|Julie Miller and Ryan Letchford after finishing the 2005 Test of Metal|
|Gary Baker (left) rides at Elfin Lakes near Squamish|
|Twelve hundred metres of climbing - are you ready?|
Mountain bikers show their mettle
Test of Metal, a hardcore 67-km race in Squamish, draws hundreds of diehard riders
By Margreet Dietz, Vancouver Sun December 30, 2010
If you're looking for a fitness goal for 2011, you may want to grab the bull by the horns on New Year's Day by signing up for the Test of Metal, an epic 67-kilo-metre mountain bike race held in Squamish.
The 16th edition of the race, set for June 18, is popular with elite mountain bikers such as two-time Olympian Geoff Kabush, as well as novice riders keen to test their resolve on trails that include Nine-Mile Hill and the Powerhouse Plunge.
For Julie Miller and Ryan Letchford, The Test, which has riders climb more than 1,200 metres and features 35 kilometres of single-track, offered more than a personal challenge -- it also brought them together as a couple.
When Miller and Letchford met around 2002, sparks flew between them. But before long, Miller realized Letchford was after a girlfriend who could keep up with his active lifestyle.
"He put me through your typical girlfriend tests before he could decide I was worthy of more than three dates," says Miller, 36.