First TourdeBC Champion

First TourdeBC Champion

Aug 13, 2014

News Release August 13th, 2014 (Vancouver, BC) Perry Stone, President, Ride Canada, Race Director Tour of British Columbia announces the completion of the first inaugural 5,200 kilometers Canadian ultra-endurance bicycle race the Tour of British Columbia held August 3rd to August 13th, 2014. Presented as the roughest, toughest , longest and most beautiful ultra-endurance bicycle race on earth the Tour of British Columbia is 5,147 kilometers long with nearly 54,000 meters of climbing. Competitors must compete 24 hours a day and with no stages or rests incorporated into the challenge. The 2014 Tour of British Columbia was won by Alessandro Colo of Italy. The veteran Italian ultra-marathon cyclist , 53 year old spin instructor from Rome, Italy  won the first ever race in a time of  9 days 16, hours and 46 minutes.  Colò who has competed in the race across America 4 times, and who has  numerous appearances in the Furnace Creek 508, The Fireweed and the Race Across Oregon and several European races was the sole competitor. Contacted by Perry Stone, Colò was advised of the situation in advance of the race but opted to ride anyway and invited Stone to observe the race from inside his support vehicles. The two accompanied by 5 support crew members set out to establish a record for the event. Asked why there was only one racer, race-director  P. Stone stated: We built a spectacular course in terrain that millions of people select as their vacation location annually. We designed a course that offers everything from mountains and valleys, to glaciers, rain forests, remote locations, wildlife and limited or reduced traffic. We priced registrations at extremely attractive fees and we did anticipate a stronger field but we are very pleased with Mr. Colo’s enthusiasm and  performance. As our champion he is invited back next year to defend his title with a complimentary registration. Colò stated: “We won. We are the first to finish the Tour of British Columbia. I’m happy and satisfied to have overcome all difficulties of this race. I had a fantastic time (9 days and 17 hours) and also thanks to a fantastic crew. We worked with determination,  all the hard work of...

Colò: The Run to Lillooet

Colò: The Run to Lillooet Late last night we were cruising south following AC on his ride towards Cache Creek and Lillooet. I drove first but knew my time would be short and after about 40 kilometers I handed over the wheel to Daniela who was ready for her shift. First thing that happened was AC was tired and needed a ‘micro-sleep” of about 10 minutes but unfortunately this did not produce the desired result and AC again pulled off the road shortly after his unsuccessful reboot. Fortunately we were in  a great spot, protected from highway, on a grassy flat in a semi open area. Daniela parked the car, quickly got out and laid a blanket on the ground. She then directed AC to lay down as she then took two more blankets and tucked him in (face and all) so he looked like a mummy and from what I observed he wasn’t moving. I observed some massaging and then when she was satisfied that she could do not do anything else she retired to the car asking that I wake her in no more than one hour. It was a beautiful night, almost warm under a cloudy sky that still displayed a bright, full moon and I wasn’t ready for sleep so I decided to perform a short walkabout and kill an hour and play night watchman. I contemplated not waking anyone for 3 hours, it was clear to me AC was outside of his normal ultra-threshold and if he didn’t blow up the race was in the bag. I thought I could simply say that I fell asleep but in the end I opted to wake Daniela after 45 minutes and try to convince her to give AC more sleep. It was her call because clearly she was in charge. But before I even tried she was out of the car insisting AC get up and back on his bike which he wasn’t overly enamored with. Just getting him moving was a big enough chore, beyond breathing and “micro processing” he wasn’t keen for much. Daniela repeatedly spoke to AC providing guidance and simple instructions and soon he was upright long...

