Most mountain bikers dream of summer riding but fall is, no-so-secretly, the best time of year to ride. As the sun wanes and moisture returns, dusty trails are replaced by hero dirt. Which makes fall the perfect time to test your fitness and skills with some racing.
With 2021’s significantly re-aligned calendar, there are plenty of excellent opportunities to race mountain bikes this fall, too. From stage races to enduros and cross country national championships, here’s six races still on the Canadian domestic calendar if you’re looking for a challenge this fall.
2021 BC Bike Race – Penticton, B.C.
This is the rare year that you can actually register for BCBR. With travel restrictions making it more difficult for international travellers, the classic stage race that normally sells out within hours and a year in advance actually has spaces open. Add a brand new Okanagan location and you access have an all-new BCBR experience. There’s some big Canadian names signed up, so this is your chance to race against some of Canada’s fastest, or just enjoy a selection of B.C.’s best trails at your own pace. BCBR 2021 runs from Oct. 2-8.
If you want to add to your adventure, double up and tack on the inaugural BCBR Gravel the week before as a warm up.
2021 Canadian XCO national championships – Baie-St.-Paul, Que.
It’s time to make use of all that Zwift fitness and line up for a race. Canadian XCO national championships are running for the first time since 2019 and at a classic Canada Cup venue. Line up to chase the maple leaf against the country’s fastest, or just line up to race because it’s fun.
2021 Canadian XCO national championships run from September 24-26 in Baie-St.-Paul, Que.
Marin WildSide Enduro – Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que.
If you prefer your climbing at a more relaxed pace but still want to race in La Belle Province, Marin WildSide Enduro has just the thing for you. The series’ season finale enduro race will be held on the hallowed slopes of Mont-Sainte-Anne on October 3, 2021. Full info at Marin WildSide.
Norco Canadian Enduro Series: Whistler, B.C. (Canadian enduro national championships)
NCES is back and, after a successful season debut at Panorama, gearing up for its shortened season. The series’ second event, at Sun Peaks Resort outside Kamloops, is, unfortunately, cancelled. So if you want to race enduro in B.C. this fall, NCES whistler debut could be your last opportunity. The Whistler event is also Canadian enduro national championships, so if you’re going to race one race this year, might as well race for the maple leaf jersey, right? Event info.
Granny Enduro – Garnaska Forest, Ont.
Enduro racing is back in Ontario! Granny Enduro brings the gravity-focused format’s mix of adventure and racing to the GTA on October 3rd. There’s two distances so you can dip your toes in or jump in with both feet. Event info.
St. John’s Enduro Series #3 – East White Hills, St. John’s, N.L.
SJES is gearing up its season finale at home in St. John’s East White Hills trail network. The area was recently hit by Hurricane Larry, but organizers are already working to clear the course so they can welcome racers on Sept. 26. Event info.
More about the St. John’s Enduro Series.