Crank'd Bike Magazine 2016

Page 1

FREE VOLUME 3 / ISSUE 1 / 2016






whistler’s bike magazine

uick Laps: 04 QRoom to grow

cGazza 08 MForever

iding 10 RWild

he Solstice 20 TRiders

Whistler Blackcomb’s bike park expansion plans, Sproatt trail work wrapping up and more local riding news.

Remembering the freeriding giant and his Crankworx legacy.

Discovering the magic of the South Chilcotin mountains over and over again.

The hardest ride on the longest day of the year.

iders’ 28 RChoice

30 PbyiecePiece

ike Park 34 BFashion

inkbike 38 PEvents Calendar

Local riders share their favourite spots to shred. What’s yours?

Bike part manufacturers make their home in Whistler.

The do’s and dont’s of bike fashion in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

Mark your calendar. There is back-to-back non-stop action throughout the summer.

Crank’d produced by

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Sarah Strother

Alison Taylor

production manager art director

sales manager

Karl Partington Jon Parris

creative director


Whistler Publishing LP A division of Glacier Media Group

president, wplp editor

Claire Ryan

Susan Hutchinson

Kate Whitley, Tessa Sweeney, Amy Allen, Jennifer Gibson



Writers and Photographers


On the cover

Braden Dupuis, Dan Falloon, Andrew Mitchell, Vince Shuley, Alison Taylor

Andrew Hamilton drops out of “step up island” in Whistler’s Garbanzo zone. This was one of the most fog-filled days I had in 2015, making riding feel as if we were on trails we had never seen before. That sparked the idea to capture the trail in a surreal way that reflected how the riding felt that day.


Dave Buzzard, Justa Jeskova, Leslie Kehmeier, Sam Needham, Cormac O’Brien, Chris Pilling, Eric Poulin, Clint Trahan

Photo by Chris Pilling

Kate Whitley




Produced by Whistler Publishing LP A division of Glacier Media 1390 Alpha Lake Rd, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B1 604-938-0202

In association with: Printed in Canada ©2016, Glacier Media Group. All rights reserved. All photos are copyright of the credited photographer.


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Photo: S. Lorence Photo: S. Lorence

Photo: S. Lorence





in the Located Hilton Whistler in the Hilton ResortWhistler and SpaResort | 604. and932. Spa6225 | 604.932.6225

Located in th

6225 Located Located in the Hilton Whistler in the Resort Hilton and Spa |Whistler 604.932.6225 Resort and Spa


quick laps

Bike Park set to usher in its Renaissance

The massive changes to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park may have been overshadowed when Whistler Blackcomb announced its multi-faceted Renaissance project. After all, it was a lot to take in all at once, all out of the blue. The company is planning a $345 million investment into Whistler in the coming years, if everything falls into place. There’s The Watershed — waterslides and surf waves, rope swings and caves; and the Blackcomb Adventure Park — night skiing, mini ATV’s, a mountain roller coaster; The Annex — an indoor action-sports complex; the six-star boutique hotel and the ski in/ski out townhouses, just to touch on the highlights. But for mountain bikers, the new 50 kilometres of trails for the bike park was the most important news of all. To put that in perspective, the existing park has more terrain than any other in the world with 80 km of trails. Just think of what the Renaissance will mean to mountain biking. Undoubtedly, it’ll be a new era of possibilities. In particular, it will transform the Creekside zone — the newest zone in the bike park, changing riders’ flow 4

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

rip-through reads for a short break

and opening up new terrain. “The starting point is still up in the air,” says WB vice president of business development Rob McSkimming of when the overall Renaissance project will begin. “Once we get our approvals, we’ve actually already laid out our first year’s work of the trails.” And it’s going to start with a bang — 15 to 17 km in the first year in a combination of machine-built trails and more single-track style trails, a mixture of difficulty from light blue to black. In the meantime, however, the operating plan this year remains the same as last year. Creekside Gondola will open with limited trails, namely Dusty’s DH and BC’s trail, for the 2016 season. It is riding for advanced and expert riders. The second access point to the park made a big difference last year in its first year of operation, relieving some of the congestion in the village as well as giving Creekside a boost. McSkimming says they’re just scratching the surface of destination mountain bike travellers, not to mention all the youngsters who are picking up the sport. “We definitely think it has tons of room to grow,” he adds. The Creekside Gondola is open from June 18-Sept. 5 daily, and then weekends from Sept. 6-18.

We definitely think it has tons of room to grow rob mcskimming

Above: Ripping down Dusty’s DH – the first trail cut into the Creekside zone. Photo submitted by whistler blackcomb

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

quick laps BMX Track Director, Brian Finestone with a huge smile on his face as the first bit of dirt gets pushed at the track! Exciting times. Photo by brian finestone

School’s Out for summer, BMX Sessions are In Anticipation is building for all BMXers, and budding BMXers. With the approvals now in place and the earthwork set to be complete in the spring, Whistler’s first official BMX track should be ready for riding by the time the kids get out of school. No one knows more than Brian Finestone that the first day can’t come soon enough. “You’re there with your bulldozer and your heavy equipment and there are four kids standing on the sideline with their bikes and their helmets ready to go. It can never be done soon enough,” says Finestone, who is track director for the Whistler BMX Club. “I always feel like those kids.” Finestone knows. When he’s not volunteering his time for the BMX track, along with other community members, he’s building the

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

trails at Whistler Blackcomb, as manager of the bike park. After years trying to figure out the best place for the BMX track, which will be at Bayly Park in Cheakamus Crossing, and then more time dealing with the complicated engineering of it all (the track will be overlaid on the old garbage dump), the ball is finally in Finestone’s court for this final stage. It’s time to get the dirt on the ground. This, he says, is just the beginning of great things to come. The club has an application in to Canada BMX for sanctioning which will allow it to host races. Then Canada BMX will start to add races to its calendar. Perhaps a provincial race is in the cards, perhaps a national, muses Finestone. It all builds from the grassroots. “I’m really looking forward to having those first local races where the families can come out and try this for the first time,” he says. “It’s such an organic thing. It’ll just grow bit by bit.”

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


quick laps

Get your hands dirty on a sneak peak of Sproatt trail The summit is in sight. Whistler’s new high alpine trail on Sproatt Mountain will be ready for mountain bikers by the tail end of mountain biking season. Trail builder Dan Raymond, who is in charge of the descent part of the loop for WORCA, is working uphill to the summit, with about one-third of the trail still to complete this summer. Municipal crews are working on ascent concurrently. The 18-kilometre loop will begin near Above: Trail work progresses on Industrial Disease and wind south in a big Sproatt trail. loop to the Callaghan before hitting the photos by 1,700-metre summit at Camp Lake. dan raymond Raymond recommends climbing up the Lord of the Squirrels descent this summer while it is still under construction. “You’ll get to appreciate the old growth forest as opposed to zooming through it at high speed on your way down,” he says. “It’s unlike anything else in the valley as far as the type of forest it goes through, 6

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

which is very exciting.” He may also have an ulterior motive for encouraging people to come for a sneak peak. Any curious riders can also stop and lend a helping hand to trail crews for an hour or two, or longer. “We’re welcoming people to come up and see what’s going on and we’re always happy to have any rider or hiker come up and help out,” he says. The tasks change from day to day but even an hour or two to help move lumber or buckets of dirt or help build a rock wall can make a difference. “The biggest thing is to come up and get excited for what the trail is going to end up looking like from the top down,” says Raymond. Once complete, the ride will be an all-day adventure, about four to six hours round-trip on the intermediate loop, depending on fitness level. Crews have also been working on a 2-km trail up from Camp Lake to Sproatt summit. Check out for the latest news on volunteer trail building opportunities and for details on the grand opening this fall.

