Great advice, thank you
HI @DrFaffy @mattscardiostuff
So the “upgrades” have just been announced for 2023 - some pretty hefty prices considering what you’re getting ($370 for a tent for the week - which I assume is an upgrade from sleeping rough )
If you opted for the meal plan previously - do you think it was worth it? Meal plan this year is $629 which is comprised of breakfast & dinner.
I’d probably just be eating oatmeal for breakfast so trying to gauge whether I’d be better off sorting my own food - thanks for any input!
Meal Plan A : Breakfast @ 7:00am, Dinner @ 6:00pm
Meal Plan B : Breakfast @ 7:30am, Dinner @ 6:45pm
Meal Plan C : Breakfast @ 8:00am, Dinner @ 7:30pm
It’s so frustrating how much the costs have sky rocketed for this event. Can’t help but feel like a cash grab. It’s 2200 for normal registration, 400 for a tent, and 700 for meals. It used to be 1600 for everything, and that was back when they used ferries and it was more complicated. Also $700 for 12 buffer style breakfast and dinners seems outrageous.
All that being said, I’d plan very carefully if you want to do your own food and have it all in advance. Finding grocery stores that are open past 7/8 in some of those island towns is tough, island time is very much a thing. Cumberland doesn’t even have a real grocery store.
So in 2021 and 2022 there weren’t camping and meal options due to Covid. We just made our own plans.
We are from the UK so this is also our holiday - not just for the race week.
In 2021 - We stayed in one Airbnb and we cooked at home and ate out. It cost about £400 GBP/ $650 CAD per person for our food and £580 / $980 for accommodation for two weeks - car hire was on top, can’t find exact amounts as we rolled it into our flights.
In 2022, we also had two weeks in Canada, we stayed in about 5 Airbnbs, we ate out almost every day for ease as there was a big group of us. Food bill for two weeks was approx £750 / $1200 per person, accommodation was similar for the two weeks (£750 approx. Per person). Car hire was about £500 per person - we had a van and a big SUV.
In 2019 we did the whole camping/travelling circus for the race. At the time it was $600 (£375 ish) for camping and transport and another $600 for the meal plan. For the one week.
So it works out fairly similar per week to an Airbnb for camping, and food is maybe a bit more expensive compared to self catering but similar to eating out most nights.
Pros to the meal plan:
- huge helpings, plenty of choice - porridge, eggs, fruit, toast etc etc plus lots of coffee for breakfast, loads of choice for dinners.
- you simply turn up, load up your plate then eat and leave. No cooking, no cleaning up. If you are racing or just want to enjoy the experience of not taking care of food for a week it’s worth the money. This is why I have signed up again.
Cons to the meal plan:
- You have to choose from what is offered - they do offer veggie/dietary restriction choices but if you like to be in charge of your food or have strong food dislikes then this might not be best for you.
- you have to turn up roughly when they say for your meal plan time slot - they won’t let you go without food but you do have to follow their schedule
- your tent gets put up for you (usually - I’m assuming this is happening again for 2023)
- you don’t have far to go to breakfast/dinner
- you get to socialise with people and enjoy the beer garden
- if you struggle to sleep when camping or can’t cope with people snoring then this might not be for you (bring earplugs)
- you will be rudely awakened by a chicken in the morning
- shared showers can sometimes get busy - less of an issue for the women as there are less of us but it does happen. Although with no buses and boats this year there will be less rushing around.
I’ve already signed us up for meals and camping. For me, it’s one less thing to stress about in the run up to the race - my meals are taken care of, I know where I’m sleeping, I don’t need to worry about tidying up after the boys I’m travelling with when we leave an Airbnb and I can focus on the race. I’ve also looked and Airbnb or vrbo places are not so easy to find for a group of 5 and are also fairly expensive on the Island.
This year as we’re travelling with our own hire cars again we will also have the advantage of using the cars as an extra “wardrobe” so can have a bit more space in the tents. They are spacious though even with two sharing.
Hope that helps!
Thanks again for the great detail and opinion @DrFaffy
By the way had you any difficulty in purchasing the upgrades for this year?
I assume/hope they are not all sold out…
Log back into CCN first so it knows you are a registered racer. Then follow the link on the BCBR website. Even though it says something about them not being available, once you log in you should then see a drop down to select which rider to apply upgrades to.
Follow it though and add what you need then proceed to checkout. Hope that works for you!
Sadly events are complex and expensive to run nowadays. Insurance costs for events have risen hugely since covid and BCBR is a multi day event with over 600 racers. Logistics are complicated enough even without the ferries and buses.
Back in the early days they did more point to point, big days with less buses but just as many ferries and it has been at least 10 years since they switched to more circular routes.
Compared to 2019 (so 4 years ago, pre covid, pre high inflation), the standard/non early bird entry fee is probably about 10% more. Food plan is actually only about 5% more and camping is effectively cheaper as you used to pay $600 each for camping and travel. Now you can buy one tent to share for $370….
It isn’t the sort of race that everyone can afford to do, let alone multiple years. I’m very lucky to be able to afford to be coming back for a 4th time but it’s also my main holiday abroad for the year and it’s what we’ve saved up for each year.
