What better way to spend Canada Day on Canada’s 144th birthday than riding sweet singletrack with 300 other people on a perfect day in Fernie, B.C.?! I have only ridden in Canada Cup mountain bike races at the ski resort in Fernie and have always wanted to discover the other amazing trails around the valley here. When the Furious 3 mountain bike stage race was announced last fall, my husband, my dad, and I jumped on the opportunity to enter.
Just after 9:00 this morning we rolled out of downtown Fernie on a 40 kilometer mystery ride – well for me at least, and many others who’ve never ridden here before. The first 15 minutes was super fast and I struggled to stay in contact with the front pack before hitting the first long double track climb. I made some gains on the climb butbeingg such a lightweight on the following double track descent before the first single track I lost spots again. With some rain and a late snow melt the single track kept everyone on their toes with plenty of wet roots and semi-wet bridges. I’m riding my Orbea Oiz for this race and it is fun to ride through the undulating dips.
I’m pretty done right now so it is hard to remember exactly how the race all fit together but what stands out is the “Hyperventilation” climb at the halfway point which was a single track climb with plenty of steep switchbacks that never seemed to end. It was so high at the top I was
considering putting my armwarmers back on! This was followed by a steep descent back towards town before one more grunt up double track and down to the finish line, which I crossed 2h36 minutes after start time in second place in the solo women category behind Kate Aardal (I will update more when results are posted later). J-F was a trooper and on very little training finished in 3h10 with some major leg cramping issues on the climb. My young 67 year old dad was a trooper, and after blowing out his tire and fixing a flat, he came in around the 5h mark and is gung-ho to go again tomorrow! Here he is pictured crossing the finish line! Yay, Dad!!