Inside Outerbike Whistler: 4 days, A Zillion Bikes
HEADS UP BIKE NERDS! Outerbike has rebranded to ThinkBike Whistler and it’s happening June 1-4 in 2017. You can find event info and registration links for ThinkBike Whistler here.
Is the ‘need for speed’ is more fun with a top quality bike? Outerbike Whistler lets you see for yourself.
Here’s what I know about mountain bikes: they have two wheels, give you superpowers, are incredibly fun to ride, and the best ones cost more than my car.
And they’re worth it, obviously. Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports and the proof is as easy as watching riders come out of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park every day. It’s smiles for miles and more high-fives per square foot than probably anywhere else in North America.
But the idea of dropping two month’s salary (or more) to buy one of those fancy expensive bicycles can be pretty daunting. Enter Outerbike, a consumer-oriented bike demo festival that puts all the best bikes within spitting distance (almost) of Whistler’s bike park and trails and gives you four days to try ‘em all.
LEFT: Outerbike’s Ashley Korenblat. RIGHT: Checking out some of the bikes at Outerbike Moab WHIT RICHARSON PHOTO
“Lots of bike manufacturers have fleets of demo bikes that aren’t normally all in one place and available to the public,” says Ashley Korenblat, co-founder of Outerbike. “Your average bike shop might have one or two of these bikes to test ride but it might not be in your size and you’d only get to ride it in the parking lot. With Outerbike, you get to take the right bike for a real ride and find what is best for you.”
Outerbike has run successful demo events for the past six years in Moab, Utah but this will be Whistler’s first go at it. Registration includes breakfasts, bike park access, prizes, movies and access to all the bikes you can ride within the 4-day event. Ashley says she is looking forward to bringing it to the bike culture (and exceptional riding) Whistler is known for.
Gravity-fed fun in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
“It’s so beautiful up there,” Ashley says. “My first time in Whistler I had just had a baby and thought I would do a lap or two then come back and my husband could go ride while I hung out with my son…And I came back from the bike park and said ‘we’re getting a babysitter.’”
What separates Outerbike from many other bike events is that there are no contests or death defying stunts and races. It’s an event for regular people who are passionate about cycling and just want to have fun riding together and trying out the best bikes on the market. Participants in the 4-day event also receive a post-ride beer at après, so it’s entirely possible Outerbikers will leave with new riding pals alongside their new knowledge and good times.
Pedal power on some of Whistler’s XC trails.
“It’s for all levels of riders,” Ashley explains. “It’s a chance to find out first-hand what all the latest tech does so you can invest in the right bike for you instead of just making a guess and placing an order or buying a bike because your buddy said it was awesome.”
Ashely recommends a number of shorter rides, especially the first few days of the event. “It’s better to switch bikes as much as possible,” she says. “You learn more that way. On the last day maybe take your favourite out for a longer ride.”
Outerbike attendees are encouraged to bring their own pedals and there are also daily guided rides where Whistler locals will show off some of the valley’s best trails. “It’s all very open and relaxed,” Ashley explains. “Anyone is welcome, you don’t have to know about your derailleur or your fork and we will find you some pedals if you don’t have your own. It’s all about getting people on these incredible bikes. Riding one will make a difference, it will change your life and you will see what all the fuss is about.”
Outerbike Whistler takes place June 4-7, 2015 and you can find out how to register, get more info and book accommodations at Whistler.com
Outerbike Whistler runs June 4-7, 2015.