BC Bike Race vs Single Track 6

Looking for an A race next year and an MTB stage race would provide plenty of motivation to keep training seriously this winter. Maybe even strength training too :scream:

To me BC Bike Race and Single Track 6 look like the most exciting options. I’m looking for a race with quality single track and I think both options more than fit this requirement.

With BC Bike Race I’m concerned about sleeping in a tent after racing all day. And with ST6 I’m concerned about the distance between stages and how far the final stage is from Calgary (an 8 hour drive).

What are people’s experience with either of these races? Or if you’ve raced both how do they compare?

Which one would you do?

  • BC Bike Race
  • Single Track 6

0 voters

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I did BCBR in 2019 and it was an amazing experience from start to finish. The sleeping in tents was only a challenge because I was trying to overcome jet lag (9 hours from the UK) and having twitchy legs from long hard days. It’s an incredibly well organised event. There are options to stay in hotels off site and in 2021 you can book a camper van (RV) space and drive yourself around from stage to stage.

Not done Singletrack 6…yet!

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Glad to hear you had an amazing time! It definitely seems like they run an organized event. Man, an RV sounds like the perfect way to experience the race!

I talked my dad into joining me but he doesn’t want to race all 6 days. Single Track 6 has a 3 day version which is just right for him. So we are planning on signing up for Single Track 6 for 2021, maybe BC Bike Race in 2022!


Good to know that others from TR are also going @137james - still trying to decide between ST6 or BCBR. From reading on other boards, it seems like they cranked up the technical difficulty for ST6 last year quite a lot.
That and the later timing (meaning I can do a bunch of races before to prepare) are currently drawing me to ST6.

@Jonathan are you going to ST6 next year? I’m not super enthusiastic about spending so much money on hotels/transfers, so I’m thinking driving up there myself. What have you done for accomodation in the past?

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My SO has done both. He says BC without a doubt. He says because you’re travelling round together and camping together it feels more inclusive, there’s more camaraderie.
He feels that BC wants everyone to finish. They want everyone to have a great time and come back again. He says BC is less extreme, but fantastic riding.
We did ST6 together, as I couldn’t get time off work during term time, in 2017 - the same year as the TR crew. My SO completed all 6 days. I managed 4 consecutive days. The first timed descent had a negative effect on my mental state. I turned a corner and nearly rode off what seemed like a cliff to me. I scrambled down the side with my bike and the next person down shouted and grabbed a tree to stop himself going over and lay in a heap, shouting to people to stop. There were no Marshall’s there. No one to radio back to the person at the top of the timed section.
From that point on my arousal level went through the roof as I predicted a cliff round every corner. I didn’t sleep, stiffened up etc. Ended up with so many bruises I looked like I’d been in a car crash.
Since then I’ve worked on my skills and mental focus. Did some UK enduro. The experience lead to lots of improvement for me. So all good in the end :blush:
We are hoping some how I can get time off work and we can do the BC race. If not, my SO says he would repeat ST6. I’m with Nate. Can you guarantee me the bench cut is not going to simply disappear on the side of a mountain? (Not sure if that mean’s I need some more work on my mental state, or that I am aware of where the limits of my skills are. This is meant to be fun after all).
The thing that really helped me at ST6 was the staff at the feed stations were absolutely amazing. So supportive in just the right way.
Anyway, BC has got our vote.

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The primary reason I’m doing Singletrack 6 next year and not BCBR is largely because I would not enjoy (and probably would not recover properly) sleeping in tents for a week, especially if it rains. I’ll be AirBnB-ing ST6 to get the maximum recovery for my aged, battered body, and to have a full kitchen to help deal with the nutritional demands of the race. Also, the Kootenays (the part of BC where ST6 happens) is a fantastic area to visit.

But I have to admit that my decision is an emotional, not a rational one. I would jump at the chance to do the Trans-Maderia Enduro, where you sleep in tents (on the beach, but still in tents).

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FYI: the course profile of the 2021 ST6 is noticeably less extreme than the 2017 version where the TR crew flamed out. On average, the stages next year are 5km shorter, with 400m less climbing per stage. Still nowhere close to easy, but less savage than what the TR crew experienced.


There is a hotel or camper van option with BCBR.

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I’m not sure if these are final but here are the ST6 2021 courses on Trailforks: https://www.trailforks.com/event/4440/

Even though I consider descending a strength of mine I am concerned about the trail difficulty. But I’m hoping this will keep me motivated to focus on my technical skills. I’m lucky enough to have a bike park pretty close that I will spend a lot of time at next summer. Intervals on the climb up, and practice descending on the way down! :metal:

I know these do the trails no justice but I’ve been looking for GoPro videos of the trails and putting them into a YouTube playlist to watch on the trainer. I’m hoping this might help me be a little more familiar with the trails. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0DNKrusbRAZP2lsfd0e-NMyije1j2yXr

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It sounds like you’re doing all the right preparation. Like I say, my difficulty managing my own fear was my biggest obstacle. I think you won’t be out of your depth to the extent I was and so that hyper vigilance won’t be an issue for you.

You could always email ST6 and ask what to expect in terms of technical difficulty. Might further help your planning.

Looking forward to your race report. My geuss is, if descending is a strength, you’ll love it :smiley:

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For sure! Managing fear is definitely and obstacle for me too. When my, to use a Lee McCormack term, “arousal level” is too high I start focusing on every little piece of trail. Which just increases my fear.

