BC Explorer Participation & Time Limits

BC Explorer ultra endurance cycling, ultra endurance marathon cycling

Cyclist participation and time-limits details.

The BC Explorer may be contested as a solo rider or as a relay team consisting of 2 or 4 riders. Most forms of 2 & 3 wheel bicycles, wheelchairs and human powered vehicles are welcome. The BC Explorer is open to all cyclists 19 years of age and older who are physically fit enough to maintain daily minimum pace set by race director. SOLO riders who are new to ultra-cycling should contact us to learn more.

Ultra-endurance cycling is a discipline of cycling that is practiced around the world. In the simplest terms; ultra-cycling races are not divided by stages and for the most part, there is no drafting, no pelotons and no scheduled breaks. It is non-stop racing from start-to-finish. The time spent cycling and resting is determined by each individual rider and his or her teammates and support crew.

Whether competing as a soloist or as part of a relay team all cyclists are supported by an escort crew which manages the cyclist’s efforts and provides a vehicle escorting their rider at all times. Crew size is determined by number of riders, personal preferences and number of available participants. There are minimum requirements that must be maintained at all times to aid safety of all participants.

Solo riders are supported by escort teams that vary in size from five to a dozen people who ordinarily travel in mini-vans, SUVs and motor homes. Relay teams will have larger, more sophisticated support crews.

At first glance the BC Explorer may seem to be out-of-reach for weekend warriors and moderately trained cyclists, but those that take a closer look will discover there are many ways to compete. The opportunity exists for a wide range of cyclists to officially complete the BC Explorer, but it is a serious and demanding challenge that should only be contested by those cyclists that have trained, planned and organized a safe, realistic race plan.

Competition is open to soloists and relay teams of 2 or 4 riders who are over the age of 19 and who possess the physical ability, desire and means to compete. This is an amateur event open to all riders; however, we do provide free consultation for those who are unsure. The main consideration is safety and our race management team retains the right to deny anyone’s participation on the basis of safety or any other issue considered detrimental to the participants, event volunteers, staff or spectators. Riders must possess strong bike handling skills as descending the mountain roads requires confidence, ability and experience. Soloists should be extremely well conditioned cyclists. If you cannot comfortably ride 320 kilometers a day then the solo division is not for you. If you wish to finish in a competitive time you will need to be able to ride around 450 km a day. If in doubt, please contact us to discuss your abilities or join a relay team. Riding on a team is the best experience you can have to prepare you for future solo competition.

Competitive time limits in an ultra-endurance event the duration and magnitude of the Tour of British Columbia must be carefully developed as racers must contend with both anticipated and unexpected obstacles. To prepare, ultra-cyclists train their bodies, mind and support crews with a level of dedication and hard work that most people could never even imagine. On top of this effort they must fund their entry through the procurement of sponsorships and the support of (mostly) volunteers that form their race crew, on course and off.

Ride Canada believes that this type of effort should be recognized and rewarded and not overlooked. In the many years associated with ultra-endurance cycling events we have observed that many competitors who meet with obstacles that slow but their progress to a point where they can no longer finish within event organizer guidelines that many of these competitors continue on regardless of their official race status. Therefore the Tour of British Columbia has developed three levels of recognition which recognize not only the fastest, most capable racers, but also those competitors who fall of the leader’s pace but continue to strive to reach the finish line. They are: Elite, Competitor and Official Finisher.

The chart below indicates our preliminary cut-off times for male riders. We are developing female specific guidelines but presently there are no plans to differentiate by age.