2017 Trans-Provence: Day 6 (finish!!)

Yesterday I called Bear right after the finish and, understandably, there weren’t many words except, “I finished, dude. I made it.”

It was an epic, 6-day journey in which the shortest start-to-finish day was around 7 hours. Bear was tested in every way—endurance, technical skill and, most of all, the drive to keep pedaling (or hiking) when it already felt like he’d given everything.

Bear, we are so proud of you! Well done, young brother.

Here’s a photo gallery from the final stretch:

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2017 Trans-Provence: Day 5

We got a short update from Bear about Day 5…apparently the pace has taken a toll and he’s tired 🙂 Here’s what he had to say:

Every trail is like the hardest trail I’ve ever biked. I’m keep thinking, “there’s no way on earth it could be more difficult,” and it’s like WTF!

Today was a little more mellow. Slammed hard once but it was all good. Bike hasn’t make a peep.

For real these trails are like downhill courses.

The photo gallery is below (not too many pics from the trail), but first, here’s a video of the crew riding through a heard of goats!

2017 Trans-Provence: Day 4

Day 4 is done! Here’s the update from Bear:

Just around 7 hours. No major wrecks. Rode the red dirt trail and it was comparable to a rough Moab trail. 700+ meters of decent. Crazy!

Super hard day but felt decent. Drinking a pint with all the bros in this awesome little town. Last 2 descents were 750+ and then right into another 500+

It puts Pisgah to shame. I’m trying as hard as I can to ride consistently and people are passing me usually on every stage. Hard to get over the ego of the racing part but I have awesome people here to bring me back to reality.

I wouldn’t recommend this race to anyone who couldn’t handle the business.

2017 Trans-Provence: Day 3

And we’re here with another update from Bear. They completed Day 3 (and have already started Day 4). When I touched base with him to get a report, it seemed hard for him to put into words both the difficulty and the majesty of the experience.

What he did say came through loud and clear. Photo gallery below.

Down stage 3. Sickest trail in the world. Grey earth. So sick.

Just under 9 hours. Freaking psycho day. I literally can’t believe it. Didnt have GoPro unfortunately but it wouldn’t have done it justice.

Several people dropped out cause they couldn’t handle it. I drank probably 6-7 litres of water.

A lot of the amateurs are or have done some EWS but most are just incredible bikers. One of the stages was 14 minutes. A guy passed me, wrecked, then passed me again. Unreal.

Just think 4000 meters going down. It’s so rough on your hands. I’m going to have to change pads tomorrow.

Bear discussed the climb with a few chaps from the UK…they seem to be in good spirits, but it’s obvious the climb is brutal. It’s a little hard to hear the first guy, but he says, “I think this is the hardest one yet…”

2017 Trans-Provence: Day 2

Alrighty…Day 2 is done! Bear sent us an update earlier today. He finished 65th, 14 slots better than his result yesterday. Good stuff, brother! Photo gallery below.

Here’s what he Bear had to say about the day:

Luckily the start was a nice warm up climb that wasn’t too strenuous or long. The decent was unreal. Super hard with a bunch of tight switchbacks (go figure) and a 30meter pedal section in the middle of the stage. That awoke my heart and legs.

Views were unreal. The climbs sucked as always but stayed with two rad girls who rip super hard. No wrecks or mechanicals so things are going well.

After watching someone break their elbow and fall down a small cliff side I erred on the side of caution, regardless of wanting to make up time. I would rather make it to the end unharmed then to try and push it in a field of literally unbelievably fast riders.

Tomorrow’s climb is around 1000 meters so hopefully the dip in the ice cold river and massage then yoga session will pay off.

Stoke is high!

Travel Report: on the bike at Trans-Provence!

The bike is built and the cranks are turning! Bear joined a preliminary ride with a crew that arrived at Ground Zero early.

Here’s a description of the warm-up ride he sent us. Photo gallery below.

From camp we took 2 turns before the climb started, so it was definitely real. I was riding with 3 guys from Oregon and they are super rad. We had good discussions up the never ending fire road and cow pastures. We also ran into a herd of sheep and they had two giant mountain dogs guarding them so that was cool.

I volunteered to lead to pack down and immediately I was challenged to stay on my bike. If I could describe the tail it would be ‘Pilot Rock on steroids’. Many people by the end were smiling and also questioning why they were here.

Overall it was maybe the sickest trail I’ve ever done and it wasn’t even part of the race. Lots of loose, scary rocky switchbacks all the way down.

Travel Report: Bonjour, France! (The calm before the storm…)

Bear made it to France safely with only one issue: a broken dropper-post lever. Thankfully there was a bike store 20 minutes away and he was able to get a new one quickly. Sounds like it’s been rough…here’s the update he sent:

Today is relaxation and wine drinking with friends. Swam in their pool and ate some amazing local food. Dinner later then sleep. Building my bike up in the morning before we go back.