July 23rd: After a delayed flight, over 22 hours of travelling, and late arrival yesterday I was relieved when I’d finally got the bikes built and was ready to take a spin out to the Canmore Nordic Centre.

I wasn’t expecting to be able to ride the course today, but it was nearly 100% marked so I made the most of it and got a lap in, hoping not to meet any grizzly bears en route. I kid you not there are warning signs everywhere and the last sighting was just two days ago! Seems like everyone (or everything) wants a piece of 24 Hours of Adrenalin action!

pit_sign

So what’s the course like? First impressions are it’s going to be a mighty tough race. It’s a mix of climbing (39%), descending (41%) and flats (23%) over a 12.25 mile circuit. The first 6 miles have a lot of steep single-track sections littered with tree roots that make traction tough. The descents are the same and won’t hesitate in spitting you off the bike in a moment’s lapse of concentration. Passing back close to the Nordic Centre and through the mid lap feed station, the second part of the course is more open along fire road tracks. There are some fast rolling sections but also a couple of viciously steep climbs that are hard enough to ride with fresh legs on a practice lap. I’m sure these will make many riders’ legs fall off during the course of 24 hours in the saddle.

I was pretty surprised by some of the technical descents that feature on the course. With rocks, roots and off-camber corners it really is going to be a test of stamina and skill like never before. When fatigue creeps in, and during the dark hours, these really will need maximum concentration or it could be an early shower to scrub the stones out of weeping wounds.

The weather at the moment is pretty dicey to say the least. Being in the mountains it’s hard to predict how it’s going to go. The good news is that even with a lot of rain the course still looks in good shape so I hope that the “Mayhem Mud” won’t return for a second time this season!

The organisers are setting up an Adrenalin Live blog spot with updates throughout the race. Details will be posted as soon as it is online…

Cotty’s Bear Watch Report: No sightings so far.