December 30, 2010

2011 Goals - How About the Test of Metal?

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.

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