should consider our Hotel Shuttle Upgrade, providing transportation services between the hotels and Base Camp multiple times daily. Remember that tenting will NOT be provided on Day Seven.
Q: Why are you limiting registration?
A: Simple: we want to ensure that we execute a world-class event.
Q: Can I race solo?
A: Absolutely! In 2009 we opened up solo entries for BC Bike Race! Racers asked and we listened.
Q: Why do you allow teams of more than 2?
A: We've created the category for teams of more than 2 to make the race accessible to people who, due to various limitations - fitness, child care, available time, etc - would not otherwise be able to participate in BC Bike Race. Teams of more than 2 can work almost like a day-to-day relay, so that only some people from the team will be racing at a time. You can all race if you'd like to though. Each team of more than 2 will be issued bike plates for each rider. Every day the team decides which members will race that stage. Whoever starts the day must finish the day - no tagging out mid-stage!
Q: What race categories do you have?
A: BC Bike Race racers will be divided into 9 categories: Solo Men, Solo 40+ Men, Solo Women, Open Men Team, Open Women Team, Open Mixed Team, Veteran 80+ Team, Veteran 100+ Team, Teams of more than 2. A minimum of five entries is required for each category.
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement to enter BC Bike Race?
A: To compete in BC Bike Race you must be at least 19 years old. We may make an exception if you are racing with a parent or legal guardian who has successfully completed a 5-7 day Epic Bike race. This, of course, is subject to BC Bike Race Organizers' discretion, so please contact us if this situation applies to you.
Q: You've mentioned that insurance is mandatory for all racers outside of Canada, what should our insurance cover?
A: We recommend insurance for all racers, but require it for International Racers. It should cover all potential medical expenses you may incur, including any additional non-medical costs incur during treatment. In the event that you need to be transported to hospital, you should have coverage for these costs (including the costs of extraction in the event you need to be pulled off trail). If you need to return to your home immediately, your insurance should also cover any repatriation costs. Any future rehabilitation costs should also be covered. If you do not have ample insurance coverage, BC Bike Race will not be responsible for covering anything not covered by your insurance.
Q: What exactly is a mountain bike "stage" race?
A: In a multi-day stage race, such as BC Bike Race, all competitors start each day together in a mass start, working their way against the clock and through the course to the daily finish line. Racers' finish times are recorded at the end of each day completed. At the end of the race, each of the stage race times is added up to calculate the overall winners in each category. In BC Bike Race, we have 7 days, or 7 stages, of incredible mountain bike racing.
Q: How long is each stage of the race?
A: In general, the daily distance of the Epic will be from 50-75 km, with a completion time in the range of 4-7 hours for the average rider. Here are some insights from Andreas Hestler, "Because single track and fire road have different average speeds we will attempt to create stages between 3:30 to 6 hours. Those are the winners' finish times, so an average rider can expect to add 1-2 hours onto each day. As a side note, the intention is to vary both the terrain and the completion times. If we did 6-8 hours each day for 7 days we would be dead tired; if we did fire road 7 days we would be bored silly; and, if we did single track for 7 days or for longer than 6 hours in one day we would be completely blown. So you see the difficulty of creating a truly great course!
Q: What sort of terrain will the course cover?
A: The terrain here on the West Coast is very diverse. The Coastal Mountains that form Whistler and the North Shore are pretty formidable obstacles. Vancouver Island, the home of Canada's National Cycling Centre, is also unique in its coastal properties. During BC Bike Race, you will traverse unique picturesque places ranging from duffy, lush, west coast rain forest to high alpine mountain passes.
Q: What's the overall course elevation and profile?
A: Please view each individual Stage page for specifics.
Q: How difficult will the race be physically?
A: This will probably be one of the more challenging accomplishments of your life - both physically and mentally. To ensure you can do it, you should have experience riding in cold, wet, hot, dry, dusty and muddy conditions. It is important for you to know how you, your clothing, and your bike will perform in a variety of conditions that you will find on the West Coast trails. It is also recommended that you consult a physician to be sure you are physically fit enough to do the BC Bike Race.
Q: Will there be a lot of road riding?
A: There will not be a lot of road riding, but during some stages to get from A to B we will spend some limited time on pavement, doubletrack or gravel fire roads. Some people will find the interaction and group riding combined with singletrack to be very exhilarating. These epic cycling events are by nature about travel and distance, and our goal is to bring more user friendly singletrack than any other race in its category. Given that we are in British Columbia, the Mecca of mountain biking, that won't be a problem.
Q: What sort of weather should we expect during the race?
A: BC Bike Race occurs during one of our
warmest times of the year, but we are still on the coast and in the
mountains, so the weather can change quickly and drastically. To
give you an idea though, here's a brief look at the Race Week
weather data for the last couple of years.
Average Max Temp: 25 degrees C
Average Min Temp: 9 degrees C
Highest Temp: 33 degrees C
Lowest Temp: 7 degrees C
20% chance of rain
What does this mean? Come prepared for anything. Even when a day starts out sunny and warm, you could be finishing in the rain and cold. For this reason, every rider must carry a jacket with them while racing. We also recommend bringing warm clothes to wear around Base Camp at night, as the temperature can drop rapidly at the end of the day.