Welcome to the 2016 Squamish Test of Metal Mountain Bike race weekend, June 18-19. 2016 is our 21st and final year and we are thrilled you have chosen to celebrate mountain biking and this great event with us. It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter for the last time. It is hard to believe this long and amazing trip that started in 1994 for me is now coming to an end.
First, thank you for your support. Without you, this race would not be as popular as it has been for more than two decades. The past 21 years of races hold some amazing memories for me and none of them would have been possible if it were not for the support of the amazing Test Pilots, the dedicated members of the Mettle Crew and you, the racers, as well all the sponsors and the community of Squamish.
As always, the crown jewel of the weekend, the 1,000 person, mass-start, 67 km, point-to-point Nesters Market Test of Metal, will start at 11:00am on Saturday, and I do not expect anything different in this, the last year. The Test Pilots collectively bring hundreds of years of experience to the table to produce this last Test of Metal. The support of the Mettle Crew will be as helpful and enthusiastic as ever and, of course, you, the racers will be raring to go.
So again, thanks to each and every one of you – whether this is your first race or your 21st race – for your support. It has been a fun ride and one I would not change for anything.
Registration will take place at Brennan Park Recreation Centre from 6:30 – 9:00pm on Friday, June 17 and 8:00 – 10:00am on Saturday morning, June 18. To fulfill our contractual obligations to our insurer, photo ID is required at check-in. For pro riders, your racing licence is required.
IMPORTANT: Note that riders must register by 10:00am on Saturday; there are no late registrations and no exceptions. Please leave early if you are traveling from outside of Squamish. It’s busier than ever in this bustling town and on Hwy. 99. Expect traffic delays and give yourself enough time to park. We don’t want you to be disappointed so give yourself lots of extra time.
Corsa Cycles, in collaboration with the Test of Metal, is once again presenting the Mini Metal. Join us on Sunday, June 19 at 9:00am at the Squamish Adventure Centre parking lot for this very popular event. The course will run along the Loggers Creek trail system to the Brennan Park Recreation Centre and will finish at the SORCA Bike Skills Park.
Pre-registration is currently open at Corsa Cycles (38192 Cleveland Avenue) and will be open until June 18. Registration can also be done on the day of the event. Upon registration, participants will receive a Mini Metal race plate, and an insurance waiver will need to be signed. The race is designed for kids on run bikes up to 24-inch wheel bikes, and helmets are mandatory.
For more information, contact Corsa Cycles at 604-892-3331 or send them an email .
The Test of Metal weekend could not happen with out the Test Pilots. These Pilots are the core group of 40 vollies who put their individual stamp on key parts of the race. They have done it in their own way and the results are always spectacular. Without their overwhelming support, I could not manage this event. As a group, the Test Pilots bring in excess of 800 years of experience to the event each year.
Without that kind of dedication, this weekend would not happen. So to the Test Pilots, what more can I say but THANKS!
As well, this weekend could not take place without the support and dedication of the 400 vollies whose contribution – no matter how big or small – is integral to the overall success of the weekend. The Mettle Crew, in my mind, like Whistler’s famed Weasel Workers, rate among the best group of vollies in the world. Take an opportunity to say thank you to them, and please do not yell at them as their volunteer efforts have helped to make the Test of Metal the most successful mountain bike race in Canada.
Another key component to the continued success of the event are the over 40 sponsors who have graciously gone above and beyond to give product, time or dollars. Their contribution to the overall success of the event, no matter at what level, is appreciated. Please stop at our sponsors’ booths at the finish line marketplace or at their stores and let them know how much their contribution is valued.
For those of you driving up on Saturday morning and needing a coffee fix, make sure you stop by Galileo Coffee in Britannia Beach and have a cup of the Test of Metal blend of coffee. Or if you need any food items, please stop in at Nesters Market in Squamish and stock up.
When you arrive at Brennan Park Recreation Centre on Loggers Lane, please pay close attention to the No Parking signs on Loggers Lane. We have been informed by the District of Squamish bylaw enforcement department that cars parked illegally will be ticketed and may be towed. Please consider yourself warned. Volunteers will direct you to parking areas.
This year we have 12 on-course Test of Metal Ambassadors returning. These Ambassadors will be spread out on the race course in teams of two and will be stopping to help people who are in need of mechanical assistance, food or just encouragement. The Ambassadors have more than 160 years combined race experience with the Test of Metal, so if you should require their assistance you can be confident that you will be in good hands. We hope that you will find the race course in the best shape ever.
