BC Bike Race Launches the First Mega-Volt e-Bike Festival

Press Release / 01.11.2021

The MEGA VOLT –Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.Oct 22-24

“The MEGA VOLT, it’s the first event of it’s kind. It’s an Ebike Event, it’s a race, it’s a ride, basically, we’re out here having fun with friends. There’s a little bit of competition here and there, but it’s not your average race.”

Jesse Melamed – EWS honcho – Rocky Mountain Ambassador

E-MTB bikes are a relatively new category in our sport, and we had a hunch that this new ingredient had the potential to create something amazing.  This past weekend kicked off the first-ever MEGA VOLT festival; a fully-charged experience produced by BC Bike Race and the Cowichan Trails Stewardship Society.

The MEGA VOLT took place in the incredibly beautiful and stunning Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC.  Cowichan Valley takes its name from Quw'utsun, an Indigenous word that means warm land.The first-ever multi-day E-MTB Festival (in North America), was unanimously approved with three thumbs up for the shape, style, camaraderie, and wicked fun trails!!

Rewind to 1976 - it was a small group of people that went out to race klunker bikes down some of the steepest hills in Marin County -  the first ever Repack Downhill.  I wonder if they knew what they were starting? Thank you guys for doing what you believed in!!

“You know what it reminded me of, the first mountain bike races in the late 80’s; low-key, grassroots, lots of fun. No one cares who’s first or who’s last. Tons of fun, and just a group of like-minded people gathering and riding bikes.”

Elladee Brown – Legend – Evil Bikes Ambassador

With a schedule packed full of fun and different flavoured events, the MEGA VOLT was aiming to curate a unique experience. From start to finish this event would provide a platform for E-MTB bikers to gather, test terrain, different conditions, and share those thoughts together in an open forum.

Remember though – this MEGA VOLT (an ode to 80’s metal music) - is all about FUN and good times on bikes, e-bikes!  The format was truly taken to heart by all the participants who spent much of each ride in a large group talking and laughing before the terrain broke the party up.

RESULTS

Stage 1, Friday Afternoon – 13 km - Presented by DLD Financial

The Consistency Trial - Results

-       3 laps with the least differential being the winner.

The day started out pretty laid back.  With all of the beautiful fall colours and the perfect dirt conditions some people were doing pre-laps, while others were simply exploring the scenery of Maple Mountain.  As the start time approached everyone was jazzed to get going.  This first event was different, and a bit of an adjustment for those with a history of racing.  However, after the super fun Consistency Trial was complete, many groups headed up for another casual lap, taking the opportunity to explore other trails, to pre-ride some of the upcoming courses, and to explore the lay of this amazing land.  The people wanted more, and the weekend was going to deliver. 

Stage 2, Saturday Morning  - 16km – Presented by BC Ferries

The Tech-gnar Challenge - Results

A mini-epic on the classic loop of Maple Syrup on Maple Mountain.

Stage 3, Saturday Afternoon – 13km –Presented by Harbour Air

The Flowmaster3000  - Results

Tony's Arbutus Ridge with a full rip on the new Phloem trail, on Maple Mountain

Stage 4, Saturday Afternoon –5km – Presented by Fox and Race Face

RedBull Downtime - Results

- A Race within a Race on the Phloem section within the afternoon route.

Stage 5, Sunday Morning – 22km –Presented by Rocky Mountain

The Poker Challenge

(No timing today, just cards). First Lap gets a hand dealt, 5 cards. Second Lap gets a Draw of 1-3 cards - simple right?

With the weather looming large and in charge, a storm was brewing on the west coast of Canada and it looked to be a doozy.  The rain came, but certainly didn’t dampen the athletes’ spirits on this day. Stage 5, the Social Ride, would take place on Tzouhalem Mountain which is just across the valley from the previous two days of Maple Mountain. Known for its perfect symbiosis of both jank& flow, the “Tzoo” never disappoints.

A pile of riding, beer, charging, and amazing singletrack was all wrapped up with a very casual and enjoyable last day. The storm intermittently thrashed and threw furious waves of torrential rain, but everything came out Aces.

The bikes are the best they’ve ever been, the trails are the best they’ve ever been.  This truly is the golden age of mountain biking.

~ Andreas Hestler, Olympian, Father, Co-Owner of BC Bike Race

There’s something special about the bikes these days.  What’s more, the terrain and trails we have access to today are a far cry from those early Repack DH days and the bikes they rode. We now have trail builders and local organizations that are creating amazing networks of trail that the early pioneers of our sport could never have dreamed of.  The smiles seen this weekend speak volumes to the gratitude we all share, and the appreciation for all the opportunities that lay before us.  This truly is the golden age of mountain biking.

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