Remastered Whistler video. What's old is new again as I re-encoded my 2002 Whistler video in higher resolution. Click here.
British Columbia '01
The plan:Three Californians fly to Seattle to meet an ex-Californian and current Washingtonian and four North Carolinians. Everyone would then assemble their bikes, go on a test ride, and then drive to Vancouver to ride with a bunch of locals who were all too happy to show us their local gems.
The rest of the story:
Alaska airlines decides to lose one of the Californian's bags that contained all of his clothes, but other than that small hiccup, things went smoothly. Once we reached Jay's house it was a mad race to get the bikes unpacked for our shakedown ride on nearby Tiger Mountain.
Our test ride gave us an opprotunity to check out the bright cycling duds that the "Happy Fun Racing" guys from North Carolina were sporting. Wow. The short ride on Iverson trail was a good shakedown and we even got a brief glimpse of Mount Ranier.
After our shakedown cruise the next stop was the local Fred Meyer (big ole Walmart-type place, except there were no elderly greeters to heckle you when you entered). The HFR (Happy Fun Racing) guys had rented a cargo van, complete with a cage between the driver and the cargo, and they needed some rear seating. A double camp chair with 8 drink holders was just perfect.
The only problem came when both of our vehicles were pulled over at the border crossing and everyone was cavity searched by Canada's finest. Ok, they didn't really cavity search us but they asked a whole bunch of silly questions and finally dubbed one of the HFR boys "stinky" (after he got too close) and they let us go. We had made it to the promised land, relatively unscathed.
Thursday, a triple Shore day
We are in North Vancouver, minutes from the fabled "North Shore" and it's 10:00 am. Our guides, in the form of Chris, Craig, and Kirk are here and it's sunny. Simply amazing. I start to think that all of the hype about Vancouver being a temeprate rain forest is just bullshit to keep the rest of the World away (I later learned how wrong I was). The plan was to climb like mad almost to the top of Seymour and ride a really new trail named "CBC." So we got serious and started climbing, right behind the local boys.
We soon learned that CBC is Canadian for "really fun, but pretty virginal trail" since there was a bunch of work still being done and the trail was pretty primitive compared to some of the older, and more heavily used, trails that we would ride later in the day.Our guides .
Chris showed us how it was done..
Kirk (not CBC) Eventually we made our way down to Corkscrew and Boogie Man where there were some stunts that ranged from fairly
...to a little bit harder, with more opprotunities for some of the HFR guys to test their trials skills on foreign soil.
There was one very long log ride that was about 8' off of the forest floor, although it's difficult to see that in the pictures that I took). That
was one long log...for me to walk across.
Somewhere along the trail there was this interesting hollowed-out log with a teeter tooter in the middle.
The bottom of Boogie Man was heinous for most of our group and I didn't take any still pictures, just video. After that run we retired to the local pub for some much needed food.
The next order of business, after filling up on beer and pub food, was to head back up Seymour for another run down before we met some folks for the Thursday night ride. We climbed, the internal combustion way, halfway up Seymour and did another drop down Ned's and some other trails that I don't remeber very well. I was being a helmetcam geek so no pics of the still variety were taken. Once we were down we hooked up with the HFR guys and drove over to Fromme to join the Thursday night ride. We were shocked to learn that we would actually have to pedal our bikes up for almost 45 minutes. The horror! We were a big group and rode (walked for some of us...) down Espresso and the bottom of Ladies Only. Here's a pic of a roller coaster on the bottom of Ladie's. It was pretty dark and a ...
monster flash was need to get these pics
Chris got a chance to air out a crater drop at the end of the ride and that capped our first day of the trip (except for the pub crawl once we got back to the hotel)
Friday, a Woodlot adventure.
