|Whistler 2004: The Dream Vacation
|Late in 2003, when I got an invitation from cousin-by-marriage Jeff Murray for a week of mountain biking in British Columbia,
I said sure, what the heck. A vacation in Canada, a place I'd never been...I was in. What I didn't realize is that the Whistler
area is the North American mecca for all types of mountain biking. It didn't take long to figure out why.
Jeff Murray – first cousin by marriage, trip coordinator and
polluter of the RV toilet. Mountain biking fanatic with more
bikes in his house than underwear. Milford, Illinois native
who currently lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky and rides a
John “J.J.” Johnson – friend of Jeff and king of endurance
on a mountain bike. Spends his days working amidst
Covettes under construction and his weekends on a sweet
Klein. Also a resident of Bowling Green.
Yours Truly – occasional mountain biker with no idea what
he was about to be subjected to on his Giant NRS-1. A
Milford native now residing in St. Louis. Frequent sampler
of soil, single guy, and most willing climber.
Day 1 - Friday (July 9th)
My journey to Whistler began with a flight to Seattle and a rendezvous with Jeff and J.J. in the baggage claim area of the
Seattle airport. Jeff had reserved a shuttle to drive us north of Seattle to the RV rental place in Everett, where we had a
sweet 24-foot RV waiting for us at Cruise America. A shuttle dispatch screw-up turned an easy 40-minute ride into 90
minutes of confusion. Two couples were sharing the shuttle with us, and all the names and destinations were wrong. One
couple, traveling with an infant, wasn't even supposed to be on our shuttle.
When we finally made it to Cruise America, our bikes were waiting for us. My UPS-shipped box looked like it had spent an
afternoon with the baggage handlers at the St. Louis airport, while Jeff’s and J.J.’s boxes were treated more nicely by
FedEx. Since UPS rendered my box pretty much unusable for the return trip, we made plans to bum a new box from a bike
shop prior to our departure the following week. The Bowling Green Boys had also shipped a hitch-mounted bike rack that
worked perfectly with the RV. We signed the paperwork, loaded up our gear, and began driving north on I-5 just in time for
Friday’s weekend traffic jam.
A couple hours later we arrived at the Canadian border and crossed over into the Great White North with virtually no hassle
whatsoever. All it takes to get across is a drivers license and a brief explanation of where you’re going and how long you’ll
be there. For me, it was my first-ever venture outside the continental United States. Vancouver came quickly, and we were
amazed by the city. Even though it’s just about within shouting distance of the U.S., Vancouver has a modern, European
flavor and amazing architecture. We accidentally took the business Route 99 through downtown instead of the expressway,
but it was worth the extra time.
The scenery was dramatic as we climbed the mountains north of Vancouver on Highway 99. Our next stop was for gas in
the town of Squamish, about 30 miles south of Whistler. I took over driving duties from there to Whistler on the narrow,
twisty highway. The skiing portion of the 2010 Winter Games will be held at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort and road
crews were already starting the process of widening Highway 99 to accommodate the traffic. Some of the blast zones were
interesting, to say the least, in a 24-foot RV. We arrived at Whistler Village well after dark and searched for dinner. Food is
easy to find in the village, and we settled on Italian cuisine at Milestone’s. It was here that we discovered Whistler’s best and
most abundant natural resource: the 6-foot blond. Our waitress was a prime example. Not only was she beautiful and
friendly, but a mountain biker. Women like that just don’t exist in the Midwest. We were in awe.
With help from the natives, we located the Riverside RV park a couple miles up the road from the village. With no advance
reservations and a full campground, we settled in for the night in the overflow parking area. The first night in the RV was
downright frigid and uncomfortable for Jeff and I. The RV had enough beds for all of us, but in an effort to pack as lightly as
possible we didn't bring pillows or anything to keep us warm. The smart one of the bunch was J.J., who had used a $10
sleeping bag to pad his bike for shipment. He stayed warm while Jeff and I shivered the night away. The next morning we
didn't waste any time firing up the engine and driving into the village for breakfast.
Day 2 - Saturday
Early Saturday morning we learned the first of many interesting facts about Whistler.
Fact #1: Not much happens in the village before 10:00 a.m.
We sat in front of McDonalds with two college girls from the suburban Vancouver town of Surrey who were winding down
after a Friday night that had turned into Saturday morning. They provided two nuggets of critical information: stay out of
North Vancouver unless you want to buy crack and try to locate the Australian girl they’d partied with the night before
because she was hella wild.
