Monday, September 15, 2008

a month later...

Well not sure if anyone still follows this but what the hell. Its been a bout a month since we finished, still finishing off some loose ends, physically and financially. MRI booked now for Oct. 29. Hope is nothing too major but lost of pain. Since Ive been back, I did the 24 hours at Albion and that's it, bike was cleaned and now hanging from the rafters. The squeezer is coming up so I guess i should see if I am able to ride.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finishers Party

For everyone involved in this year's race, this video of all of the Finishers at the Finisher's Party summarizes the entire week.


video

We're home!

Hey there - well, we're now home safe, and back to the 'daily grind' - back to our jobs and other responsibilities. I'd like to echo Blaine's thanks to everyone for their support.

Most of all, I'd like to thank Laura, Andrea and Mark. Without them, we truly could not have done nearly as well as we did. Driving the RV, the daily 'pump and dump', and making sure that we were properly fed and equipped goes beyond any thanks I could ever express.

We'll probably be doing a 'wrap up' update.... but for now, I need to get back to work.

Cheers!

Ted.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Well its now over, thanks to everyone who sent along their kind words, it really made the difference. It was a tuf race, really pounded you to the ground, and then when you started to get back up, it hammered you right back down. My body is beaten, bruised and sore, 3 days of recovery then off to the 24 hours of Hot august Nights by Chico racing, what the hell am i doing to myself? Honestly though, the posts from everyone was really something that kept us going, thanks to all!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 7- VICTORY!!!!


They did it! Blaine and Ted are Transrockies Finishers!! Mom Betzold and Bill arrived in time to meet us at the finish line for their big finish!



Blaine and Ted made a quick stop in the finish chute to accept cold beers from Mark, and then rode across the finish line holding them high with a toast to their success.

Laura and her sign.


Day 7- Final Stage to Fernie

The race started this morning with brilliant sunshine, it's going to be a warm one for the racers today!

After seeing the teams off on their final leg of the race, Mark, Laura and I went over to the "Stone's Throw Cafe" for coffee and breakfast.

Shortly down the highway on the way to Fernie, a portion of the race trail cuts over to Highway 3. We pulled over with the other RVs and were able to catch Blaine and Ted mid-race just before their first check point.




Day 7- Blairmore to Fernie HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLAINE!

It is incredible to think that today is Day 7 of the Transrockies Race. We are proud beyond words of our team for their hard work and dedication and also for their sportsmanship. We have heard so many stories of Blaine and Ted alerting other teams of wrong turns, letting teams that made mistakes pass them and helping people along the way. This challenge has truly let their character and integrity shine. They have developed a reputation as outstanding athletes, but also as courteous and fair competitors.

Today also happens to be Blaine's 31st birthday. What a way to celebrate!

The race starts a little later today at 8:30 am so Blaine and Laura have walked over to pick up their bikes from the mechanic and enjoy the last few moments of relaxation prior to the start gun. Today's leg is 78.8 km taking the racers into the beautiful town of Fernie, BC. Mark, Laura and I have had several opportunities to stop in Fernie for errands along the way and we are looking forward to returning. The town has events planned all day in celebration of the Transrockies, a bike derby for the little kids, a BBQ in the afternoon and a huge welcome as the racers pull into town. Tonight is the Transrockies Finisher's Party with DJ and bar. We were told that last year's competitors managed to party until 11 pm before crashing!

More to follow!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 6- Finish at Blairmore

The boys are back and finished within the time limit. Today was a tough one, not very many smiles coming across the finish line. The route was over 100 km long and took them through an area that was somehow littered with nails. Ted ended up with a flat, and ran the last kilometre and a half. You'll see in this picture Blaine riding his bike, towing Ted's, and Ted running behind them.

They completed this leg in about 9 hours and 30 minutes. One day to go!!!!

Owies
















Day 6- Elkford to Blairmore

It's hard to believe that we are already on Day 6! One more to go! Blaine and Ted did great on yesterday's leg, coming in at 7 hours, 40 minutes. They actually beat us to camp by about 15 minutes!

Today's stage to Blairmore is 102.4 km with 2,998 m of climbing.

Our friends from Switzerland sadly had to pull out of the race yesterday due to injury. It's heartbreaking to hear the stories, everyone that is here has worked so hard and sacrificed so much. Sybil and Rodney have become a regular fixture at our camp, we are cheering for Rodney's partner Martin who has been linked up with an Australian team to continue on.

