We want to encourage people to come out and ride with us on September 15, 2018 at our annual 6-hour EPIC ride. Since this sounds like a LOT of biking, we wanted to throw together this little article to dispel myths and clarify what happens on the day of the event. ONWARD!

Do you actually expect me to ride my bike for six straight hours? Can I take breaks?

We don't expect you to do anything except show up and occasionally ride a pre-defined loop around our trails. The course is a marked 8 km loop which shows off some of the variety of trails we have. Only one rider from each team is allowed on the course at a time, so only solo riders have the opportunity to ride the entire six hours.Teams of two, three, or four follow a relay format. Only once the rider returning to the pit area exits the course can the next rider enter. So if you are on a team of four, by splitting up the riding evenly you're down to an hour-and-a-half of riding. In this way you get to determine how EPIC your day will be. Heck, you can form a solo team, do three laps and then just hang out. It's really up to you!

So how do I win?

It gets a bit philosophical, but everyone wins. This is not a race event. Teams will continuously do laps of the course, collecting a playing card at the end of each lap. At the end of the six hours, the team with the best poker hand gets first crack at the prize table.Everyone wins because it's a day outdoors, surrounded by like-minded people just out for a good time. Everyone who enters gets an event t-shirt and post-race BBQ! That's a win. Getting a prize is the icing on the cake.

Some of my friends are more skilled than me, can I handle the course?

We've tried to put together an 8 kilometer course with a little of everything, but for the most part it should be rideable by most riders with a bit of experience.Don't believe us? Try it yourself![caption id="attachment_237" align="aligncenter" width="875"] The 2018 EPIC loop, as Strava'd by Jeffrey.[/caption]It's tough to follow in that image, feel free to follow along on Trailforks to plot the route:
  • Grand Trunk to Homestead to Mad Hatter.
  • Onto Devil's Backbone, across Link and through the bomb hole.
  • Quick jaunt on Child's Play, up Fight Club and Broken Sole.
  • Down Hell's Kitchen, up Snail Trail and across upper Jurassic.
  • Scoot across Firefly and up the Dragon's Tongue to the finish!
Complicated, isn't it? Well, don't worry. Just keep hitting refresh on our Facebook Page until we post that we've flagged the route. At that point you'll just be able to follow some ribbons in the trees and forget about all the navigating.Depending on your ability and fitness, the course should take about half an hour to forty-five minutes to complete. Possibly more or less, it's up to you.

I hate hills.

Ah, why? You're missing out on half the fun. Well, here's another figure for you to ponder.[caption id="attachment_238" align="aligncenter" width="730"] Elevation change across the entire loop.[/caption]Based on that figure, there's about 25m of elevation change from peak to valley, which should be doable by most people. If you don't like hills, you're welcome to hop off and push the bike up. Whatever floats your boat.

Can I bring my spouse/kids/dog/[thing you like here]?

The trails are closed to the public on the day of the event, but we'd be happy for you to bring along your cheering/support crew with you. We do not have any child care services, just keep that in mind. There will be a port-o-potty onsite for the event but otherwise facilities are pretty limited.We love dogs but be aware they must be on-leash.[caption id="attachment_242" align="aligncenter" width="730"] Patrollers are on-site and on-course to ensure safety of all participants.[/caption]

I forget to bring tools to events like this. Then what?

Our local bike shops will be set up on-site and are ready and willing to help out with any minor mechanical repairs that creep up.

My friends are all fun-vaccuums and don't ride but I want to be part of a team. Can you guys help?

You are welcome to put up a message on our Facebook Page letting people know that you are looking. Include a short description including how many team members you would like and how much maximum or minimum riding time you are looking for, and an estimate of your abilities.Example: Hi, I'm Jeffrey. Looking for two other people to form a three-rider team. I'm a pretty middle-of-the-pack rider and would like to do at least an hour and a half of riding. Send me a message if you're interested!

Now, go register!

Our sign-up process is easier than ever, just head over to our registration page and get it done. Registering as a non-member gets you a 2019 membership too!Once you've registered, come ride with us! Sign up via TeamPages, which you will be signed onto once you've become a GORBA member (if you aren't already).More questions?! Ask us on Facebook or use our Contact Page or just email info@gorba.ca.