the Test of Metal

The 2007 Test of Metal lived up to its name. As Keith and I left my brother's place in North Van Saturday morning the skies were overcast and the car's thermometer was reading 12 degrees. Brrr.

By 11:00 it had been raining for a couple hours. Nearly 850 riders showed up, registration having filled within 45 minutes of opening Januray 1st. People love this race! Having gotten home from Switzerland the previous monday night this was to be a training race for me. Wednesday and thursday were pretty tough workouts and friday, wasn't overly light so my legs were definitely a little fatigued, but it was the Test and it was going to be fun. Originally my aspirations were to kick as many guys' asses as I could, but with the cold rain, heavy legs and bit of breathing room I scaled down my plan a bit. I started front row (keith started somewhere around 400!) and after the national anthem was sung, got off to a good start reaching the prime on the first climb as top women and top 30 overall. From there on out it was a solid ride with no big mishaps. I gave up more positions on the climb and big ring rip then I should have, but rode well and had fun chatting with the other riders as we descended the plunge and navigated the twisty single track in Crumpit woods.

Keith's race was more eventful. First time through the feedzone he had to stop and fix his Hayes brakes. They have this annoying tendency to loose breaking power as a bolt unwinds releasing the levers. He then went on to have a solid climb up the three sections of 9mile climb, reeling in people. By the end of the plunge he had chewed completely through his brake pads and was down to Metal. Perhaps this is the real Test of Metal. But his story doesn't end here. Going into Crumpet woods he snaps his shifter...cables having gotten so gummy in the muck. For the rest of the race...about 30 minutes of single track Keith had three options; Big and 3rd, middle and 3rd and granny and 3rd. That he finished in a time of 3:28 was super impressive.

After a long time in the shower I had finally scraped enough mud off me to be presentable for the awards. Having won all the primes that day it was a good payday. I earned enough to cover 3 months of student loan payments. Convenient as I have to give up at least 3 months of working to maintain the race schedule I do! Neal Kindree won the men’s race with a smoking 2hr 40 min (67km)

Keith and I headed back to Kamloops that night pretty depleted, but stoked on a good day of trail riding.

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