The Mt. Mac Challenge returns to Revelstoke on Saturday, June 25.
The cross-country cycling event, organized by the Revelstoke Cycling Association, begins at 10 a.m. at Mount Macpherson. It includes three races: the 29-kilometre Mt. Mac Challenge, the 19-km Mt. Mac Sampler and the 11-km Mac Junior.
RCA president Keith McNab explained the return of the Mt. Mac Challenge represents the club picking up where Skookum left off last year with their Stoked to Get Spanked event, which is not running this summer.
“We decided that it’s good for the community to have a little bigger race that draws a few more people to town, so Bart (Jarmula, RCA’s race and events director) decided to revive the name.”
This revival comes from the series of cross-country challenge races the RCA ran between 1996 and 2003, first at MacPherson and later at Mount Mackenzie.
McNab says the race will be on the west side of the highway, using a mix of “some challenging, some fast and flowy” single track and double track along the Mount Macpherson trail system.
“You need places for people to pass and where it’s a little easier to ride sometimes,” said McNab. “If the whole race was single track it would get fairly challenging and difficult to pass.”
The event is all volunteer run and will have kind of a grassroots feel, with a “double toonie” entry (for RCA members, $14 for non-members) and minimal bells and whistles. As a bonus for RCA members who have not paid for Cycling BC club insurance, the race will allow for purchase of single event insurance, so there’s no excuses not to take part. First aid will be on hand too.
McNab wasn’t sure of what kind of numbers to expect at the June 25 Mt. Mac Challenge, but would be happy to see between 50 and 100.
Registration can be done the morning of the event, but is preferred in advance through the club’s website at bikerevelstoke.org/enter or at Tantrum Ride Co. on Friday, June 24, from 5:30–7 p.m.
The Mt. Mac Challenge is the club’s big cross-country race for the season, to be followed in August with the Mount Revelstoke Steamer road race in Mount Revelstoke National Park. This race pits participants in a 26 kilometre ride from the Trans-Canada Highway up the mountain to the summit. McNab notes the park road was paved last summer, making for a smoother climb. More information on this race can also be found on the RCA website.