The Test of Metal mountain bike race is heading into its 18th season with a few major changes, including the replacement of the North Shore Credit Union as the event's title sponsor by Nesters Market after eight years on the banner.
TOM president Cliff Miller thanked the NSCU for their support, and welcomed Nesters Market to the group. "They've been an amazing community sponsor of the Test of Metal for years, so we're extremely happy to have Nesters step up and increase their support."
As well, Test of Metal has forged a new partnership with Squamish Days and Squamish CrossFit. As a result, the finish line for the event will move back to the Squamish Logger Sports Ground, while Squamish CrossFit will be running a new event at the finish line called "Test of Mettle: A Contest of Strength and Stones."
As well as announcing these major changes and addition, Miller reminded Sea to Sky residents that their limited locals registration — 200 spots — will once again be offered on Saturday, Dec. 1. Registration gets underway at 6 p.m. at www.testofmetal.com, and participants will be required to provide proof of their residency before a second deadline or will lose their spot.
Regular registration takes place at 6 p.m. on New Year's Day, Jan. 1. The number of available spots has been reduced from 800 to 700, and will likely be snapped up between 20 and 30 minutes based on past years.
But rather than reducing spaces, Test of Metal organizers are adding another 150 spots to riders that sign up for all four Squamish epics — the Ore Crusher on May 11, the Test of Metal on Jun 15, the GearJammer on July 20 and the Just Another Bike Race on Aug. 17. That brings the total for the Test of Metal to 1,050 this year, or 50 higher than previous years. However, there are no refunds or waitlists, and as a result the actual field is usually smaller by around 200 riders.
"If you're one of those riders who wants to compete in all four races, we are opening 150 spots from December 15 to 30 just for you," said Miller of the new registration category.
Any of those 150 spots that aren't taken by Dec. 30 will be added to the general registration on Jan. 1.
The Test of Metal is a 67km mountain bike race with over 35km of Squamish singletrack.