Hero Dirt: Early Season Biking in Whistler
Brad Holmes is a photographer and mountain biker who’s been riding and shooting in the Whistler area for the past decade. The Insider asked him to dish up the goods on what makes springtime biking in Whistler so awesome and this is what he came back with:
Spring is like breathing a sigh of relief for a lot of Whistler locals. Lots of people live here for the winter sports but so many of our souls also lie with <ahref=”/bike/” target=”_blank”>mountain biking and now the days are longer, the snow is melting and the stoke is in the air.
Brad ripping Kill Me, Thrill Me. May 2, 2013. Self Portrait
As the snow disappears from the valley it uncovers the best dirt you will ride all year. Whether it’s moist, packed and solid or the soft organic loam from last years decomposed plant life, it’s all shred-able and will make you feel superhuman—true springtime Hero Dirt.
While the higher alpine riding is still a few weeks off spring means the trails in the valley will see some of their best conditions of the year, particularly those on exposed or south-facing aspects that see a lot of sun like Kill Me, Thrill Me or Billy Epic.
With less bike traffic this time of year you can really open it up on the more popular sections of trail that tend to get busy once the summer rush arrives. Spring is the best time to really go for it on stuff like The Zappa Trails (part of the Crankworx Enduro, hint hint).
Just like you do in your garden, spring is also the time to get out and dig while the ground is still workable. Trails, jumps, pump tracks: they all need love and if you aren’t regularly picking up a shovel you can keep that trail karma alive by supporting local bike clubs and buying a beer for any trail builders you run into. This is the time of year in Whistler when most of the work gets done.
Whistler really does have the best and most extensive mountain bike trail network on the planet. That, combined with a deep local talent pool and endless photographic backdrops makes it ideal for shooting photos but springtime is also when I like to go shred without worrying about an expensive camera on my back.
So dig in and hang on. Go shred a few fresh corners of your own while the Hero Dirt lasts.
Whistler Bike season only gets better from here on in as the snow melts and the alpine trails emerge. Here’s Brad ripping Whistler’s Top of the World trail last summer. PHOTO:Andrew Danyluk.