End of an Era for Squamish racing Bike racers looking for their monthly race fix in the corridor will need to look a little harder this year. After 21 years the organizers of the Test of Metal Group of Races in Squamish are calling it quits. That means it’s the end of an era for four mountain biking races, which have peppered the local mountain biking calendar. The signature event, The Test of Metal, which used to sell out within minutes of registration opening, will be held June 18. OreCrusher, GearJammer and JABR (Just Another Bike Race) will be held for the last time this summer too. Race director and founder Cliff Miller told Pique Newsmagazine in February: “Plain and simple, it was just time. We’re just tired.” volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

P: Robin ONeill



GARBANZO BIKE & BEAN Carleton Lodge 604.905.2076

The Official Demo Centre of the

In Memoriam:

Kelly McGarry

1982-2016 By Alison Taylor

Kelly McGarry stops to enjoy a sunrise en route to a TV Interview to talk about Crankworx Whistler 2016. Taken at 6:12 am, Aug. 7, 2015.


hat would Kelly McGarry have said about his legendary Crankworx send-off? Perhaps he would have said that it went off “like a pork chop in the sun,” along with his trademark smile. One thing’s for sure: he would have been stoked by the outpouring of love and respect from the best slopestyle riders in the world. After all, this was a tribute on McGarry’s home turf in New Zealand, the first stop in the Crankworx World Tour at Rotorua in March, on a celebrated slopestyle course that he himself had designed and built with his business partner Tom Hey. “We made sure that we did an epic job on the course that Kelly would be proud of, right down to the McGazza sign made by Chris Conrad that we stealthed onto the course at the last minute,” says Hey in an email from New Zealand. “The Crankworx team did such an awesome job with a heartfelt tribute video and (rider) train. Dropping into the train first, following the Maori horn (which is a huge blessing for an NZ European), was the most powerful experience. A moment of silence and respect and then a party on bikes with the world’s best.” It was a send-off fit for a guy, New Zealand’s best slopestyle rider, who always brought the party to the world’s biggest biking festival. McGarry died on Feb. 1, five weeks before the slopestyle event. He collapsed on a Queenstown trail when he went into cardiac arrest riding uphill 8

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

Photo by clint trahan

on the Fernhill Loop Track. He was 33. In many ways, says Crankworx general manager Darren Kinnaird, it was as though McGarry was right there with them all on the slopestyle course on March 9. The sun was shining, there were calming blue skies overhead, no wind — a great day for slopestyle. “The best way to describe it is that it was magical,” says Kinnaird. One by one, as they came down the course in the train, the athletes gathered at the bottom, forming a circle around Hey, emotions running high. Each athlete walked past McGarry’s girlfriend, giving her a hug, before heading to the truck and up to the start line. It was time to ride the first “Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza” as the competition will now be known. But you don’t need a memorial competition to keep McGarry’s memory alive. It’s there in all those courses around the world; it’s in the 70-foot canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage in Utah, in the trails on Whistler Mountain Bike Park, it’s in the New Zealand dirt. Hey remembers the first time he saw him. It was ten years ago — before the legend of McGazza had really taken root— and this tall Kiwi was hucking his pink Cove Shocker through the slopestyle course in Whistler trying front flips and 360’s — “mostly crashing but giving it his all.” “He was hard not to take notice of,” admits Hey. The following year they met in person at

Gorge Road, the jump park in Queenstown. McGarry up close and personal was just as larger than life as the guy on the bike in Whistler. “The lasting impression I had from that first encounter with McGazza was that he made a conscious effort to make me feel good about myself and that life would be better hanging out with this legendary stunt giraffe,” says Hey. It was the beginning of a friendship and a business partnership building freeride courses in Queenstown, Rotorua, Colorado. Hey moved the dirt; McGarry nailed the wood. “Our formula has always been the same and every event has been a success for riders, spectators and event organizers,” adds Hey. McGarry’s death reverberated throughout the mountain biking community from Whistler to Queenstown. Whistler friend Loran Gibbs went back to New Zealand shortly after McGarry’s death. “I wasn’t hugely involved with him in competition biking; we were more just buddies really,” says Gibbs. Gibbs travelled to the Fernhill Loop, overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu at Queenstown — a quiet, peaceful, beautiful place to remember. He drank a beer in memory of his friend. “It’s a pretty rad spot up there for sure,” says Gibbs. McGarry would have turned 34 years old on April 17. He remains forever ‘McGazza.’ volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

T2 Pro The Pemberton Valley Trails Association is a non-profit charitable society tasked with the construction and maintenance of our local single track trail network.

The new T2 Pro delivers maximum strength, security and user friendliness.

Come to Pemberton and experience trails like no others in the Sea to Sky Corridor, including our signature hand-built 1,000 meter single track climbing trail. That’s up to 3,000 feet of vertical climbing on single track that leads to a network of fantastic downhills. With our hot, dry climate, a season months longer than Whistler’s and rides ranging from 1/2 hour to 8 hour alpine epics, Pemberton is an experience no visiting biker should miss! FOR MORE INFORMATION PembertonValleyTrailsAssociation

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

324 E. Esplanade North Vancouver

604.987.7474 Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


Discovering the magic of the South Chilcotin Mountains over and over again By Vince Shuley


he climb seems endless. Pedal strokes grind a carbon and aluminum steed up the winding strip of dirt through an alpine meadow. Another slip in traction and a foot touches down on the side of the trail. With momentum temporarily lost, the un-mounted push begins again, calf muscles burning with lactic acid. But the reward of this laborious task already begins to reveal itself. Topping out the climb, pain subsides as a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains reinvigorates the legs and the lungs. Vast and unadulterated wilderness. This is riding in the South Chilcotin Mountains — a view and an experience that never gets old. One taste and it just keeps pulling you back for more.

