Test of Metal

The Test of Metal is probably the biggest single day non UCI cycling event in Canada. 67 km, 950 riders, fans lining the course, a crazy huge festival of a feed zone and some of North America’s best riders on the start list such as Kabush, Pendrel, Plaxton, Sneddon, Lazarski, Widmer, Hadley and all the past “Test” winners. After the singing of “Oh Canada” it was off on a 15 min road climb to the first $100 prime before we entered the trails.

Near the top of the climb nobody was making a move so I came up the outside to make a sprint for the prime but my teamate Sneddon had the same thoughts and beat me to it. After that I took Kabush’s wheel into the singletrack, blew up a little and dropped back into 6th to lead the chase group of Hadley and three Rocky Mtn Riders (Kerr, Calhoun, Day). Hadley dropped off to fix a derrailure, and soon after I dropped off to fix a leaking tire. Chasing hard through the feedzone I came through in 8th and slowly reeled in riders going up 9 mile climb.

Coming over the top in 5th, 1.5 min behind 2-4th places I was feeling good. I soon passed Widmer on the decent as he was fixing a flat and then fell off rythym for a bit through the sketchy plunge decent. The infamous Plunge is a cheeseball decent which makes even the best riders look like rookie pre school decenders as the only way down is to lean back and let your bike pinball off jagged rocks and roots. I went over the bars in the only spot there was 5 photographers in the same spot. I felt shame but was relieved everything on the bike was still in one piece.

Going through the feedzone for the 2nd time produced a unworldly sensation as my legs were cramping like a knotted fishing line yet I was still ripping. My body legs were out of control for the few minutes as we passed hundreds of yelling spectators. I was praying to god they would decide to keep moving as I knew I would fall over in a chaotic pile of knotted muscles if they didn’t. Taking a feed from Kona dude Seth I managed to get out of the raging feedzone in one piece and back into the quiet singletrack through the Squamish mtns to rip the last 25 min to the finish line. With 4 km to go I was given news from a spectator that Lazarski who had 2 min on me had flatted and was trying to ride it in. I charged hard trying to close the gap but it was to no evail as I came through the finish line in 4th, only to see Lazarski just getting off his bike. 9 seconds from 3rd. Lazarski deserved the final medal as he had better legs on the day but I would’ve taken it.

After the race the party would start at the finish line and end at various houses party’s across town. It is amazing to see how strongly this town backs biking and can make the Test of Metal one of the highlights of the yr and attract World Class riders like Geoff Kabush, Catherine Pendral and Max Plaxton. I understand why all 1000 spots sell out in 25 minutes each yr. Too show the local support the top Squamish riders are also given a huge andvil. Squamish dude, Kelly Servinski took top honors coming in 8th overall. A wicked result for a wicked dude. Kelly is also organizing “Team Canada” for the 24 hrs Worlds in Australia this October. Check out his blog http://www.squamishmonkeys.blogspot.com/

The day after the “Test” 6 of us went for a little Squamish recovery ride. Led by Kelly, and Neal Kindree we soon found ourselves wading through river’s and in the misdt of a 5 hr epic with various all out sprints throughout. I’ll take credit for igniting a few of the sprints but we were all to blame for the savage recovery day. All in all it was a rad day with some rippin fast dudes on some rippin wicked trails. Pretty perfect training for BC Bike Race this week.. Brian Bain had a 5 hr drive back to Salmon Arm after the ride and Simon Tremblay had a 6 hr journey back up to Campbell River. Poor dudes.

Resting in Victoria enjoying some summer time sun… Here We come BC BIKE RACE>>>>>

2 Comments on “Test of Metal”

  • Squamish Dude June 25th, 2010 1:02 am

    see you at BCBR you animal…glad you enjoyed the weekend!

  • Ronald J June 28th, 2010 5:41 pm

    Hey Buddy.

    Is nice to have some news from you, is nice to see you next to the most nasty riders… I am sure that very soon you will be kick them… with your nasty pace.. take care.

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