The BC Bike Race comes to the Coast July 4 and 5 this year and preparations are already underway to make the event a major success.
The seven-day mountain bike stage race from Vancouver to Whistler takes place June 30 to July 7 with the Sunshine Coast stages coming midway through the event.
“The beauty of the BC Bike Race is that they’ve got an all-star crew that works year long to put together seven days of epic West Coast B.C. single-track for the racers’ shredding pleasure,” said Drew Rohde of Decline magazine.
The head of the Coast’s “all star crew” is, of course, director Rod Camposano. He has been working with BC Bike since the inception of the race and is also the driving force behind The Coaster and the Rat Race.
His team of trail builders, headed by Brad Proctor, focuses on those trails that will be used by BC Bike Race, as those are the trails people are going to come back to the Coast to ride. People from all over the world come for BC Bike Race and many have come back to the Coast with their families and friends to ride the trails again.
There is a real trickle-down effect for the local economy and tourism. Last year the Sunshine Coast received lots of coverage in mountain bike magazines and other media.
This year local spectators can see the biggest mass bike race start they’re ever likely to witness. The 525 racers represent more than 30 countries, and along with them come about 130 staff and volunteers, including 30 local volunteers.
Adding to the spectacle are the 325 tents that will be set up July 4 at Sechelt Elementary School.
At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, the racers will depart the Earl’s Cove ferry terminal, with the leaders arriving in Sechelt in about 3.5 hours — all on trails. The last rider will take at least double that time.
On Thursday, the racers depart the school around 8:30 a.m. — another spectacle as they negotiate the streets of Sechelt before hitting the trails to Langdale. There will be minimal traffic delays at this time. The afternoon ferries from Langdale will be busy too.
This year organizers will incorporate new trails such as Dropback in West Sechelt, currently being finished by Proctor’s crew, and also hope to be christening the new bridge over Chapman Creek currently under construction. Crews will also straighten out the hike-a-bike section of Highway 102. More than 1,000 hours of volunteer labour have gone into these trails so far this year, and there’s more to come before the race dates.
Maps of the course can be seen on the BC Bike Race website. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with this spectacular event, either trail building or marshalling, please contact Camposano via email email@example.com.