In 2007, a friend asked me to race the BC Bike Race with him.
I instantly said yes, then actually thought it through afterwards. Why did I say yes to this? I was a downhill racer, not an XC guy.
This race takes place over seven days and hits some of B.C.’s best riding locations. It’s really fun, but very gruelling. Each of the first two days were twice as long as any ride I’d ever done, then there are five more days after that. As I thought more about it, I realized how ill equipped I was for something this epic.
But, rather than backing out, I figured a change would be good at that point in time. I adjusted my life to make it possible. I quit my job, I changed my diet, and I trained in a different way than ever before, and trained a lot. Go big or go home, right?
In the six months from that decision to race day, I changed from a DH racer, who went full speed for three or four minutes then called it a day, to an endurance racer who actually enjoyed long brutal days on the trails, epic climbs, and day after day of suffering.
The race was amazing, but it was the transformation in that six months that really changed me. I had never taken on such a huge challenge before, especially something so out of my comfort zone, and the fact that I was more successful than I had imagined, changed how I approach things ever since. Challenges, no matter how unknown, don’t phase me. It brought confidence in my ability to adapt.
I have completed the race twice more since then, but it was never the same, never as satisfying, and never scary.
Last week, a local rider told me he is doing the BC Bike Race in 2020.
This guy is a giant of a man, over 250 lbs.
He is fit and he has trained at a high level in other sports, so he has some idea what to expect with a big challenge, but no matter how fit he may be, being such a big heavy dude is not ideal for endurance cycling.
There is a reason there is no Clydesdale class in the Tour de France.
Dave knows this better than anyone, but he is devoted to the challenge and has committed to changing himself into an endurance racer. Through coaching, diet, and an intense training program he plans on transforming his body type. He’s aiming to drop 60 + pounds and go from a big burley weight lifter to a sleek-ish endurance racer.
Pretty lofty goals Dave, but in my experience, when you cross that day seven finish line it will feel better than you can imagine.
When you have to work this hard for something it is that much sweeter in the end.
Enjoy the process.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin” … but not as much as Dave will be…