Rick and I had a fantastic run at the Test of Metal this Saturday. I was very apprehensive about putting in such a big ride seven days before the start of the BC Bike Race, but several conversations with a variety of BCBR veterans convinced me that I was being a bit of a baby about the whole thing. Chief among my motivators was Andy Handford, owner of Different Bikes and veteran of many BCBRs, several TransRockies events as well as La Ruta de los Conquistadores (billed as the toughest mountain bike race on the planet).
Where Andy's advice is appreciated, I have to keep in mind that we are likely not even the same species. Andy was fourth overall this year in the Test of Metal and it wasn't even his best time. It's great to have such amazing athletes around for motivation and direction. Rick and I have developed an informal advisory board of sorts for our BCBR team. It's great to have that sort of great experience on our side, although it's pretty much killed the potential excuses we could have come up with being inexperienced first-timers.
Back to the Test of Metal: the day provided Rick and I with a great opportunity to work on riding together as a team, coaching each other, and making sure we keep enough in the tank for future rides. One last great learning opportunity before next week's race.