Friday morning we abandoned our sumptuous suite at The Holiday Inn and drove 45 minutes East to Maple Ridge to meet Chris, Craig and Kirk for a ride at the infamous Woodlot. Since Chris has ridden most everything there, as well as building/maintaining many of the trails, he was the perfect guide. Before I continue I must comment on how weird it is to order a pastry and a drink at a Canadian Starbucks, hand them a US$20 bill, and get CAN$23 in return. International finance is so wacky. Our day started with a "quick blast" up some rocky old logging roads. A while later we started down Woodlot Gold, a trail that Chris and his friend Jamie (probably mangled the spelling) built. The first bit of freakiness was a cool ladder bridge that corscrewed uphill around a stump. Here's a picture of Patrick climbing it .
There were two exits... A steep ladder descent which Derrick rode...
..and a wheelie drop option that Patrick chose
Next on the agenda was a really long elevated ladder bridge that began with a slight descent and climbed when you got to the far side...
from below Our next stop was a curving laddder section that included a long teeter.. ...which eventually led to a steep rock drop that Chris rode with aplomb and that Derrick aired with aplomb (Chris, "That's the first time I've seen someone air that"). Derrick's air session led to a spectacular face/torso/crotch into stem plant into the flat transition (no pics,wait for the video)
Derrick, pre-impact Chris took the trailsy HFR guys down some stunfest while we hike up from the bottom to watch the carnage. We were disappointed (no carnage really) but we got to see some really skinny riding.
The last bit of excitement was an eleveated (like 11+feet high)
teeter-totter that Chris and Jamie rode (higher/steeper than it looks).
Then we retired to a local pub, while Chris' trail dog Jake guarded his bike in the rain
We met at the base of our climb and it seemed to be a bit dry so a few folks, who shall remain nameless decided to hydrate the local shrubery.
Then it was climb, climb, climb, climb. That's the hammerheads from HFR in front of us.
Evetually we reached the summit, and we savored the views.
Squamish had some wet rooty singletrack that was a blast to the point that I didn't take any pictures, I just did the video geek thing. The trailsy folks did hit a spur named "High and Dry" where I was able to snap a few pictures. 90% of the trail was elevated stuntiness.
For some reason, I got some good bail shots of the HFR guys (they both rode it on their second attempt).
left line Chris on a right-hander
Looking down at the monstrous teeter
While we waited for our shuttle vehicles to be retrieved... Patrick got all BMXey...
..and we got to see how the locals shuttle in style. As usual, we hit the local pub. In the case, it happened to have a nice view of The Chief (famous rock climbing area in Squamish).
Sunday. Climbing aboard gondolas at Whistler
Sunday morning we drove a mere hour and a half North to Whistler/Blackcomb to meet Noel, Jim,Ken and company who were up there for Dave and Penny's wedding on Staurday. Heck, Dave and Penny spent their first day of wedded bliss riding Whistler as well. Whistler has a pretty slick setup for lift-assisted riding. Three bikes fit inside their high-speed gondolas and they've created a nice network of trails ranging from easy service roads, to mellow singletrack with minor jumps, to a full-blown bikercross/DS course, to a WC downhill type course. The bikercross course is easily viewed from the base.
I only took a few pictures since the plan was to shoot some festive helemtcam in the afternoon. Here's Noel and Patrick on the GLC drop right near the base.
Unfortunately, I had some bike-related issues towards the end of the day and wasn't able to get any video geek stuff done.
Then we flew home the next day. The end. Finally.
British Columbia '00
October, 2000. My first trip to this mecca of technical riding.
We started our lengthy journey by heading up the parched and very
dry Central Valley.
(evidently someone was burning some Huffys)
After many hours I began to get sleepy and was forced to stay awake at Marc's expense.
I really crack myself up when taking pictures while trying to drive.
I staved off sleepiness for most of the night/morning but eventually had to pull over somewhere near Everett, Washington and sleep for an hour. We crossed the border without any difficulty (they didn't find the 75 lbs. of crack that we brought for Celly) and promptly got stuck in Canadian traffic.
Eventually we got to cross Lion's Gate Bridge.
Three lanes? We were amazed.
We were early and decided to drive to the top of Mount Seymour to
check out the views of Vancouver.
