Two days before the start of Trans BC, the boys found themselves even more homeless than usual.
While I was sidelined weeks earlier with a broken elbow, Mark, Will, Vince and Remi were driving through the night to Trans BC’s starting point in Fernie, BC when things took a turn for the worse. Sometime in the middle of the night, deep in the mountains of interior BC, Elaine’s carburetor deteriorated from her normal, finicky temperament to a monumental meltdown that would change the course of the week. All thoughts of actually racing went out the window as the goal quickly became simply making it to the starting line.
After some roadside tuning, done mostly by braille in the dark—the kind that’s only possibly in the middle of nowhere—they were able to limp the rest of the way to Fernie. However, with no chance that Elaine could complete the race’s journey to Revelstoke in her current state, the boy’s chances of being able to race looked grim.
As they were scrambling to figure out a means of transportation and accommodation for the week, a mysterious, mustachioed racer named Duffman was facing a different problem. Duffman had just driven up from Colorado in a Toyota Dolphin RV named the Odyssey, and his plan was to have a local flame drive the Odyssey down to Revelstoke to meet him after the race. However, upon arriving in town, it began to appear that his prospective driver was abandoning their pre-arranged plans, and Duffman was left trying to figure out how he was going to get his RV to Revelstoke.
Mark and Will had met Duffman the year prior while racing in South America, and aparently, something in their interaction had given him the impression that they would be good candidates to transport the Odyssey. Further more, that it would be a good idea to let them live out of the RV during the race. Relieved, they transferred their bikes and belongings into the Odyssey, stashed Elaine in Fernie and settled into the luxurious comforts of a mid-1990’s Japanese camper for the week.
Now at the starting line, the original challenge of the Trans BC was still to be overcome. The race itself was brutally awesome. Every day, at least one stage was legitimately scary and the transitions left the field increasingly shattered. The arm pump that resulted from a week straight of 15 minute descents left the boys feeling like they were struggling to hang onto fifth gear of a 450cc dirt bike as they dropped into the final stages of the race. It was proper mountain biking.
For her part, the Odyssey performed flawlessly. She was a little down on power as she pulled into Revelstoke, but so was everyone else. Thanks to the support and somewhat misguided trust of their friends, and the loyal performance of a twenty-year-old engine, the boys managed to hang on for the race. Will even finished with a respectable top ten result.
After handing the keys back over to Duffman and exchanging a grateful high five, there was only one challenge left: figure out how to get Elaine out of Fernie.