There's no better place to see interesting bikes than at a race where the rules limit which bikes can be ridden. The inaugural Boneshaker bike race on July 29th in Squamish limited bikes to anything without suspension; and the bikes didn't disappoint. There were mountain bikes from the 80s, bikes cobbled together specifically for the Boneshaker from pieces of other bikes, one frankensteined cruiser, a very capable-looking knobby tired touring bike, and other beautiful oddities.
Conditions were dry and loose, which gave wide tires an considerable advantage. The fastest man and woman of the day were each on fat bikes. Loose conditions may have also scared off a few would-be participants. There were no cyclocross bikes in attendance, despite rumours of a gang of cross riders on the trails on Friday evening.
The course started at Alice Lake and headed down Jack's Trail and up 50 Shades of Green. The first timed stage was Leave Of Absence, which was probably the most technical stage of the day. After the first stage riders rode The Mashiter to the Northside Connector to get to Tinder. The second stage was all of Tinder except for the climb at the end. Dry marbley conditions made this stage more challenging than it otherwise would have been. The third timed stage was on Pseudo Tsuga Part 3. It had some loose sections, but overall its smooth manicured berms lent themselves well to rigid ripping. Next, riders had a long low-grade climb up Perth Drive and The Mashiter to the start of stage four at the top of Rob's Corners. Stage four descended Rob's and Cliff's Corners, and that newer part of the corners, whatever it may be called. At the end of the fourth stage there were beers for the riders. RJ, one of the few Boneshaker volunteers, directed people to the fifth stage, which had been secret up until that point. The fifth and final stage was a short uphill sprint up Tracks From Hell to Edith Lake. It was a beautiful sunny day. The lake was the perfect temperature for a post-ride swim.
Riders were rewarded with refreshing beverages and corn on the cob, which had been generously hiked in and cooked by the skeleton crew of two volunteers. This being an ultra-minimal event all of the timing was done through Strava. Surprisingly most people's times were registered for the appropriate segments. Total times were calculated on the back of paper plates and the winners were awarded crude cardboard medals. All in all the Boneshaker seemed like a successful experiment in no-frills event organization.