Fact #2: If you give McDonalds $20 U.S. for a $5 Canadian breakfast, they’ll give you back $15 Canadian. What a great
We ate up and drove out to a trail called River Runs Through It, as recommended by our mountain biking waitress at
Milestone’s. We would discover many times over the next week that our trail maps provided enough detail to get us to the
general vicinity of a particular trail, but there was always a little extra searching involved. We eventually found the trailhead
and began our first ride. What we saw was not like anything I’d ever ridden before. River Runs Through It is a relatively flat
trail filled with man-made “stunts” of all sorts. For the non-fanatics, here’s a few examples of the stunts we saw:
The stunts were designed to be ridden in one direction, more or less, and the direction we began riding was clearly not the
intended way. That combined with morning dampness made each stunt extremely challenging. I had never ridden on any
stunt of any kind and was basically scared crapless every time I rode one. After a couple of hours on the trail we were
already beating up ourselves and our bikes, so it was time to go back into the village for food and repairs. Jeff dropped off
his Epic at one of the village’s many bike shops to get its shifter cables replaced. While eating at an outdoor pub, we
discovered yet another fact about Whistler:
Fact #3: Fat people do not come here.
It’s an active place filled with physically fit people. After lunch we strolled around the village and admired the bike park on
the ski slopes. Never in my life had I seen so many $5,000 downhill bikes in one place, all congregated at the base of the
mountain and ridden by people of all shapes and sizes. On the mountain, bikes were sailing through the air over motocross-
style jumps and flying off a set of rock ledges called the GLC Drops. These drops were the finale of a trail called A-Line,
about 30 yards off the outdoor patio of the Garabaldi Lift Company (GLC) bar/restaurant. The largest drop was 6 or 8 feet,
depending on where the bikes landed, and guys were launching themselves off it with ease. Two smaller drops were
available for the less insane.
Back at the bike shop, the mechanic suggested we drive a few miles down the road to Function Junction and ride a trail
called Trainwreck. The trail loosely followed a set of railroad tracks and derived its name from a section of woods strewn
with old boxcars from a train that had jumped the tracks many years ago. Like River Runs Through It, the Trainwreck trails
were meticulously maintained by the local bike clubs. Wherever large trees had fallen across the trail, rather than take a
chainsaw to the offending tree, it was often converted into an interesting stunt. Makeshift wood platforms were built across
many of the low spots or other areas that were at risk for riders taking alternate routes (and potentially widening the trail).
Meticulous maintenance, however, doesn't mean easy trails. By the end of the day, we had learned our fourth Whistler fact:
Fact #4: For the Midwesterner, trails marked “Intermediate” are hard, and those marked “Hard” are generally insane.
It was on the Trainwreck trail that I saw the first of what would be many absolutely crazy stunts in the woods. A little spur of
trail had been cleared up a hill and it looked like the object of the trail was to push your well-suspended bike uphill, ride a
short distance down the trail, drop off a ramp built against a fallen tree about 36” in diameter, jump a 20-foot gap using a
man-made dirt ramp, and then immediately hit a steep-angled dirt ramp that would launch the bike (with its rider, possibly)
to the top of a boxcar. The run was still under construction, but I would really have enjoyed watching someone attempt it.
We rode a couple more hours and finished a loop that a guy in the Function Junction parking lot had suggested. By this
time it was raining steadily, so we headed to Squamish to get sleeping bags, pillows, and Kokanee beer (only in Canada).
Back at the village we attended a comedy show featuring five of Canada’s funniest comics. And they just may have been,
had we any understanding of Canadian politics. They did offer an interesting insight on how the U.S. is perceived by
Canadians, and it was pretty much based on one concept: in the U.S., everyone carries guns and they’re not afraid to use’
Day 3 - Sunday
On Sunday morning we awoke to cool temperatures and an overcast sky. While we fumbled around the inside of the RV to
get dressed, we noticed a nasty aroma that could only be one thing. No one would take credit for polluting the bathroom,
but one thing was clear: the shitter valves were open. A small trail of “stuff” was lying on the concrete pad on which we were
parked. The smell didn't go away after we cleaned up the mess and closed the valves until J.J. noticed one of the stove
burners had been turned on. One of us had bumped up against the knob just enough to let propane start flowing. I shut off
the propane at the tank since we didn't have any plans to use the stove, and we thanked our lucky stars that nobody had
created a spark inside the RV.
