Quadra CycloQuest MAYhem edition

Cross is here! That means we’ve all crawled out of whatever respective secondary pastimes we while away the other 8 months of the year doing – be that winning national championships and sprinting for international podiums, racing at insane elevations and wandering in the bush, or part time modelling and fixing bikes. Or, you know, just riding bikes for fun. Whatever it was, it’s allllllll pushed to the side now, so we can ride bikes around in the mud with friends. Staples wasn’t wrong, it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Somewhere in the dreary expanse of non-cyclocross monotony there was one, brilliantly glowing weekend of glory. Or mayhem. Mostly mayhem.

“You are not almost there” – Quadra style motivation

Quadra CycloQuest MAYhem Edition

In a rare concession to logic, the annual Quadra New Years Eve Boar Hunt was rescheduled to a slightly less snowy month. May. (Which some of us writing this post just realized might be why it was called “MAYhem edition,” even with the helpful capitalization.)

At first, our shivering fingers rejoiced. As the plans for Quadra Cycloquest Mayhem emerged, it became clear that the change of date was made more to allow for further mayhem and more people and not out of any sense of sympathy for our frozen digits. That was followed by the equally jarring realization that the “healing” warmth of Sandor’s moonshine would burn just as bright under a hot summer sun.

This was going to be an adventure.

“The Boar” leading the way north

As you would expect from the inclusive humans of Naked Bicycles, Study Build, and Jack Mar’s Island Cycle (and the expansive community of volunteers and businesses that helped support the expanded version of this warped vision of fun) the format of the Mayhem allowed each rider to decide just how much adventure they wanted, then band together with similarly-minded souls. Pedal mashing, snack munching, or both.

Volunteers at registration, the Quadra Island Cycling Coalition and Hornby Energy Bar’s help everyone through the day

The Boar(s) of Mayhem charted out a map of Quadra’s best – and least – known scenic vistas, coffee shops, lung-busting gravel roads, chocolatiers, and beaches. Each was assigned a point value, many were assigned bonus points, and riders had until 5 PM to collect as many points as possible. Or, you know, to enjoy the island at whatever pace they chose.

Jack and Sam lay out the laws of the (is)land

After a few brief words from Sam and Jack, a semi-casual paced lead out of the massive herd of marauders and Mayhem was fully unleashed. Brave souls quickly set out for the steep gravel grades of Quadra Island’s northern reaches. More sane groups racked up bonus points through caffeine, chocolate, Sasquatches, lighthouses, slices of pizza and stretches of single track closer to cellphone service.

What happened between the lead out and the finish line patio party varied widely. Groups formed and re-formed as riders crossed paths during the day. Hot chocolate, lemonade from remote roadside stands, beer snacks and other, stronger fluids were consumed. The common thread, told over a great feast at the Heriot Bay Inn, was a full day of adventure and friends, new or old. There was route finding, low-key 4.8c cliff ascents (rated based on my fear of heights and lack of climbing ability), old bridges, other oddities and much Instagramming.

Checkpoint success!

Off-season training thus complete – months ahead of schedule – those of us not lucky enough to live on Quadra Island (or that island) choked up the BC Ferry terminal for the return sailing home. A solid couple months of recovery later, we’re ready for Cross on the Rock!