What goes up, must come down. Deer Pass, the descent of a lifetime. Riders from front to back, Alex Poyser, Allan Norminton, Silas Kirchmayer, Sara Niblock, Shannon Flanagan, Chantelle Pellerin, and Hayden Robbins. Photo by eric poulin


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


Being out there is the goal, more than getting back to the car as fast as you can dale douglas

Top: Alex Poyser (right) in his best Sheffield accent: “You got, like, proper training for this then, ya?” Photo by eric poulin

Middle: Arrival via float plane. Photo by cormac o’brien


From horseback to floatplane Unlike the bike park and the very deliberate trails in Whistler’s valley about two and half hours away, the riding in the South Chilcotin Mountains has evolved naturally over time. Many of the trails here are legacies of 19th and 20th century mining camps that extracted rich gold and silver deposits in the area. Alpine routes through meadows and over mountain passes have been punched in from decades of packhorse caravans and horseback tours. Now, however, they see more tires than hooves and

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

hiking boots combined. This is one of British Columbia’s most secluded yet accessible recreation destinations, and a particular favourite for Whistler riders looking to get out of town for a while. Old school cross country mountain bikers — complete in spandex clothing and fully-rigid steel frames — were venturing into the South Chilcotins as early as the late ‘80s. Riders had to shoulder enormous packs with food, clothing and camping equipment in order to reach the most picturesque terrain. In the early ‘90s, outfitters in the Gold Bridge area began offering horseback-supported trips, leaving the mountain bikers to ride unburdened between the various lakeside camps. But it was in 1999 when the Chilcotin backcountry mountain bike experience cranked up a notch. Tyax volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016











2 L O C AT I O N S I N W H I S T L E R

locally owned and operated since 1987

Mountain Square (McCoo’s) // 604.932.2842 Village Common (McCoo’s Too) // 604.938.9954


Open Daily 9:00 am to 9:00 pm


Chantelle Pellerin grinning all the way back to camp on a sunset descent. Photo by eric poulin

Hayden Robbins leads the troops up Deer Pass, followed closely by Sara Niblock, Allan Norminton, Shannon Flanagan, Silas Kirchmayer and Chantelle Pellerin. Photo by eric poulin

Air (now Tyax Adventures) were in business chartering sightseeing tours in the South Chilcotins and began offering floatplane-assisted lifts into the area for mountain bikers. Word spread quickly and over the next decade the floatplane drop to Spruce and Warner Lakes became the number one bucket list item for mountain bikers in British Columbia. That experience has grown so popular that Tyax Adventures is now encouraging riders to spend more time in the park rather than the singleday, fly in/ride out experience. “Being out there is the goal, more than getting back to the car as fast as you can,” says Dale Douglas, owner of Tyax Adventures. “By flying in to one of the lakes and camping for a few nights, people are using the floatplane less and spending more time in the park.” While the single-day floatplane drop remains the introductory experience for many first time riders in South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park, returning riders are exploring deeper into the vast landscape of the region. “Our multi-day hut-to-hut tours are increasing in popularity quite a bit right now,” says Douglas. “We’re getting quite a lot of international clients who will come enjoy a three-day visit to the Chilcotins as part of their week-long visit to Whistler or their two-week visit to British Columbia.” Riders set off from near Tyax Resort on the shores of Tyaughton Lake while Douglas and his team fly in the group’s gear and supplies to the various backcountry camps. Upon arrival, riders can enjoy some of the luxuries of home — a warm meal, some beers or wine, a cosy tent — without any of the trouble of carrying it there themselves. The next morning, the group sets off towards the next camp with a small backpack containing just water, food, a change of clothes and a handful of spare bike parts. While the backcountry camps are modest and rustic, Tyax Adventures is investing in upgrades to soon provide relative luxuries such as hot showers and cabin lodging deep in the backcountry. Guests are also given the choice of riding self-guided with a catered camp, fully guided with a catered camp or completely self-supported. As both a stakeholder and steward of the South Chilcotins, Douglas stresses the importance of riding responsibly while in the provincial park, particularly in alpine areas with sensitive ecosystems. The fast paced enduro style of riding — where people take their time on the uphills and rip downhill as fast as possible — isn’t really what the Chilcotins are about. “This area is probably the tip of the spear in British Columbia in terms of land use policy,” says Douglas. “Mountain biking is often portrayed, especially in the movies, as riding as fast as you can down the trails and skidding them up. To me, that’s the kind of everyday riding you do in a controlled environment such as a bike park. In the backcountry, that’s not what we’re pushing.” Rather than just focusing on the next 10 metres of trail in front of you, riding the Chilcotins is about having one eye on the landscape to fully appreciate the wilderness experience.

Choosing the Chilcotins Whistler resident Geoff Playfair has a very special relationship with the Chilcotins. He’s been guiding in the area for 13 years and returns to Tyax Adventures 14

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

to work the odd week when he has time away from his responsibilities as Whistler’s Fire Chief. “The Chilcotin mountains are a magical place, particularly on a bicycle,” says Playfair. “But even beyond that, even walking through those mountains... The colour of the rock, the type of forest is unique, particularly in the Coast Mountain region. I fell in love with the area a number of years back in the mid ‘90s and I’ve spent as much time as I can up there since.” In Playfair’s experience as a guide, most Chilcotin initiates will usually purchase the floatplane drop to Spruce Lake and ride back to Tyax Resort via the Gun Creek Trail. Those choosing to ride completely selfpropelled will typically ride up to Taylor Basin to ride along Lick Creek or a similar level trail in the area. For many, their first time riding the South Chilcotins is rarely their last. “The area has so much to offer in terms of variety and distance of trail,” says Playfair. “I’m still finding new places each year. People might only get up there every four or five summers so it’s special when they make it back.” Riders will generally return to explore either with a friend who has enough experience in the area to know the trails, or with a downloaded route on a GPS device. However, the latter can lead to mishaps. “I’ve seen some real problems with (the GPS) crowd in that they maybe don’t have the best route downloaded and end up following the GPS and not following their heads,” says Playfair. “They can wind up in places they really shouldn’t be and don’t want to be.” It’s these situations that can turn an invigorating backcountry biking adventure on its head. Make no mistake, the South Chilcotins is true wilderness with respect to remoteness, wildlife (there is a substantial grizzly bear population in the area) and absence of signage. A wrong turn can make for a long day, and sometimes night, before the party makes it back to the resort or to the next camp. While some groups of Whistler locals look forward to this challenge, regional and international visitors tend to play it safe and hire a guide for their trip. That may add a substantial cost but it brings peace of mind too. Guides can also modify the group’s itinerary on the fly, allowing either more exploration or a more conservative route if the group is moving faster or slower than initially gauged. That can make all the difference when riders want to make every day count in backcountry.

Rider: Leroy Verboven Photo by cormac o’brien

I’m still finding new places each year. People might only get up there every four or five summers so it’s special when they make it back. geoff playfair

‘Bike-a-neering’ Riders that return year after year are accustomed to long days of grinding up mountain passes, sometimes pushing their bike as much as riding it (affectionately termed “bike-a-neering”) before enjoying their descent down to a picturesque valley or lake. Local mountain bike veteran Lee Lau, who regularly visits riding destinations all over the world including the European Alps, has been riding recreationally in the South Chilcotins for the past 19 years. “It’s true alpine singletrack that is relatively uncrowded,” says Lau. “That’s what sets the Chilcotins apart. It gives that sense of wilderness, especially off the beaten track.” The phrase “off the beaten track” is a relative term for Lau. Over the last decade he has seen a huge 16

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Brandy’s at The Keg

Après/Sports/Lounge/Late Night


15 16 2


Beef Dip, Chicken Club, or Prime Rib Burger, with 20oz Pint

60”-80” HD TV’s with 3 sound-on rooms Happy Hours 3-4:30pm | 10pm-1am Food & Drink | Drinks