After breakfast at Riverside Junction Cafe, we drove north to find the Comfortably Numb trailhead. Previously described to
us as the mother of all trails, it was 25 kilometers from point-to-point. This length of trail in the Midwest might take a couple
hours, but the folks in the bike shops had told us to allow at least 5 hours. We parked the RV in a gravel lot near the trail
and began climbing a dirt road to locate the beginning of the trail. After a quarter-mile or so of a relatively steep incline, we
found a trail called “Secret Trail North”. It wasn't on our map, so we kept climbing. Ten minutes later, finding no other trails,
we turned around and looked more closely at the map posted at the start of Secret Trail. As it turned out, this was an old
trail that had recently been linked to another trail, and this combined trail had been renamed Comfortably Numb.
We entered Comfortably Numb at around 11:30 a.m. We exited the trail at about 5:00. What we saw in between was
endless, extremely technical singletrack and some of the most beautiful forest I’d ever seen. In places, green moss had
taken over every square inch except the trail. Other sections had ground so soft it was like riding on carpet. Following Jeff, I
could see the trail sink half an inch as his wheels passed over. Throughout the ride we encountered three or four groups of
other riders and stopped often to chat. While riding, the trail required every bit of concentration or bad things were very
possible. Tree roots, rocks, and the occasional wood-constructed stunt kept me in the lowest three gears while rock drop-
offs kept my sphincter fully tightened most of the day.
Comfortably Numb is divided roughly into two parts, each of which used to be separate trails. The two trails were recently
linked by an incredible bridge over a 40-foot gorge filled with whitewater rapids. Moving the steel and wood that far up in
the mountains must have been quite a feat. The highlight of the first half of the trail was a gorgeous, rushing mountain
stream near the end of a long, straight climb. This climb and the short section of trail that followed it were the last we’d see
of anything resembling wide trails. After crossing the bridge and entering the second half of the course, we had a mile or so
of the toughest singletrack I've ever seen. Through this root-infested section I probably pushed or carried my bike more
than I rode it. The climbs weren't terribly steep or long, but the difficulty was in navigating the endless slippery tree roots
and rocks. Once I stopped pedaling, getting back any semblance of rhythm was nearly impossible. Temperatures in the
60's made rest stops a chilly proposition. Even if the sun had been out, its light wouldn't have made it to us.
Around 2:00 fatigue was already setting in and we’d barely made it halfway. The most mentally challenging aspect of
Comfortably Numb is that once you pass the one and only cutoff just before the big bridge (the first and last chance to exit
the trail), you’re pretty much committed to do the whole thing. And since we’d never done the trail before, we had no way of
knowing how far it was to the end. All the while my body was taking a beating. I’d whacked my knees against the handlebars
about a dozen times and fallen backwards to the ground, directly on top of a downed cedar tree. J.J. kept chugging along
and never offered a single complaint, while Jeff dealt with gastrointestinal issues (let’s just say that when he let one fly, I
wasn't worried about bears). Meanwhile, I tried to forget about the Power Bars I’d forgotten to pack in my Camelbak. We
rested at a clearing that doubled as a heli-pad and talked to a group of guys that included a Provincial forest employee. He
explained that Comfortably Numb was some guy’s five-year project and the big bridge had been the final piece of the 25-
kilometer, point-to-point trail.
The hours passed and I felt like I was at the end of the Leadbelt Enduro. Problem was, we still had about an hour to go. We
had been told by the other groups of riders that it would be mostly down hill when we could see the Jack Nickalus golf
course north of Whistler village. We had been gradually climbing for most of the day and were rewarded with a long
descent. But at this point I was completely spent. Jeff and J.J. had run out of water long before that and I had run out of
energy. Jeff threw me a shot of Goo, which was just enough to get me going again. Although I didn't see any bears, I could
hear them all around me. Each time I thought about stopping to rest, the grunting noises kept me going. We finally came
out to a gravel road and found a paved bike path that took us back to Highway 99. The RV was parked a couple miles up
the road, and J.J. volunteered to retrieve it. Jeff and I rode a short distance to a small resort just off the highway, hoping to
find something to drink. We found Snapple and chatted with a college-aged Australian girl working at the resort’s lodge.
Sadly, she wasn't the hella wild chick the girls from Surrey were talking about.
Hot showers at the RV park felt very, very good. We turned in early and slept well.
