January 06, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Squamish - Biking
January 1 is more than a day off to recover from New Year's festivities for local mountain bikers - it's also Test of Metal registration day http://www.testofmetal.com
. For those of you not familiar with the Test, it's an epic cross country mountain bike race held in Squamish each June. You may wonder what defines "epic" - think of a 67km course, with 1200 metres of climbing, sections named Bonk Hill and the 9 Mile Climb and you get the idea of what it's like! It's also a mass start, so professional athletes like Alison Sydor (Olympic silver medalist) and Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks line up to start with 800 slightly less fit weekend warriors. The race has become very popular over the last few years, with all 800 places being snapped up in 6 days in 2005. I've done the race previously (2002-2004) and after nearly sweating to death in 32 degree heat in 2004, swore to take a few years off. Well, I wisely missed last year (it was a horrible wet day), but got "convinced" to sign up this year. My mountain biking friends were speculating that the race would sell out quickly this year - little did I know how quickly! A friend called me 3 hours after registration opened to tell me there were less than 200 places left. I registered right then (secretly hoping that the magical 800th slot was gone!), but I am happy to report I am racer #701. Let the training begin!! If you happen to be in Squamish
on June 17-18, I'd highly recommend checking out the festivities, which last all weekend. The Test itself starts at 11am on Saturday, June 17. The race starts and ends in town and people are out in droves cheering on the riders. The fastest riders will be done in just under 3 hours. Personally, I'll be looking to better my 2004 time of 5 hours 29 minutes!