News & Updates

When Brodie discontinued with its Test of Metal in 1994, Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) founder and president Cliff Miller and Squamish mountain biking and rock climbing guidebook author and publisher Kevin McLane met in a pub one night and drew out a proposed new Test of Metal race course on the back of a coaster.

Rider Feedback 2012


Speaking of ugly, could you please ask Darlene to dress Cliff for race day next year. Thanks to everyone for putting on a wonderful race.

All the volleys I encountered were great. The eyewash gal at the finish line was a nice touch, as well as the guys with the warm water rinse at the front of the BPLC.

It was like riding in God’s shitter. But good. It was well run as usual(year 10 approx). Best thing was the warm water hosing at rec centre. Worst part was the easy fix.

This was my first test, and I feel lucky to have competed in such a muddy one. I enjoyed the day more than I expected to. I am left with such a positive opinion of spectators and especially volunteers in Squamish- what a dedicated crowd you are. I look forward to volunteering myself next year and sharing some of the love I received!

Thanks again to you and the Mettle crew for a great race. I loved the race, the conditions were challenging – but I would take that any day over hot and dry. I think the event was much harder on all those cold and soggy vollies then it was on me, I was staying warm!

Thanks for a well organized and awesome course. Having been an avid rider of fat and skinny tires for over thirty years this was a great way to experience my first bike race! Huge thanks to all the vollies, they’re fantastic. And a special shout out to the unknown spectators (with some link to the Tantalus bike shop) who sprang to my rescue to fix my busted chain at the bottom of roller coaster, allowing me to rest and refuel. They were knights in shining, uhh, raingear!

This was my first Test of Metal and won’t be my last. I loved to course – long and hard, good sections at the beginning to stretch out the group, super feed zones and super nice people. I found some downhills a bit too challenging but I’m not a pro mtn biker. Ended up walking a good part which was no less perilious. Super organization all around. Looked like a well oiled machine from a spectator point of view. Areas of improvement….sorry, I’m not experienced enough to add value
Many thanks again for taking care of us all.

Your community does such a fabulous job coordinating and hosting The Test of Metal. I feel so fortunate to live in the lower mainland and have the opportunity to ride the trails in Squamish. I love the events you host and can’t wait for the next one in July! Thanks so much.

In spite of the weather the experience was awesome, the crowds were enthusiastic, no one seemed aware of the rain. You must do something right to attract such dedicated vollies. I felt sorry for some of them, having to endure the wet and the cold, standing in one spot for the duration of the race. It was probably easier to race than volly this year.Thanks for another great race!

Excellent job from start to finish. Will be back next year. Don’t change a thing.

You guys do a great job. The weather only makes the bond at the finish line stronger.

Once again thank you so much for a most awesome day. The mud was actually quite fun. Some people pay big bucks to have mud packs for their skin and here we even got exercise thrown in!!!.

Great day out, no complaints, everyone was really supportive and helpful. Thanks again

6 Stars

1-The road Angels rescued me from a tangled chain and had me back on my saddle quickly. Those two gold plated men came out of nowhere on the pavement and rescued my chain…and me! I thought it was over.

2-Everyone at the food stations were so amazing. They even washed my lid for me!! And filled my bottle. Offered to massage a calf cramp. Food choices excellent. Smiles perfect!

3-cheering crowd – super, especially on the hills. Loved the trumpets and horns. Gave me the extra stink to make it up some tougher hills

4-road marshalls. Kept us safe and on track. Trail was excellently marked except for the plywood ramp. Figured that one out quickly though.

5. The guy with the warm hose..I’m in love

6. The cute blonde marshal who gave me a lil push up the hill after the last food station- just what I needed. I was smiling from the inside.

7. I know I only said six. If I do this race again, it will be because it’s such an excellent cause and gets such superb community support.

The volunteers and the Squamish residents who came out to cheer despite the rain impressed me completely: what an amazing community you live in! Can’t thank you enough for another well planned, well executed race. No suggestions for improvement fro me: can’t improve on perfection!

Cliff and the Test crew, I had a blast at the race, the weather is what it is so go out and play!! Thanks for the great event, the shower and post race food. Even bettered my time from last year!!

