Pedal Progression @ Whistler Bike Park - Canada - Pedal Progression
 

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10 October 2012

Pedal Progression @ Whistler Bike Park – Canada

I’d been waiting all year for my well deserved holiday to what I believe is the best city in the whole wide world – Vancouver! The trip included 3 days in Whistler during the last week of the Mountain Bike season and I wasn’t gonna hold back, topping off what has been a busy but incredible year.

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For those of you who have never been to Whistler, let me set the scene… From Vancouver you drive about 2 hours through the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen. Huge lakes, rock faces and snow capped peaks guide you along highway 99, on route to the biggest mountain bike resort in the world. A right hand turn off the highway and you are in Whistler village, a land buzzing with extreme sport nuts. Veterans of the mountain live side by side with students who have gone out for a season to shred and spend all their money. It’s the home of Crankworx and breeding ground of biking heroes like Brandon Semenuk.

Thanks to my cousin, my girlfriend (Tori) and I stayed in Club Intrawest; a beautiful hotel located at the foot of Blackcomb mountain and just a five minute walk from Whistler Mountain Bike Park. The hotel featured two private courtyards with pools, hot tubs and steam rooms with views of the mountains. The evenings were chilly, getting down to almost zero on one night, so the hot tub was welcome before bed. During the day the temperature soared to around twenty degrees which was impressive for October!

Having taken very little riding kit we relied on rentals from the mountain, and were soon geared up and sat on well maintained (yet clearly ragged) Giant Glory’s. Tori hadn’t ridden an uplift before and had little mountain bike experience prior to the trip so we hired a guide for the morning. His name was Andrew, a Kiwi who had been working out there for a few seasons and knew the mountain like the back of his hand. Andrew was great with Tori, and soon she was riding some green trails as she gained confidence.

“I could feel the smile growing on my face leaving me buzzing by the time I got to the bottom!”

There are many different trails on the mountain to cover different abilities. Most trails are split into sections that allow you to come out of one, and into another as you make your way down the hill. This meant as Tori rode the Greens with Andrew, I was able to switch out into Blacks and Blues, meeting back with them further down. Tori’s skills grew quickly and by the end of the morning she was riding Green and some Blue runs like she’d been doing it for years.

As Whistler had seen no rain for the past two months, the mountain was incredibly dusty and the trails rode super fast. In places there was about a foot of brown powder, which I’d kick out when the bike went sideways through the corners. Better still, the maintenance guys were out repairing braking bumps and ruts ahead of the Winter season. Silky smooth trails beckoned and by the afternoon I was out on my own ripping up the hill as Tori caught some sun.

Trails like ‘Crank It Up’, ‘A-Line’ and ‘Ho Chi Min’ were incredible, addictive, and every time I rode them I could feel the smile growing on my face leaving me buzzing by the time I got to the bottom! The trails are so well kept and the majority of other riders are friendly and accommodating, making socialising easy.

Every mountain biker needs to go to Whistler at least once in their life… That’s all 🙂

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Matt

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Matt