Secret spots: The multi-sport training ground of triathlete Rachel McBride
Lillooet, BC, has been a favourite for many years
Rachel McBride has had an incredible career as a triathlete, and an inspirational force in professional sports.
Although she competes at the highest levels in triathlon, she loves the bike. It's her best event, and when she's not competing in multi-sport competitions she challenges herself by tackling bike competitions, most recently of the gravel variety.
When training, her favourite spot is Lillooet, BC.
"I'm kind of cautious in saying my favourite place," she says, with a laugh. "But my top place to ride bikes is in Lillooet. It's a small town north of Whistler and Pemberton and it has some of the hardest riding I've ever done in my life."
The town is 240 kilometres from Vancouver, situated on the banks of the Fraser River in the deep gorges of the Coast Mountains. It is quite warm during the summer months, and there are plenty of orchards and farmers markets and wineries for post-training pursuits.
Fun fact: Lillooet is one of the only places in Canada where apricots grow wild from seed.
By way of recommendation, McBride says it is always windy, there no flats, and there is usually a section of gravel you have to go through. So. If that’s your bag.
Oh, and Mt. Brew is the tallest mountain close to town clocking in at some 2,891 metres, representing a quad-busting 2,600 metres of elevation change.
“It’s also absolutely beautiful, an incredible place in the province,” she says. “I would actually like to see more people going there. The town needs tourist support to keep it alive.”
McBride says she goes there to train a few times a year.
“You can basically ride off in four directions,” she says. “Now I’ve started gravel racing and gravel riding, so I’m bringing the gravel bike up there and exploring more off-road sections as well.”
McBride notes that there is also a pool that is open a couple of months during the summer and a big lake that is swimmable with a wetsuit.
“So, it’s pretty much a triathlon training paradise in a lot of ways,” she adds.