So, Day One of the four day super duper epic mega race, The Four Queens, is over. The first stage was the Westside Wheel up course which goes something like this:
Mega hill straight out of the gate, the kind of hill that isn’t that long so you go HARD out the gate only to be blowing phelm within minutes, then a bit of medium tech trail (Whistler medium tech which may equate to the gnarliest trail in most areas) which goes up and down, then a screaming brief downhill into Beaver Pond which always makes me want to stop and take in the view, then Danimal but at mach race speed, then up up and up to reclaim the altitude, then super drifty flow all the way down, then back up and down and over in the rooty heaven of Bobs, then the no flow of Get Over it, then a sprint to the finish where there is someone who is waiting to hand out beers.
I pretty much blew myself out of the gate after working all day coaching in the baking heat then thinking for two silly minutes that I had the same level of fitness I had last year on this stage. It took me a kilometre to reign myself and my thudding heart back in.
Don’t know exactly what the results are yet, but Kiwi Chris Johnston took first place.
I’ve consumed my protein shakes, pasta, and glass of concrete for tomorrows stage – the Garbo DH.
If you want to know more about the Four Queens then click on WORCA website, but basically the premise is this: Tony Horn, the evil genius behind the event, tries to find a way to destroy riders and bikes in four days. Last year no one actually died so this year he has stepped up his game. For four days riders have to show their all round riding ability over five courses of varying insanity. The catch is that the rider must complete it ALL on exactly the same bike and tires. So consider this, the extreme ends of gnarly spectrum that is the 4Queens you have racing down the same course they hold the Crankworx Garbo DH race on and then a five to eight hour epic in Pemberton that includes, and is not restricted to, riding up to and down a trail that is considered the most gnarly big bike trail in the whole Sea-to-Sky Corridor (for those that don’t know that corridor also includes Whistler, Squamish and Vancouver North Shore!!!).
The only thing that takes the edge of the pain and suffering is that every participant had to turn up to the first stage with a moustache. There was some weird faces and it was pretty hard to recognise your good friends at first. I went with a weird hybrid tashe, the Swedish Conquistador.
If this race wasn’t on the same weekend as the Mega and Downieville then the world would realise this is the truest test of man and machine in mountain biking.