Posted August 2, 2004
Cool trails and people, Whistler style
It's hard to fully communicate Whistler's superbness. Lets try a couple excellent trails and a few cool people.
Put some shoes on that clown
Clown Shoes (double black) has some serious downhill terrain, but the stunts will really get your attention. Long log rides help you find your center, and a big drop at the end makes sure you're well grounded.
On my first day here I followed a valiant crew from Specialized through the entire trail, stopping only to let my rear wheel slip off an elevated turn and to have a cow before the final drop. The thing is big: 10 feet, 12 feet, whatever. I watched everyone go over, then it was my turn. I stood on the boat end of the plank, heart rate around 10,000. I knew how to do it. Heck, I wrote a book about it. Just carry a little speed and keep the front end up until I clear the takeoff. I took a deep breath, rolled toward oblivion and -- pop! -- nailed it. My Demo 9 sucked it up like a champ, and everyone told me it looked perfect, except for my terrified eyeballs. Wow, what a rush, but I'll be satisfied if I never do that again.
This might be No Joke, but it is fun
The easier of the two Garbanzo runs has developed a coarse flow, like any nice singletrack, only for downhill bikes. You flit through the woods, peg aggressive root lines, float over embedded rocks and haul mail on wide open dirt. For me and most of my friends, this is the funnest rail on the mountain. If you pin it, you're looking at around eight minutes of loving.
We all have Original Sin
Of the two Garbanzo routes, this is definitely the most hectic. The first couple turns are deeply bermed and pretty flat, causing you to wonder, "what's with the black diamond sign?" then -- POW! -- you see why this trail is for experts only. This run consists of three trails: rough, rooty Original Sin; steep switchbacked Goats Gully and quick, hypertech In Deep.
Misc. Lopes action
Matt V himself
It's always a pleasure to ride with my NorCal bro' Matt Vujicevich [voo each' uh vich]. Just call him Matt V.
Ladies and gentlemen, Curtis of the Beavers
Curtis Beavers, budding engineer, cool dude and fast cat. He just won semipro 4X in Idaho. Right on!
Mark Fitzsimmons, man of mystery
Well, not really. Just a cool guy, great rider and the team manager for Fox Racing Shox.
Mark Garcia, man of action
Yes, really. Pro fish monger, bad ass backcountry snowboarder and now a downhill convert. On day one he struggled. On day two he got it. On day three he killed it. Too bad he broke his loaner bike. ...
OK, one more:
When a supersteep drop has a nice transition, it makes sense to pop up your front end. This gives you a more controlled flight and landing than if you roll in and let your rear end rotate above you.
That's it for now. To tell you how rad Whistler is would take an entire book with a DVD in the jacket. Hmm ... not such a bad idea. ...
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© 2004 Lee McCormack. All rights reserved.