Whistler’s Best DJs @ 10pm Thursday through Sunday Cool A/C in the heat of summer

A Long Time Locals Favorite! Full Keg menu nightly after 5pm


volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

in the mtn. square Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


increase in rider traffic on the more popular trails that lead back to Tyaughton Lake, where visitors park their cars, camp or stay at Tyax. Lau prefers venturing out for a minimum of four days to areas where you are more likely to encounter wildlife than other riding parties. Whistler rider Fanny Paquette can be found on the Chilcotin trails up to four times every summer, usually staying for one or two nights. Last year she went on a selfsupported trip for three days, hauling all of her own gear. “It was one of the highlights of my life so far,” recalls Paquette. “There is nothing that compares to riding six to seven hours a day, being self-sufficient with food and sleeping under the stars by a flowing creek. I like to think of it as ‘freedom fuelled by the passion of biking.’” Paquette embraces the lung-busting climbs more than most mountain bikers, a chore she considers well worth the reward. The remoteness of the Chilcotins also lets her escape off the grid for a few days on her bike. “At the top it’s the most beautiful panoramic view

imaginable and you’re sharing it with animals like horses and marmots. I keep returning to the Chilcotins because it’s one of the only places where I can really disconnect into a slower pace of life in the middle of nowhere, without any cell reception. It’s a great way to connect or reconnect with friends and sharing stories while burning a few calories.” Another deep breath as the wheel rolls over and begins the descent. The trail is not the manicured flow of Whistler or Squamish, but singletrack nonetheless. Winding down to the valley floor, the surrounding snow-capped peaks dwarf rider and bike. The end is near. It feels good to cruise in to a stocked and comfortable camp adjacent to a pristine lake in the middle of Nowhere, B.C. Sore. Stoked. Weary. Worn. And replete. One trip just isn’t enough. For more information on riding the Chilcotins check out

Right: Sara Niblock brings out the flip flops for one of many river crossings on the route. Photo by eric poulin

Below: Packing with a view. Photo by cormac o’brien

At the top it’s the most beautiful panoramic view imaginable and you’re sharing it with animals like horses and marmots. fanny paquette


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016




PEMBERTON 1–1392 Portage Road (604) 894–6625 BIKECO.CA


Photo by Justa Jeskova


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Saving your hardest ride for the longest day By Andrew Mitchell


5:03 a.m. on the morning of June 20th, the sun will rise over our local Sea to Sky mountains. It won’t set until 9:26 p.m. that evening, over 16 hours and 23 minutes later. Including twilight periods, it will only be truly dark for about four hours.

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine



IT DOESN’t have to be hard, it just has to be hard for you. chris heynen


ummer Solstice marks the longest day of the year, the moment in time when the northern pole of our six quadrillion kilogram planet tilts as far as it’s going to tilt towards the sun before starting its slow annual wobble back in the other direction. June 21 will be shorter by a matter of about two seconds and June 22 shorter still by another three seconds. The tilt starts to pick up speed after that as the nights get longer and the days, eventually, grow colder. The ancients, stargazers all of them, knew this and marked the Summer Solstice with all kinds of rituals to honour various gods and goddesses and celebrate the sun’s passage through the sky. The ancient Egyptians and northern Druids laid out their streets and monuments to mark the solstice sunrise and sunset. The Romans sacrificed animals. The Greeks freed their household slaves for a day of festivities. The Vikings held all-day peace summits with other clans to resolve disputes. In Sea to Sky, there’s a different tradition that’s taking hold: the all-day Solstice Ride. A Solstice Ride is a sun-up to sundown epic that honours peak sunshine (there’s a bit of a natureloving pagan in every mountain biker) while also giving riders a unique opportunity to test their mettle. It’s not a race as much as a dare — a personal trial of lifechanging proportions, albeit one best enjoyed in the company of like-minded friends. Long rides and races are nothing new to Sea to Sky. Whistler hosted the 24 Hours of Adrenaline three years in a row (it rained every year). The Samurai of Singletrack Series often caught riders out well after dark, sometimes covering multiple days. Squamish is famous for its epic races (although the Test of Metal series is coming to an end this year). But the Solstice Ride, undertaken purely for fun, is a little bit different. Chris Heynen, who has been making annual Solstice rides since 2012, says the goal is to make each challenge unique or to follow a theme. The theme, he says, will ultimately decide what trails you choose to ride. It’s also means having a plan. “You definitely need to be organized,” he says. “You don’t want to be figuring it out or making decisions on the fly. Or getting lost. It takes all the energy away. You

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

want to go in with a mission and figure out what you’re trying to get that year — it might be elevation, it might be distance, or a unique series of trails nobody has done before. A new adventure, basically. That’s what keeps you focused and pedalling through a long day. “It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be hard for you. If it’s too easy, then it’s too easy to pull out.” There have been some long days since 2012. For example, Heynen’s 2014 Solstice ride was all about distance. It started with some singletrack in Squamish, about 60 kilometres worth including the Powerhouse Plunge, and finished in Whistler after a long grunt up the Sea to Sky Trail. Heynen’s group covered 127.9 km that day (at the very least, as Strava’s trail mapping tends to straighten out some twisting trails) with an elevation gain of 3,521 metres. Heynen lives in Squamish and is one of the founders of bike part manufacturer OneUp Components. That kind of thing helps when the Solstice falls mid-week and you need to take a day off work to complete your mission. The entire OneUp

team takes part in the Solstice Ride, with a few of the members going the entire distance. Four riders did the full distance in 2014, including Heynen, Sam Richards and Jon Staples from OneUp, and Dennis Beare from Banshee Bikes. One rider, Max Bitel, pulled out after a crash, and four other riders joined the group for parts of the epic ride. As a four-year Solstice veteran, riding from sun-up to sundown on three of those long days, Heynen has some advice to newcomers. What to bring: “Good friends, that’s essential. And some Chamois Butt’r — I’d never used it before the Solstice Ride and it’s a lifesaver. Eating good meals along the way also helps. Make some time to stop and eat a good meal with a little variety, there are only so many bars and gels you can take.” What not to do: “Don’t go so hard that you forget to take any good pictures. A few years back we did an epic ride, and then realized we didn’t have any good pictures from the day. You can’t finish with just pictures of you and your friends lying on the volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

2014 Epic Ride A little perspective on what “epic” means. The 2014 Solstice Ride was all about distance. 1.

Cheshire Cat


Cheshire Car DH

4. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle


Chris Heynen, Jonathan Staples, Sam Richards, Dennis Beare, Craig Bullen, Jon Hadfield on the 2014 Solstice Ride, just about to start the Sea to SkyTrail.

5. White Rabbit DH

Lower White Rabbit




Sweet Judy


Two Cycle Climb

Max Bital 2015 Solstice ride, powering up to Whistler’s alpine towards Sproatt Mountain. Jon Hadfield 2015 Solstice ride, still snow in the alpine on Sproatt Mountain.

3. White Rabbit


Photos clockwise from top left:

Dennis Beare, enjoying views of the Tantalus Range midway on the Sea To Sky Trail, 2014 Solstice Ride.

