Test of Mental Pre-Ride

May 27, 2011

Location: Squamish, BC

Getting there:

  • Head north on Rt. 99 out of Vancouver towards Whistler/Squamish
  • In Squamish turn Right onto Finch Dr
  • Take your first Left onto Loggers Ln
  • The Brennan Park Leisure Center will be on your left, this is the start area.




View Larger Map
Guide books and Maps:
Map

You can also pick up the Whistler/Squamish Trail Map and you should be able to highlight the route for the most part. There are a few areas where you might get confused. The course is currently marked with Blue and black signs. There are on a few places where signage is lacking.

The Facts:

  • 67 kilometers
  • 1,200 meters of climbing
  • 35 kilometers of single-track
  • 1000 racers
  • The unrelenting course will take the fastest just over 2 hours, the average competitor 3-4 hours and the humans 5-6 hours.

Current Conditions: Today the trail was wet and slick in spots. For the most part the tread is in great condition. There is only one place at the end of Rob’s Corners that is tight with overgrowth. Other than that it’s fast. If it’s wet on race day expect some standing water in some low spots and greasy spots in the woods. Power House Plunge was slippery and it added to it’s being a Black Diamond trail.

What to expect: You should expect a fast fast start on the roads of Squamish. Before you enter the woods you’ll encounter the steepest of the road climbs. Jack’s Trail to Dead End Loop should be big ring the whole way. Rock and Roll will force you to finally slow down.

After that it’s big ring for miles until you hit Roller Coaster which has one hill that will totally sneak up on you, trust me it’s gotten me twice now. Between there and the dirt road climb to 9 mile bridge is straight forward with only one climb of note. Bonk Hill will hurt more than any other part of the course. Two words for you, “False Summit”

The last climb after 9 Mile Bridge will get tougher as the day go one and it gets torn up. It’s a sandy climb with rocks. The descent down Ring Creek Rip will pass quickly. The first two rocky downhills should be taken with care. I got a freak pinch on the second one. After that you can open it up until the Power House Plunge starts. Power House Plunge is a Black Diamond so it has rocks, roots and bridges. It will challenge even the seasoned rider if wet.

After going by the Power House for the second time you have one more climb on Far Side which will burn and from there until Endo it’s twisty and at times slick single track. Once out of the woods and off Endo it’s surface streets and gravel paths to the finish. Drop the hammer basically if you still have yours.

Video Documentary of James and my thoughts from the ride. (this is a interview based video, there is only one clip of me riding):
Test of Metal Video

Local Groups/Clubs/Website:

Test of Metal

Squamish Offroad Cycling Association SORCA

Corsa Cycles
Tantalus Bike Shop
Republic Bicycles
Squmish Mountain Bike News & Links

NOTE: I’m trying out this new formate for trail reviews. I’m hoping it’s cleaner and easier to find what your looking for. If I’m missing something or you have suggestions let’s hear them. Thanks.

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Scatman

Get out there!

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