Do you remember the day the trail was covered in leaves? The sky was clear and blue with sections of pink and orange smudged across it’s cheeks and the sun sat low, illuminating the forest with an almost neon glow. It was at times hard to remember where the trail lead, patches of yellow, orange and red replacing the usual brown strip we follow. Gray and black naked trees leaned tall overhead reminding you that soon you will be frozen and buried in snow. A reminder that seemed to serve as incentive to put in that extra pedal, hit corners a bit harder and tap the brakes just a little less. Kill now or don’t kill at all. You listened for the chunder and gnar but all you could hear was the thump of your heart. I can only imagine what the leaves must have looked like fluttering in the air behind you. Disturbed, upset and chasing you down the trail.
You could taste the moisture in the air and feel the chill of fall sting your lungs and bring you back to life with every huff and puff. The laps went by faster but the day dragged on for weeks. At the bottom of each trail you found your truck parked with soft blond hair and bright blue eyes in the driver seat. Such a welcome addition to already charmed conditions. As the sun began to fall behind the hills you sat on your tailgate thinking to yourself and not out loud. Is it really the end? You watched the last lonely leaf fall to the ground and it was confirmed. The hollow months of winter will now come sweeping in.
That day was yesterday, and this morning I am taking a moment to rewind over the season. In a few hours I will have a hernia removal surgery done that effectively ends my riding season. I am pretty scared but from what I understand, the small issue I have is one that is best to clear up as soon as possible. I am not feeling too sad that riding is being cut a few weeks short. I am just really happy that this year went as well as it did. If I could trade a stomach surgery for a season like this, I would do it every year without a question. It has been one hell of a ride.
by Dylan Sherrard on Oct.27, 2010
It was eleven weeks ago Sunday that I broke my leg riding in the bike park. A complete fluke of an accident and I was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Dealing with physical side of not being able to move around, was nothing compared to the emotional side of things. Factor in a few other notable occurrences for 2010, and it adds up to a very hard year.
by Dan Gronross on Oct.17, 2010
Here’s a bunch of links to the Whistler Bike Park trails that I filmed for Ken over at Camp of Champions. It was a big day of riding, lots of laps! In fact, Tippie and I set a record for the most trails shot in one day! Check out a few or all of the GoPro movies here…
by Andrew Baker on Oct.13, 2010
Jordan Gostelli, Max Horner, Nick Geddes, Miranda Miller, Tyler Allison.
I like to keep it interesting for these guys. Make em sweat and even scare them a bit sometimes. The first zone I found to scare them involved going pretty much as fast as they possibly could down a chewed up gravel road way back in the mountains, full throttle drift training. Moto speeds on DH bikes got everyones blood pumping.
by Cory Leclerc on Sep.11, 2010
I know that it’s a bit late, but the past few weeks have been pretty busy with getting the bike all tuned up again after a long 2 weeks of abuse from the bike park. As well as unpacking and packing to head back up to whistler for some end of season training and riding time in the bike park before school starts again. Crankworx 2010 was an awesome time lots of friends lots of amazing riding and even better racing. But definitely taxing on the body, with countless laps in 30 degree plus heat you feel like your done riding even after just a few days. First up was the Garbanzo DH I had raced it in the previous year so I knew what I was in for, this is the toughest race I have yet to do as it in from the very top of the Garbanzo lift all the way down to the village. I came into this race hoping to do fairly well and top 20 was my goal for the event, on the Friday before the event I worked on the course with my coach Mark Bunyan from Mad March Racing. After that I was stoked on the race and couldn’t wait until race day, and was just hoping the weather would hold up for the event. Race day came and the course was running good but very slick due to rain from the previous night, I ended up having a decent race run which I myself was happy with. In the top section I nailed all my lines and pedaled every where I could, even ended up having to throw my goggles due to the rain and mud. Everything was going as planned until I entered Duffman, the wooden bridges on that trail were so slippery and I should have entered there slower I ended up losing my bike off the side of the bridges multiple times. With that behind me I was able to sprint my hardest to the finish and ended up with 20th out of 66 riders.
by Race Face on Aug.30, 2010
As I find myself continually sitting on the couch watching the world go by, I reflect on one of the best years riding thus far.
Do I say that each year? Yep… and it just re-enforces that riding is something that I am going to continue doing once my leg heals. I have about two weeks until I can put weight on it and then I have to get the strength back on it before I can ride again. Time is all I need…
The following are some shots from a 3 day trip I took with Todd Hellinga and Seb Kemp, stopping in Lillooet, Sun Peaks and Silver Star. The trip culminated with NSMB Airprentice in Silver Star.
