Really, there were only two ugly things about TransRockies – the weather and the terrain. And it was the weather that made the terrain ugly, so maybe there was only one problem with the race.
As I mentioned in the post that summarized my TransRockies experience, I am still struggling to find the right words to describe what it was like out there. To say that it was “muddy” sounds ridiculous – of course it was muddy. We were mountain biking. But the mud that we experienced – on days 1, 4, 5, and 6 – was serious stuff. It inhibited my ability to ride and at times made it nearly impossible to even walk. It was *super* frustrating. Perhaps the mud would have been okay – humourous even – if it hadn’t been usually accompanied by rain, hail, and temperatures in the single digits.
I am a prodigious taker of photographs but when the going got really tough in this race, I actually took fewer photos. That said, here are a few images of the weather and the trails.
This is from stage 1 in Fernie on the Coal Discovery Trail. The mud here was sort of buttery in its consistency. Going down was okay, but going up was a challenge. Add roots and I was wiping out all over the place.
This lovely mud trail on stage 4 continued for 17km and took us close to 4 hours to get through. Can you see Sierra on the left in the bushes? You really should click on the image to see the awesome “trail.”
This is the only photo I took of my bike and it was after I had wiped huge hunks of mud and horse poop off my wheel to help it turn.
It’s tough, in retrospect, to complain about the weather though. I mean, if it had been 40C and humid it would have killed me too. I doubt that I will make it back to Alberta to try my wheels on the TransRockies route next year… but part of me wants to.