TransRockies 2012 -- Day 3 -- Final Stage of the TR3

We had another mass start this morning from where we ended the previous day at Fernie Alpine Resort.  Out of the gate, we were climbing, and it almost did not stop all day.  The first climb was a modest grade of 5-6% for about 30 minutes up a fire road to the top of the ski resort followed by a gnarly downhill before a very steep climb to the highest point for the day.  A long decent into the valley, creek crossings and then back up and around the final ridge and peak followed, where we encountered more pushing than riding.  I don’t believe that I have ever spent this much time in my granny-gear!  The final downhill was a hiking path with multiple, sharp switch-backs that we were warned in the course briefing “would be tricky” and it was.  I learned that I cannot jam on my front brake and spin the back of my bike around on a tight switch-back corner like the pros (it wasn’t pretty!).  I was finally across the line completing the 30km course and 2,000 metres of vertical in 4:42 with a ride time of 4:07 at an average speed 7.4km/h which put me six places up in the +40 category in 35th position.  I was quite pleased with my steady performance for the day, and felt wonderfully satisfied after the three days.  Only a couple of minor crashes were reported today, but a heart attack took one South African rider to hospital in Calgary. 

Total TR3 event:                       

  • 92km with 4,900m of vertical, 58% single-track.

 Lessons learned:             

  •  Get familiar with the area – obviously the vertical training available in Ontario is limited; though hill repeats are helpful, there is no substitute for actually training in the mountains.  In fact, course familiarity is even better.  A pre-trip or heading out a week early would certainly have helped me understand the terrain and trail flow.  The majority of the top finishers in all categories (besides being factory-sponsored pros) were either locals, had completed at least three TransRockies, or knew the area very, very well.

 

  • Spend time acclimatizing – having skied and biked at altitude many, many times, I know the important of gradual acclimatization.  With the base at 1,000m, a few days spent wandering the area before the event will help deal with the altitude, especially on Day 1 (by Day 3 I was feeling fine).

 

  • Weather – not much you can do here, other than be prepared for anything, especially in the mountains.  We were very fortunate this year to have almost perfect biking weather for three days: cool mornings at 10-12 degrees, warming to 20 degrees by noon.  Rain on these trails with the roots would have made things very ugly!

 

Thanks to all of you following along.  This is a wonderful event, very well run, very international, and very tough riding (not just me speaking!).  If you are looking for a real challenge of your biking skills and endurance, within some beautiful scenic country, this event will more than deliver.  Registration for TransRockies 2013 opens next week!

 

 

 

Views: 97

Comment by DY on July 31, 2012 at 3:02pm
Thanks Gord! Glad you made it through!

Beer night Thursday, can you make it?
Comment by qb on July 31, 2012 at 7:00pm

Great ride Gord

qb

Comment by Alexx Hooper on July 31, 2012 at 8:46pm

Wow! Gord, just read the reports - what an impressive accomplishment. Sounds positively grueling, but very rewarding. Glad you had a safe ride - what an experience! Congratulations - amazing ride. And happy belated birthday!

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