We had been on the look out for someone to ride for us in this year’s Trans Provence when Paul Errington suggested the Bearded Man. BM was already signed up to ride Crank the Shield but he assured us that he would be able to get back in time with enough energy to ride for another 7 days. The Trans Provence starts tomorrow but before we left BM to lube his chain he had time to send us through his Crank the Shield report which we shall be featuring over the coming days.
Now in its third year CTS has been hailed as the Eastern North America’s favourite mountain bike stage race. The distance isn’t what we have come to expect in multi day events i.e. 100km plus a day and nor is the climbing anything to be concerned about. The distances are between 54km and 76km a day and climbing is no more than 1200m climbing a day. The format is a typical rally style race with different camps on different nights starting and finishing at Haliburton Forest, which is about 220km North of Toronto.
On our way to Haliburton from Montreal we were pumping out Moose FM, losing count of all of the large Canadian Flags and noticing the size of vehicles double – we were heading into the wild. As we got closer to Haliburton one could easily become quite relaxed about the race due to the flat terrain and nice hardpack dirt roads! The only notable difference from the UK is the density of the forest, which is unlike anything I am used to seeing.
As a well know event it attracted some of Canada’s top riders from teams like Trek and Norco, participating as the official Canadian XC race season is almost at an end.
Plan Plan Plan
Due to an unfortunate oversight, I was not able to bring my bike over, but I fortunately managed to secure a bike from Trek and so a big thanks to Barry from Trek Toronto and to Adam from Chico Racing (the event organiser) for sorting me out with a Gary Fisher X-Caliber 29er to ride. The 29er revolution has definitely started across the pond and counting the wheels it’s about 50/50 – a couple more years and who can guess where the wheel preferences will lie.
Aside from my bike I also left basic commodities at home such as energy drink, bottles, tubes, CO2….the list goes on. So what I couldn’t find in the store I did without.