Singletrack 6 is a mountain bike stage race showcasing the incredible eastern BC riding. This year the race visits 4 different towns during its 6 days. This format provides a very unique way to experience some of the best riding in these incredible locations. The average day is around 20 miles with over 4,000ft of climbing.
Stage races are an awesome way to explore new areas, explore amazing new trails and meet cool people. Their courses offer you the raddest singletrack jewels of each region. I knew to expect nothing but a well-organized, finely tuned event from the Transrockies organization, after experiencing their 3 day event in Moab, Utah called “Moab Rocks“. Deciding to make a run for the border up to Singletrack 6 to enjoy 6 days of fantastic BC riding was an easy decision.
The first two days of Singletrack 6 in Fernie are now in the books. The challenging courses have included a very high percentage of singletrack with plenty of steep climbing and highly rewarding descents.
Day 1 started out with beautifully dramatic clouds hanging over the peaks surrounding town and opened up to sunny skies for the race start. The race was led out by a cool antique fire truck. Just as the fire truck started to pick up its pace, riders reacted followed by a couple big booms and smoke from the fire truck. Racers poured around both sides and up onto the course as the disabled rig coasted down the road.
Our initial climb was quite brutal and didn’t give much room to pass as we climbed 30+ minutes up a trail aptly named Hyperventilation. Everyday is a race within a race. Riders vie for the fastest descent on one timed downhill everyday. Today’s race down was on Hyperextension! Typical awesome Fernie twisty, rooty great fun! Slick bridges, a corkscrew and great singletrack are the words that I would use to describe this awesome day on the bike.
Most of my day was spent riding with a 2 person team from Quebec I’ve done a few events with in the past. We now seem to bump into each other at least once or twice year at events and riding destinations. I would suffer behind them on the climbs and try to make a little time on them on the descents. My 5″ travel bike built for fun, not uber-lightness made for an exciting day of back and forth. I happily finished inside the top 10 in my field without any major issues.
Day 2 started in the beautiful Fernie Alpine Resort with sunny skies and freshly watered trails from the previous day’s showers. Similar to stage one, the climbs were Steep (with a capital S.) Actually one, I really wanted to get off and walk. The descents today were slippery roots kept me smiling, happy to stay upright.
The day was brutally fun with almost identical statistics to yesterdays stage: 20.5 miles and just under 5,000ft of climbing! Ferns, a steep climb, many fun descents, roots and slick wood (bridges) are todays words. Day 2 proved to be a little faster for me, moving up to a top 5 finish and now sitting in 5th overall in the 40+ category.
See ya Fernie. Bring on the rest of the race in Cranbrook, Kimberly and Golden! Can’t wait to explore your singletrack goodness!