Conditions are looking perfect heading into Saturday's Ore Crusher in Squamish with no rain in the forecast and dry roots for the racers for a change.
The competition is based out of Don Ross Secondary in Brackendale, and gets underway with a Lemans-style running start at 11 a.m. The 6 km course itself is a mix of singletrack and doubletrack trails in the Cheekeye fan area that are green for the most part with a few light blue sections to make things interesting. It's relatively flat compared to most races in the corridor and while it appeals to beginner and intermediate riders, more experienced riders are challenged by the fact that most of the course trends upwards and that there's nowhere to rest.
The pro men are making seven laps this year and the pro women and Hell of a Series racers are making six. For the age categories, which start at 12 or older on race day, the distances range from two laps to six.
The proceeds from the race go towards the school's Outdoor Leadership Program, which provides outdoor leadership training and experiences to Grade 10 students over the course of a semester. The course itself is free and a recognized part of the curriculum, but there are extra costs associated with some of the group's activities that the Ore Crusher helps to keep low.
Day of race registration and check-in is available at the start line from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Early registration is better than later as the race itself is capped at 200 riders to avoid clumping and wear and tear on the trails. The cost is $45 for adults and $35 for youth under 20 years old on race day.
For more information on the race visit www.orecrusher.com.
The Hell of a Series cross-country challenge includes five races, starting with the Ore Crusher on Saturday. Other races are the North Shore Bike Fest on June 5, the Test of Metal on June 19, the GearJammer on July 24 and the new "Just Another Bike Race" on Aug. 21.
Participants who do all five races will receive a belt buckle at the end to commemorate their achievement. To be a king or queen of the series you must at least start five of the races. To win your age category you need to complete at least four out of the five races and only your top three results will count. The finals are mandatory for all series contenders. For more information visit www.hellofaseries.ca.