Posted by: Feet Banks
Guest Blogger: Seb Kemp
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is an incredibly awesome place to ride but it can also require a strong presence of mind to ensure safety. The best way to stay safe is to ride responsibly and stay on point. Here are five tips to avoid becoming a nuisance/danger to yourself and others so everyone can enjoy long days shredding the park together:
1. Don’t Stand on Takeoffs or Landings
It’s totally understandable to want to get a good look at obstacles, jumps and drops before you ride them– that’s sensible and safe. However, be careful how you do this. Be aware of your surroundings and find the best place to stop, lay your bike and stand. Remember that this is the Bike Park not your own personal trails, chances are there is another rider (or many riders) coming right behind you, with speed. Share and be aware.
2. No Stopping in the Middle of the Trail
As with #1, always be aware there are other people on the trails, all the trails. Unlike on ski runs, where skiers and boarders have to give way to those below them, bike trails are much narrower and don’t give riders much room to avoid one another. Blocking or standing on a trail is an accident waiting to happen. Always find a safe place with plenty of room to pull over.
3. Master Going Medium Before You Start Going Big
Sure, you want to progress your riding and elevate your game but do it slowly and carefully. Work your way up to those all those bigger drops, larger jumps, and more technical trail features. Don’t think that because something is in plain sight of spectators or because it’s “last run of the day” that you’ll suddenly magically be graced with the skills to successfully and safely complete that feature. Start on similar yet smaller features first, get a lesson, or just take your time.
4. Be Prepared
Is your bike in good running order? Nothing brings a biking holiday to crashing halt like a mechanical malfunction. Before leaving home make sure your bike has been serviced by a competent mechanic. Whistler’s bike shops are well-stocked but if you have exotic equipment they may not have replacements in stock, bring your own. Inspect, clean and service your bike every night while you are in Whistler. Remember the P’s – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Spotting potential problems before they escalate can mean more time ripping and enjoying the rides.
5. Obey Trail Signs
If it says it is closed then it is closed to YOU. Yes, the trail crew is a secret troupe of magical fairies that flit around the forest repairing and building trails while you sleep but sometimes they need to close a trail during the day to give it a little more pixie dust than usual. If you see a closed sign then don’t disrupt the magic.
Also, if a sign says ‘Drop’, ‘Obstacle’, ‘Black Diamond’ or simply ‘Beware’ then pay attention. Signs, signs everywhere are signs – but they all have a very specific job. Read and take heed.
6. Most Importantly…
Have fun. Ride hard. Play safe.