Like all good columns, this one begins with the line...
"I'm delirious as I type this."
I woke up this morning and knew something had changed.
But what? Searching for clues, I quickly realize I can't move and my only
brain response is a little voice in my head maniacally repeating tee-hee-hee
tee-hee-hee. Then it comes flooding back in a raging torrent and my only
response is a whisper...
What I did on June 9th, 2001 was partake in an event that will no doubt become legendary. The 1st Annual "Tour De Squamish". The Tour De Squamish is the brainchild of one incredible man, Chris McCrumb. Chris, among other things, works at Corsa Cycles. I've always known Chris to be a lovable lunatic, the kind of guy who would continually ride the Test of Metal course on a single speed bike. But on June 9th he opened his arms and invited everyone into his world.
Basically, the Tour is exactly that. It's a celebration of Squamish single track going from Valleycliffe to Cat Lake hitting every point in-between. 19 brave souls embarked on a journey of pain and misery that day. Let us begin.
We started with a hearty breakfast at Big D's then headed up to the FM tower. There the talk was jovial, the meetings were safe, and the smiles abound. So we begin the first decent down "Doggie Style" where I was awarded the crash of the day for being completely submerged in water (god I hope that was water) after falling off a log into a swamp. Dry clothes were so close as I only lived 5 minutes away, but foolish pride managed to outweigh a soaking wet shammy and I continued on.
So it was we came to "Rampage" where Nick, (the Creator) showed us how it's done in style on a hard tail (hardtail - bike with only front suspension). It was also here that we saw several more epic crashes as bikes and riders flew majestically over those last 3 drops. (Hint, hint, this would be a great place to view the Freeride competition during the Test of Metal, and Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls)
Next - "5 point". As always the climb was sadistically grueling and the view spectacular. As we gazed at what I believe to be the best view in Squamish, it was with pride I listened to everyone saying how lucky we are in Squamish to have such unparalleled beauty in our back yard. Then we stopped our slack jawed gawking and dove straight into "5 point south and Lacking Head" with more crashes and laughter.
Ahh, 19th hole, that muddy, bloody trail was it's usual charming, disemboweling self. But even so at the end of it everyone's bikes and body's were still in one piece. So enough chatter and backpatting, we're only ½ way, so on to "One Man's Garbage". Fast, smooth and beautiful. Oh and get this, half way down it stared hailing! How hard-core is that! Everyone was lovin' it as the hail pelted and the track remained in great shape. Then a fast cruise down Diamondhead road back up to the Highlands where we collapsed for lunch.
Like a dream sequence, 19 starving riders piled into a backyard oasis where Chris's Mom and Dad (Ulrike and Patrick) had waiting for us the most amazing spread of sandwiches, fruit, juice and muffins, oh the glorious muffins! It was lunch and we were beat. It was here I thought for sure we'd have some dropouts. But surprisingly enough, each and every one of us continued on.
Up "Jacks" and "Debecks Hill" in Alice Lake to the newest darling of Squamish, "Crouching Squirrel Hidden Monkey". It was at the top of this painful climb that we had what I believed to be the quote of the day. Reaching the top, gasping for breath and smiling all the while, Ryan summed it all up...
"I have such strong feelings of respect, admiration and hatred for you people"
Luckily for all we were at the top of some A-maze-ing
single track. This one put all the smiles back on the faces. But not for
long as we now went back up the unrelenting climb to "Jacks"
again. It was here we had the first to call it a day, leaving those remaining
to take stock of the day. We all agreed that people were starting to loose
it. I was delirious, and as Chris
Oh we were tired my friend. My brain and body weren't
even speaking to each other any more. My body finally realized that the
quicker we peddled the quicker it would all end and peddle they did. Meanwhile
Oh who am I kidding, I can't live in denial all my life.
It was here that my soul was crushed into a million fragments. For those unaware of the Alice lake to Cat lake crossing. Basically, after scrambling across some sketchy logs over a cold torrent, you then have to climb up a cliff with only sparse stairs to help you up. I couldn't do it. My 34 bound bike finally won. For what I believe was the first time in my life I honestly felt like I could not physically continue. But amazingly enough, with some encouragement and a stabilizing hand, I did arrive with my fellow nutters to Cat Lake where after 11 HOURS we collapsed into a heap of mud, blood, beer, and chili.
Well almost all of us did. It was getting dark and the
original plan called for yet another climb up to the 5k mark at Cat Lake.
Here the trumpets come out
Epic? Doesn't seem to do it justice. Legendary? Perhaps. Insane? Definitely. Anyway you slice it, it's a day we won't soon forget in a town we love and respect. If you'll excuse me I have to go lie down now. Mommy? Is that you?
Who dun it?
Honorary mentions to
Ronni Lister who joined us just after 5point, and Penny, Derek "Cowboy",
Andy and Brad who made it all the way up to Crouching
9:AM Corsa Cycles, Climb summers eve to FM tower.
Descend Doggystyle down Pipe Trail. Climb Cougar ridge to rampage, S&M
Connector, Root 99, Farside, 5 Point, Lacking Head, Root 99, Farside to
Powerhouse, connector to Ring Creek FSR to 19th
Bryan lives, loves, and peddles 'til he pukes in