We finally made it down the lake, not after i had to change & adapt to using a modified now single blade paddle after i snapped the afore mentioned one.
When we got to the TA there were a number of teams there waiting for (guess what) their gear bins. One team being Team SOG who’s bin we have dined on for breakfast earlier that day. I pleaded for forgiveness from Julia and she was totally cool with it and said she would have done the same.
By this point all the teams there had missed a time cutoff but entirely due to being without our bins for over 12 while transition to canoeing etc. We were held in the TA by race volunteers as the sough out a race director on the radio (remember we are really remote) to see if we continue of usual route or are re routed which would have meant riding a road to cut out a chunk of time.
The call came back and it was ‘proceed as normal’ to next TA. This meant leaving our bikes in our boats and paddling across the lake directly across from where we were (about 500m) then re assembling our bikes to continue. There were about 7 teams here at this point (anywhere from just arrived, which was us, right through to ‘been here since last night’)
Many people were happy about the proceed as normal call and were told it was purely because they didn’t want us biking on roads for which we weren’t covered under insurance for. WAIT A SECOND, about 2 days ago we climbed up the side of a sketchy waterfall and trekked over 2 mountain passes one of which we should have had more than just sneekers and trekking poles. And now we are worried about traffic on remote Canadian roads…. REALLY.
oh well. i would rather paddle & ride then ride some pavement. We made it across. re assembled our bikes. Bought some food from a family and began a long up hill climb to eventually meet up with the rails to trails system several 1000 feet above us.
It was now early evening/dusk on … what day is it… oh yeah friday and we then ride on the rails to trails mountain bike trail which was really fun. smooth double wide trail, gravel and an easy ride. High above the lake we just paddled on, watching a great sunset over the Canadian Rockies.
We were riding still with WEDALI and eventually made it to the next TA. Where we were warmly greeted but told we had missed the cut off (BIG SURPRISE THERE) and were being re-routed. This consisted of being put in a van with several other teams and transported about 30 mins down a road to enable us to skip part of the next bike section so we could ride this other famous bike section called 7 summits (named as one of the most specactular mtb rides in the world) and to ensure we finished in time the next morning by the 10.00am cut off.
We were told the shuttle would arrive at 3am. it was now midnight…. SWEET. We could get some sleep. Our gear bins were there. WOW -AMAZING. time to pull out the stove, eat some decent food and then get inside our sleeping bags and get some much needed sleep. this was heaven.
‘Hey folks, we have just heard from race directors that the shuttle is on its way, it will be here in 30 mins and the following teams will be on it ….. 5……” oh $hit thats us, are you kidding me. oh well thats Adventure Racing.
So pack up, load up and leave. We get on this trail after the short shuttle ride, and set off on the famous 7 summits trail with amazing views. One small problem…. its the middle of the night, its dark. hmmmm great view. oh well thats adventure racing.
We finally are greeted by dawn, of course as we near the end of the trail and ride down a ski field into a town to the finish line with the Race Director and like 3 people there. No big fan fare etc. But that’s pretty typical of AR and none of us do it for the bells and whistles (at least no one i race with) we finished with WEDALI which was appropriate. We all hugged took photos, they even had a bottle of bubbly for us.
I guess thats the end of my race report. I do have some more thoughts and will post those another time because i’m sure you are really tired of reading all this.