Day Zero has Snuck up On Me

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Hello dear followers of ActiveSteve! If you are reading this post the day it goes up, I must be in Vancouver, at Boris’ place with an Internet connection. At this exact moment for me, I’m at 39,000 feet over the skies of Canada, flying to Vancouver. As I sit here, I’m feeling quite a bit of nervous energy. Sitting in my cramped airline seat, I have the knowledge that in less than 40 hours from now, I’ll be at the start line of the longest, hardest, possibly most challenging race of my life! Yup, I’m on the road to the BC Bike Race, where Carl Buchmann and I are Team Diabetes / Activesteve.com, tackling 7 days of the greatest singletrack mountainbike trails in Canada. How awesome is that going to be? Well, I don’t quite know yet, which is why I have this energy. The plane seems to be shrinking around me, and I just can’t wait to get out there in the wide open spaces of our vast wilderness. Read on for a little more of my thoughts and hopes for this race.

The journey to get to this race started quite a while ago. In fact, well more than a year and a half ago. At the time, I was just coming back from my 4 months of cycle touring in New Zealand. I felt like I was in the best cycling shape of my life, and was looking forward to doing some racing when I got home, maybe even some bike racing. I dug into what races were possible, and soon found out that I could register for Tran Rockies in BC using a registration someone couldn’t use. I tried to convince people to race with me, but it was too short notice for most, so I had to abandon that idea. However, Carl sowed the seed in my mind to do BC Bike Race in 2009. We registered over 10 months ago, and haven’t looked back.

Since that time, we focused on getting ourselves in the right shape that we would need for a long distance bike race. A winter of cycle touring again was out of the question, so through the winter, I had to turn to indoor cycling on my trainer. Admittedly, this wasn’t as exciting as I might have liked, but it was clearly necessary. For the first time, I also turned to using cycling DVDs, which meant that I was doing a lot more disciplined riding, such as speed workouts and hill training. It was a good thing though, because coming out of the long cold winter, I felt pretty strong. We were still months away from the race, but luckily, the spring weather was actually pretty favorable, so I was able to get outside pretty early. I also signed up for a couple cycling events, like the 70km CN cycle for CHEO, and the 354km Rideau Lakes Tour.

Flash forward a little further and here I am, pumped, psyched, in shape, and ready to roll. I’ve been lucky to stay in good health, and apart from the obvious spills that go into preparing for an outdoor race on technical mountain bike trails. I’ve also sunk a fair bit of money into this adventure. First, there was the airfare to get to Vancouver. Second, there was the race fees themselves, which amounted to well over $2,300 each! After that, there was the fact that I’ve pretty much re-built my entire bike in preparation for this. I’ve got new shifters, new cables, new rear derailleur, new wheels, and new tires since coming back from NZ. All in the pursuit of making the bike run as smoothly as possible. Of course, I’m sure that by day 2 or 3 of the race, nothing will be working well anymore 🙂 But that’s to be expected when you put something through the abuse that I’m pretty sure I’m about to.

Another thing Carl and I decided to do was to sign up with Team Diabetes and raise some funds as part of this adventure. To those ends, I’d like to of course thank everybody who has taken the time to make a donation to my campaign! You’ve helped me get to the start line and be prepared for this thing I call a vacation. BTW, if you’re interested, I’m still accepting funds, and can do so until the end of August. If you’d like to do so, just head over to my BCBR mini-site and follow the links 🙂

I think I’ll just stop there for now. After all, there’s not much more to report from the airplane at the moment. However, I was told that I should at least get up a quick post to point out to everyone that this is now really happening for me. I’ve got my little computer with me during the week, and will be doing my best to get up some posts, along with perhaps some maps and pictures as well. Won’t that be exciting? At a minimum, if I have cell phone access, I’ll be able to do some twittering at the end of each day, which will get re-posted on this website. Till later, stay tuned, and get out there and ride your bikes! I know you’ve probably all got them, so use ’em 🙂

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