Whistler Report #8

Photos Todd Hellinga
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I love it when a good plan doesn’t come to fruition. I was supposed to meet up with Mr. Kemp for some cruising laps in the bike park last night, but he got hung up and I ended up spending a great evening riding solo on the mountain.

It’s been a crazy-busy riding season so far and I realized that I really haven’t done that in a while. It was great to ride what I wanted and do a bunch of non-stop laps. As much fun as it is to bang out hot laps with friends and rip mega trains down Dirt Merchant and A-Line with a big group, there’s something special about just going out by yourself and riding at your own pace.

The dirt was amazingly tacky, and while it wasn’t warm out by any stretch, it was just the right temperature to be warm at the bottom and cooling off just as you stepped off the Fitz Chair. The sun even poked its head out a couple of times for some of that sweet evening golden hour light that we all love! My recommendation for the week: be selfish once in a while, do some laps by yourself, and in the words of Dylan Wolsky, “I do what I waaaaaannt!”

Mathieu Hebert won last weeks Phat Wednesday Masters category, this is him at this weeks version on Crabapple turns.

PumpTrack Tuesdays have become a pretty popular event. Deep in the woods of Whistler, the Chromag tribe gathers to spin laps, pack sandy dirt into berms and rollers, and create new lines. Last week saw a massive turnout for many a laugh, some crashing, and lots of fun.

Jinya Nishiwaki is spending his second season here in Whistler, and put together a great video of last week’s activities. Jin rigged up a sweet homemade cable cam for his little point-and-shoot camera and captured some of the action. Check it out below. And if you aren’t familiar with Jin’s riding, check out his promo vid from last season. Yes, he’s on a hardtail, and yes, he kills it! Nice work on the PTT vid, Jin!

 

Last Wednesday was the first Phat race of the season, and in the standard tradition, B-Line was the trail. As per tradition, there was a $5 chainless side race which in standard tradition was absolutely dominated by none other than Adam Billinghurst. He smashed all comers with a 3:27.60. Adam beat second place by nearly 6.5 seconds and actually came in 2nd overall (including chained riders). From now on I think it’s safe to say that the trail should be called B(illinghurst)-Line!

Sarah Leishman put over 2 seconds on second in the ladies chainless category to take the win.

In the overall categories, we had Luana Aven taking the Junior Female and Max Horner won the Junior Male. In the Female category, Sarah took the overall, even sans chain, edging out Brook Baker and Rebecca McQueen. Great to see 32 ladies out racing! For the Male category it was junior Tyler Allsion laying done a smoking fast 3:24.72, the aforementioned Adam Billinghurst in second, and Adam Mantle(lope) bounding his way into 3rd.

Finally, the jam packed masters 30+ gang saw two new comers to the category take first and second. Mathieu Hebert is no stranger to the podium at Phat Wednesdays, but this year he decided to finally join us old guys (he is 33). After a winter that saw him seriously injured while snowboarding, it appears he’s back on form, putting down a 3:31.16.

nsmb’s favourite forum whipping boy Seb “Mr. Skid More” Kemp came in second, and Bart Brown was third. Yours truly was 4th and should’ve pushed it a bit harder apparently!

We had 215 racers out and turned away another 50ish – what a start to the season! Thanks to Seb Fremont, his staff, and all their great vollies for another awesome event! On June 30, we slide over to something distinctly more technical, and next week we see the first PhaSt Wednesday of the year. Look for something fast and gnarly!

A sneak peak at the genius of Adam Billinghurst, Andrew Gunn, and Kenny Smith lying in wait atop the boneyard.

There continues to be lots of maintenance taking place in the park, what with the perfect semi-wet weather allowing the trail crew to fill in holes and what not. Like last week, lots of little things happening all over the place. The news of the week though definitely is the amazing pumptrack that Adam Billinghurst and crew have built at the top of the boneyard. WOW is about the only thing I can say!

While I haven’t seen any official confirmation, the word on the street is that an invite-only comp will take place during Crankworx, and in my opinion, it’s going to be amazing to watch! No word yet from the powers that be, but I know a lot of people are hoping this really happens because it will be mega fun!

The wet start to summer has left things really green, Zander Geddes through the grass on Crabapple Turns.

With only a week to go before the 4 Queens starts, there’s been a noticeable lack of talk about it in the Valley – at least compared to last year’s non-stop chatter leading up to the event. For me, the reality of what we’re facing is finally setting in. Saturday and Sunday are both going to take a lot of people by surprise I think. But a bit of fear is healthy, and the challenge of a few hard rides only adds to the the camaraderie and sense of achievement at the end.

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure way out of town, pictures and reports have been popping up on the Facebook pages of the Bike Co. and SouthChilcotin.ca that show the wildflowers are out at Spruce Lake. I’ve seen pics of some griz too, so if you do go, make lots of noise and stay close with your group. Dale Douglas of Tyax Air is also flying the floatplane to Spruce so get in touch with him for an adventure you won’t soon forget. Word is that Warner Lake is close to being ready, so looks like full speed ahead up there.

Stacy Kohut always shreds, and tonight was no different, roosting out a corner on Crabapple turns.

Well, it’s our fine nations birthday today (July 1 is Canada Day – Ed.), and I’m busting out of town to check out Sun Peaks and Silver Star with Mr. Gronross in a racked-out Scion XB. Can’t wait to see all the rippers throw down at the AIRprentice this weekend at Silver Star. Regular readers of this column can probably guess who I’m cheering for. Nothing personal against the other competitors, but go Paulo! Don’t worry I’m not a judge, just photo documenter.

I hope you all enjoy your long weekend, now get out there and shred it up!

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Make you want to head to Whistler? Well, be sure you talk about it first on the boards before you go.

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