“Can’t find the Pyramids. Better find the pyramids,” Uncle Knobs kept chanting repetitively to the tune of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man.”
We were concerned ‘bout Knobs. Very concerned. But soon we passed the pyramid shaped mountaintop of Diamondhead Peak outside of Squamish and figured that Knobular might have some special insight this time. We were on the way to Whistler and Knobs apparently knew the way.
Our transfer day served also as a day of needed rest. The next day we were out for a ride of one of Whistler Valley’s classic rides, “River Runs Through It.”
It appeared to be an Alter Ego Day as the ride began with Brian’s more sedate “Uncle Knobular,” Josh as the always aggressive “No Mere Mortal,” and Becky appearing as “Quiver,” always ready for everything with the ability to change bikes and riding styles, not to mention other things, at a moment’s notice. We were fortunate that Quiver’s “Human Rain Delay” sub-persona didn’t appear on this day. Unfortunately, I was notified that this was Alter Ego Day and left the trailer without one. At least that’s what I think I did.
The crew rolled through Cut Yer Bars, a short trail system with technical ups and downs, across the street from the RV Park. With the web of trails in the area, we always seem to take the wrong routes for the climbs. Eventually we will get our routes worked out here so we miss the climbs in this direction.
Past the end of Cut Yer Bars, we used Whistler’s paved valley trails to wind through the neighborhoods, passing by the sunbathers at Alta Lake. It was a warm day and amongst the crowd was a beach volleyball game. It was tempting to pause and watch the game, with its fit, bikini and swimsuit clad participants, until we noticed one player with a very low slung Speedo bouncing around. This was too much. We quickly moved on.
Onto Alta Lake Road, we pedaled past the main entrances to River Runs Through It to Bart’s Dark. We dropped Bart’s Dark, basically an old logging cut with small jumps along the way, to the northern trailhead of the historic portion of River Runs Through It (RRTI). RRTI is a level trail that meanders along the river, crossing it twice. Though there are small natural root and rock drops, most of the features of interest are man made. Skinnies, ladders, teeter-totters are spaced out along the trail giving a feeling of continuous play area. New this year was the replacement of the articulating teeter-totter (the exit ramp was pulled into position on climbing the entrance ramp teeter-totter) with a double teeter-totter (the entrance ramp pivots to a level platform and the exit plank rotates to the ground when the rider is on it). There’s less to go wrong with the new version and it seems stoutly built, so it will likely be around for a while.
After the historic section of RRTI, we continued onto the new section of the trail down to the Alta Lake parking lot and headed on Alta Road to the northern most entrance to the separated segment of RRTI. We climbed and dropped this portion of the trail. Both the newer southernmost and northernmost segments of RRTI are more direct point-to-point trails. They still have a high density of build-ups but they don’t wind around and about like the classic, older section of RRTI.
After our last segment of RRTI, we rolled Bart’s Dark again. With a cruise down Alta Lake Road and on to the valley paths, we returned to Cut Yer Bars. We lingered and played on the granite faces of ‘Bars before crossing the road to the RV Park. After 5+ hours of riding, we were back at the trailer. Nick was waiting for us to return. He was eager for his singletrack adventure, lest we forget that this is his trip after all.
Previous year’s reports: