Ever imagine you and a buddy riding the most pristine singletrack between Vancouver and Whistler? If your answer is yes, but…
Imagine your answer if all that concerned you could be addressed and alleviated with one well planned, well organized and well executed adventure. Welcome to the BC Bike Race! All you have to do is get yourself there, and the team of volunteers and event staff take care of the rest.
For Team WTB’s Jason Moeschler and Mark Weir the “getting yourself there part” was easier said than done, thanks to a touch of Murphy’s Law that began with an alarm clock and a power outage—missing a flight; an oversized baggage line and two large hockey bags—missing another flight; airline security and a certain multi tool, an RV and Canada Day, and last but not least—finally landing in Vancouver and no bikes. “I’ve never missed a flight in my life and now I’ve missed two with you,” Mark chided...
But for every dark cloud there is a silver lining. With a little help from their friends, the guys did arrive with enough time to build their bikes (the day before the race). A couple buddies saved the day by getting to the RV place in time to pick up the last 22-foot rig before the doors closed for the Canadian Independence Day national holiday (thanks again Mike and Dre!), and Mark was able to save his sweet multi tool from an uncertain fate at airport security.
All is well. Now that the dust has settled and the Team has had some time to stew and reflect, we caught up with the dynamic duo to get their take on what’s promised to be “the ultimate singletrack experience.” Checkout WTB’s Facebook updates for each day’s play-by-play with the Team.
The Challenges: BCBR – Day 1 Cumberland
Moeschler: After coming off from a two-month long business trip in Taiwan, he is not in full racing mode yet. “One of my issues was that I made the mistake of obliging Mark and going as fast as he wanted on the first day…and then it took me four days to recover from that. And it’s not easy to recover when you have to race every single day. So I had a lot of trouble keeping up for those next four days.”
Weir: “What a good day. Sometimes when your buddy hurts that good it makes you feel almost bullit proof. Thanks Jason for making me feel so good. You really go out of your way.”
When asked why the race was as good as it was, the Team could only guess that the race organizers, led by Andreas Hestler and others, just knew mountain bike stage racing really well. “They knew not to bury the riders every day, so not every stage was more than one guy could handle,” Moeschler recalls. “ It was all pretty consistent for Mark and I to finish around two-and-a-half to two-hours and 45 minutes accept for the really long day. “The race isn’t out to kill everyone – it’s to make sure you’re having a really good time. They did a good job of that.”
Moeschler: “What I liked about all the courses is that they all pretty much finished on a downhill,” Moeschler explained. “You just had something to look forward to at the end of each race course, even if it was a really hard day, you got a lot of descending at the end.” He added that it seemed like the downhills kept getting better and better towards the end of the race. “We were descending down a trail called ‘Comfortably Numb’ in Whistler that was pretty much the raddest downhill of the whole event.”
Despite yet another crowded XC field of 29ers, Weir and Moeschler decide to roll with their 150 mm front and rear Cannondale Jekyll all-mountain machines.
The result: a solid effort and a solid performance with the maximum amount of fun on the downhills. As usual, the teammates had differing opinions on tire choices. Weir used Mutano 2.2 TCS front and rear tires, while Jason went with a Bronson 2.1 TCS front tire and Wolverine 2.1 TCS tire on the rear. Moeschler commented that his set up was a bit lighter than Mark’s and rolled a little faster. However he did puncture on the last day (although with a little air, it sealed itself up) so he was willing to give his teammate a nod for possibly choosing the better set up for the BCBR.
“We were set up to have the most fun on the downhills, and people got pretty regular sight of us not going super fast on the climbs but then it was pretty much an everyday occurrence that we would pass a lot of people going down hill,” he added.
Moeschler: “I think my favorite two courses were the sixth and seventh day and they were both really good. And I was feeling better… I really liked the last two days and the first day."
Weir: “I was a fan of the last day—Jason and I taking turns bringing up the volume; just like old times. The trails perfectly suited to our style. Aside from Jason hacking it up a bit and flatting we could have been a 2nd place team that day. He was going fast and leading the way. Sometimes being smooth and fast with your heart rate that high is not possible. That’s why I always use a thick rubber.”
Challenges of Racing as a Duo:
Moeschler: “Mark kept expecting that I was going to rebound and then make him hurt one day. I ended up doing that on day six. I just caught him out of the blue on a downhill. We were both really surprised. I was surprised because I caught him on a downhill and he was surprised to see me at all! So then I towed him back all the way to the finish, another 15 kilometers or so. Maybe it was a little bit more of a challenge for me because he was heckling me so much for going so slow. I already knew how slow I was going so I didn’t need to hear it from him. A lot of the course volunteers would say, ‘Does he always talk to you like that?’ But that’s just Weir and the heckling usually does make me faster.”
Weir: “Poor little fella did not stand a chance. That first race really hurt my long-footed friend. He raced so good that day I thought, ‘Man this guy has depth, mind tools that don’t come from compromise.’ When you’ve been racing this long, you can run off mind steam. The thought that he could rise to the occasion, not letting the fact that he and the bike had been distant strangers for weeks and months get in the way. Nobody wants to be the one holding things back and Jason has never been that guy. It’s always been me. His eyes told a story of pain every day without words. I could not ask for a better guy to suffer with. The last day we made each other proud and gave it all we both had.”
Congrats to Mark and Jason for finishing sixth out of 36 teams in the Teams of 2 Open Men's event. Checkout their course times and results.
Cheers to BCBR for a fantastic event, and for living up to the ultimate singletrack experience you promised!
CAUTION: Registration for the 2012 BC Bike Race is already 70 percent full. If there is one race the Team would be willing to miss two flights for, this is the one! Register today… no really, right now!