After two unpredictable years, I feel like, in 2022, I can finally start to put bike events back on my calendar, register early, and look forward to some amazing challenges and adventures.
So the Question of the Week is: What’s your bucket list bike event? It could be a well-known race. It could be an under-the-radar ride or tour. It could be a full-on vintage experience like the Eroica in Italy. (Hmmm, maybe that’s the one I should have picked…) Drop me a comment at the end of this story and tell everyone a little about your bucket list event. You’ll have a chance to win a TPC x Lead Out handlebar bag!
Now, I know you’re eagerly waiting to hear what my bucket list event would be. Or maybe you just skipped right to the comments. Either way, I’m dreaming of someday entering the BC Bike Race (BCBR).
For years, this seven-day event has been a pure mountain biker’s mountain bike race. I’m talking about legitimately technical singletrack riding that accounts for about 75% of the 250-ish kilometers of riding. Better still, this race is held in my all-time favorite place for mountain biking: British Columbia.
Also, I believe that marathon MTB racing is the perfect balance of competition and pure fun. Back in 2017, I did the Haute Route Pyrenees in France, a week-long road fondo. It was amazing, but as a road event, it came with a bit more stress. It didn’t always feel like a vacation (and it was supposed to be one!). Gravel events chill out a little faster than a pure road race, they still come with some argy-bargy and stress. On the flip side, I’ve also raced my fair share of enduro MTB events, but just don’t love racing against the clock. Mass-start mountain bike adventures like BCBR are the perfect format, I think.
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Plus, the allure of mountain bike stage racing is irresistible. While there are many excellent one-day mountain bike races on my to-do list (Shenandoah 100, Marji Gesick, and Gunnison Growler, to name a few), there’s something magical about stage races. I experienced that firsthand when I raced the Breck Epic in 2018. Life just becomes so simple for that one week. You get up; you go ride your mountain bike; you recover for the next day. And you know the next day will afford even more amazing trails. That’s why I’m heading to Italy to race Appenninica in September, another seven-day off-road event. I guess that’s also on my bucket list, but pretty soon, it’ll get a big check mark next to it!
So, tell me about your bucket list bike event in the comments. I bet your ideas will help me (and everyone else) expand their own personal lists.