Day 4 - Monday
After two days of cross-country riding, the sun came out of hiding and we were ready for a change of pace. With hardly a
cloud in the sky, we thought it would be a good day to try out the bike park on Whistler mountain. The previous day we’d
talked to a downhill bike rental place next to the ski lift and found that they would rent us all the necessities – bike, helmet,
pads, and even a guide if we wanted. We decided to sign up for a half-day ride with guides. Since we’d never spent any
time on full-on downhill bikes and didn't know the trails, we figured a guide would be the hot ticket. We geared up, got our
bikes, met our guide, and hopped on the ski lift. The chairs were staggered, with every other one set up for carrying bikes.
At the end of the ride, two guys waited to unload our bikes.
Before riding down the hill, our guide showed us the basics of our Kona bikes and how to ride them. Mine had its brakes
reversed from the typical mountain bike standard – the right brake lever activated the front brake, just like a motorcycle.
That part was fine with me but I didn't care for the levers having to be pulled almost to the handlebars before they would
engage. After a couple short sections of green (easy) trail, a guy named Ira had already broken his gear shifter and our
guide could tell Jeff, J.J. and I were a little more advanced. He transferred us to another guide leading 5 or 6 riders of
similar skills. We rode up a second ski lift that took us to the highest point of the bike park. The best singletrack was up
here and these trails were new for 2004. I tried my first teeter-totter and found another weakness in my Kona: the fork was
way too soft. It bottomed hard, metal-to-metal, on a relatively small hit. So much for big jumps.
With about eight of us in a line, the going was very slow and I was getting a little bored, so I waited for everyone else to get
a head start and give me some space. After Saturday’s rain, the trails in the upper part of the park were still muddy and
slick with nasty roots. These trails reminded me of past hare scrambles courses, except it was all downhill, naturally. While I
was alone in the woods, I picked up the pace and started having some fun. Coming around a corner, I slid out and tried to
hop off the bike but landed on my right knee. This was the same knee that was almost recovered from the whacking it took
at the March of Dimes hare scramble a couple weeks before. With this minor get-off, I had aggravated it again and could
tell it was going to be sore.
After a couple hours of riding together as a group, the guides finally set us loose to ride on our own. We went back up to
the highest part of the park and did a trail called No Joke. I was having a blast leading J.J. down the mountain but Jeff was
hating the mud. About halfway down the mountain my tubeless front tire went flat. We tried to insert a tube but the sidewalls
were too stiff for our basic tire-changing tools. We gave the tire a shot of CO2 and I slowly rode down the mountain. Jeff
and J.J. took off and waited for me at the bottom, where I got a different bike at the rental place. This one, also a Kona, was
a huge improvement. The brakes were better, the fork was better, and it handled like a dream. Even though we were
supposed to have turned in the bikes then, they let us go back up for one more run. Again, we started at the top and Jeff
continued to hate the mud. J.J. and I eventually lost Jeff and we ended up on the A-Line trail, which is probably the most fun
trail on the mountain. It’s smooth, fast, and has lots of what I would call “manicured” jumps with nice approaches and
smooth landings. Despite this, I did witness a guy screw up the landing on a tabletop and crash hard in front of me.
The jumping felt different on the downhill bike, compared to my cross-country bike. On my Giant, when I jump something I
tend to lift up on my clipped-in pedals. The first time I tried that on the Kona, my feet came off the pedals and my body
basically separated from the bike. The jumping technique was more like that of a motorcycle, where you hang on and let
the bike do its thing. On the A-Line trail I wasn't yet comfortable enough to get much air, but that didn't stop me from
admiring the work of the insane guys flying past me. Near the bottom, the trail split off into two routes, one hard and
another absolutely crazy. The crazy option was a drop-off down a rock face, probably 15 feet, where it linked up with the
easier route. J.J. and I looked at it, then watched as a guy launched himself down it like it was nothing. Insane.
The A-Line trail ended at the GLC drops, and I was determined to do the big drop. When I told J.J. I was going to do it, I
don't think he believed I was serious. We looked it over from the landing area and watched several guys go over. I pushed
my bike back up the hill and began my descent. I don’t remember much about flying over the drop except I was afraid. Very
afraid. But I did it, and well, with J.J. as my witness. He pushed his bike back up the hill and did the same thing, all the while
thinking to himself, “John doesn't have kids…I don’t have to do this!” But he did it just fine.
