TransRockies blog: Bears, bells and cake

How not to prepare for a week-long MTB stage race

Richard Jennings & Catriona Morrison are British mountain bikers who are tackling the TransRockies MTB stage race as the On-One team. As they admit in their first blog entry, their preparation hasn't been perfect...

Most sensible people will have spent the last six months training for the TransRockies.

We have spent the last six days.

The last time we both rode our mountain bikes was at Catriona's 30th birthday weekend in January at Mabie forest in Dumfries. The hot days and dry trails over here are therefore the exact opposite of what we are used to! However, the weather has been a changing.

From our base in Calgary we can access some truly classic biking which combines sweet single track with gut busting mountain climbs and awesome views. The whole bear thing is slightly off putting but we can't bring ourselves to ride with bear bells clanging away and we figure that by the time you get the bear spray out of your Camelbak you will be in big trouble. We are hoping that the noise of 1400 bikers will be enough to scare off any serious wildlife!

The last couple of days have been wet and cold with temperatures no higher than 10 degrees and steady rain. Still, we dragged our sorry butts to some great trails and had the foothills of the Rockies to ourselves. There has certainly been no shortage of wet rocks and roots and we are glad to still be in one piece!

As this is also our honeymoon we haven't just been biking. Canada does great comfort food and there have been plenty of chances to build up those fat stores for the week ahead. The cheesecake cafe served up the biggest slice of chocolate cake we have ever seen and combined with a helping of cookie dough cheesecake we were beaten. Our host in Calgary has the biggest BBQ ever and it plugs into the mains gas supply. This is outdoor living at its most decadant, true North American style.

Tomorrow is transfer day, time to pack up the bikes and head to Panorama, the start for 2007. We have just heard that the fire risk is still high in sw BC due to high temperatures and dry weather, so we are hoping that it continues throughout next week.

Time for dinner...

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