Whistler bike park and Squamish

We arrived in Whistler just in time for the Girls night at the bike park, where I got myself into a beginner 'jumps' group and we spent the next 2 hr riding down 'crank it up' and practicing our jumping technique. It was a great intro to the park and a really nice atmosphere, with drinks and prizes in the pub afterwards (which Neil also came along to).

The next day we both hired downhill bikes and tried to ride as many trails as possible, starting with the blues and progressing up to the black diamond runs, with a mixture of swoopy free ride trails and more technical descents through the trees. It took a bit of time to get used to the bigger bikes but then we were flying. We both had a brilliant time and were surprised how quickly time passed.

Dodgy tan-lines from elbow pads at the bike park

All of a sudden it was time to give the bikes back and head to Squamish to meet up with Neil's climbing partner for the next few days - another former Strathclyde Uni mountaineering club person. I was delighted to be going back to Squamish, not least for the chicken and lime pizzas at the brew pub.

Squamish has exploded since we were first there 8 years ago. It is now very much a Mtb Mecca and they have this amazing gps app to guide you through the incredible trails. I'm not sure what we'd need to do to get trails as awesome as this in Scotland but I am so jealous of what they have. I rode as many of the blue trails as I could over the three days- going out early in the morning (armed with my bear spray) and coming back totally burst by late afternoon, smiling and knackered after epic climbs, amazing descents and miles if techie ups, downs and flats. I don't think anyone in the whole of Canada rides a hard tail these days, I was definitely on my own there. But regardless of the bike, most people I met seemed to be fitter in the climbs and much better on the descents. I think I might get a bit of a shock at the standard in my two upcoming races. I would get very good if I lived here. Even over three days I feel like I improved. My favourite trail was definitely Half Nelson. I'd love to go ride that again.

As if I wasn't already in love with Canada, we got to take part in the Canada Day celebrations on 1st July. We saw some Mounties and listened to the local speeches, which seemed quite laid back but with a genuine community spirit and shared sense of pride in being Canadian. They even sang the national anthem twice because one lady was sad to have missed it the first time! Then in the evening they had some outdoor live music, really impressive fire dancing and of course fireworks above the Chief, squamish's iconic landmark, which Neil and Richard had been climbing on that day.
Three days in Squamish just wasn't enough but we are back on the road again, passing through Vancouver to head south, back into the USA in time for July 4th.


Popular Posts