At the bottom we met up with Jeff, who showed us his swollen hand from a nasty crash on the Clown Shoes trail. Jeff and I
gimped back to the RV, showered, and headed back to the village for dinner.
|These photos courtesy
This is the crazy stuff that
people do every day at the
|No, it's not me...but this is how I imagine I might
have looked while flying over the ledge.
|Bike park overview - base of Whistler Mountain
Check this out...a few years later I ran across this photo in a
mountain bike magazine. Look familiar?
Day 5 - Tuesday
Jeff and I woke up on Tuesday morning very sore. My knee had swelled to the size of a baseball and his hand was puffy. We
tried to get breakfast at the Southside Deli, highly recommended in a Whistler mountain biking book Jeff had bought, but it
had mysteriously disappeared. Our alternate choice at Function Junction was excellent. We drove back north to drop off J.J.
at a trail called Thrill Me Kill Me. While J.J. rode the trails, Jeff and I went back to mess around at the village. So many bike
shops, so much time. We ran into a young guy from England who we’d ridden with up the ski lift the day before. He had
worked nine months at a factory so he could save enough money to live at Whistler for the summer season and ride the
mountain 7 days a week. On this day he was unpacking a dirt-jump bike he’d shipped from England and was complaining
about the attempted screwing he was getting from customs. Tough life, kid.
The mountain was active with bikes around lunchtime, so Jeff and I hung out on the Garabaldi Lift Company patio and
watched guys jump off the GLC drops. Excavators and loaders were working part of the mountain to prepare for an upcoming
competition called Crankworx. Some of the stunts that had been built were truly insane. The most interesting was an elevated
teeter-totter. An approach ramp launched the bike and its rider onto the teeter-totter (about 10 feet above ground), then it
pivoted to drop off the bike (and, presumably, its rider). One of our guides from the day before said no one had yet
attempted the elevated teeter-totter, but as the Crankworx video proved, there were a few guys crazy enough to try it – and
pull it off.
Back at the RV camp, J.J. returned from his ride. We messed around for awhile and then J.J. took off again for a nearby trail
called Cut Yer Bars. Jeff and I practiced our putting skills at the Riverside putting greens, looked for bears by the river (didn't
find any), and iced our injuries. Late in the afternoon I pedaled around the park to see how my knee felt, and it was still a little
tender. About the time J.J. made it back from the trails, we were talking to a nice gal named Mary who was parked next to us.
She had driven up from L.A. by herself and revealed that she was a 47-year-old L.A. County Sheriff's officer. Thus, Jeff and
J.J. declared that Mary was going to be my girl. After dinner at Earl’s Bistro, the Bowling Green Boys spotted Mary leaving the
village and decided Mary must join us. Mary said O.K. We walked over to the Savage Beagle, a trendy bar that was just
opening for the evening. Not wanting to be the first to enter the bar, we spotted some cool log chairs perched on an elevated
storefront – perfect for people watching. The chairs were intended for smoking expensive cigars outside a cigar shop, so Jeff
obliged and came out of the store with a $25 Cuban. After half an hour of observing the beautiful people of Whistler, nobody
had showed up to the Savage Beagle yet. We moved on to a street-side pub for drinks, where the highlight of this particular
bar was the female bartender who spit whiskey into a lighter to make a cool fireball. The second time she did this, she lit a
patron’s hands on fire and also a stack of receipts from the cash register. By this time Mary was ready to retire, but the boys
had more business to attend to.
Since Tuesday night was to be our last night in Whistler before heading south to Squamish, we decided to end our stay with
a trip to a bar called The Boot Pub. We had scouted The Boot Pub the previous evening after learning that it was hosting a
“ballet” on Tuesday. It was located a few minutes outside the village and was roughly crawling distance from the RV park.
Perfect. On our previous visit, the bar appeared to have a very local flavor. On Tuesday night, it was even more local. We
sat down next to a married couple from San Francisco (the only exception, besides us, to the local flavor) and a British guy
working construction in the village. The show was taking a short break, so Jeff and Mike the construction worker played pool.
Mike was the kind of guy who, if you spent enough of your night with him, might lead you into the kind of affairs that cause
normal, law-abiding citizens like me to spend a night in the local pokey. His pool shooting technique was all about power, and
lots of it. Balls were flying off the table, landing in the laps and against the heads of unsuspecting patrons. In the lower 48
states this surely would have caused, at minimum, an exchange of words, but in Whistler they have a saying for things like
this: “No worries.” Before Mike could launch any more balls off the table, the show began and all attention was focused on
We learned an interesting fact about dancers in Whistler: they don’t take tips. Not even in U.S. dollars. You can walk up to
them, hold a dollar in plain view, and they just keep on dancing. After several attempts to get the girls to accept our offerings,
we gave up and just dropped money on the stage. We later supposed that when it came to handing out dollar bills, this
particular bar may have become a little too “hands on” for the ladies’ comfort. After a couple hours of appreciation for the
arts, we walked back to the RV park, where J.J. had previously dropped off the RV, in complete blackness.
