By Andrew Mitchell
There are races and there are competitions, but in the wide world of mountain biking thereÕs nothing like the Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls. Entering its fourth year, this Squamish epic is difficult to describe.
ÒThis year itÕs a freeride extravaganza,Ó said race founder and organizer Bryan Raider of Cynical Sunshine. ÒWe didnÕt know what else to call it so we decided to settle on that name.Ó
The BVOD takes place on some of SquamishÕs toughest trails in the Valleycliffe area with steep rocks, drops, stunts and other extreme features. There are five long hike-a-bike sections, technical descents and five optional Double Dog Dares Ñ the most challenging sections of the course. The winner is the rider who gets the most points on the dares.
There will also be a wet weather course if the weather doesnÕt co-operate Ñ ÒOff camber slimy rock faces are no fun for anybody, so weÕll make a decision on the morning of the competition,Ó said Raiser.
Although the event only attracts the hardcore, this year Evolution, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Gauge clothing are joining the list of sponsors which already includes Corsa Cycles, Tantalus Bike Shop, Dakine, the Howe Sound Brewing Company, and Core Rat, among others. The number of entries is also capped at 100, and while there are more participants every year, even Raiser is doubtful that heÕll sell out this year.
ÒThis kind of riding is certainly a niche market, but that niche really enjoys it. ThereÕs definitely a market of crazy riders out there who think this is a good time,Ó said Raiser.
This year the Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls takes place on Saturday, June 4, starting at the crack of 11 a.m. at RavenÕs Plateau in Valleycliffe. You can register online in advance for $40, and a $5 fee will be charged for on-site registration.
To take part you need to be a member of WORCA, SORCA, the North Shore Mountain Bike Club, or a member of any club with Cycling B.C. insurance.
The course will be similar to last year, with trails like Doogie Style, Cougar Ridge, Labour of Love, PM trail, Second Lap, Joint Effort, Summers Eve, Endo, Meet Yer Maker, For Angie, S&M Connector, Lacking Head, Five Point Hill, and Farside, among others. A map is available online at the website, as well as a more detailed explanation of the day.