Thursday, August 18, 2011

23 Days Until XC8: Training Ride This Weekend

Saskatchewan isn’t flat... but you’ll wish it was.

The Western Cycle XC8 is an 8-hour endurance mountain bike race for solo racers, and a massive relay for teams of 2 or 4 people.

XC8 is Saskatchewan’s largest and most popular mountain bike event. It has a unique flavour you will not find anywhere else and has become the ultimate grudge-match between British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

No matter if you are a serious racer who wants to win, or a recreational rider who just wants to finish, the XC8 is about challenging yourself, having a great time, and it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

The experience doesn’t end when the clock stops, XC8 is an entire social event. The atmosphere is festive with competitive racers and recreational riders meshing in genuine love for the sport.

XC8 is best described - from a Manitoban perspective - as a huge Back 40 but with a 1, 211 feet of climbing per lap. It has the same grass lands flavor of technical'; smooth, fast paced, flowy, twisty rollers. It has the same party atmosphere, but with a huge spread of food, swag, and music.  If you didn't race Back 40 (what were you thinking?)... think of an unholy union between Bur Oak and Birch. Now picture a 1000 feet of climbing every 40 minutes, for 8-hours with 200 other competitors. 

XC8 = A perfect combination of suffering and fun.

If you liked Back 40, you'll love XC8. 

XC8 Training?

A group of mountain bike enthusiasts are meeting at the Back 40 race course trail head for a 4-5 hour training ride. 

Trail head/parking lot at 11 am, Sunday Morning. 

Tinker Creek, Manitoba. From Highway 3 in Morden, turn South on 1st Street (Route 100), then turn West on Willcocks Road (1 mile), then take the first left, heading South on Road 29W (gravel road, there will be signs at this point). Head South down 29W for six miles. The last half mile includes a dirt road that winds down through a ford crossing and back up. (Don’t bring your Porsche.) You will come to a "T" intersection, turn West (right) and follow the dirt road for about 100 meters. Take the marked entrance to the left and drive up the winding dirt road to the staging area overlooking the Pembina escarpment. There will be signs posted along the road.

Self Supported. 

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