Some pictures from this morning's start:






Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ted's turn at the posting wheel

Today we pulled into Elkhorn, BC - the first sign of real civilization that the racers have seen in awhile. The TransRockies camp is basically at the community centre - the tent city is on the baseball diamond, the race office and main camp are in the parking lot, and the RV park is on the soccer field. That said, it is obvious that the whole community is behind this: volunteers are everywhere closing roads, guiding us in and cheering us on like we're celebrities, and waiting for us at the finish line with home made lemonade and muffins made by women so sweet they could be your own Grandma - you just couldn't say no.
Today's course was tough - but nowhere near day one or day two. That said, it is clearly obvious that the field is thinning. As well, we are passing more people than are passing us - our strategy of 'slow and steady' is clearly paying off... one way or another.

Thanks for all of the comments - keep 'em coming! Only a couple of days left... woo-hoo!!

A Post from Blaine

Well I was originally intending of posting daily of what is going on and how things are going but as it turns out, you get pretty tired at night after racing this event. It really seems that everyday you get beat down, further and further, making it harder and harder to keep going, that would explain the huge drop out rate at this point, more and more people aren't making the time restrictions and getting knocked out. Ted and I are still in and clearing the check points with ease at this point. Day 1 was an absolute nightmare, nothing even close to what I would call mountain biking. It took us 2 hours to get to the top of the ridge, where it was snowing! then basically had to walk our bikes over the next 15km as it was un-ride able. Totally crazy, I think I had 3 separate metal break downs where I picked up my bike and threw it into the woods and sat down, good thing Ted has a lot of patience! After that, we cleared the check points and finished the day off.
Day 2 was a real tuf one as well but I was much better mentally prepared then the day before so I just pounded through it. Day 3 was god, nice easy single track and a short day, only 50km or so. Day 4 had some climbs in it, 2 big ones to be exact, but what goes up must come down, nothing like burning down 20 km of down hill! My hands and shoulders have never hurt so much before. day 5, (today) well I think they tried to shake off a few more riders, the last 20 km were brutal and took alot to get through, nasty little rock garden put me over the bars as well, so I guess I match Ted with shedding some blood on the trail. Our mechanic that we hired is keeping the bikes in great condition and really putting some extra effort into them, best wrench the giant has ever seen! But really what it all comes down to is that we are having an awesome time out here, awesome views and best of all Ted and I are actually still in this thing! ha ha, thought we would have been cut out for not making a time cut off by now but here we are! We really wouldn't be able to do this without our support team either, Laura, Andrea and Mark, who for some reason seem to end up in their own little Trans Adventures daily, honestly, they have more stories than we do!

Mobile Laundry

As you can imagine, Blaine and Ted are pretty dirty when they get off the trail at the end of the day! Laura (who will now forever be known as Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame) has developed a reputation at Transrockies camp for immediately befriending our new neighbors and stringing up her green extension cord clothes line between our RVs to dry the day's laundry.

However, on days like today when we have to cover a lot of ground, we have to get extra creative!


Day 5- Whiteswan Lake to Elkford

The boys left this morning from beautiful Whiteswan Lake to Elkford, BC. Today's leg of the race is 88.5 km with 2,147 m of climbing.
Here are Blaine and Ted leaving this morning for the start of the race. We have been missing each morning's start since we have the challenge of driving several hours to our next stop with many errands to run along the way. Thankfully we have met some wonderful people along the way who have offered some helpful advice!


Day 4- Finish at Whiteswan Lake

Today was another first—blood. Nothing major, just ugly. Ted pulled in tonight with a facial cut and some leg scrapes that looked bad off the trail, but cleaned up okay.
After finishing at Whiteswan Lake

Our boys pulled in today at 8 hours and 15 minutes. INCREDIBLE!! They have now moved into 81st place! Many teams have dropped out of the race at this point, in fact my mom picked up her RV yesterday and an English team was dropping theirs off, declaring this competition and all of its participants insane and heading home a week early. Insane? We take no offense; we know this isn’t for everyone!
We survived our treacherous drive into Whiteswan Lake, in reality the drive was much easier than they made it out to be.

