Winning the 2013 Test of Metal turned out to be a direct route to an adventure in the Far East for Coquitlam’s Sandra Walter.
Walter won this year’s Test in three hours and 21 seconds and the win, combined with a victory at a Canada Cup race in Sudbury, Ont., helped get her name pulled in the draw for an entry to the gruelling 268-kilometre Tour of the Dragon race in Bhutan.
This year’s edition of the race occurred on Sept. 7 and Walter became the second woman to ever complete the race.
“Epic doesn’t even begin to describe the Tour of the Dragon,” said Walter, who completed the race in 13 hours. “I’ve never done anything like it, because there isn’t anything else like it.”
The 40 competitors started at 2 a.m. in the town of Bumthang and encountered heavy rain and thick fog on the twisting, narrow roads as they made their way from Bumthang to the capital city, Thimphu.
Riders were treated to views of mountains, temples and forests along the way and Walter said it was a race she won’t soon forget.
“It was amazing,” Walter said. “It was definitely one of the most challenging days I’ve ever experienced on a bicycle, but it was also one of the most memorable. I really treated it as a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Even though I was racing, I tried to soak up everything. I was really lucky to have a great support crew and lots of people who helped me prepare for this crazy adventure. Now that I look back on it, I can hardly believe it happened.”
For more information on the event, visit www.tourofthedragon.com.