Again this year we will try to allow you to self-seed yourselves according to your anticipated finish time. Once the start chute is set up and the start line director has given his OK, you will be allowed to place your bike in the chute. Once again we will be loading by anticipated finish times.
On the course we have cutoff times at three places. There is a 2.5 hour cutoff (1:30pm) the first time through the Powerhouse feed zone, a 3.5 hour cutoff (2:30pm) at the top of Bonk Hill and a 5.5 hour cutoff (4:30pm) the second time through the Powerhouse feed zone.
If for some reason you are not able to finish the race, please DO NOT under any circumstances cross the finish line (as this causes major problems with the race timing). You don’t need to report in to race timing if you did not finish.
There will be a free shuttle bus for spectators running from the start line at Brennan Park Recreation Centre (beside the tennis courts) to Raven Woods in Valleycliffe. From the drop off point, Crumpit Woods is a short walk. It is also a short walk from Raven Woods to the next free shuttle bus that takes spectators and support crew down to the famed Powerhouse Feed Zone. Please do not park in the Raven Woods subdivision. You can drive to the Powerhouse Feed Zone early in the day; however, you will not be able to leave until after the 1:30pm cutoff time.
If you are planning on driving to Garibaldi Highlands to watch the race, there is ample parking in the Highlands Elementary School parking lot which will put you approximately halfway between Roller Coaster and the Quest University Bridge.
The Test of Metal Powerhouse Feed Zone beach party, a production of Tantalus Bike Shop, is returning with a vengeance for the 21st anniversary race. This area has always been a great place for spectators, with racers coming through the feed zone twice. The beach party – complete with a DJ playing great tunes, barbecue and amazing vibe – will make it an even more eventful place to spend the afternoon.
While waiting for racers to complete the course, spectators at the finish area located at the Loggers Sports Grounds can take in the Stones & Strength strongman competition – consisting of Atlas Stones, logs and odd-object carries – along with the many vendors, food and beer garden. There will be a kids strongman demonstration as well.
You can purchase this year’s Test of Metal clothing items at the CODE Sports booth in the Test of Metal marketplace at the finish area. As well, Test of Metal is selling of all of its accumulated clothing (mostly jerseys and shirts) from some previous years, available at the prize tent in the finish area.
This note is for your support team. As much as I, and many others, love having our dogs with us, many of the events for this weekend are not dog friendly, especially when you consider the speed and numbers of the riders. Please leave the dogs at home. The Mountain FM Marketplace at Loggers Sports Grounds is a NO DOG zone and you will be asked to leave with Fido. Enough said. Just leave the dog at home with a bone and the TV on.
If after riding the Test you find yourself wanting to experience even more of Squamish’s famous singletrack, consider the 45 km, Just Another Bike Race (JABR) on September 17, presented by Vocari Financial Solutions Inc. Check out the Test of Metal site for details. The JABR will be the last race ever put on by the Test Of Metal organization and will be a great way to cap off your mountain bike race season.
For those of you who ride in Squamish often, please visit SORCA and check out the trail pass . This pass is an excellent way to give back to the amazing Squamish singletrack. We all love to ride without having to contribute actual vollie hours. To date, this fund has raised in excess of $40,000, all of which goes back into the trails.
If you want to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola following the race, make sure to visit their booth in the Test of Metal marketplace at the finish area to receive a discount on a day ticket. If you present your Test of Metal race plate at the Edge Bar on Saturday night at the gondola summit, you will receive a free beer. The gondola is open late on Saturday night for a summer solstice celebration including live music, with the last ride down at 11:45pm.
Reminder that registration is on Friday from 6:30 -9:00pm and again on Saturday morning from 8:00-10:00am at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. The doors will close at 10:00am sharp on Saturday, with no exceptions. Photo ID will be required at check in.
Brennan Park Recreation Centre will be offering showers free to all racers. Just show your racing plate number for access.
Test of Metal Inc. is a privately held, not for profit company. Neither I, nor any of the other Test Pilots, receive compensation for our involvement with this weekend. We do it for love of the sport and to contribute to making Squamish the place it is. To date, in excess of $200,000 has been returned to Squamish community organizations and events. Without the overwhelming support of you, the racer, these donations would not have been possible.
Thank you for your support of the Test of Metal. I hope you have a great race and a fabulous final Test of Metal weekend. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the people and enjoy our town. Please come back often to ride our great trails. Thank you to all our sponsors and please support them if you get a chance.