Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When it counts.

A few weeks ago a private group of clients from California arrived in Vancouver BC for a custom guided 9-day mountain bike adventure. I'd ridden with this crew in Switzerland, the BC Kootenay region and the Yukon Territory and each of these trips were a huge success. All time. The pressure was on. As it is for all of our trips, I planned to show them the best of the best in our region. We'd ride the Whistler valley, the Whistler Bike Park, Squamish, Pemberton, the Chilcotins and North Vancouver all in one swoop. Like our scheduled Sea to Sky trip, but on steroids. These guys are strong too, so the line-up of planned rides was spectacular. Our biggest ride was one for the books...
8:45 AM. Watching the plane leave us and our bikes on the shore of a remote lake. And the realization that civilization is a long way away...across glacial streams, up and over two big passes and through some very remote backcountry.

10:30 AM. Cresting the first pass on a sun cupped snow field. It's always fun to feel snow beneath your cleats on a big ride. It was a big snow year in BC so there's more around than usual.

10:45 AM. When you have to carry everything on your back for a long and arduous day every once of weight counts. Have you tried Clif Bar's Shot Blocks? These little tasty treats are packed with tons of energy, just what we needed to keep going.

11:00 AM. "With great effort comes great reward." Who said that anyway? Brilliant. True eh? The very finest things in life, the ones that stick with you and really have an impact - take effort. This descent stuck.

11:30 AM. One of the many fine things about mountain biking is the places that you stop to refuel. I'd been to this little spot a few times before. It's special. A grassy meadow with a fork in the trail. Go straight and it's about five more hours, go right and it's another seven. We went right.

1:45 PM. At this point you're wondering who the fuck decided to take this route and why you didn't go on that fucking resort holiday instead. But then you get to the top, high-five your buddies and do a 360 turn and realize that you're very fucking alive.

6:45 PM. This is Peter. He's smiling because he's an animal. No really, he's super fit and loves pain. Ten hours later. We did it. Actually he's smiling because we put a cooler full of beer on ice in the van. Smart thinking.

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