10. Alice Lake Park Road 11. 50 Shades 12. Of Mice and Men

Photos submitted by Chris Heynen

13. Value + Climb 14. Boney Elbows 15. Hueso 16. Logging Road 17. Man Boobs 18. 50 More Shades of Green 19. Rupert 20. Rupert Coaster 21. Roller Coaster 22. Legacy Climb 23. Parking Lot to Pseudo Shelter 24. Garibaldi Park Road 25. Half Nelson 26. Half Half Nelson 27. Stealth Nelson 28. Darwin’s Crossing 29. Powerhouse Plunge 30. The Final Straw 31. Farside/Fartherside 32. Turns ‘n Ferns 33. Further Side Descent 34. Endo 35. That’s a Wrap 36. The End 37. Government Road 38. Sea to Sky Highway

from Paradise Valley Rd.

39. Sea to Sky Trail to Whistler 40. Golden Boner volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


Dom Wrapson and Tom Wood relieved after reaching the Howler lookout - the highest climb and about halfway through the Stupid Loop. Photo by Kate Whitley

Tom Wood dropping into the start of Howler. Photo by Kate Whitley


ground in different places looking totally exhausted. You need to mark a few milestones along the way.” When things get tough: “You have to try to push through, otherwise you won’t remember it — it’s just a normal day. The days that are hard and challenging, where you surprise yourself, those are the days that make every other day easier.” In 2015, the crew rode three different areas with the goal of reaching the high alpine — Squamish to start, followed by an ascent and descent of Up Up and Away in Whistler, followed by a climb and descent in Britannia. Another previous year the crew started with a climb up Cypress, a descent to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay, a selection of trails on the Sunshine Coast, a water taxi back to Squamish to ride some more, and a drive to Whistler to finish the day in the bike park. “There’s a bit of bragging rights when you do something that nobody has done before,” Heynen says. “Not everyone can go off and explore Antarctica, but you can create your own unique epic challenge in your backyard. I think that’s the cool part of it, and what’s inspiring about it every year. “We live in an incredible place, and as much as we all ride, there’s always more to discover.” Kate Whitley and friends were among those inspired by the Solstice Ride.

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

It was starting to get a bit dangerous... My upper body was gone at that point, I couldn’t keep my weight up on my handlebars and there was still a long way to go. kate whitley

She and her friends Dom Wrapson and Tom Wood had spent so much time riding and competing — mostly Enduro but other types of races as well — that they wanted to do something challenging and fun where they had all day to get to the finish. So, for the 2015 Solstice they rode from one end of Whistler to the other and back again on both sides of the valley, trying their best to stick to singletrack trails the entire time. They called it the Whistler Stupid Loop. There were a few sections where dirt riding was impossible — a small section of the village, the highway section to Kill Me Thrill Me, etc. — but

they made it almost all the way with a few unplanned route changes. The total distance clocked in at almost 65km with around 3,500 m of climbing on a selection of singletrack that is on the challenging side, to say the least. (Again, the GPS record may be off — if you added up the length of all the individual trails on the course it’s definitely longer than 65km). The Stupid Loopers set out at 5:01 a.m., climbing the Flank Trail to Pura Vida, a long and techy descent on Whistler’s west side with a few white knuckle sections to get their blood pumping. They linked up to Baby volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


Stop by and check out our full range of bike parts, apparel, gear and accessories.

604-938-9455 FANATYKCO.COM #6-4433 Sundial Place, Whistler, B.C.


Located in the centre of Whistler on the Village Stroll. Whistler’s cheapest and best mountain bike rentals from Specialized and Norco.


Whistler’s specialist centre for mountain bike suspension TUNING, REPAIRS and SERVICING + Fork and rear shock servicing & repairs + Dropper post servicing + Air spring modifications + Engineered suspension revalving + Bike park suspension setup clinics + Fox 34 CTD damper upgrades + Corset Air Sleeves - Upgrade your Fox Air Shock + Brand neutral, direct and unbiased advice + Fox, Rockshox, Marzocchi, Cane Creek, BOS


(604) 906 1456

#7–1212 Alpha Lake Road, Function Junction, Whistler, B.C.

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


Snakes, then climbed Lower Sproatt/A La Mode to Stonebridge and the always fun Danimal North trail. Next up was a mellow climb up Whip Me Snip Me and the bridge over 19 Mile Creek where they had breakfast. (For the complete route, check the adjacent map). They had to change the course a little in the afternoon when exhaustion started to take a toll. “It was starting to get a bit dangerous,” says Whitley. “My upper body was gone at that point, I couldn’t keep my weight up on my handlebars and there was still a long way to go.” The highlight, Whitley says, was meeting so many people they knew who were out on rides of their own — not as ambitious maybe, but getting support and cheer in unexpected places motivated them to keep moving. “I think we all blew up at some point, and there were a few times where we had to stop or push our bikes,” she says. “But we kept bumping into people at all the hardest times. They all told us, ‘you’re crazy but keep going.’ It really helped knowing that there were people out there rooting for you.” For anyone else planning a stupid loop of their own, Whitley also has some advice. How fast to go: “Pace yourself,” she says. “It’s a long, long day. You have to be mentally prepared, and plan to spend more time on trails than you think because a lot can go wrong. The last thing you want is to not complete your goal because you ran out of time or something got in your way.” Be over prepared: “You have to make sure your equipment is in tip-top condition. Make sure your brake pads have lots of life, and your tires have lots of tread. And have everything you can think of in your pack, even things you wouldn’t normally take with you. You don’t want your day ruined because of something stupid like a shifter cable snapping. The three things you should focus on are your preparation, your plan for the day and your attitude.” Celebrate: “We called some of our friends from Kush (their penultimate trail of the day) and told them to meet us at Dusty’s to help us celebrate. It was such a hard day and we were all completely knackered at that point, but we really did have a lot of fun on the trails. It’s always worth it in the end. You get a lot of self-satisfaction when you do something that big, or that’s outside your comfort zone. You finish one big challenge, and right away you start thinking of the next one.” 26

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

Photo by sam needham

Kill Me Thrill Me

The Stupid Loop

Section 102

Big Kahuna

Delineator Howler

Rick’s Roost (Alpine Flank)

Rainbow Creamsicle

Comfortably Numb (second entrance) with Golden Door

Green Lake

Mel’s Dilemma

Mandatory Suicide (backwards)

Lost Lake

Get Over It

Bob’s ReBob

21 Mile Creek Bridge to Rainbow Flank

Roam in the Loam

Whip Me Snip Me


Alta Lake

Danimal North

Fitzsimmons Chair

A La Mode / Lower Sproatt Pura Vida

Flank South

Whistler Mountain Bike Park Nita Lake

Baby Snakes

FINISH Dusty’s Big Timber

Alpha Lake


START Function Junction

Yummy Nummy


Ride Don’t Slide

Garbanzo Chair

Blue Velvet No Joke Highway 86

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


604-962-1910 2010 London Lane // Creekside /coastalculturesports



Building Better


Locally Owned

ti o


a unny P

Since 1997

Casual place, serious burgers! Open from 11am Everyday Splitzgrillwhistler


4369 Main Street, Whistler

3-4573 chateau boulevard whistler, (upper village)

