The TransRockies Challenge is the monster event that gets the juices flowing and is the biggest reason behind this website.
Back in the late 80's and early 90's when "Mountain" bikes started to gain popularity I led a number of expeditions to Norway and the Alps - largely to test out the "mountain" bit - no suspension then, but the concept definitely worked.
What was fundamental was the idea of travelling over long distances in remote terrain; working in small self-sufficient teams.
The TransRockies Challenge is the definition of Epic and its teaming and self-sufficiency ethos is what we're all about on this site.
. . . Epic endurance mountain bike race
. . . 7 days, over 500 km, and 12,000m of vertical climb
. . . Spectacular Canadian Rockies wilderness
. . . Maximum of 350 two-person teams
. . . Extreme weather
First some history about this Epic
The TransRockies Challenge was the brainchild of Chester Fabricius and Heinrich Albrecht, two legends in the mountain biking world. They took their World Cup Race experiences and the lessons learned from their first 4 TransAlp challenges in Europe and created an awesome event in the Canadian Rockies.
The first 3 years they battled with terrible weather and course routing. Eventually the race evolved into the Epic event we know today with the course criss-crossing the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia.
In its 6th year, the TransRockies Challenge still compels a mix of amateur and professional riders from all over the world to take on the wilderness of this region of the Canadian Rockies - 7 days, over 500 km, and 12,000m of vertical climb.
This event is only equalled by its sister event in Europe – the TransAlp Challenge – however the TransRockies wins hands down when it comes to the “wilderness” factor.
The TransRockies Race
Each Daily Stage starts at 0800hrs and riders are expected to finish by 1800hrs. Control Stations are spaced at 20 to 30kms intervals along its route where teams can stock up on food and drink. The Daily routine also includes Breakfast and Dinner and award ceremonies in the evening for each category where leader Jerseys are awarded.
Although the route has changed every year the 2007 event is expected to follow the 7 Stage route shown below. Only this time the Challenge finishes in Fernie.
Stage 1 August 12 - Panorama Mountain Village To Invermere
Stage 2 August 13 - Invermere To Nipika Resort
Stage 3 August 14 - Nipika Resort To Whiteswan Lake
Stage 4 August 15 - Whiteswan Lake To Elkford
Stage 5 August 16 - Elkford To Crowsnest Pass
Stage 6 August 17 - Crowsnest Pass To Sparwood
Stage 7 August 18 - Sparwood To Fernie
There are 6 categories to the TransRockies Challenge:
· Open Men
· Open Women
· Open Mixed
· 80+ Men (combined age of team over 80)
· 80+ Mixed
· 100 + Open Gender
And the rules are simple,
· The minimum age for participation is 18
· Riders of each team must remain together at all times during the race.
· If at any point, riders separate by more than two minutes, the team will receive a penalty.
Safety in the backcountry wilderness is of paramount importance and one of the main reasons behind the two-person team format. But there’s more to it than that, it engenders the camaraderie that binds the event together.
“When combined with the remoteness of the surroundings and the moving athlete village it means that that riders, staff and volunteers spend a full week immersed in a tight, multi-national community. During the week, they face challenges together, forging friendships and memories, which will last a lifetime.” Transrockies Inc