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Big race nears. Are we up for it?

We weren't even drunk when we decided to enter the BC Bike Race?

It was December 2009 when Steven, Habanero's President, suggested that we enter the BC Bike Race as a team of two. At that point, the seven-day, 400km mountain biking event was seven months away. Sure, we can do it! I decided. It'll be fun. We're both fit enough. Most importantly, we've worked closely together for six years, so we'll make a great team.

We heard the stories about BC Bike Race teams falling apart; teammates never speaking again after the race finished; teammates not communicating through the race; riding too hard, breaking down and not finishing; teammates totally losing it on day seven with thirty minutes to go to the end of the race. But, that's not going to happen to us. We've been through the wringer together. We built Habanero, expanded into a new city, hired people, built teams; unfortunately, scaled-back teams. This all required open, honest, frank communication and teamwork. We should be well-equipped for the challenge. That was my thinking anyway. As the race nears I have to admit that I can't be sure.

When we started our training in January, we were concerned about the distance and the physical hardships of the race. Each day we will have to endure riding 60 to 80km on single-track trails, with an average of over 1,500m of climbing. That's the equivalent of climbing from sea-level to the peak of Whistler Mountain every day! However, it's June now and we have many miles of training-rides and many spin-cycle classes under our belts. The physical aspect of the race is becoming less important. We haven't turned into Olympians by any means, but we've trained hard, and we are where we are.

Something I've come to realize in the last couple of months is the incredible teamwork that will be required to get us through the mental and physical exertion we will experience during the race. That's not really something we can train for, although we have spent hours talking about the race, about how we communicate, and what we both want out of the race. Whatever happens we'll still be partners in a company and have to work together when it's over. And while it's not the reason we got into the race, we know that our success as a team in such a grueling, but hopefully rewarding, challenge will invariably be good for Habanero.

The BC Bike Race starts in North Vancouver, winds through nine west coast communities, including ones on Vancouver Island, and ends in Whistler. It will take us through some of the most spectacular terrain on the planet. Our limits will be tested like never before. As the race approaches, and every day during the race, we'll share our adventure as we subject ourselves to the ultimate team building exercise.