Here's a view from close to JimC's house.
Sharon and Ken met us at Noon and we promptly loaded the bikes for the first of two shuttle runs (when in Rome.........hey, we were tired). At the top we armored-up, dropped seats and headed down Incline to Ned's. The forest was very dense and very beautiful. The trails were very nice as well.
Here are some California boys getting their first taste of micro-stunts:
Ken showed us how the locals handle Ned's:
and then Sharon and Ken both got into the act:
We finished up on Ned's and headed back up for the next run. We started on some thing named Corkscrew.
Here's Ken doing the log ride thing:
...and here's Marc negotiating the approach to the easy part:
and here he is dropping down the backside....
....followed by the other half of the California Boys
As we headed down Corkscrew, Ken nailed a wheelie-drop off of a
....and Sharon shamelessly flaunted her new Slayer
while Marc and the boys found the back of his unlowerable saddle
Then we reached The Boogieman and the going got a bit steeper.
Ken scoping out the best line down this face
and blasting a log-ensconced teeter-totter so quickly that he's
just a blur.
Actually, I forgot the flash. Here's what he looks like when the photographer kind of knows what they are doing.
And here's Ken riding yet another steepish face on Boogieman:
......and Sharon Slaying "The Fouton" for the first time
(I think it was her first time...)
Once we were done with our HIKE we went and grabbed some beer and burgers and then headed over to JimC's house to soil his furniture.
Alice Lake, 1/2 of the Test of Metal course.
Friday morning found a bunch of somewhat cold cyclists gathering at the Alice Lake day use area in Squamish. As soon as the usual formalities were dealt with, Sharon and Lee began to distribute the pain.
The plan was to ride the second half of the infamous Test of Metal course which includes "9 mile hill" and some festive descents known as "The rip" and "The Powerhouse Plunge." We started some rolling middle ring stuff and immediately had a chance to regroup while some kind folks fixed Charlene's bike.
Once the bike repair was complete we spun away towards the base of 9 MIle Hill. We made a brief stop that offered a nice view of where we were headed.
Then we rode and rode and eventually got to look back at the spot that the previous picture was taken.
Then 9 Mile Hill beckoned. Here's Celly and Craig churning up the hill.
A regroup opprotunity presented itself and everyone relaxed in their own special way.
The view was impressive.
We finally finished climbing and ripped down The Rip. Next on the agenda was The Powerhouse Plunge.
Hover over the thumbnail for names.
After the ride we retired to a local pub to watch some Italian chick (who was hopped up on horse steroids) win the Olympic MTB race.
Alice Lake, Made in the Shade, Entrails, et al.
Saturday morning saw a much larger group of riders assemble.
We rode around a bunch of trails but I hardly took any pictures because I was being avideo geek and wearing 6 lbs. of camera on my head all day.
Somewhere slong the way Marcus (who was riding a rigid bike!) got intimate with the ground.
Would you like some toast with that strawberry jam?
We stopped at a bunch of nice overlooks and I was able to take a few pictures.
It was a great day riding great trails. Video will be coming to a web site near you as soon as I edit it.
Sunday morning we drove a bit South and met everyone at a school. We split into a few groups and began out assault on Mount Phlegm.
We climbed and climb and reached an overlook with a view of the school that we started from as well as "The Chief" which apparently is the name for the mondo rock faces on the South side of Squamish.
The first rock face of the day was conquered by Ken, although most people believe that he was possessed by some strange force while dropping down.
Andy performed a nice endo for the camera.
Maureen showed Ken how it's done.
...and one of the Californicators followed suit.
I still can't figure out this pic.
I think it has something to do with wanting a cup.
We made our way to the top of Mount Phlegm where we found an FM tower and some granite faces to ride.
Some California guy (thanks to Lee and Marc for the pics)
Some wheelie-dropping occured:
Then we headed down Dope Slope...........
....to the Banzai Pipeline.
Then we were done with riding and ready for pizza followed by a long drive home.