Voted Best Burger Since 1997

604.935.FITZ (3489) volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


’ s r e rid by photo

d ites an favour d e r e v isco r – und Whistle o-to laps: in e t to rid are their g te spo ultima al riders sh e n o Loc is no ound. T here ms ab e g n e hidd

ier Kehme Leslie

d buzzar dave a .c e r -cent media by photo

one nestistler i F n a i r B ager wh e and e s WiigntMeoruntain Bik Chrnier B Ow tures Adven

THERE OUT ount edgem

ut at looko a nice erfect s a h ,ap here d climb Out T lley an of the p the va ere, o s t s o r the c h t a o gaze alive. From spot t be ing py to p f flow be ha lend o spicy b l a e id and l it’s an track hnica single es with tec y m a lo atur od lab fe for go the rock s led in n k o in r e p cap ss ut climb . The lands st abo ju e is r il u a s r a t e a e m f th s on half o d tree lower space mong rock ll e w t; ra n perfec ound cove y whe gr dream in. y y s ll s o ia c m spe ours . It’s e sun p b bluffs rnoon rtably Num e t f a e o t f ’s la m it the r Co and e lowe There an Add th ccess Out r o f p to a k loo climb r-wor e t f a t ec a perf ike. ob r u d n e w


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

man omb bik c black parks in terra

itted Subm hoto


itted Subm hoto


ure own ryannerbrcoastal cult ow

na  bigerakladhu

ite favour ick my easy p o t s an asked y, it wa network When e valle ail h r t t in w the trail less” relent . I kno “ n e io h t is c r o e de ” b w t ay no “no flo of the refer to it, m e, the m sI zone a ne. But, for l climbs yo ica r n e h v c e e s me for the t f o e t make g s n ju e ll s t a n h c ding sce cky de ke buil and ro e choice is li it works s Lin s etime smile. d som a foot come n a le z z s u e il p a r im a at rt Kahun d othe out an e actual Big ews n d o o h T t, the g ackle a u down. b t r t e sho to also is quit forced n! e o r a e u id R is, yo r two. ctor o conne em

Shadleoyr Trek Dirt e c a d n a C er / Direct ike Camps B d Foun ountain M ies er S

ens  pp a H t i Sh rald

s emorie ible m , d e r c ny in ning so ma g, lear I have eachin rough the t – il a tr th on this rally getting r of rocks, de ne n e o g w d n a o-flow n l s. a p ic e techn ns and ste apply r ills to u k t s , s s t s le t roo n u o ily als are co There op, and luck to do so. s lo ie is it rtun on th ugh s oppo king it thro s le t n a t m cou u e b e , ride ever s in one eels f I can’t e n g u n f e chall of the t r a p every ’s g that knowin ss in itself. e c c like su eme

k: alta c a r t p pum vistaista alta v

lley is the va rail in t Alta e t a it r ou ack My fav the pumptr flow y bly built b st and proba inally ig ur r h O g . Billin riding Vista s Adam e trail distills l, r e e n pio n, th ontro w Gun ents: bike c he Andre m ring. T le e e ase corn n e e to its b terrain and s ave ing oval h pump er and ut the flow v lo c l a b origin r time nd rollers is a ns ove additio hose berms pacing is t s e h g h T u . o t thr perfec eds you can ly e t absolu nd the spe ered by na mp bang-o are only ha mptrack te Pu a . r ls e il n ge g sk sport, ornerin f a session c r u o y eo ou can is mor here y riding boarding, w es and ate ll ag like sk people of a better h it e gets n w o e y r id r s. eve s and r’s line abilitie ff each othe o g feedin volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016




TEAM S E L A NDLY S E I R F R U TO COME MEE Sales and Leasing Consultant Canadian Paralympic Athlete Morgan Perrin! General Sales Manager Santino (lives to mountain bike) Sales Manager Yan (skier and mountain biker) • Finance Manager Craig (guitar guru) Sales and Leasing Consultant Jessey (camping enthusiast) • Sales and Leasing Consultant Nikita (loves to hike with her dog)





1120 Commercial Place And Queens Way


(604) 892-3673 TOLL FREE 1 (800) 668-1399


Piece by piece Photo by dave buzzard


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

Local manufacturers keep Whistler pedalling By Dan Falloon


s Whistler has developed as a hub for mountain biking, so too have industry offshoots popped up around town. Chromag kicked off the trend in 2003 when it began manufacturing primarily hardtail frames. Since then, other ventures have sprouted, effectively turning Whistler into a little-known bike parts centre of production and innovation. It’s a trend that looks ready to get bigger. Like Chromag, Chris Allen and Peter Hammons’ North Shore Billet business also started manufacturing in 2003, though bike parts only accounted for about 10 per cent of their business at the time. After five years, the company made tracks up to Whistler for both practical and lifestyle reasons, and now a strong majority of its work is bike-related. “The biggest difference is we were making much more industrial parts when we started and bikes were on the side,” Allen says. “Throughout those years, we transitioned to making bicycle products as all we make. Ninety per cent of what we (now) make is bicycle products. “We were making stuff for fish farms, for security cameras, all different kinds of random widgets, but we always wanted to work in the bike industry. Over the years, we just kept transitioning to focusing more and more on bike companies and bike parts.” North Shore Billet takes aerospace-grade aluminum and puts it through their in-house CNC milling machines volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Chris Allen, one half of North Shore Billet, making bike components in Function Junction. Photo by dave buzzard

where it is transformed into derailleur hangers, disc brake adapters, stems and top headset caps, among other things — locally-produced bike parts made right in the heart of Function Junction. The company supplies Chromag, just a stone’s throw from its shop, but is also affiliated with distributors worldwide, with bigger ones in the U.K., France, Spain, Japan and the United States. Even before North Shore Billet was formed, Allen and Hammons created chain rings for others, and only recently began manufacturing the part under their own label. The company will be relocating soon to a new shop in Function Junction that will be four times the size of its existing location. The new space will allow the company to move all of its processes in-house after recently starting to do their own polishing and they hope to add anodizing, or the finishing of its parts, in the new location. “We’ve been a little bit constrained because of the size of our shop,” explains Allen. “Our anodizing goes to the city… It would just eliminate another reason to go down there. “The larger space will allow us to store more material...




