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September 13, 2008

Whistler: The Bike Park

Filed under: BC 2007, MTB Travel — anotherheader @ 9:17 pm

The Crew: Scott, Becky, and Dave

So what?  I can pick my nose with my tongue, what's it to you?

So what? I can pick my nose with my tongue, what's it to you?

Scott, Becky, and I headed to the Village for a lift day. Dan and Brian did their own things. The Bike Park day was a chance for us to reinforce the lessons from our class and to get out and enjoy some lift serviced downhill fun. The Whistler Bike Park is considered by many to be the premier lift serviced bike park in the world. It offers all sorts of riding options, as long as you intend to head down hill. The Bike Park is probably most famous for trails like A Line that provide a very fast smooth descent with many big air options along the way. Since our group was a tad bit more comfortable with our wheels within 3 feet of the ground, we focused on drop practice and some of the “cross country” style trails offered in the trail system.

Scott on the 2nd GLC drop, not using the techniques he just learned.

Cross-country, Whistler style, particularly at the bike park, includes trails that twist and descend through the woods with smaller drops and the occasional ladder build-ups. Not much climbing here, but intense, slower speed trails that keep you working on the way down the hill.

One trail, Angry Pirate, we had the chance to ride multiple times. The steep, closely linked turns on the trail make you feel as if you are spiraling down the hill or a toilet bowl, if you aren’t riding so well. Nothing environmentally stable here. But with consistent maintenance, the trails are a lot of fun for the descenders amongst us.

Any landing you walk away from is a good landing.

Any landing you walk away from is a good landing.

At the end the bike trails, near the lifts, there are set of popular, optional drops called the GLC Drops. We had been going down the easiest drop on a regular basis. This drop is nothing more than a roll over to a steep 5 or 6-foot high ladder with a perfect exit. It takes a little commitment at first, but it quickly gets to the point where is doesn’t generate much adrenaline. The next two drops are bigger. They both have relatively flat launches to perfect transitions and run outs. Depending on the launch chosen and the approach, riders get 6 to 12 feet of descending air on these drops. They are very popular, as it seems like 50% of the people coming off the hill use one of the three of the drops (usually the two largest).

Scott, after excelling on the drops in the Bike Class, and with practice drops up the hill, decided to hit the middle GLC drop. Though it was not a textbook example of doing a drop, he was on his feet at the bottom, which is all that really matters in the end (check out the pictures). Rumor has it that miners are searching Scott and Val’s black water tank in the RV for diamonds, though.

Around 5:30 (the lifts stay open until 8), we started to get some raindrops from an ominous sky, so we opted to call it a day. By the time Becky and I made it back to the trailer, it was dumping and we got back soaked to find a wet dog waiting to get in the trailer. Goes to show you what happens on the day that we decide that we do not need to carry a jacket!


Stmpjmpr’s are included within this set:


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