Bruce Wilson, Motorcycle Sport & Leisure’s Deputy Editor is with the three riders making up Team GB in the BMW GS Trophy – the ultimate two-wheeled adventure.
Staged bi-annually, it sees amateur racers from around the globe qualify for a spot in BMW’s prestigious R1200GS fuelled event, covering thousands of kilometres of gruelling off-road terrain. This year it’s being hosted in Canada and there are 16 teams entered from around the world, taking on an abundance of dynamic challenges, which remain a secret until the moment the competitors arrive for the task. Physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, the GS Trophy is no game for half measures.
Nothing gets you over jet lag like a torrent of freezing water to the face, flung up from the rear tyre of a GS. I didn’t mind too much, I was needing a good wash. And I was pretty much soaked already come this point, along with the rest of Team GB. We were in the process of tackling our first special stage of the 2014 GS Trophy; manhandling all four of the team’s bikes through a troublesomely rocky river. It looked simple enough, but come the time our last bike crossed the finish line we were in a pretty sorry state, gasping for air like fish out of water. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but, God, it’s tough. And we’ve got six more days of the same to come. On reflection, it’s been one of the best day’s riding ever. And I know for a fact my teammates John Small, Jon Crockett and Marcus Arrowsmith all feel the same.
We arrived late last night and haven’t stopped buzzing since. The atmosphere is electric and everyone’s brimming with enthusiasm. Right now we’re in the region of Alberta, and the scenery is simply amazing. It’s dangerous, to be honest. You can’t help but want to take your eyes off the trails and stare over at the snow-capped mountains and turquoise coloured lakes. Not to mention the wildlife. No more than ten minutes into the journey we came face-to-face with a wolf, sprinting across the road in front. A few minutes on and we passed an elk, a mere five metres from our bikes.
It’s been a busy day. Our fantastic looking R1200GSs have carried us over 350km, mostly on main roads, but we certainly got a good amount of dirt in too. We’re told things are set to get a lot harder tomorrow. The promise of epic climbs to the tops of the overwhelming sized mountains towering over tonight’s camp site. It’s going to be great. The whole team’s upbeat and happy enough with the day’s 10th place finish. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we know that a few strong performances in tomorrow’s challenges can soon get us banging on towards the top step of the podium.
Also, make sure you vote for our team in the photo competition by clicking here
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