Written by: Fred Dreier
Riders at the 2009 BC Bike Race will begin their seven-day journey through British Columbia’s singletrack with a spin over an automobile bridge.
Not just any bridge, however. The scenic 1800-foot Lion’s Gate suspension bridge that connects downtown Vancouver with that city’s North Shore municipalities will host the opening miles of the race to Whistler, slated June 28 to July 4.
The North Shore area is also home to some of the region’s best riding.
“To be the best mountain bike race in the world we must include the North Shore,” said Dean Payne, the BC Bike Race’s originator and race director.
A few preliminary phone calls to British Columbia’s Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon and a few more to District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton set the wheels in motion. Walton, known to some as the “mountain biking mayor,” embraced the concept and says he shares Payne’s overall vision of the future for both the BC Bike Race and Vancouver’s North Shore.
Vancouver’s North Shore now joins Vancouver Island, Cumberland, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish and Whistler Resort as areas within the BC Bike Race’s sphere.
The event sold out in February last year. Currently the race is only 68 percent full.
Other BCBR route changes include a new Stage 2 and a variation of Stage 3; the remainder of the race route remains the same. With these modifications, some longer fire-road sections have been replaced by singletrack.
Returning to defend their overall men’s championship from 2008 is the Kona duo of Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon. The two defeated 2007 BC Bike Race champions Chris Eatough and Jeff Schalk by two minutes.
For more information, visit www.bcbikerace.com.