NORTHSHOREBILLET.COM Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

nsb-cranked-half-pager-print-ad-mar16-2.0.indd 1


2016-04-07 8:01 AM

Innovation is the name of the game for Steve Mathews at Vorsprung. Photo by dan falloon

Our whole process will be much more efficient once we bring that last key process in town.” Over coffee, Allen explains he enjoys living and working in Whistler. While lauding North Vancouver as a mountain bike mecca, he says Whistler has a better vibe and can be more enjoyable in many ways. “What (North Vancouver) sort of lacks is the community feel that Whistler has with WORCA and the toonie races,” he says. “You get that really tight-knit community feel and that’s really important. “It’s great when you go riding in Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish and run into people that you know. That’s the small-town feel of Whistler, but the inspiring part is that, at the same time you’re seeing people that you know, you see world-class athletes coming here to ride for Crankworx. It makes you realize you’re in this world-wide scene at the same time.” A little bit south of the North Shore Billet shop, still


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

in Function Junction, you’ll find Steve Mathews, whose business model for Vorsprung is fairly straightforward. His strategy is looking at existing high-end products and operating under the assumption that 99 out of every 100 components work. The team at Vorsprung tries to find and improve the one that doesn’t. “We have the luxury of being able to cherry pick what we want to work on. If you look at Fox or Rockshox or Cane Creek, they have to make a complete unit — a complete fork, a complete shock, whatever it may be. We don’t have to make the complete thing,” says Mathews. “We start with something that is very, very good and we look at parts we think we can make better. “All we do is look at what aspect of the performance we don’t like. What aspect of the performance doesn’t work well for everyone? What could be improved?” Mathews started working in his garage part-time in 2012 before moving to a shop in Function Junction in 2014. “(At the start), I was just doing service stuff, but I was doing designs for stuff I wanted to make in the future. There was not really a lot of resistance from the local industry. Most people I spoke to here were very supportive,” he says. “Some of the distributors within the bike industry were, I wouldn’t say opposed, but were hard to convince that what I was doing was a good idea, because some of my services competed with what they did.” When opening up the shop in Whistler, Mathews surprised even himself, and it’s been hard to keep up. “It took off to a much greater degree than I thought it would. I’ve been quite cautious with expansion plans, and in the first year, I went from ‘no one knows who I was or what I’m doing’ to being completely slammed all the time,” he says. “The second year there, I brought on three fulltime employees.” The parts are currently manufactured in Calgary, but Mathews hopes to bring it in-house sooner than later. Doing that would significantly cut down on the time it takes to get a product from his mind to the market, noting he expects being able to construct the idea in front of him could reduce the process from over a year to a couple months. When you’re trying to put out the best possible product, the easier it is to tinker, the better. The new shop in Function has space for machinery that will give them the flexibility to prototype quickly, says Mathews. “It’s not so much about producing,” he adds. “We’re not just trying to churn out parts. We’re trying to make things that are the

If you give the part to Rémy (Métallier) or Chris Kovarik and they go and ride it six or seven days a week for 120 days of the year, and it’s still in one piece at the end of it, you know that thing’s fine. steve mathews

best or a substantial improvement over what those parts are replacing. They’re always upgrade parts. “If it’s not better, then it doesn’t have a market at all.” Mathews is inspired both by his surroundings and those who inhabit them. With so many top riders committed to the sport here on terrain that can wind up being pretty gnarly, any parts surviving a season here will do fine just about anywhere. “People in Whistler seem to ride more than anyone else,” he says. “You can do more damage to a bike here than anywhere else in the world. “There are few other places where you can test your stuff and know with some certainty that this is the worst conditions that it will see. If you give the part to Rémy (Métallier) or Chris Kovarik and they go and ride it six or seven days a week for 120 days of the year, and it’s still in one piece at the end of it, you know that thing’s fine.” 7: dissentlabs

Whistler’s Bike Friendly Hotel right in the Centre of it All 4154 Village Green, Whistler, B.C. Canada // Ph 1.800.667.3363 // /CrystalLodgeWhistler

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016



Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


bike park fashion: By Braden Dupuis


your first day in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. You’re rolling up on your rental in your tight spandex shorts that you scored for $3.65 off eBay and there are no doubts in your mind that your ass looks totally rad. You checked it out in the mirror for five solid minutes before you hit the shops this morning. It’s certified tight. And now you’re ready to rock the park.

But as you reach the lift-line at the bottom of the Fitzsimmons Chair — the world’s epicentre of mountain bike fashion — you realize something has gone horribly wrong. “About the worst trend we’ll see, and we always get giggles when they come into the bike shop and they’re getting their coffee there, is somebody who’s running their spandex shorts, men or women,” says Mark Beaton, retail operations manager with Whistler Blackcomb. “Then they’ve got their armour on, and then they’ve got a tight top on, and they’ve got their elbow pads on and they’ve got their full face… you’re kinda like ‘Oh God.’ “And we do see it. We see it every summer.” You may take pleasure in feeling the eyes of your fellow riders focused on your ass, but choosing comfort or style over safety is generally not a great idea. “I’ve seen girls at the bike park in bikinis and volleyball-style skintight shorts just asking for rock rash,” says Brett Tippie, Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and allaround legend. Tippie says he typically rocks kneelength durable shorts that breathe well in the right spots, technical fabric jerseys — long or three-quarter sleeves — for freeride or bike park riding. For rides with more pedalling, he sticks to short sleeves. “I use Ryder’s anti-fog glasses for pedalling in an open face helmet and

usually clear lens goggles for DH/freeride in my full face lid,” he says. “To be fashionably conscious and cool your full face visor must not be angled too low... or too high! The correct angle is paramount for maximum cool points!” But the focus on fashion is ultimately up to the rider. Nicholi Rogatkin, for example, refuses to wear a visor on a helmet. But then, when you’re making up new tricks like the “twister” in the Slopestyle event at Crankworx Rotorua you can pretty much wear whatever you like, whichever way you like it. That trick — a Corked 1080 — helped him to second place. “Fashion is very important to some people in the bike industry and absolutely unimportant to others,” says Tippie. “You can see a variety of riders with the latest and greatest high-tech material duds and people in jeans and T-shirt, baggy shirts and still even the Lycra clad pedal warrior.” The emphasis on safety varies rider to rider too — Tippie says he tends to use elbow pads when he’s going fast in the park, but many riders don’t. “Back in the day when I competed in the Red Bull Rampage I even wore a baseball cup for my junk and I ended up denting it on a huge step down jump with a soft sandy landing!” he says. “If you lose your left ball, is your right ball still your right ball?” It’s a good question. Safety is important, guys and gals.

The ‘good times crew’ winding down in the bike park. Photo by sam needham


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


We’ve got you and your bike covered


Nicholi Rogatkin is seriously pumped after pulling off the first Corked 1080 aka Twister, during Crankworx Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza in Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo by clint trahan

It’s better to feel good than to look good... but why not have it all? Brett tippie

But you need to be thinking about colour coordination too. “I think it’s one of the only sports where you get six guys talking about the colour coordination of their gear,” says Huw Thomas, assistant manager at Whistler Village Sports. “It used to be here (in Whistler) you’d see people riding in flannels and jeans. That seemed to be the Canadian way, right? But now everyone is in jerseys and matching shorts. It’s all about colour coordination.” Some even go the extra mile with multiple matching outfit/bike combos. “Not to name names, but my buddy on the island, he’s got one bike with green hubs, a green OneUp (sprocket), full black bike with just hints of green. He’ll go out and he’ll have different helmets and jerseys and stuff that actually match the bikes,” Thomas says. “Just because they love the sport, right?” But there’s a practical reason, too. “Richie Schley taught me years ago that colour matching your gear (like gloves to your goggles etc.) gets you published a lot more in the media,” Tippie says.

