Rick and I completed one of the bigger days of the BCBR today. It ran from Earl's Cove to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. Yesterday's ride in Powell River wore us down so we developed a strategy of starting easy today and saving some gas to have a good finish. The logic being that we needed to keep some gas in the tank for the remaining three days (thus the slower pace at the start) and we are really keen on ending our days strong as opposed to dragging ourselves across the line. It's sort of like ending with a great desert — it can really make up for a mediocre main course. Today's course really suited this strategy as most of the first three quarters of the race was climbing and most of the great single track didn't come until the end.
What's really interesting about the last two days is that the Powell River run was 14k shorter and almost 800m less climbing than today's Earl's Cove to Sechelt race. Psychologically though I found the Powell River terrain made it very hard to get any flow, which frankly got pretty demoralizing. Without flow, time drags on and riding can turn from fun to work. It's times like this when it's powerful to be riding on a team rather than by one's self. We were each able to gut it out at different times to keep the other going (truth be known, Rick kept me going a great deal more than I kept him going!). It's a different sort of motivation than I've experienced riding solo and it's a great way to experience an epic like the BCBR.
Today, we both felt a great deal better although I went through a tough patch for an hour or so and, again, it was great to have that teammate support along on the trail. We finished today at around 5 hours and 22 minutes, which was a little off the pace from where we've been for the first half of the week. Our plan is to take tomorrow a little easier too and great ready for harder, faster rides in Squamish and Whistler. We still have a great deal of riding left!