There will be no mass start as there was when nearly 300 participants took part in the 2019 Tripleshot Crossfondo, a race through the backcountry of Saanich and Central Saanich. The route changes each year and is only available for race day as it uses private property access not otherwise available. (Black Press Media file photo)

There will be no mass start as there was when nearly 300 participants took part in the 2019 Tripleshot Crossfondo, a race through the backcountry of Saanich and Central Saanich. The route changes each year and is only available for race day as it uses private property access not otherwise available. (Black Press Media file photo)

Cyclists ready for annual secret CrossFondo course

Cyclists will start in 30-second intervals for event

The annual off-road bike race that uses sections of private property to loop through Saanich and surrounding areas is back, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The Tripleshot CrossFondo is on Oct. 18 this year from its usual start place, Vancouver Island Technology Park. Once again there is no map and riders embark on a mystery course following pin flags for the 25- or 45-kilometre route. Riders can race it but it’s seen as an adventure course that people should enjoy, said organizer Lister Farrar of TripleShot.

“Everyone leaves individually in a time trial format of 30-second intervals. We’re calling it the ‘solo edition.’ ”

Family bubbles of kids and parents can go together.

Passing shouldn’t be a problem as almost 80 per cent of the ride is double track. Because of the staged starts, Farrar said there also should not be any bottlenecks, something that has happened at technical crossings early in the course due to the mass start.

READ ALSO: Photos of Tripleshot 2019 CrossFondo

The courses are different each year and kept private until the riders head out. There is a shorter loop – the double-shot course, about 25 kilometres – and a longer loop, the triple-shot, about 45 kilometres. The event crosses about 60 pieces of property, 5o of them private.

“I can’t say exactly what the lengths are because we haven’t ridden the whole thing yet, because the route uses pieces of private property that are only made available that day,” Farrar said.

Some of the route is the same, such as the start through the Camosun College campus.

There are also limitations to prevent pre- and post-race gathering. Usually, participants parks in the VIATeC parking lot but this year TripleShot is asking people to park in the many VIATeC and also Camosun College parking lots.

Participants should ride over to the starting area within a few minutes of the start.

There will be a post-race lunch this year though it will be served to go in a musette, a mesh cotton bag full of food that pro riders pick up mid-race and hang over their neck and shoulder.

There is also a no-touch bike wash station run by volunteers.

READ ALSO: Secret bike race has no map, uses private property in Saanich, Highlands

Aid stations will also look different with no homemade food such as the bacon shooters.

“Volunteers will have PPE, there will be no-touch bottle filling, all food is packaged and volunteers will pass them to riders using tongs,” Farrar said.

Once again the course is a split between off-road trails and technical single-track – a balance between cyclocross and mountain biking.

All proceeds raised go to Tripleshot Youth cycling program and a portion to SIMBS and the Nature Trail Society and other causes.

travis.paterson@saanichnews.com


 

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