Have you had a chance to listen to yesterday’s podcast yet with Eliot Jackson? He made a mind blowing point about how pro enduro/DH riders are actually processing less of the trail because their brain knows what it is important to pay attention to and what isn’t. Here is the timestamp for that clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fofPeqJ_K4c&t=2751s

Hopefully with practice I can get my brain to a level of knowing what I need to process and what I don’t so hopefully I can keep my fear in check.

I’m a big fan of Lee McCormack and his advice changed my riding after ST6. Something as simple as body position and the Triangle of Awesomeness has kept me so much safer and improved my descending skills massively. I also like Lee’s view regarding matching the skill level with the riding. He sees riding something that is beyond our skill level as “rolling the dice”. That seemed to be echoed by the “risk adverse” Jonathan and Elliot Jackson on the last podcast.
Something else I really identified with from the podcast, was walking a track and analysing lots of details; then riding it and not seeing any of the obstacles I had in mind.
The difference between myself and the fast guys is that I was looking at the enduro track as a risk, identifying what could go wrong. The fast guys were looking for what to launch off/ where to gain speed. I have worked on looking for the “positives” along single track since then. I think that’s how they reduce processing and keep their fear in check (?)

Hey man, I’m new to TR but am a local in one of the ST6 towns (Fernie, your play list has a few of my POV vids in it even). The down trails on the days in Fernie are legit black diamond trails and are not XC. I haven’t ridden enough places outside of Fernie to know how we rate, but thinking about taking my XC MTB down trails like Verboten… that is spicy enough and I know the trail. You better be on point technically or prepped to walked down a few sections. Also depends on how comfortable you are ‘on-siting’ new trails. I am the kind of rider that has a hard time with a new trail just cause I don’t trust what I can’t see.

Good luck, if you have any Fernie specific questions let me know. I’d ridden Rossland trails too (Whisky, SMD, etc) and can give you info on those. I’m doing BCBR this year and hoping for ST6 in 2022.


First off, welcome to TR!

Thank you for all the info! I’m definitely going to be spending a lot of time on my bike handling and descending once the trials thaw here. Surprisingly, I’m pretty fast my first time down a new trail. Looking at Strava sometimes my fastest time is my first time! Ha

Any tire recommendations for Fernie or Rossland?

Good luck at BCBR!

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Hey @137james.

Fernie is the least rocky of the three areas you’ll be riding (Fernie, Rossland, Kimberley). But I think the Kootenays are generally not very rocky considered to alot of other places. Mostly roots and steep ascents/descents. I’m pretty new to XC racing (typically just ride trail bikes and go for fast Strava descent times), so take my advice accordingly. But I would put something grippy up front (like Bontrager XR4 or equivalent) and then something faster rolling for the rear (Bontrager XR3). I’m not as familiar with Maxxis/Schwalbe offerings in the XC world but you can probably look up equivalents.

The Singletrack 6 is in September I believe which is usually pretty good riding weather, probably won’t be too wet, but you may want to have another set of tires in case it gets wet. The XR4 type tire would be good in all conditions (I’d rather have the grip descending and lose some rolling speed), it’s just the semi-slick rear might not be the best - the roots here get super slick if they are are wet, but otherwise traction is pretty good on them. Good luck!

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Ya it is in early September.

Thank you! That’s very helpful. I totally agree with sacrificing a little rolling resistance for improved traction.

Something to watch for right now with BCBR is their cancellation/refund policy, especially given the pricing.

I sort of have a bone to pick given the magnitude of the policy, what is currently going on, and where it’s “hidden” on their website, so I’ll post so that others can see it clearly.


Ensure that you fully read and understand the following policy regarding all refunds, transfers, and cancellations. This policy applies to registration and additional upgrades purchased.

I, the registrant understand that in the event that the race is cancelled or postponed as a result of, but not limited to, an act of God, Pandemic, Natural Disaster, including but not limited to forest fires however caused, earthquakes, storms, and floods, war, strike, revolution, lack of or failure of transportation facilities, laws or interventions or actions of statutory bodies, major accidents during the race, or other such causes, the BC Bike Race event organizers will make every reasonable effort to reschedule the race to a later date in the calendar year. If I cannot make the rescheduled date, I acknowledge that NO REFUND will be granted. In the event that the BC Bike Race is unable to execute its 2021 event, whether on the originally scheduled date or subsequently rescheduled dates, on account of any reason mentioned above, we will allow 75% of your paid value (net of processing fees) in credit to a future event, valid up to 4 years from your original purchase year – based on availability. This also applies to entries deferred from 2020.

I acknowledge the following conditions also apply:

  1. In the event of a race closure or course alteration, no refund or credit will be offered if a race stage(s) is cancelled or postponed or rerouted or shortened.
  2. Entries deferred from 2020 are not transferable to another person after October 31st, 2020.
  3. There are no refund options available to entries deferred from 2020.
  4. Only new entries purchased for 2021 event(s) are transferable before May 15, 2021.
  5. There is a $250 administrative charge for entry transfers. Please note that 2020 entries that are sold by registrants to other riders are not eligible for refunds from BC Bike Race. Buyers of re-sold entries will be required to register for 2021 directly through BC Bike Race and are subject to all the other terms and conditions of the original registration.
  6. Refunds are available until January 31, 2021 at 75% of entry fee and applies only to new entries purchased for 2021.
  7. Refunds are available until February 28, 2021 at 50% of entry fee and applies only to new entries purchased for 2021.
  8. No refunds after February 28, 2021. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  9. No Deferrals under ANY circumstances.