Posted by: Feet Banks
Guest Blogger: Julia Murray
These days in Whistler the idea of a “shoulder season” is pretty much non-existent. The sunny hotdoggin' ski days are still in full effect up on the mountain but down in the valley many of Whistler’s bike trails are beginning to open up. It’s the best of all worlds and with the Whistler Mountain Bike Park opening day set for May 17, 2014 and Blackcomb still open for spring skiing until the 26th, there's a sweet 10-day stretch when Whistler's multi-sport mentality is really in full swing.
Although I took full advantage of the deep powder days Ullr presented over the last few months, the buzz of bike season has been ever-present (partially due to getting my hands on a beauty new Evil Uprising bike) and now it's finally time to double-eject out of the fat skis and straddle that two-wheeled dirt crusher—riding season is upon us.
Spring is the time to get your mud on, ride the puddles and taste some fresh perfect dirt. On a typical year, the first ride-able trails are Kill Me, Thrill Me, Trash and Lower your Seat. The Zappa trails at Lost Lake are not far behind.
This is also the time of year when local trail builders will get out and add their own personal touch to the vast spider web of stellar trails in Whistler. A lesser-known secret for this spring is a new trail built by one of my neighbours in the Cheakamus Crossing area. It Got Me is always one of the first trails clear of snow and the entrance is just to the right of the Sea To Sky trail.
The best way to enjoy spring dirt in Whistler is just get out and explore. Make sure you get your WORCA pass, grab a trail map at one of the local bike shops or the Whistler Visitor Centre (or check out this trails database) and keep an ear to the ground to find out what local riders are saying. Happy Spring! See you on the dirt.
But what are you training for? Here are a few events and iconic rides to put on this season’s hit list:
1.Top to Bottom Laps
Crud 2 Mud (May 24,2014) and the resurrection of The Great Snow Earth and Water Race (May 18, 2014) at this year's GO Fest are perfect for taking full advantage of all the terrain and conditions Whistler has to offer.
2. Toonie Rides
Starting May 1, 2014 these weekly Toonie Rides bring so many like-minded Whistlerites together for friendly competition, free beer and tasty bites at local hotspots. I never leave a Toonie Ride unsatisfied and it's good incentive to ride hard.
3. Riding Top of the World trail all the way to Dusty's
Top of the World trail starts right off the top from the Peak chair (Elevation: 2,284 meters / 7,494 feet) and is one of those “Bucket List” rides that everyone really should do. It features some incredible stone-work sections laid down by ex-mayor of Whistler Ken Melamed, and yeah, I guess the views are all right too. If you're up for it, extend the ride all the way down through Kyber pass to reward yourself with a famous Dusty's Caesar on the biggest patio in Creekside.
4. The Big Shows
BC Bike Race is a multi-day epic that finishes in Whistler July 5, 2014 and Crankworx is nine days of mountain bike mayhem from August 8-17, 2014. Riding in these events is probably the only thing more fun than spectating, which is still really awesome.
5. Epic Day-Long Rides
This is when you grab some friends, pack a lunch, download the Whistler Trail Map App, pick your route and just go. It’s all about endurance and cramming as much dirt in as you can. Nothing feels better than a mid-summer full day of riding, especially if you’ve been charging hard since mid-April. Get out there!
Julia Murray is a born-and-raised Whistler kid, an Olympian and the creator of Jules Fuel Whistler Superfood. Between skiing and biking she probably rides 250 days a year.
Get more information on biking, skiing, and all sort of other rad stuff at Whistler.com