Sit around the post race recovery zone at any stage race worldwide and you’ll hear the BC Bike Race come up. There’s no question that the 15 year old stage race stands amongst the giants in the multi day mtb world. For 2022 however the proven formula of ferries and coastal loam is up for replacement. The old dog as it were is learning a new trick and taking it on the road to the Okanagan Valley in the interior of British Columbia. BCBR goes live September 16th-22nd 2022.
The updated course promises to deliver on the BC Bike Race mission of exploring regional heritage through singletrack experience racing in a whole new light. For 2022 the BCBR heads to the Okanagan Valley. Inland of the previous course and along one of the most stunning lake regions of North America the Okenagen is set up to facilitate easier transfers than previous courses with more established infrastructure for the traveling rider. An easier go of all of the in between parts of racing without compromising on the quality of the trail? Sold.
BC Bike Race has consistently done a tremendous job presenting world class mtb courses and this trend continues. Specific routes often remain quiet leading into race week in an effort to maintain land use and private trail access but this year promises tremendous new tracks and truly epic experiences.
Moving South through the Okanagan valley over 6 days the 2022 course will push racers through approximately 265 Kilometers of terrain and and around 10K meters of vertical; remember kids – what goes up must come down. The region is unknown to some but brings on and off-piste riding through areas riders may recognize such as Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Silverstar, and Apex. Okanagan is sure to stun riders as Canada’s leading wine and fruit growing area; however we suspect singletrack dirt farming will lead agritourism stats for the week of BCBR.
While wine is fine the BC Bike Race hospitality will always be a favorite après for participants. Finish line recovery and good times await after every stage where racers can soak in the tales of the day over beverages and snacks; especially if you take your racing with a little rock and roll.
With the 2022 venue switch some riders may be wondering what to pack or what to do differently. Tapping into the tremendous alumni group of BCBR participants yielded a great deal of feedback. Consensus was the increasingly common; dropper posts, 120mm suspension forks or full bikes, larger tires, and a mixed opinion about tire liners. What’s clear from the community of BC Alumni is a focus on the singletrack experience, and a lot of repeat riders. It seems many of these heroes take on multiple BC Bike Race experiences and keep coming back for more.
As the BC Bike Race kicks off in a few weeks time we will be watching and reporting on the experiences shared by riders throughout the field.