The Cal­en­dar

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - June 16–17

Sp’akw’us 50

The Sp’akw’us 50 isn’t just a bike race. The Squamish, B.C., event, which is head­ing into its sec­ond year, is ex­pand­ing from a sin­gle, one-day race to a week­end of fun that in­cludes two timed com­pe­ti­tions.

“The Test of Metal was re­ally a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant event for the town of Squamish,” said Dwayne Kress, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Squamish Moun­tain Bike Festival So­ci­ety, re­fer­ring to the im­pact of the moun­tain bike race that ran from 1996 to 2016. “It re­ally was much more than a bike race, and has in­spired our event.”

Kress had been an or­ga­nizer of the Just An­other Bike Race (jabr) that was part of the Test of Metal se­ries. Sean Daly of Nester’s Mar­ket­place was look­ing to con­tinue with some sort of event spon­sor­ship, so the new event was born.

Tak­ing its name from the Squamish Na­tion word for bald ea­gle, the 2018 Sp’akw’us 50 fea­tures a 50-km race on Satur­day, fol­lowed by a 35-km race on Sun­day. Rid­ers can en­ter ei­ther race, or both to com­pete in a two-stage event. The 2017 edi­tion sold out at 600 en­trants, double the ini­tial plan, so the ex­panded schedule will help more peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate.

The course will make use of trails in the Alice Lake Park and Di­a­mond Head net­works. As with TOM, im­promptu bar­be­cues and street par­ties spring up through­out the week­end all over town.

“In cre­at­ing this event, I’ve made a ride that is what I’d want to do if I had a day to ride with a bunch of friends,” Kress said. “None of this would be pos­si­ble with­out all the ef­forts of the vol­un­teers who give their time to make this event hap­pen.

“The Test of Metal re­ally cre­ated this en­vi­ron­ment and shaped this town in a way that made this event pos­si­ble.” ( spak­— Dean­camp­bell

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