The Test of Metal is next weekend. Saturday June 16th, to be exact. It’s one of the biggest days of the year in Squamish.
Over 1000 riders are going to be tackling the 67 km course. It’s an EVIL course- about 35 km of it is single-track, majorly hilly terrain. When you tally up the elevation gain, it turns out that a rider will have travelled over 1.5 kms straight UP over the duration of the race.
And the CRAZY part is that the hardcore pros will be finished after about 2 hours of riding.
Insert swearword here.
The superfit will finish the race in 3-4 hours, the very fit in 5-6 hours, and the rest of us will be jumping up and down as the mud splattered wounded cross the line. I tried to get some photos last year, but it was all a blurr- either motion or muddy beyond recognition. Very very cool.
Thankfully, Squamish is an INCLUSIVE kind of community. So, they’ve created OTHER events so we can participate without littering our corpses on the trail to slow down the other riders. (And, since I know some of the riders, I can attest that there is a good chance that it WOULDN’T slow them down much!!!)
On Friday, there is the Pre-Test Party from 6 -9 pm downtown Cleveland Avenue. This is a family-oriented event that offer fun events like a Show’n'Shine, Bike Races, Bike Limbo, Kids entertainment, and there’s going to be the Camp of Champion’s Big Air training bag so you can practice your bike drops in relative safety. Very cool.
On Saturday, after the race, the After Party is held at the Brew Pub. Thankfully, in an event that has more than 1000 competitors, it’s pretty easy for those of us to blend in and fake that we’ve done the race. The trick is to limp a little bit, and to sport a couple scrapes and bruises.
On Sunday there is a pancake breakfast at 9 am, REMEMBER: this is FATHER’S DAY, so you won’t even need to make your own pancakes- then at 10 am, there’s the Mini Metal- a bike race for the under-7 crowd. Pilons and markers set the course at Squamish Station Mall (you know- Nester’s Parking Lot!) and races are held by age category to keep it fair.
And if THAT’S not enough to stoke your adrenaline back up to Saturday’s levels, the Rockstar Invitational Downhill certainly WILL! Starting way up on Cougar Ridge, this crazy technical single-track race runs to the bottom of Endo, out into Raven’s Plateau and includes ”steep twisting lines, big drops and a myriad of challenging obstacles.” FUNKY!
Overall, the entire weekend is chock full of amazing people, good times, and lots and lots and lots of MUD!!!