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.

Things get interesting below Brian Lopes.

You really have to line up wide to make this turn-to-gap. Watch that back tire track inside.

Brian walks the plank with style.

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.

Brian flows through these sweet turns high on the hill.

The trail opens up and you go WFO over these rocks and into some woods.

If you go over this stump, you skip a turn and set up perfectly for a few of the sweetest corners you'll ever make. Miles Mead.

Patrick O'Leary style.

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.

Flowy flow dot com.

We were shooting for the book, and Brian asked, "Do you need a chale shot?" I was like, "Sure!" Here it is, skidding rear and brakeless front.

While we set up on this Goats Gully corner, about 20 riders came through, and none of them made it. Brian set up wide and swung the sweet nose wheelie. When he landed he rolled straight to the next corner. Supernice.

Here's a tricky situation on Goats Gully.

The result of a brilliant setup.

The classic Whistler shot, a la Lopes. This is right before you drop into Goats Gully.

Where In Deep crosses a ski run you can do a little wall ride on a slab of granite. Or you can jump from a wedge of granite and land up on the wall. In the first pass Brian just kind of dropped to the wall.

On the second pass Brian let fly. According to Richie Schley, the only other person to try this is Wade Simmons. Go Lopes!

Misc. Lopes action

Fun little hip on Upper Joyride.

Rolling The Manager. This stunt has been closed for a complete rebuild. Too many broken bodies.

Taking the biggest of the Learn-to-Drop drops. I asked him to land 10 feet down. He soared about 30 feet.

Not only does Brian ride bikes well, he also has an awesome wife. Here's Paula (on the right :)

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.

Matt gets off the box in the Joyride park.

Matt and Curtis beavers get off together.

Too much fun on Crabapple jump No. 4.

One part speed plus one part air plus one part scenery gives you this. Crabapple No. 5.

Sweet berm on A-Line.

Monster step-up onto the box.

Hip hippingham in the Joyride park.

Laying it out on the final bikercross jump.

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!

After the jumps on Crabapple, you turn right across these rock slabs. It's fun -- and easy -- to jump them.


Downhill hunks of the month: Beavers and Fitzy.

Crabapple No. 5.

Getting off that infernal box.

Hip action magazine.

More more more!

Mark Fitzsimmons, man of mystery
Well, not really. Just a cool guy, great rider and the team manager for Fox Racing Shox.

Fitzy gets some on that last Crabapple hit.

Wait, what is that flying through the trees? ... It's the new Fox DH fork. Fitzy was pretty hush-hush about that piece of equipment, but let's just say the fork seemed to work really well.

Ritual lo manual. Crabapple rocks.

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. ...

Hitting that tasty line on No Joke.

Mega rollin on Upper National Downhill.

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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