Over the past few years Whistler's Cathy Zeglinski has been travelling around the world and competing in multi-stage mountain bike races, looking for new and different challenges.
Last week's pursuit of trails took her to Poland and the Beskidy Trophy race — a four-stage, nearly 300km trek through Poland's mountainous terrain. The easiest stage had riders ascending over 2,500 metres and the last two days had cumulative climbs over 3,000 metres — the equivalent of biking from Whistler Village to the top of the Garbanzo Chair almost three times.
Zeglinski sent an email update from Poland. She managed to place fourth overall on the first day, but suffered mechanical issues and one accidental off-course trip that may have cost over 10 minutes on the last day. She finished the event ranked fifth overall among women and first among women in the masters category. She was also 114th out of 475 starters.
The weather didn't help either, with cold weather and heavy rains.
"It was worse than the Test of Metal last year," she wrote.
Zeglinski is using the event to warm-up for the annual TransRockies Challenge in late July/early August, where she will be racing with Jodie Willett of Australia in the women's team category. She's also looking ahead to the masters world champion in South Africa in August.
Test of Metal SEEKING volunteers
The annual Test of Metal mountain bike epic has been sold out since Jan. 1 with a record number of entries — 200 locals from the locals-only registration, 800 from general registration and 100 spots that were available to participants who registered for all of the races in the Test of Metal Series (Ore Crusher, Test of Metal, Gear Jammer and Just Another Bike Race). As well, pro elite level riders are able to register until an hour before the start of the race on June 15.
Some riders do drop out, but there should be close to 1,000 riders at the start line for the 67km mountain bike race.
Putting on a race of this size and calibre takes a lot of volunteers, and this week the organizers of the Nesters Market Squamish Test of Metal put out a call for helpers. Positions include marshalls, water and feed stations, first aid, Class 4 drivers and start/finish line setup and takedown. Volunteers need to be at least 19. Roughly 300 volunteers help out each year.
This year the event will be tracked online at Webscorer (www.webscorer.com), allowing people to get updates from the race in real time.
For more information, or to volunteer, visit www.testofmetal.com.
Phat Wednesday kicks off June 12
The Blue Light Phat Wednesdays Downhill Series charges out of the gate this Wednesday, June 12, on a course still to be named — although the series usually starts off with a run down B-Line or a mix of similar intermediate trails.
This year riders have the option of buying a Blue Light pass for $16 to guarantee themselves a spot in the next five races, or they can take their chances and register the night of the event for the usual $2 entry fee.
To take part you need to be a member of WORCA (memberships are available online at www.worca.com), have a valid lift pass (discounted passes are available for racers) and chip $2 into the pot, with the money going to the top riders in each age category based on participation numbers.
Registration is from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on race days, with racers hitting the course between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Races are capped at 300 riders, and have been known to fill up on occasion.
Future dates are June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, July 31 and August 28.
For more, visit www.whistlerbike.com.