Despite its tough name the Orecrusher mountain bike race is one of the most rider-friendly events in all of Sea to Sky corridor, taking place Saturday, May 10 on a course of singletrack trails through the mostly flat Cheekeye Fan area.
That doesn’t mean it will be easy, explains event director Jim Douglas.
“It’s basically an old-style classic multi-lap cross-country race with a short track, and a technical, tactical race where you’re essentially pedaling the whole time,” he said. “The Test of Metal is hard because it’s about endurance, and the Orecrusher is hard because you pedal the whole time without any rest, you’re working your arms, you’re working your legs, and you’re working your lungs.”
The Orecrusher is new to Squamish this year, created by the organizers of the Squamish Test of Metal and Gearjammer races to replace the now defunct three-event “Hell of a Series” marathon series with the departure of the Robert’s Creek Rat Race.
The new race series is known as the Squamish Triple Crown, with organizers combining times from the Orecrusher, Test of Metal and Gearjammer to determine overall winners.
The Orecrusher is open to riders 12 and older, and participants will make anywhere from two to six laps of the 6 km course.
The youngest age categories, 12-13, and 14-15 will each do two laps of the course. The 16-17 group will do three, the 18-20 group four, the 20-29 to 40-49 groups will do five, the 50-plus group will do four, and the pro-elite riders will do six.
The cost is $35 to take part if you’re under the age of 20, and $45 for adults. Riders who are not members of the Grass Roots Mountain Bike Association (GRMBA) are required to purchase one-day insurance for $10, and bring I.D. to sign-on.
Douglas says registration is strong — over 100 racers as of Monday — and he expects more to sign on this week and on the morning of the race.
“Anybody can come and make whatever they want out of it,” he said. “Pro elite riders can use it as a season opener and training race, and a big aerobic workout for two hours, and recreational riders can come out, and get into the race scene in a way that’s fun and challenging.”
The event gets underway with a Le Mans start, meaning riders will have to sprint across the field at Don Ross Secondary School to get to their bikes.
Online registration is available at www.testofmetal.com in the Orecrusher section, and day of race registration and check-in is available outside Don Ross Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on race day.
The next event in the Triple Crown is the sold-out Test of Metal race on June 14, followed by the challenging Gearjammer race on July 26.
For more information, visit www.testofmetal.com.