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Squamish's Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls returns on Saturday

Beloved and eccentric mountain biking tour raises funds for Squamish SAR.

What started as an alcohol-fuelled one-off dare is turning 21 and is all grown up — well, sort of. 

The annual Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls (BVOD) is back this Saturday, Aug. 13.

The main trails included in this fun, old-school mountain bike race are: Labour of Love, Cougar Ridge, 5-Point South and Meet Your Maker. 

For organizer Bryan Raiser, it is "absolutely bonkers" that the event, a fundraiser for Squamish SAR, has lasted as long as it has. 

"We've raised over $25,000 for search and rescue, and the race has seen the evolution, certainly of Squamish and mountain biking — it was certainly a different town when we started this," Raiser told The Squamish Chief. 

One unique aspect of this race is that dolls are attached to trees and are used as trail markers and welcome ambassadors. 

"I like dressing up dolls and putting them in trees and apparently, other people do too, because they're not all mine," said Raiser, with a chuckle. 

He said typically, the race sees about 50 to 70 riders turn up. 

This year, participants get Test of Metal shirts. That iconic 67-kilometre mountain biking race ended in 2016, its 21st year. 

Thus, the t-shirt giveaway pays homage to both the old race and the 21st year of the BVOD. 

The idea of giving BVOD racers a shirt from the Test came when long-time former Squamish resident and one of the founders of The Test of Medal, Cliff Miller, was moving away from Squamish.

"I said, 'You can't leave without giving me a Test of Metal shirt," Raiser recalled. 

Miller set up a meeting time and asked, "Do you still have a truck?"

"In true Cliff fashion, I pull up there, and there are seven Rubbermaids full of Test of Metal stuff. And I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is amazing."

Thus, everyone riding will don a "vintage" Test shirt. 

Noting that many legends like Miller are leaving or have left town, Raiser confirmed he isn't going anywhere. 

"I ain't going nowhere. I worked way too hard on this clown show that is Squamish not to see where it goes. That's for sure," he joked.

Raiser's things to know about the tour: 

1. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The ride starts at 11 a.m. at the Cherry Drive Trailhead. 

2. Cost is a $60 minimum donation to Squamish Search and Rescue — bring online proof or cash.

3. You must be a Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association member. There will be a one-day SORCA member option, but Raiser encouraged riders to sign up for a full membership. 

4. The Nesters Market Fruit Booth is back with a feed station. 

5. Bring water to last the 3.5-hour ride. 

6. There is a post-race raffle that requires cash. 

7. A camping chair may come in handy for the party after the race (location to be announced at race).

Go to BVOD - Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls on Facebook for more info. 

**Please note, this story has been corrected to call it a tour, not a race.

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