By Rey Anthony Chiu | 09:34 AM April 24, 2022
By the time you are reading this, at least 165 bikers in teams of three, from 18 years old to 61 years old have cycled past the city trails you would never expect to have, got through the dirt roads often avoided by motorists wanting only smooth paved roads and some may have reached the 453 meters above sea level, the highest point race route.
Organized by a few hardcore endurance bikers group called Bike ta Bai (BtB), the 2022 BtB 3×80 Mountain Bike Adventure Race as an epic challenge is yet Bohol’s toughest endurance bike team race which promises a total of 1,428 meters elevation gain all throughout the entire 65 kilometer course, and is set to bring out ‘The toughest mountain bikers’ at the finish line.
Let off in front of the Bohol Provincial Capitol Building Sunday, April 24 early morning, the 55 teams of three bikers would veer off to start off in single track city trails not a kilometer from the mass start.
While strong bikers would jockey to get into the single track first and avoid the massed groups, the distance advantage they could amass could easily be swallowed when the teams burst out into the barangay roads somewhere in Cabawan District, to New Lourdes Cortes-Fatima, Monserrat and Loreto Cortes where another tricky lug-your-rig across the hanging bridge brings one team to Tupas Antequera.
It’s going to be tricky, because not all teams are composed of the same age brackets, same endurance thresholds or technical skills, BtB race organizer Gerry Marmito advanced the information.
Using a format of three in one team, the total ages of the three participants must be 80 or over to qualify.
And while the race has to get to areas where help might not be handy, the team must be self-sufficient; they must have completed vaccination, wear helmets, have blinkers or headlamps, hydration bags, basic bike tools including chain tools, spare tires, tire levers, patches, air pumps or CO2 canisters, trail food or pocket money and a power-bank for the navigator’s phone at least.
In fact, accepting help from non team members or organizers can be a ground for disqualification.
The team would be comprised of an over-all captain, a navigator who keeps the team on trail at all times and a logistics man who will carry the extra trail supplies they would need.
In a shared GPS map of the trail, it showed three major climbs: the first one summits at 214 meters above sea level (MASL) at kilometer 31.3; the second one at 355 MASL some six kilometers away and the sauntering height of 453 MASL at kilometer 54.3 before it plunges to less than a meter above sea level in Basdacu Loon to the finish line in PuntaCruz.
A second offer after the much acclaimed BtB Bohol Epic Race 2019, the supposedly annual race that has attracted regional and international mountain endurance cyclists, was temporarily put on hold due to the pandemic restrictions.
This year, and coming in after the pandemic churned out endurance bikers noting that mountain-biking, other than jogging and trail running, was the only outdoor sport allowed even during lockdowns.
Already making Bohol a blipping beacon for international endurance racers, BtBs annual epic race this year re-opens with some women participants and mostly local cross country bikers. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)