Spokin’ Word: Hot dates and fun with mates

Spokin' Word columnist Bryce Borlick fills you in on Revelstoke's busy 2018 cycling calendar of events.

Illustration: Benji Andringa

Spring is in the air and we’re off to a late start this season, so let’s skip the foreplay and get this quickie on!

On the back of a busy 2017 race season that brought two major mountain bike enduro events to Revelstoke — the Trans BC Enduro and the Revelstoke 3-Day — the 2018 summer promises more race action in this growing category. Rumours are unconfirmed but one of those two events may return and take another run at the sunny side of the valley. Not ones to be outdone, our local ladies will be shredding up Macpherson and Boulder trails on September 15 for the Revelstoke Women’s Enduro, the first and only women’s enduro race in the B.C. interior. Is it appropriate to mention how much I love fast women? Probably not. Moving on!

File photo: Wildflowers at the Mount Revelstoke Steamer. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

On August 26 the rope will be cut and the Mount Revelstoke Steamer road bike race will once again coil itself to a height of 1,450 vertical metres on the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. In the heat of summer, it’ll truly test racers’ spunk! Our local cyclocrossers will have to wait until October 21 for the Cedar Shaker at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. With a course that‘s sure to be muddy by then, they’ll likely be logging the first Brown Shorts descents of the season.

File photo: An enduro comp in Revelstoke. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

In addition to all this, will we see 2017 Downhill champs Oshi Hampson and Nathan Jecks go down the quickest in the Revelstoke Cycling Association’s 2018 Fiver series? Can anyone outlast Simon Gagnon or Chantal Mathieu in the Enduro events? Tune in to the RCA webpage for dates and details on registering, volunteering, or just drinking beer and rooting for your favourites.

Of course, if you want to drink beer AND ride your bike, Brent Strand’s weekly Pedal ’n’ Pint ride is right up your alley. It departs from the community centre Thursday at 6 p.m. sharpish, finishes at the River City Pub, and caters to riders and drinkers of all abilities. Last spring I was castigated by Revy’s female riders (don’t worry, that’s not what it sounds like) for failing to include their weekly ride in my summary, so here it is! The Bikes, Beers, and Babes ride meets at the same place on Tuesdays at 6 p.m., and finishes up sharing food and bevies with the Tuesday night trail maintenance vollies at the infamous Big Eddy Pub.

The Beers, Bikes and Babes ride emphasizes camaraderie. Photo: Robyn Goldsmith

On a slightly more formal note, this year’s Revelstoke Bikefest will run Sept 14–16. If it’s anything like last year, there will be guided rides and movies and shuttles and scavenger hunts and yoga and symposiums and racing and heli-drops and parties and everything else you need for the rest of your life. Just go get some! Or if you want to focus on skill development, Sweet Skills is offering two women’s camps on Aug. 2–4 and Aug. 4–6 on the stunning alpine trail network that weaves around the Sol Mountain Lodge.

As many of you may have heard, the Beaver area has seen some love lately. Dusty Beaver has nearly doubled in length with a new extension aptly named Beaver Tail, and a short connector called Leap Frog will enhance short green-rated loop options in the area. Further to the north, the RCA has also completed a three-kilometre Frisby Ridge trail extension and the Ultimate Frisby Connector trail. This extends the already impressive Ultimate Frisby ride (a full ‘out and back’ from town) to truly black-rated proportions. To keep this pace up, support the RCA by purchasing a membership or by lending a hand with trail maintenance every Tuesday evening.

And I’m finished! May happy trails lead you to exciting places this summer.

Bryce Borlick
Bryce Borlick is a world traveler, outdoor enthusiast, and urban refugee whom you’re most likely to find wandering the mountains in search of nothing in particular. With an unruly interest in sustainability and permaculture, he may be the only person in Revelstoke dreaming of one day doing burnouts in an electric F-250 towing a tiny house.