The annual North Shore Credit Union Test of Metal mountain bike race is one of the hottest tickets in the sport, selling out progressively faster each and every year.
A few years ago organizers decided to change the registration process, getting rid of the waitlist and adding 200 additional spots to the field on race day. They also decided to create a locals-only registration date to ensure that people who live in the corridor from Furry Creek to D'Arcy are represented in the event.
This is the fourth year for local's registration, which will open on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. Last year all 200 reserved spaces were gone in under two hours, but the early registration period will close at midnight if there are any spots remaining for whatever reason.
"This is one of the changes we made that worked really well," said race director Cliff Miller. "We try to ensure that there is good local participation in the race each year, and this registration process certainly helped that."
Locals can register online through www.testofmetal.com. After that point riders have to prove that they're local by presenting two pieces of identification with their addresses on Friday, Dec. 12 at Connections in Squamish (377710 2nd Avenue) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Alternately, you can fax your identification until 4 p.m. at 604-892-3380.
If you don't get through the locals registration you can still enter through the general registration, getting underway on Jan. 1. There are 800 spots available, although the demand is high - the race was sold out by 6:22:47 p.m., less than 23 minutes after going on sale.
The Test of Metal is a 67-kilometre mountain bike race, taking place in Squamish, following a mix of roads and trails including classics like the Powerhouse Plunge. The top riders complete the course in less than three hours, and in recent years the men's and women's records have been broken several times. Geoff Kabush currently holds the men's record with a time of 2:29:25 in 2010, while Catharine Pendrel holds the women's record with a time of 2:45:45 in 2011.
For more on the race, visit www.testofmetal.com.