Day 6 - Wednesday
In the morning we checked out of Riverside and drove down to Squamish. My knee was in good enough shape to ride but
Jeff's hand was still very sore. The plan was for J.J. and I to ride trails at the top of Garabaldi mountain, just east of town. We
tried our best to follow a map we’d found in Whistler, but after about 15 minutes of driving the RV straight up the mountain on
narrow gravel roads, we turned around and went back into town. We found a bike shop just opening up and they
recommended a route on a more detailed map. Jeff dropped us off and we succeeded in getting lost almost immediately.
There were a couple of trails in the general area where Jeff dropped us off, and naturally we took the wrong one. We finally
linked up with the correct trail, but getting there required a long, steep, nasty downhill. It was hard for us to imagine this trail
could be ridden at all, but there’s probably some crazy dudes from Squamish who do it every weekend.
We continued on a generally downhill path into a sweet section of smooth singletrack. It was an old logging road inside the
forest that had grown up in trees, and it reminded me of a hare scrambles course. I couldn't help myself and took off ahead
of J.J. while doing my best impression of a hare scrambler on a mountain bike. After this section we encountered a group of
riders who were on a guided tour. We followed them for awhile, then tried to figure out where we were (again) and how to
stay on the route we’d been shown in the bike shop. We stayed on our route for several miles, and then I suddenly forgot
how to ride my bike. After crossing the mountain road we’d ridden up in the RV, I took a nasty fall where the trail dropped
back down into the woods. Now I had a bloody elbow and my good knee was sore. Later, we were descending a tricky
switchback section where I crashed about five times in 30 yards. J.J. decided my problems were due to me following him
instead of leading. Naturally, when I took the lead position the trail became easier and the crashing subsided (thank God).
We eventually chose to diverge from the bike shop’s route and follow a marked trail that was to be part of an upcoming 67
kilometer race. A guy riding by himself was also following this trail and we were able to compare notes with him on where in
the heck we were on the map. We found a cool bridge over raging water, and at that point the major descending from the
mountain ended and we entered several miles of tight, rolling singletrack. One of the highlights of craziness in this section
was a stunt called Double Dog Dare. Only pictures can do it justice.
We rode several more miles until reaching the outskirts of Squamish, where the singletrack ended and the pavement began.
Jeff called my cell phone and we met up at a Quizno’s restaurant. He had toughed out his sore hand and put in about half a
day’s ride by himself on some of the same trails J.J. and I had been riding.
Thus ended my mountain biking in Canada. We drove south to Vancouver and set up in an RV park in Burnaby. That
evening Jeff and I took the train to the Waterfront while J.J. got some rest. The next morning we crossed the border into the
States, where the border patrol is more serious and they made us produce passports or birth certificates as identification. In
Everett, Jeff and I dropped off our bikes at a bike shop to have them pack and ship our bikes home, then took off to visit
relatives while J.J. got in yet another day of riding at nearby trails.
That's me, with half the suspension and 10% of the cajones
needed to do Double Dog Dare
The first ramp is actually a teeter-totter. If you're brave
enough to ride it, you'll immediately encounter the wood ramp
that drops off about 6 feet. Just visible near the bottom is
another ramp and drop-off.
|Note the fine print: "Remember, you signed the waiver!"
It was an amazing trip, one that we all agreed would have to be done again. Would we have done anything differently? Sure.
We might have shipped our bikes directly to Whistler, skipped the RV rental in favor of a truck or SUV, and rented cabins at
the Riverside campground. Instead of renting guides in the bike park, I would have rented a downhill bike for the whole day. In
fact, I could go back just for the downhill riding. Whistler is it, if you’re a serious mountain biker. My three inches of travel were
an inch or two shy of ideal for the kind of cross country trails in the Whistler/Squamish area. If you lived there, you’d need
three bikes: one for cross country, one for downhill, and a freeride bike for playing in places like River Runs Through It. And if
you lived there, my bet is you’d never live anywhere else. It’s that good.
J.J. Jeff John