“I tend to save and then use my brighter coloured clothes for photo shoots and use my darker outfits and gear for day-to-day riding. Wardrobe! Wardrobe!” The latest trends seem to be taller, higher socks and bright colours on some of the top and bottom matching DH kits, Tippie says. “Some people have even been rocking the fluoro for those of them that missed it the first time around! (Nice clothes... how’s your day glowing?)” he adds. One trend Beaton keeps pushing his vendors on is women’s gear, which makes up about 25 to 30 per cent of the market. “(The choice is) small. But it’s getting bigger, it’s getting better every year, and women are coming into Garbanzo going ‘Oh is that all you have?’” he says. “But again, I know suppliers that are coming to Whistler to say ‘OK, how do we make women’s clothes better? How do we make these shorts better? How do we make these jerseys better?’” he adds. “They’re coming here to see trends, see colours, see what the riders are wearing, what

women like, and we keep pushing their buttons to make the women’s category bigger.” It’s safe to say women like Whistler’s Katrina Strand — pro mountain biker, trainer and coach — are helping to drive that trend. Strand’s apparel sponsor is Fox Head, and as fas as she’s concerned you don’t need to sacrifice safety for style these days. “Fox Head (and as I see it other forwardthinking apparel brands) incorporate the two together — fashion and function,” Strand says. “I wear enough gear to feel safe, and that depends on what type of riding I’m doing.” But are there specific do’s and don’ts for mountain biking? “I think a big ‘don’t’ is short shorts. Not functional, not fashionable!” she says. Apparently, rocking the tight spandex shorts is a major bike park faux pas. But hey — if that’s what you feel comfortable in, more power to you. “It’s better to feel good than to look good... but why not have it all?” Tippie says. “Function and fashion! You look marvellous baby!”

Hang your hat with us BOOK DIRECT & SAVE | 1.866.762.4122 36

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


Why own Real Estate? Pride of ownershiP • security • Quality of life commitment • investment • comfort Combine all these reasons with the exceptional lifestyle the Sea to Sky corridor offers and explore your possibilities.

Choose an agent who will help you through the ups and downs as well as the twists and turns of the real estate market.

Savoury Australian Meat Pies Breakfast Pies Sweet Pies Australian Style Coffee & Dessert dave Beattie Residential, Recreation or Commercial Real Estate

604-905-8855 1-888-689-0070


“MUST HAVE circular pillows of awesomeness”

604.962.4115 MLS® RECIPROCITY

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


PeakedPies Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine



event Calendar In Association with

Weekly Rides Hot on your Heels - Squamish July 23 Subaru IRONMAN Whistler July 24 /crankdbikemag

more information

Some events may be subject to change. Please visit the relevant website to confirm events details. (WMBP) (WCC)

photo: Casey Brown chucks her way to another win at the Official Whip-Off World Championships presented by Spank at Crankworx Whistler 2015.

Photo by clint trahan

Race Events Gear Jammer - Squamish May 7 Crud-to-Mud May 21 Nimby Fifty XC Mountain Bike Race - Pemberton May 28 NAET North American Enduro Tour May 28 – 29, September 10 – 11 WMBP Friday Funduros June 3 & 10 Test of Metal - Squamish June 18 Phat Kids DH Race Series June 22, July 20, September 2 BC Cup June 25


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

The Gryphon Enduro - Squamish August 6 EWS Enduro - SRAM Canadian Open Enduro August 14 RBC GranFondo September 10 JABR - Squamish September 17 WORCA’s Westside Wheel up September, TBC Whistler CycloCross September 24 — 25

Mondays WORCA Rides (XC) May 30 - September 12 - 6:00pm WMBP Liv Women’s Night (DH) May 18 onward - 5:30 – 7:30pm

Tuesdays WMBP Men’s Night (DH) May 18 onward - 5:30 - 7:30 WCC Ride (Road) 5:30pm Whistler Village Sports May 5 onward

Wednesdays WMBP / WORCA Phat Wednesday Race Series (DH) Visit for weekly race schedule/info

Bike Events

WCC Ride - Emerging Riders (Road) 5:30pm Whistler Village Sports May 6 onward

WORCA Annual Bike Swap May 7

WMBP Liv Women’s Night (DH) May 18 to Sept - 5:30 – 7:30pm

BC XC Championships June 25

Whistler Mountain Bike Heritage Week May 18 — May 23

BC DH Championships June 26

Outerbike Whistler June 2 — 5

Trans BC Enduro July 4 — 9

Crankworx August 12 — 21

BC Bike Race July 6 — 13

WORCA Trail Days Check out

Thursdays WORCA Toonie Ride (XC) May 5 - Sept 8 - 5:30pm

Sundays WCC Ride (Road) 10am, Locations TBC May 17 onward volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

OUR DOWNHILL & XC RENTALS INCLUDE ALL THE GEAR YOU NEED Whether you’re a seasoned pro or completely new to the sport, we’ve got you covered.


Demo 8 or Stumpjumper RENT FROM

$49 - $164

Located on the Village Stroll Just a 2-minute walk from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park lifts

(604) 932-3327 SHOP





Ride On By Alison Taylor

Toby Pantling & Joe Flanagan above Khyber Pass Photo by sam needham


Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine


t’s a season of endings and a season of beginnings for mountain biking in Whistler this year. The sun is finally setting on some longstanding projects. The BMX track is on the verge of completion and the high alpine Sproatt Mountain trail will be done by the end of the season. There is a sense of satisfied finality about seeing these projects in the home stretch — the builders maintaining momentum ’til the end, the riders counting down the days ’til they’re ready to roll. They have both been a long time in coming. And yet, this is really just the beginning of what they will mean to Whistler and how they will shape mountain biking here in the years to come. Their significance cannot be understated. As the sun sets in one area, however, it rises in another. Without doubt, mountain biking is one of the big winners out of Renaissance, Whistler Blackcomb’s massive new investment plan that will add 50 km of new trails to the bike park. To put this in perspective: it’s taken Whistler Blackcomb 16 years to build 80 km of trails in the park. The next 50 km will be added in about five years. It’s a gamechanger, the scope and scale of which we have yet to fully appreciate. After all, history has shown: If you build it, they will come. Are we ready? Meanwhile, resort partners are preparing to understand the information that will be part of the latest mountain biking study — a research project from last summer looking at the profile of Whistler’s riders and their economic impact in the resort. The results will be used to help shape the future of riding here in the years to come. The study, however, won’t tell them this: That mountain biking is truly the heart and soul of Whistler’s summer. This is a place where people use the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, to spend every moment of daylight on their bikes, pushing themselves to their very limits… just to say they did it. They do it for the sheer love of the ride, the thrill of doing something most people can’t. No, the economic impact study won’t talk about solstice rides. And yet, they are crucial to understanding who we are and what mountain biking means to us. The study won’t talk about the local kids walking around with Chromag T-shirts and A-Line baseball caps and it won’t talk about why North Shore Billet is making bike components in Whistler and selling them around the world. It won’t talk about why there was such a massive outpouring of love and grief over the untimely death of Kelly McGarry and what he meant to this community. These stories can’t be graphed; they can’t be statistically analyzed; their impact cannot be measured. And yet, these are the stories that really matter for truly understanding what mountain biking means to us. volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016