Going to try and get back on my game to spend the closing weekend in Whistler. I just got wind that Dirt Merchant is being re-worked, and I want to be able to throw some laps in.
by Dan Gronross on Aug.22, 2010
Best Euro adventure yet! Just got back from some bike missioning in the Swiss and French Alps. Raced the Mega (CRAZY!!! Read my story at http://canadiandhgirls.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/megavalanche/), and bike vacationed to Portes de Soleil. Bike vacations are the BEST! No commitments, no schedule, just a strict itinerary of fun. I joined Claire Buchar and the CRC crew to Morzine after the Mega with a rough plan of bike, lake, bike, lake. We killed it – saw the Tour, had epic missions through the mountains, ate some crepes, went on a wicked hike, and had some unbelievable DH laps.
I have to say, the DH’ing in the area is amazing. I don’t even know how many lifts there are to choose from, but the potential for adventure can keep you going for weeks. Take a lift, descend, take another lift, descend, another lift, all the sudden you are in Switzerland, take more lifts, descend some more. It really doesn’t get much better. I’m already planning for next year!
by Katrina Strand on Jul.22, 2010
This past weekend was the first DH race in the Fluidride Cup series, a race series based out of the States but for some reason the first of the five races was held in Whistler. Fine by me! I headed to Whis on Friday for my first day in the park this season, got myself registered for the race, and did a few laps on the course. The race went from Schleyer to Detroit Rock City so it was a fairly technical course, and with the rain we were having it was turning into a pretty wet and slimy ride down.
Lucky for me I enjoy the techy stuff and get my share of rainfall living in North Van (especially this spring!) so wasn’t too out of my element on the course. The more I rode it, the more I loved it! My bike was running like a dream despite a few crashes, and I even managed to get my bike a last minute tune-up on Saturday night after practice – thanks to James Downing at SuspensionWerx!
Race day was full of good energy – the rains held off, the course was drying up, and Tippie was on the microphone. I think I heard more jokes that day than I had so far this year! My race run went well – a few places didn’t go quite as planned but others went better, so all in all I was happy with how it went when I crossed the finish line. I managed to finish first with a time of 3:39 which was awesome! I was also very stoked to share the podium with fellow Canadian DH girl and RaceFace rider Katrina Strand who finished 2nd with a time of 3:45! Seana Wright of Port Alberni came in 3rd with a time of 3:50.
by Danice Uyesugi on Jun.01, 2010
Last weekend was so fantastic I don’t even have any riding pics as no one wanted to stop or get off their bike! It started with a last minute jaunt to Squamish to check out the new Half Nelson trail that Big Red Ted & Co. built. We decided to drop into the 19th Hole, a double diamond steep descent of goodness into the the new trail, which was a virtual playland of fun! Two laps later I was tuckered. The next day we got a phone call from fellow teammate Dan Gronross at a rather offensive 7:20am on a weekend to tell us to get on the SSC ferry. We initially were hesitant as the Rat Race was going down, but thanks to locals Curtis Robinson and Dylan Dunkerton, we were shuttled way out of the way of any crowds and high into the loamy goodness that is Roberts Creek. Fast fun loamloamloamloam……….Dan even kissed a tree at full speed with a bucket lid and now is left with a severe concussion – and he still thinks it was worth it!!!!!!!
(Zoolander posing in our RF gear is the only shot we got – sorry) This weekend Tippie and I are off to Whistler Bike Park for opening weekend, to shred some trail with our fellow freaky freeriders….see ya on the trails!
by Sarah Fenton on May.12, 2010
Hi there! Well, Dan Gronross and I decided to both blog about our last ride together. Dan is one of the biggest bike nerds I know and is always stoked to mtb. The fact he is funny as hell is just a bonus to any ride.
We had no idea what we were in for when we started off to Cypress Mountain on the North Shore. We were on our way to do some laps of Upper Mystery and Mystery Downhill. About 1/3 way up the mountain these dark, ominous badass clowds rolled in slowly and it started to rain a little, then a LOT, with thunder to boot. As we crested the last hill, it started snowing and finally hailing? We collected ourselves at the top, adjusted my Dig Knee pads and started our descent through the hail. It didn’t last long… the weather that is, not the ride.
Within a couple root jumps, white roosty corners and a straightaway the hail turned into the biggest snowflakes I’ve almost ever seen! Monster golfball-size, powder flakes floating down, sideways, and up in lazy swirls of air from our rushing bikes all while monstously LOUD (and close) thunder was booming all around. We, of course, called this phenomenom “Thunderpow”. It was so wicked to be doing the visual Millinium Falcon “lightspeed” through the oversized snow in the woods while the thunder thundered all around. I thought our chainslap noises were timed perfectly to some of the thunder and I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle to myself as we hammered downhill.
The Thunderpow didn’t last for long however as we descended rapidly into new elevations. We eventually rode through 8 different bioshere microclimates…HAIL, THUNDERPOW, POW, SMALL SNOWFLAKES, SLEET, RAIN, DRIZZLE, AND CLEAR for the last hundred feet!
What a wild ride! I mean what an electrifying time! Dan and I highfived knowing we had one of those freaky, magic, mother nature moments that bikes make happen, or least getcha there to experience. ThunderPOW!
by Brett Tippie on Apr.29, 2010