Having also done an Epic Series event……BCBR is still cheaper - especially on a cost per day comparison!
Oh and it’s worth every penny.
Thanks @DrFaffy that seems to work now
Ten years ago BCBR was $1300 (early bird) for everything: race fees, food, tenting, and transport between stages. This is also when they always involved BC ferries, which is a major cost add on. The routes change slightly each year for where they ride, but the actual routes in each community don’t change much. So the fees are over double now for almost the exact same experience.
I think BCBR is a fantastic event, and at least the cost does reflect a incredibly well organized event. It’s especially fantastic for people like yourself, travelling from abroad and want a great race and vacation to experience some great BC trails. I hope I don’t come across as super negative, but it’s a little frustrating to live in the area, have a premier world class event in my backyard, but to be priced out.
I do understand - if it’s your local race it is expensive and compared with 10 years ago it has definitely gone up a lot.
Sadly times have changed and long running events are expensive compared with previous years.
I’m also doing a gravel stage race in the US as part of the same trip to do BCBR and that was about 2/3 the entry price with food and camping included but for 5 days instead of 7. It’ll be interesting to see how that compares in terms of arrangements etc.
Hope you can maybe race BCBR at some point in the future.
I don’t have anything else to add to @DrFaffy 's comments
I did the plan A; I ate everything then and didn’t observe what options there were for other diets (now vegan diet so may be more difficult but I am sure they would answer any questions);
I don’t remember if I had to pay for a tent but at that time you could upgrade to have a tent by yourself which I did as I didn’t know anyone else well enough to share. They did offer a bus service too and from local hotels.
I did it in 2019 so there were many locations which made logistics more difficult. Totally doable but more complicated. I am not sure if they will have this but… I did a massage every day. 30 minutes each and went a long way to completing the long days on the bike
Coming over from NZ and I think there are 35+ of us kiwis going over for the event.
The meal plan was a proposed $595 in 2020 so that hasnt gone up too much and overall I think it will be worth it as it will be a hassell to shop in those small towns and cook and it will probbaly work out around the same expense wise.
AirB&Bs in Crofton and Cumberland cost us about $1000 CAD each for 3 of us but we have booked a couple of extra days before the event.
Our group also booked the transport but fly into Victoria but they are only doing transfrers on Mon 3rd the start day and I am planning on going to Whistler afterwards so need dropping at the ferry terminal. Anyone know a good taxi company in Victoria that can take 2+2 bikes to Crofton?
Massages look crazy expensive but that might be the going rate in Canada i guess.
Taxi from Victoria airport to Crofton will be several hundred dollars, if you can even find someone to take you. My (somewhat crazy) suggestion would be cab from airport to ferry terminal, ferry to salt spring, cab across salt spring, ferry from salt spring to crofton. Prob 100 dollars for cabs + ferry fare for two, and would take a few hours…but salt spring and the ferry rides are absolutely gorgeous.
Hi @Northshorerider - what would be your suggestion for getting from Vancouver Airport to Victoria harbour? Currently looking at options and it seems like flying is a fast (though more expensive) option.
The ferry option is approx 3:40hrs which is quite a long time so leaning more towards flying, though I’m not sure if those seaplans could accommodate a big bike box?
Any suggestions appreciated.
There’s a seaplane terminal 5 min from YVR in Richmond. They do a bunch of direct flights daily to Victoria harbour, so that’s definitely the best bet. Just call them up in advance and get them to guarantee space for your bike. Measure it so you can provide dimensions, those planes can be really tight. I’ve had issues on the smaller flights with my bike, although it was unboxed so much larger. Prices range from 200-300, it’s a 15-20 min flight. Hope that helps! There are other cheaper options, like transit + ferries, but it’s not exactly simpler or easy, so not a great bet in the lead up for a race.
Cool, thanks for the info!
Hi Bullseye, I’m an island boy (Nanaimo), when they release the final routes I should be able to give you a ballpark on time between aid stations. I had a look at trailforks and they have some planning routes up for Cumberland and Nanaimo. If that’s what they end up running, the Nanaimo course will be very fun, but very challenging both up and down (my wife will be able to have a beer from our deck watching us go by that day )
I’ll use one water bottle on the bike + the same camelbak chase vest that others have mentioned here.
Glad to hear so many people are coming! I did it back in 2016 and it is a great event!
Just curious, what bikes are people bringing for this? What tires are you going to be running? Myself:
Tires: TBD. Ardent Race most likely. (I run minions most of the year otherwise)
Bike - Transition Spur - it is the perfect bike for me for this race. Used it in 2021 and 2022. It’s light enough uphill but so much fun downhill!
Tyres - I might switch up depending on the forecast but most likely Rekon 2.4 on the front - but might switch this to the new Forekaster. Ikon 2.35 on the back.
Our group who’ve done the race have generally been on Santa Cruz Blurs, Tallboy 3s, Transition Spurs or Trek Fuel. All got on well with those bikes and similar tyres.
I’ve been running a Forekaster 2.35 for the last month just to try it out, really enjoying it.
Those are all great VI bikes.