Ted’s addition to the blog for Wednesday


Yep… I had a little bit of a boo-boo today. We were about 30km from the finish, screaming down a logging road. Blaine was in the middle of the road; I was off to the right of him, on the other side of a huge rut. I tried to jump across it when my cleat released from the pedal, and decided to test the hardness of the road surface. Nothing broken or anything; but I did get a couple of nasty gashes on my knees. No worries – I’m still clicking!
The rest of the event has been awesome. The big thing with being ‘in the back’ of the pack is that all of us feel pretty much the same way: we want to finish; but we’re not killing ourselves. Therefore, we’re having fun.
Have to run off for dinner – thanks for all of your comments; we’re reading them when we can! Cheers!

The moon after dinner.

The road to Whiteswan Lake

We were warned that the road to Whiteswan Lake would be a little narrow:

It was worth every white knuckled moment:




Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 4- Nipika to Whiteswan Lake

Today the race takes Blaine and Ted from Nipika to Whiteswan Lake. The route today is 109.7 km with a 2,500 m climb. Once again grueling, but we can do it! The cut off for today's leg is 10 hours.


For the support crew, today is the most challenging day that we have as well. We have a 3 hour drive from Nipika to Whiteswan Lake. Our goal is to have camp set up with enough time for us to meet Blaine and Ted at the finish line. Add in a trip to the laundromat, the grocery store and the Pump and Dump station, and you can understand why we might be tight on time. Today is the first morning that we did not witness the start of the race. We felt that it was in everyone's best interest for us to leave as soon as possible, beating the RV convoy out of Nipika and we were one of the first ones at the facilities. After a round a high fives (after a thorough hand washing), we hit up Tim Hortons, a gift shop and a grocery store and are now en route to Whiteswan Lake. We'll stop at the laundromat it we see one.

We have been warned that today's final few kilometres into Whiteswan Lake can be very dangerous. What they are calling "high exposure" areas are actually one lane roads without guard rails along cliffs. We have total confidence in Mark's mad RV skills!!!

A Post from Ted

Ted’s Blog Update.
So, it’s been three days of racing. I have been meaning to do some blog updates (when we had internet access – we’ve spent two days at Nipika which is an ‘eco-resort’ which means that power comes from solar panels, water is treated from a glacial river that runs next to the property… and there are no phones or cellular access), however our days have been really quite busy. After a day of racing, the first thing I want to do is get into bed – so sorry for not posting before today!
The race ‘courses’ have been… well, interesting. I now have a new appreciation for trail building in Ontario. The course designer is in the forestry industry here, and describes courses better than any sales or marketing executives I know. If you people think I use creative, positive phrases to describe ‘interesting’ or ‘challenging’ situations, then you have no idea. For example, “There’s just a bit of tracking up this part” means bring a rope and climbing gear. “Singletrack” means a goat trail that may or may not be rideable, depending on how much water happens to be running down it at the time. And it’s been a heavy snow year... which means there are rivers running through it.
So, our day has started kind of like this: breakfast at 6am, followed by suiting up and getting ready to race at 8am. Most days, we get in around 5pm. We drop off our bikes for service, get cleaned up, have dinner and watch an awards and slide show presentation, as well as find out what they have in store for us tomorrow.
Because we are just here for the adventure, this means is that we can enjoy the scenery and people that much better. Most of the people we are ‘racing’ with are from places around the world. And BC really is an incredible place. I’ve seen some sights that few people will ever get to enjoy. The most incredible people have truly been our ‘support crew’ of Andrea, Laura and Mark. When we’re either getting ready to head out or truly beat up after a day out on the ‘trails’, they’re always there to cheer us back in to the finish area, take care of us and make sure we have what we need. As well, we secured the services of a local mechanic, Adrian Harding, who has been excellent in undoing the damage that we did to our bikes over the course of the day and make sure they are in top shape for another day of abuse.
Remember to track us on the Breathe Mag web site at www.breathemag.ca/track and you can read the TransRockies version of what has been happening at www.transrockies.com /trc and click on ‘race’. And hopefully I’ll find some time to write something a little more interesting one of these nights. Cheers!

Day 3- Nipika Time Trial

Day 3 was a time trial. Each race team was assigned a start time, 30 seconds apart. They did a 47 km loop through the property of Nipika. Blaine and Ted started 10:18 am, which gave us an opportunity to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast. The rumour was that the time trial was going to a beautiful trail with incredible scenery, and that 99% of it was rideable. Our guys were stoked, as this was exactly their style of biking, highly technical and spent on 2 wheels. They weren't disappointed. They said that they had so much fun on this portion of the race, that they would have ridden it again!

