A seven-day mountain bike stage race is a special way to amass a bundle of good living and lasting memories. Seven years of racing in seven-day mountain bike stage racing is enough to build a veritable mountain of memories…and so much more. That much is evident with veteran Kona Endurance Team riders Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks as they recount stories (some fond, some foul) of their years of adventuring at the BC Bike Race. This Sunday morning in Cumberland, BC, Barry and Kris will each start the race for the seventh time.
Out of nine editions of the world-famous event, these two have raced a cumulative 6,000+ kilometers, 150,000+ meters of vertical, and 260+ hours of hard, Cascadia mountain bicycling, capturing five wins along the way (2 wins as team, 3 wins as solo). Barry and Kris, as well as teammate emeritus Wendy Simms (3-time winner, but giving it a rest this year) have essentially made the BC Bike Race a Kona tradition. After all, it is in many ways the quintessence of what Kona Bicycles is about…not necessarily the winning and hard-nosed competition, but moreover the life-enriching challenges and adventures and friendships that can be made while pedaling on two wheels.
The 2015 edition of the BC Bike Race brings over 600 riders from around the world to live it up for seven days of riding in what many mountain bikers consider to be the most exquisite networks of singletrack in the world. Whereas some riders will take over 30 cumulative hours to complete all stages, Barry and Kris (and many other of the elite classification riders) aim to complete everything in around 14 hours. It is no small feat considering the 400km of rugged terrain and 10,000m of climbing that stand between the start in Cumberland and the finish in Whistler. Each stage follows a well-marked route, beginning between 8AM and 9AM in a new location each day. The pace is fast from the gun, and all riders are self-supported while out on course. No team cars, no hiding in a draft…at least not on the singletrack, which comprises over 75% of the race.
Barry and Kris will be joined by teammate Spencer Paxson (this is his 3rd BCBR), and Kona/MTB legend Dik Cox. Each will be competing in the solo category aboard their Hei Hei Supremes, built up with Shimano XTR 1×11 drivetrain and wheels, Maxxis tires, Fox IRD suspension, and WTB saddles.
Over the next seven days, be sure to check in regularly to the Kona COG, and give a follow to the Kona Bikes Instagram and Twitter feeds (as well as those of the riders!) to follow the Kona Team along in the adventure. Also check out the BC Bike Race website for results, videos and photos.
Barry: @wicknasy Kris: @krissneddon Spencer: @slaxsonMTB