Words by P Bloom, images by CURBWZRD
Lillooet sits in a high valley on the far side of the Duffy Lake Road, a serpentine pass that winds north & east of Pemberton. Once you cross the Duffy, the coastal mountain climate gives way to an arid one, populating glacial-cut valleys with scrub, sage, and cedar trees.
The predictably dry weather, and undulating, challenging roads has made this the site of a series of training camps hosted by Vancouver's Mighty Riders/ Pirates cycling team. Pioneered by Pirates patriarch, and hulking powerhouse Shane Savage, these retreats to the high mountains have been used for years to tune pre-season race fitness, to forge team affinity, and explore the backroads of BC.
In the search for fresh blood, a few wildcard invites to the camps are extended. This winter, the Stuckylife and Funeral Cycling crews were foolish enough to accept.