Mission accomplished! Paul and Markley competed in the 7 day BC Bike Race and completed it as Official Finishers. That means they completed all seven stages within the allotted times in order to continue on as ranked competitors. Their goal was to do just that while riding a very beautiful and challenging course. BC is a magnificent place and the outdoor arena abounds with something for everyone. It is truly a mountain bike haven for those that want to test their metal. Paul and Markley did that without any damage to themselves or their bikes, which can’t be said for others that competed. There were over 20 frames broken in this race and multiple injuries that required evacuations. It is truly a course to see what you’re made of and Team Crank had what it took to finish this epic course. The people of BC were awesome from the race management and volunteers to the locals we met in the many areas we visited. It is truly a hospitable place that we recommend visiting.
Over 6000 miles were traveled by the team in order to do this race. Next time an airplane might be the answer (you think), but it did provide an adventure within itself. Paul and Markley stopped off in Idaho to do some awesome riding on the way to BC, which allowed them to stretch their legs from being cooped up in a car for long hours. Once in Vancouver the process began of checking in and getting gear to its designated areas. The first day had the team riding the famed trails of the North Shore. One thing for sure is when they say downhill in BC they mean downhill. There is no winding down the mountain, it is straight down the mountain. This provided for great entertainment throughout the 7 days as we encountered these crazy downhill sections on all stages. Day 2 took them across the Strait of Georgia on a beautiful ferry ride to bike from Nanaimo to Parksville. This was a long day and probably the hardest physically. Day 3 the ride in Cumberland was a beauty and provided a little recovery from the day before. Day 4 found the team on the Sunshine Coast with an early rise and several ferry rides making it a long day mentally. Paul and Markley thought the day would never end, but it did and all was well. Day 5 was a continuation of the Sunshine Coast where the team was treated to a great downhill ride at the end that provided amazing views and sweet single-track that rolled right on into the finish. Day 6 was an awesome day and probably the team’s favorite as they rode epic trails through Squamish. Squamish is an amazing place dotted with beautiful mountains that were still snow capped and trails to shred. Here is a writeup Markley made in a journal about Day 6 in Squamish: “What a great day to wake up in Squamish and have Mt. Gibraltar staring down at us in all it’s magnificence. The Chief was standing firm waiting for it’s takers for the day. We began with a ride out of Brennan Park and up through a subdivision. We had our breakfast and all was ready as we climbed up into a crazy maze of madness that was surrounded by snow capped peaks. We basically followed the course of some other great races such as Gear Jammer and Test of Metal. We did all the sweet parts of those races. We began the multi-pitch descents that rocketed us through the twisting turns and insane slopes with angles that could have used a safety rope on us. One thing for sure, this was a multitude of descents that weren’t for the faint hearted. Straight down the mountain, because BC doesn’t believe in switch backs, straight down is the way to go. I was on today and rode 99% of this mayhem and was rocketing my bike down these slopes of twisting angles and drops with a grin the entire time. In the end we put another good day in and our goal is almost complete with a short stage in Whistler tomorrow that should be another grand adventure. This will put an end to this quest on a feeling of grandeur.” Day 7 provided a great finish in Whistler with a huge climb right out of the gates that sent the team back down the mountain into some rolling single track, which eventually led to the finish and oh what a feeling it was to finally be able to relax and relish in the journey.
A couple of things that really helped us in this quest was the products we used. Our sponsors provided some great products that aided us on our journey. Here are some that really stood out on this demanding course. Zym electrolyte tablets kept our bodies balanced throughout the course. It got quite warm on us as we climbed and climbed, but we never cramped and was able to pump out strong strokes any time we wanted without being exhausted, thanks Zym. We used Kenda Nevegal tires in this race and they shredded the course and provided bite on any surface when we needed without sliding and slipping, thanks Kenda. Sette carbon handlebars held up to the rigorous demands the course put on us and absorbed lots of shock, which allowed us to continue pumping away without being fatigued. When we had to get off our bikes and trek a bit our Sette bike shoes allowed us to do this comfortably and when pedaling they remained firm and effective, thanks Price Point and Sette.
This race was a tough one, but Team Crank has built a reputation on doing the toughest races. We will continue to push ourselves to do these epic races all over creation as long as we’re of sound mind and body.
This race was dedicated in honor of Mr. Norman Markley (Markley’s Grandfather) who passed away before the race. He was a World War II veteran and a man of character. He will be missed, but his memory will live on. We want to thank him for his service and Markley thanks him for being such a wonderful grandfather.