At 5am the air horn sounds. That’s our cue to switch on headlamps and start dismantling our tents. Two days in and it’s already a pretty slick procedure. Food’s on our mind and everyone’s as keen as the next guy to get munching in the breakfast hall. Food’s never felt so essential.
Packed up and kitted, the day starts with five minutes of road riding before we take to the trail we rode the day before. The main difference being that it’s hammered it down overnight and the narrow mountain pass has become seriously sketchy. Traction’s off, but ABS is a must have, especially for the muddy descents. Team GB’s riders are pretty experienced guys and I struggle to keep their pace as they bounce the huge GSs over what most would consider impassable routes. Our helmets are fitted with Interphone F5 headsets and they prove a huge bonus to all as the lead rider talks over the terrain he’s passing. Even if I can no longer see them, I’m still able to learn from the guys who are constantly throwing advice around.
Forty minutes on and we’ve reached a tarmac road. The pace picks up and we settle in for an hour’s ride before stopping for fuel and a well earned coffee. We’ve just passed into British Columbia, which means we’ve entered a new time zone – more day time to play around on bikes. The road we’re travelling climbs high above a stunning turquoise lake below. The kind of view that would put most postcards to shame. This place is simply beautiful.
Switching road for trail, we set off on a 62 mile route of the rough stuff, deeply surrounded by forest on all sides. The pace is fast and the concentration required to keep shiny side up is unreal. I’m mentally exhausted before we’ve even reached the half way point. We get off the bikes and learn of the day’s first challenge; to navigate around the woods, collecting further waypoints to log on our SatNav. We set off at a sprint and return 27 minutes later with the task mastered.
Riding onwards, we eventually descend down to the lake we’ve been shadowing from above. We’ve an hour to waste before the next ferry arrives. Time to get the camera out and shoot a team photo for the GS Trophy photography competition – make sure to go on www.gstrophy.com and like the Team GB photo. Taking a GS powered shower in ice cold water is different to say the least. We all have a laugh and the fun continues when the ferry finally rocks up. It’s rammed with bikes and everyone’s got a smile on their faces.
The last stint of the day takes us high up to the top of a mountain, blasting down narrow and tricky trails, on which we’re frequently beaten by the overgrown bushes. I’m knackered by the time I get back down to the road below and welcome the idea of a quiet night and a few beers. But that’s not what’s in store. We’re to star in our own little game of Broom Ball – a Canadian sport, like hockey, where you hit a ball with a broom. It’s a knockout challenge and we don’t waste any time in getting knocked out, loosing 3-0 to Team Latin America. Early showers round off the day, before catching the final game beaten France and Germany. The latter win. And as soon as they’ve cleared the pitch, we move in with our tents, popping them up in the comfort of the sports hall’s four walls. This is a luxury, believe me. We’re being spoilt, whilst also being told tomorrow’s going to be a big day. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
As for the day’s standings, we’ve slipped back from 10th to 11th. Not ideal, but we’re hoping that with your help on the photo competition, we’ll claw back a few places. So get on to www.gstrophy.com and like our shot.
Make sure you vote for our team in the photo competition by clicking here
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.
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