It’s hard to believe. That’s pretty much the perfect four words to describe any Test of Metal weekend and this year was no different.
This year was, to my mind, the best race day yet. The course was fantastically soupy and the torrential rain definitely spelled out local’s advantage. It was great to hear Neil Kindree and Ryan Edwards took the top spots (next year it’s yours Ryan) as well it was nice to see Megan Kindree once again kicking some serious ass.
Ever evolving, I must say the addition of “Test Ambassadors” is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in an event. This year, ambassadors rode various parts of the course loaded up with food, water, pumps, tubes, and whatever else those at the back of the pack needed to help stay the course. It was like having a caddy, and that is a truly phenomenal thing when you’re riding a bike for over five hours.
On a personal note, it was one of the best rides of my life as my incredible wife and I took first place in the made up category of “spouses with two kids under 3”. I only wish I could have been there to see Cliff’s proposal to the amazing Darlene (congratulations you two!)
However, as the core of this event was stronger than ever, unfortunately this year was the weakest weekend. There was nothing taking place Friday and only the Mini Metal taking place on Sunday. Not to downplay the coolness of the Mini Metal, but for years Sunday was home to world class showcases such as the national trials competition and the Rock Star invitational downhill.
The lackluster bookend days are certainly no one’s fault. As I said, it was the best race day ever. The Rock Star Downhill was postponed due to weather which turned a death defying trail into a certain death trail (keep posted for rescheduled date). The Friday night cruiser show and shine however suffered the same fate as the chariot races, trials, and the fate of almost every defunct event: organizer burnout. It’s a huge task to take the reigns and make an event shine. That said; if you or someone you know is looking to take over next years Friday night cruiser show and shine, step right up.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with the latest addition to the pages marked
“Squamish legends”. Every year at the Test someone suffers
a heinous crash and keeps riding, well this year the “balls-to-the-wall-crazy”
award goes to the staple gun guy (whoever you are, contact Test officials
for your award). Get this: He enters the race with a huge gaping wound
on his forearm. First aid suggests some sutures then wrap it up. He replies
“its ok, I’ve got a staple gun in my truck” Then he
comes back with six staples in his arm and asked to be bandaged up because
there was a race to ride. Holly crap is right, now that’s Squamish