The morning started off with our first mechanical failure. Blaine realized that he had a cracked spindle 20 minutes before their time for the time trial. Blaine raced over to Adrian, their mechanic and had it repaired as fast as they could. We rushed up to the start line in time to see Blaine racing up just in time. Fortunatley, Adrian pulled out all the stops and had Blaine’s bike running perfectly for him.

All smiles and wheelies as they pass us at the 2/3 point.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and hot. Most of us are a little sunburned from sitting by the trail! The trail took the racers in a huge figure eight loop which brought them past us during the transition and at the finish. Mark, Laura and I camped out by the finish line and cheered everyone on. We knew our guys were doing great when they passed us at the half way mark pulling wheelies. They finished their time trial in 4 hour and 42 minutes. Their time has bumped them up into 87th place.

We heard several stories today of this being many teams last day riding. Injuries, unrepairable bike mechanicals and frustrations were some of the stories that we heard. Our team is in great spirit, healthy, feeling great and taking one day at a time.

Day 2 Finishing at Nipika!

Day 2 K2 to Nipika

The boys did great!!! They managed to complete the race in 9 hours and 14 minutes. We are so proud of them! Their results should have moved them from 95th place to 89th, however, over 200 riders missed a major turn in the trail and spent over 2 hours lost on a mountain top and the race officials decided that the day’s results would not affect the overall standings.

Coming up the finish line at Nipika after a 9 hour + ride

Finishing in Nipika!


We spend the night of Monday and Tuesday at the beautiful Nipika ecolodge. We are surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, but are without cellular phone or Internet access.

We're alive, the guys are doing awesome

Sorry to leave you hanging, we have been without any access internet, or cellular! The guys are doing incredible! More to follow in a few minutes!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 2- K2 Ranch to Nipika Elevation

The boys are making great progress, be sure to check in on them at http://www.breathemag.ca/track/ It's incredible to watch them move along as their Spot device sends signals back every 10-20 minutes. There have been occasional periods where we don't receive signals for a hour at a time, Mother Nature is in charge as usual. You can change the zoom levels on the map and change from terrain or satellite views. The have crossed the highway and are beginning to climb the ski hill at Fairmont Springs.


Here is what they are up against today:

And what does the support crew doing while the boys are climbing ski hills, traversing beautiful mountain tops and taking in unspoiled, rarely seen rugged vistas? We are currently about 15th in line at the Pump and Dump station. No explanation needed, it is exactly what
the name implies.

Day 2- K2 Ranch to Nipika

Brrrrr.... it was a chilly night and a cold start to the day! Glancing over to tent city through the windows of the RV this morning made us thankful for the decision to upgrade our living quarters. We had an early start to the day, up around 5:30 am to be prepared for the race's 8:00 am start time.

Geared up and warmed up, ready for Day 2.

Blaine and Ted with our gracious hosts, Bob and Barb Shaunessy, the owners of K2 Ranch.

In position in the starting line for stage 2.

The group departing to "Highway to Hell" at the start of stage 2 to Nipika.

Today will be the toughest day both physically and mentally for Blaine and Ted, please leave your comments with words of encouragement for them! They need to know that you are behind them, and it was one of the first things asked when they got off the trail yesterday! They have 10 hours to complete this portion of the race. Today is 74 km and over 3,813 m of climbing. They enter the Rocky Mountains today, yesterday's route took them through the Purcell Mountain Range. This is the point that 20% of the riders will drop out of the race.

We have met teams from Australia, Italy, Switzerland, all over the US, New Zealand, Japan and England. Be proud of your local boys!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 1- Official Time

The official time for today's stage was 6 hrs 36 minutes.

Some pictures from K2 Ranch and tent city at the Ranch.

Day 1- Alive and Well at K2 Ranch


Blaine and Ted made it! Stage 1 is behind them.



We heard hike and bike, sleet, snow and freezing temperatures. They are dirty and tired, but not bleeding which is more that we can say for a lot of teams. Mark, Laura and I saw teams come through the finish line without seats, tires or partners. Everyone of them with a different story.





First stage completed in approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes.

Thanks Burlington Post!

Blaine and Ted had a great article in the Burlington Post today! Thanks! Check out the coverage at www.burlingtonpost.com

Day 1- They're off!!!

The boys are off! It was so exciting to see racers representing over 30 different countries lined up this morning! Here are some photos:



The support crew and RV and headed into town for supplies and then onto K2 Ranch!!


Send strong and fast thoughts for our team!!!!


The support team: