Saturday, August 19, 2017

Why Two Road Trips Are Better Than One! Whistler 2017

Whistler Bike Park IS everything they say it is and more for a mountain biker.  It is the gold standard of bike parks for good reason.  This was my first trip to Whistler.  The Old Men went last year, but I broke my ankle riding at Alsea Falls three days before our scheduled trip.  So my Suburban went, but I didn't.

I wasn't sure what to expect on this second road trip of 2017.  You watch the videos and you think only the pros ride Whistler, but that isn't the case.  I saw every age from ripping 5 year olds on mini full suspension bikes to senior citizen ladies on dual crowns.

The trail system is well marked with names and colors.  A green run is a green run, very easy, blue more difficult and black and double black are just that.  They also have every trail on the map listed in a table of progression.  So you can start at the top with the easiest green run and progress your way down to the double blacks over time.

This was a very different trip than Moab.  While we still had the same Suburban, we only had to drive 8 hours vs. 16.  The riding was just as fun, but it was different doing everything via lift access.  If you were going to ride more than three days, then you could bring your bike and ride some of the great non-lift access trails.  Otherwise the best thing to do is rent a bike there, because your bike will take a beating and renting a nice carbon dual-crown makes the riding so much better.

Whistler can be expensive, but it is Canadian expensive.  A three day bike rental for a carbon dual crown was $290 CAN.  A three day park pass was $186 CAN (an extra $35 for Top of the World). You will also want a full-face helmet, goggles and some body protection (knee pads, elbow pads, armor - depending on the level of riding you will be doing).  I found the food to be very good and reasonably priced all about 60 yards from the lift.  You just don't find all that including the shopping and other activities (zip line, rafting, etc.) all so close in one spot. The nice thing about renting the bike is that you can spray it off and leave it with the shop over night or if you just want to each and shop so you don't have to worry about watching it or locking it up.

Other things to know, first remember your passport as it is required to get in and out of Canada.  Second, at least in the Village their prices are Canadian, but if you give them US cash, they will give you Canadian change, so you will lose money in that exchange. Some things like phone chargers, micro SD cards (for your GoPro) or accessories like that are more expensive because you are stuck there and you need it.  Our condo had a kitchen and there is a nice Market there to buy all you need to make meals "at home."  Finally, things in the village close early.  You can ride (at least when we were there in July) until 8:00 p.m. (lifts open at 10:00 a.m.) which is great (I never made it that long), but almost all the restaurants and shops close at 9:00 p.m. so you have to plan for that.

There is also a professional photographer ( who posts of list of what trails he will be on at what times each day. So you can ride that trail during that time and see if you like his photo of you.  Three of the ones below are from that site and I've placed some videos on my page at:

The best part about any road trip is enjoying it with people you like to be around.  This trip had lots of laughs, no broken bones, great riding which gave us a year's worth of stories to share (including staying up way to late to watch Strange Brew, no meat and $30 nachos).

Three in a rippen row

Look Mom, Matching Helmets

You'll be a better jumper when you are done

Magazine Shot

More Jumping

Top of the World with the Boys

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