Q – Do I need to be vaccinated to race?
A – Yes, you need to be double vaccinated to participate in all BCBR events including the Gravel Explorer.
Q – Will we be able to have our own food and water bottles at the Aid Stations during each stage?
A – No unfortunately you will not be able to. We will have water for you to fill your bottles and food that you can grab. Clif Bar product will also be available to fuel your adventure.
Q – Do I need a support person for this ride?
A – We recommend having a support person so you have a way to get to the start line and from the finish of each ride to your accommodations.
Q – Is there a minimum age requirement to enter The Gravel Explorer?
A – To participate in The Gravel Explorer you mush be at least 19 years old on Stage 1.
Q – Do we need insurance?
A – Yes. All participants need to have travel medical insurance which will cover ambulance, air ambulance and medical transport back home.
Q – I can’t make it. How do I sell my entry?
A – You are on your own to sell your entry if needed and that can be done through a number of online forums. Contact us to help you in the right direction.
Q – What sort of weather should we expect during the ride?
A – Late September to October is lovely in the Okanagan, you will find the temperature perfect for riding. The sun will most likely be shining but not too hot & not too cold! Evenings after the sun goes down will be a little cooler so definitely bring a puffy jacket to be cozy. Layers & options are always good and will be your best bet to dial in the perfect outfit for riding.
Q – What is offered at the Aid Stations?
A – There will be a number of sweet & salty snacks to choose from that will best help you get to the finish line. Clif Bar product will also be available to fuel your adventure. There will also be water and electrolyte drinks available to fill your bottles.
Q – What should I do if I decide to quit?
A – First of all please don’t quit, we like to see everyone make it to the finish! If for some reason you do need to drop out you must let us know right away so we aren’t scouring the mountains for you.
Q – What if there are less than 5 people in my age category?
A – If there are less than 5 people in your category, you will be put in the category below or above your age group.
Q – What bike should I bring to the event?
A – The bike you should bring to the Gravel Explorer needs to be an extension of yourself, your abilities and the understanding of the adventure you are about to undertake: The Gravel Explorer is a multi-day gravel stage race, so that changes a few things in regards to softening the daily impact of gravel bike racing on your body. A bike like the 3T Exploro Max has been designed to be efficient within the gravel world and given your personal set-up choices, will excel in all gravel venues – in fact the whole 3T Bike line up is focused on gravel and ways to enjoy it.
There are a number of ways to make your Gravel Bike more friendly to your body over the course of 5 days – First start with a bike with the right angles, designed for the application – this does make a huge difference! then; Wider Easton bars (with wider sweep), wider tires on the right Gravel Easton wheels (something that can handle wider tires), lower pressure, tire sealant and tire tread selection, but it’s a balance between speed and tractions, getting stuck with too much rolling resistance/too much bike, too much tire or flying along with your hair streaming in the wind and a huge smile glued to your face.
The overall distance and terrain are built to be conquered by a bikes like the 3T Exploro, you may even see cyclo-cross bikes with 32 or 33mm tires, light XC mtb set ups or road bikes with 28-32mm tires, but what you won’t see is tri-bikes, tandems or recumbents.
We believe that a Gravel Bike like the Exploro Race will be the ultimate set up for the pointy end of the stick and the tires in the range of 35-42mm with tubeless sealant, nobody want’s to deal with a flat.
- Recommended Bike: Exploro Race
- Wheels: Easton wheels
- Bars: Easton bars
- Tires: Maxxis Tires 38-50C
- Gears: Shimano GRX (1x or 2x if you are strong)
Q – How difficult will the course be?
A – Keep in mind the BCBR Gravel Explorer is meant to be fun and challenging for both recreational riders and professionals. That said BCBR, coming from its mountain bike roots will undoubtedly add some gnar to its take on ‘Gravel’. Overall the daily courses will be shorter than one day events, with a focus on challenging terrain (i.e. Lets go find some really fun stuff to ride, appropriate for Gravel, but maybe challenging up and down) but taking into consideration each day in combination to create the total overall experience.
Penticton and the Naramata bench have wonderful access to both wineries, gravel and local single tracks, amazing ingredients! Put together they sound like a gourmet gravel dining experience but to take this adventure on the road we must go farther afield and Explore. Once we head over to East Kelowna we welcome all new terrain, new wineries and the amazing journey there. This is where the first few days’ warm-up will culminate in taking the show on the gravel road and heading to a different aspect of the Okanagan. The BCBR crew has learned through 15 years and 91 stages how to mash up a sweet recipe, using all the ingredients to perfection. From the wineries and gravel roads to the mtb parks of ‘Three Blind Mice’ and ‘Crawford’ the journey through and along the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), the scenic views to steep climbs, legendary Mica canyon and many railroad trestles – expect anything and everything, but trust us, this curated adventure is a culinary 5 course banquet.
While the pro’s may be out for 3 hours (on longer days 100Km +) – the majority of racers will be 4 hours (on longer days, 100km+ ). With the ebb and flow of days (Day 1 and 4 are shorter, Day 2,3 and 5 are longer) there is room to rest, push hard, catch your breath and if you have done all that right, push hard to the finish line on day 5 and celebrate – so choose your bicycle weapon with yourself, the terrain, the course and your ambition in mind.
The bike’s not gonna ride itself:
So you’re going to need to do some training. While BCBR never aims to be the ‘hardest’ we do know that it’s in the overcoming of the ‘Challenge’ that sets the human mind and body free – along the way tears, elations, adrenalin, endorphins, blood, sweat, high fives, camaraderie and hearty laughs are all required to make sure you never forget your adventure. This is all about you – so take it fast and hard, or slow and easy, or day by day – BCBR is here to support your adventure, anyway you want it.
Q – Why Gravel?
A – The cycling world began on gravel/dirt somewhere between horses and Henry Fords first car – the bicycle was an ingenious way to get around and explore the world – it was then, and it still is today. While we’ve gone full circle, from gravel to tarmac on road, taken that to dirt with mountain bikes, evolved that into looking like astronauts, then traffic, population increases and cell phones texting have pushed up right back to the beginning. So here we are a full wheel rotation later back to gravel! It is an amazing way to see the world and explore new regions, with new friends and old. Uninterrupted bliss, just us and the route ahead in front of our tires!