A Roadside Ramble

We are in South Quesnel waiting for you know who. It is 33, 32.5 in the shade at 7 pm. I asked Laura if she knew when her father as due to arrive. She was almost comatose in the shade waiting to sleep when she answered; “ Yes, I don’t know, he will be hear soon or maybe not I don’t know, my brother is with him he will be here too when my father gets her. I am not sure. Glad we got that settled and then AC arrived. I enjoy AC’s sense of humor and he rode his bike right over to me to complain about the heat. I laughed like the devil himself and told him he complained about the cold and now he has hot. He laughed in a way that made me think that he will try to pay me back. It’s kind of funny the way a rider gets after ultra-distance, they become childlike, they need control, maybe discipline and attention.  I said to AC, “wouldn’t you be more comfortable with your shoes off and he responded yes with a hopeful look. I repeated that he would feel better if he took them off and he did and the look on his face told me I was correct. He wears these farmer Brown type socks which look very hot but he swears by them. There was great debate over the location of his rebuild – massage, new clothes, nutrition and pep talk. He got in the small car and drove it 60 feet, got out and laid down on the grass in the shade in full view of passing traffic. His modesty no longer exists but Daniela preferred something less public. After prolonged assessment and consideration they moved to  a neutral site outside my range of view. This is the road I love, hot, unknown and somehow simultaneously inviting but urging your forward progress. I like talking to the locals and travelers alike, I like testing out new humor, (who cares if they don’t like it) I like identifying the harmless whack job and stating the elephant in the room. Almost everyone seems more friendly. Many talk of...

The fan uh, um, she is a clogged “thicka” Day  8 Tour de BC

  Typical ultra-riding stuff now. An almost complete meltdown with crew and organization, not that the crew is at fault no one is, it’s just that sometimes poop hits the fan. First up they don’t know if they have enough money for gas, food is definitely out of the question. Alessandro had decided to abandon his crew and ride to finish line unsupported like Chris Culos in the Naked Challenger and asked me if this would be permitted. Like any race director I clearly stated “sorry, no refunds” but yeah sure if you think you can get to finish line from north of Prince George to White Rock unassisted, go for it. I love a good adventure. Then when organizing his bike to ride unsupported  he found some euro’s in some socks and suddenly he has his support. He also called Italy to make arrangements. I also decided to abandon and repacked my gear to hitch a ride to Horseshoe Bay where I could catch the ferry back home. I made this decision for reasons I will clarify post-race but there are some unsatisfactory occurrences that I am investigating. I did not discuss these matters with the crew or A.C. but it has affected the way I interact with them. It is sad, but it is life. When I was to walk away there was much discussion and we reached an agreement to see me stay on board until the finish line and I am happy about that because whatever happens between now and then, in the very least it will be interesting. Last night Laura, Daniela, Lorenzo and I raced ahead in search of w-fi but I delivered that and our first showers of the trip. I did go for a brief swim in a frigid lake earlier in the race but the shower was luxury. All of us acted like we just won the lotto. AC quickly caught up with us riding around 140 kilometers in about 4.5 hours; the weather had changed and so had the terrain, now more mountainous again the road was forgiving and offered far more descent then climbing, but still I was pretty surprised to see this...

Sunday Afternoon on the Stewart Cassiar.

Well Alessandro rolled in finally (to the rip off bell something or other lodge and heliski joint where $100 worth of fuel and about $30 at their café isn’t enough to use their Wi-Fi) and I was quite surprised there were no issues, no complaints. It was still wet and grey and puck ugly, but after a quick rebuild off we went in search of the secrets of bike. This time I rode with Laura and Lorenzo and we traveled about 90 k down the highway. It was slow, ugly, grim and it reminded me why I went to Australia for 3 months only to stay 5.5 years, something we call sunshine. I kept an observant eye on Alessandro. He looked surprisingly good when we reunited earlier, it was like he was wearing his Sunday cycling best, his shoes were dry, his kit was clean and dry, there was no mud on his face or anywhere except his bike which looked like it lost a mud wrestle with a pig. As I watched him ride now I had empathy and admiration for his determination. Conditions sucked and nice scenery can only take you so far. He rode with frustration, little things irritated him, he got off the bike a few times to make adjustments on the bike but were more useful in helping him come to grips with his reality. It spit rain at places and it came down harder in others. The temperature was 14 Celsius and he responded by getting rid of his jacket and arm warmers. The man was trying to be tougher than the conditions. He wasn’t going to win any sprints but I doubt you could push past him in a doorway. We played cat and mouse; sometimes when I drove up beside him he didn’t speak, other times he barked out orders or insults to his children. Other times he seemed concerned for them. Just earlier he had kissed his son in honor of Sans Lorenzo Day or something like that. I had grown weary of all the freaking Italian and just tried to read him from his riding, his interactions with others and the ride he was...