Scion Whistler Report #19

Photos Sarah McQueen

Sometimes it’s good to just cruise down the valley trail and soak up the world. A late september summer day this past Tuesday was all it took to snap me out of a few days of slackardness that had me feeling tense. I guess I haven’t handling the transition to fall as well as I would have hoped, but to go from 30C+ to cold and rainy is always a jolt to the system. And after a tough Westside Wheel Up in the wet, I guess it’s easy to look for excuses to chill out! So I went over to check out the Alta Vista pumptrack as it had been months since I’d been over there. All I can say is, nice work! Looks like someone has been hard at it and the track was in amazing condition. Berms have been beefed up, new lines built, and lots of golden dirt sifted out and capped over everything. I thought it would take me a while to get back up to speed, but I was ripping out fun combo laps from the get go. I love all the different line options now. Thanks to those that have been busy down there, much appreciated!

whistler report 18 scion, whistler bike park, 2012, 2011  Westside Wheel Up, Carl Straw amongst the skeletons in the forest.

Last Thrusday evening featured the season’s final toonie race, and while it featured a hike-a-bike relatively few (read, no-one) appreciated, the descent of Golden Boner, Roam In the Loam, and Magic Park were pretty fun. It was also nice to have the final apres indoors at the Dubhlin Gate. Let’s face it, it’s fall and it’s getting dark early and not staying warm out, so it was nice to be able to send off the season with everyone inside. Thanks to all of this years sponsors, the whole team at WORCA, and last but not least, all the riders who make these events so much fun.

whistler report 18 scion, whistler bike park, 2012, 2011   Junior Mahon Lamont leads Al Rumble into Get Over It.

Saturday dawned overcast with dark clouds threatening, and on my ride down to the sign in of the Westside Wheel Up it started to rain a bit. It had rained Friday night, and technical riding is one of my favourite things. 120+ of us rolled out along Millar Creek trail from Function. At the head of the field the pre-race “Gentlemen’s Start” agreement never really materialized on the single lane trail as from the start Neil Kindree set out to prove a point. The Dingo (Matt Ryan) was really the only one who had the juice to stick with him and kept it close through the end. Neil sat up and waited for Matt after a crash on a slick bridge in River Runs Through It, and they rolled into the finish straight together. Ryan used a bit of local knowledge and poured on the power to out sprint Neil to the line taking his 6th straight Wheel Up victory. For the ladies Brandi Heisterman continued her mastery of the Westside this year taking the victory. The lensestress herself, Robin O’Neill took second. I rode with Robin for about half the race until I broke my derailleur hanger on the first part of River, including falling on her trying to pass on Get Over It (so sorry Robin!). She was slaying the super hard slippery roots of River out by Emerald Forest. So awesome to watch! Katrina Strand rounded out the top 3. For the juniors it was Mahon Lamont with the 5+ minute win over Felix Burke. These youngin’s are getting fast!

whistler report 18 scion, whistler bike park, 2012, 2011   Yours truly squeezing between two tight trees.

The after party was standard Wheel Up affair with multiple kegs, and a seemingly endless bbq! Over $6000 in prizes was handed out, in addition to the Ski Pass that went to Louise Rumble. She was suitably stoked! Needless to say, it was dark when we left, and another year in the books. Thanks to Phil Chew and his amazing team for putting together another great event. It’s definitely a highlight of the calender and I can’t wait till next year to try and redeem myself!

The Bike Park
The end of extended play has limited my trips to the bikepark in the past couple of weeks, especially with things like cross country races on weekends and rainy days where going to the hotsprings seems like a better option. Although that being said, Facebook was atwitter about ‘epic hero conditions’ that seemed to be grabbing the attention of those not stuck in the office earlier this week. I’m hearing that there’s still lots of trail work taking place, with some good patch work happening. Sadly the past couple of days has seen some steady rain, so I’d imagine the conditions are less than hero dirt at this point. And as of this morning (Thursday) it’s been raining since noon yesterday, and fairly steadily at that. This is the season where the mettle of the trailcrew is definitely tested with cold and wet days. Thanks team!

whistler report 18 scion, whistler bike park, 2012, 2011   Mike Watton on a bridge on the first section of River Runs Through It.

Finally, the WORCA annual general meeting happens next Thursday the 29th at Legends in Creekside. Directors will be giving their year end reports, some discussions may take place regarding a couple issues that parties are interested in and directions they’d like to see the club take. I’ve also been told that there will be a number of Board positions becoming vacant, including Trails, where after more than a few years the awesome Jerome David is stepping down. This is a great way to become involved in one of the largest, and likely most active, mountain bike clubs on the planet. We went over 1600 members this year and I believe there are many more exciting things to come in the future for WORCA. It just takes a great group of people with vision and passion. Even if you don’t want to join the board, come out and get a deeper understanding of all of our programs and ask questions about what we do and how we do it. Hope to see you out.

whistler report 18 scion, whistler bike park, 2012, 2011   Katrina Strand gets a smile in between the tough sections on River, and it was tough riding!

Well, we’re off on our annual Chilcotin’s mega-trip Saturday for 4 days of riding with a huge group of friends. Hopefully the forecasted rain changes to sun and we’ll get lots of rad rides in, and if it doesn’t, well I could use some hottub time and reading anyway!

Is a trip to Whistler the way to bust the end of summer blues? Any park updates for us? Pitch them this way…

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