I would like to thank each and everyone for the tremendous effort that is put into this great event, this year was my first time taking part in the test. It’s been something I have wanted to do for many years now. It was so great to see so many people from our community out supporting the test! I saw lots of friendly faces along the way all cheering everybody on. I had a great day even thought the conditions were less than perfect. I know next year I will be in attendance and if the weather is even a bit better my time will improve greatly. Again thank you all for putting on such a great community event.

“Hideous and great” was how my buddy and me classified the day. I would like to thank all the volunteers, that girl that pushed my butt up the hill the second time through the feed station, the cookhouse people and especially the nice sausage lady who let me warm my poor hypothermic butt at her bbq.

As always, the test is the premier event to be in. I cannot thank you or your crew for a job well done. Thanks to the rain for keeping out all but the hard core riders. No thanks to the rain for one of the toughest rides ever

The test was great as usual. The course was in great condition despite the weather. The use of the showers was much appreciated. You guys do a fantastic job. I feel I get my money’s worth everytime.

Great race, but hella wet and muddy. I crashed very hard twice. Once on Lava and then again on the Plunge. I made it back but was in bad shape. I was carted off in the ambulance after being in the First Aid tent for a while. I want to thank the First Aid team. I was dealing with a lot of pain but Kathy and Matty (I think that was there names) worked very hard to stabilize me before the paramedics got there. Much appreciated!

Pretty much met all my expectations. Loved what mother nature brought too! After all, whats a mountain bike race without any mud. Thanks Test of Metal…it was epic!

Feedback?? Hmm, not much to say but excellent job, what a great event! 3rd time for me, for sure back again next year, may even train next time.

Don’t change:
route, trail conditions, mud, good vibe, vollies, wx (I loved the rain!), minimalist marshaling (feels “real”), Ambassadors, after-race food and beer, Change: nothing…..
Hard to believe the difference between just riding to TOM route, and riding in the TOM. Thanks again for a great time!

It was my first TOM and was totally impressed by the organization, supporters, crew etc. I had only ridden Roller Coaster once before and was very impressed with the amount of work and upgrades you had made. I am hoping that I will be able to get a spot next year. I certainly have no complaints, I’m proud that I was able to have the opportunity to participate in such a classic event

I have participated in the Test 4 times now and this was by far the most fun I’ve had yet! Thank you to yourself and your team of excellent volunteers for making the best event possible even during a monsoon. (PS, thanks to Brennan Park for letting us filthy people use their facilities.)

I had an awesome day!! Loved … loved… loved all the support!

A great day. The rain and mud added to the experience. Well organised, great on-trail help, good overall vibe. A job well done. Definitely in again for a 4th next year! It was an epic experience!

I have no negative comments as you guys did an incredible job as usual. The volunteers were great everywhere but I particularly remember the smiling faces of the volunteers as I crossed the finish line and passed through the timing chute.

Great race, I enjoyed the mud!

I cannot say enough about the people of Squamish, the volunteers at the race and the organizing committee. The course was in amazing shape considering the weather this spring. The Feed Zone folks were smiling and the First Aiders were cheerful and not too busy. To see the “make shift” tents on the climb up through Highlands with the music thumping was something special. Even warm water hoses to clean off the mud prior to the showers! A well planned and well executed event by everyone in Squamish.Keep up the great work, and thanks for contributing to the sport we love.

We were very impressed by the event organization – all the volunteers were amazing – you did a spectacular job! Everyone in Squamish was awesome – overall it was a great experience – I just wish I could’ve completed the event.

The local support was incredible, and I found the race to be very well organized overall. I’ve done lots of road races, and while it’s been more than 10 years since my last mountain bike race yours was by far the best organized of all of the races I have done at least in recent memory

Thanks. Once again, Test of Metal remains the benchmark for all other MTB races thanks to how well it is organized and how the whole community embraces the race.

Particularly liked:
the warm water hose down outside the rec centre (before we could enter to take showers); and
Squamish Nation’s Warrior Song/Dance at race start
Next year suggest that we look into whether Squamish Nation can do a song/dance that increases the chances of sunshine!

Despite conditions, I had a fantastic time at the Test this year (as in years past). It is a wonderfully organized event, and I have encouraged many fellow riders to come to Squamish and check it out! Keep up the good work and hope to see you again next year!

