Despite its name, through its 11 year history the BC Bike Race has always been more focused on showing off British Columbia’s finest singletrack trails than on the competition itself. There are categories and prizes to be won but most ‘racers’ aren’t really gunning for the podium, they’re just enjoying the experience of a full service tour through world class riding terrain.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise that the organizers have decided to add a whole new, non-competitive tour option for 2017. Billed as ‘The Ultimate Road Trip Experience’ the BC Bike Ride North covers a whole new zone in British Columbia’s Northern regions, guiding you through six communities and 14 different trail networks at your own pace…
The BC Bike Ride is far less structured than the Race, with no timing taking place or titles to be won. This format gives riders the freedom to session a cool feature, re-ride a section of trail, or even deviate from the officially recommended routes. You can decide what you want to ride and for how long, but elite pedallers can bang out up to eight hours of trail time per day. Skill-wise, participants should be prepared to tackle intermediate/advanced singletrack trails.
After kicking things off with a ride on Vancouver’s iconic North Shore, the tour heads up to B.C.’s Northern Corridor trails in Williams Lake, Prince George, Burns Lake, Smithers, and Terrace. Riders will be taken by planes, trains and coach buses from one location to the next, covering a total distance of over 1800 miles throughout the week.
While this tour is definitely focused on the incredible terrain you’ll be riding, organizers have always made a point of ensuring the other parts of their trips are convenient and enjoyable. In addition to orchestrating all your travel, tour staffers set up your tent for you at the base camps and haul your BC Bike Ride duffel bags.
The base camps also include amenities like washrooms and hot showers, mechanical support, medical support, wifi in select locations, and even nightly entertainment around the campfire. Participants enjoy three gourmet meals per day (prepared with locally sourced ingredients) and B.C.’s top-notch craft beers will be served for daily apres celebrations.
The final days of the tour (days seven and eight) are left open for winding down after the ride- You can choose to simply take these days off, or enjoy optional nature-based tours like whale watching, deep sea fishing, rainforest tours, or jet boating. There is an option to fly back to Vancouver on day seven or stick around for day eight if desired.
The 2017 BC Bike Ride North runs from Aug. 5th to 13th (which leaves you near Whistler as Crankworx is just ramping up!). For the first year there’s only room for 100 lucky riders to sign up, and if you’re interested don’t hesitate- the Race typically sells out its 600 spots very quickly. Registration opens tomorrow Feb. 7th at 9am, and the cost is $4000 CDN ($3070 USD) per person.
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