The post-race food and the vollies serving were excellent. They allowed me to stand near the BBQ to warm up as I ate. (real cheese on the burger was a nice touch!) The race was fantastic as always. The hot shower was amazing

I’m a 38 year old late adopter with a faded athletic pedigree, and signed up for the ToM to have an insane challenge to work towards. Did ~3000km of training rides in prep, felt I was as ready as anyone like me could be. Even with 850+ riders, the event had a cool, intimate vibe to it. A first class event run by first class people. When I made the cut off at Bonk, I was already in agony, cramping badly – but the feed station & supportive volunteers at the top of 9 mile are the only reason I was able to keep moving forward. Once you pass 9 mile, finishing, quitting and dying are all the same thing, so you might as well keep moving forward. After climbing Ringhouse, then bombing down mud lakes and descending the murky rock stew on Powerhouse, Cumpit Woods seems like a cruel joke, but it’s in those moments of being totally spent that you’re closest to your core being…Just kept putting one foot in front of the other, ignoring the pain, and drawing support from the marshalls and other cramping newbies grouped together, lurching forward, with plumes of lava-like mud coursing over us. When I slipped out onto the pavement again, the euphoria of salvation is unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. As I rode towards the Rec Center body buzzing from hours of jostling & crashes, LONG after the cheering crowds had decamped for dryer conditions and their celebratory beers, my smiling wife, 4 year old boy and 2 year old daughter appeared as soggy specks on the horizon jumping with joy, saying “there’s my Daddy!!” – in that moment I was just utterly, physically shattered and emotionally overwhelmed. I’d pushed myself well past my limits, had to dig to my utter core to find mental and physical strength never visited before, and now the elation of finishing my first ToM in horrid conditions washed away the agony. Fantastic event, and I’ll be back. And better prepared.

As always it was a great event, unfortunately weather was not favourable. I am still as always, proud to be a citizen of Squamish. Cliff, please thank your entire crew, very professional and very well done.

Despite the rain and mud it was still a thoroughly enjoyable race. My hats off to the amazing group of volunteers that were supportive and smiling throughout the day. I thought it was very well organized.

I was a Test of Metal virgin…despite the conditions, both weather, and mechanical, I had a blast!!!The entire experience was awesome for me personally. I would like to thank all the volunteers, everyone on the course, and you, the organizers for putting on such a great event. Barring any unfroseen issues, I will be there again next year!

As always, fantastic event! I pretty much only do one race a year and this is it. Even though the weather was not great, I thought the whole event was very well executed. Big thanks to all the organizers and volunteers, it’s great to be at an event that the whole city supports. Looking forward to next year.

Next year please ensure a partly cloudy 20 degree day with 0% chance of rain. Other than that I cant think of anything else to request. The warm spray at the community center was a life saver, both for us and probably the pool maintenance staff One of the BEST run events that I participate in. The entire community is a pleasure and so supportive.

What a great day! The amazing volunteers and onions on the burgers were some of the highlights.

It felt dirty, cold and pain. Smashed my crank arm on the corners and had to ride goofy foot the rest of the way. It was beautiful. Great vibe and support from the all the riders, volunteers and spectators. My kids loved the mini-test the next day. What an awesome event that makes me proud to call Squamish my home. My first time but not the last. You guys rock. Thank you!

The best part of the race this year was clearly the volunteers and the spectators. The pictures mostly focus ont he riders enduring hellish conditions, and slogging forward while coated in cold gritty slime. However, seeing the trail lined with pectators and volunteers made all the environmental discomforts fade away. The organization was flawless, the food was warm, and it was brilliant to have hot coffee along with the burgers. The hoses were greatly appreciated. Also, although the conditions may have made it hard to determine, it was clear to me as a local that a tonne of work had been done to keep the course in great shape. The modifications on upper mashiter and roller coaster were very welcome in this years conditions. Thanks Cliff, thanks everyone I had a blast at the test. You all did an incredible job with everything. I Wasn’t too concerned about the conditions and it made for some great stories after

You did it again. Great organized race. Great turn out. True costal weather. Best part, the hot water hose down post race. Thank the rec centre for me please

I vote with my money and return to this race yearly. You guys rock, and I love this event. Thanks all for the hard work to make it such a huge success