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Contents

whistler’s bike magazine

uick Laps: 04 QBiking grows

emberton 08 PBMX Champ

12

The Fitzsimmons Bike Park gets rebuilt, Comfortably Numb to see improvements, Crankworx adds another stop on its World Tour.

Local 11-year-old Tegan Cruz is heading to the BMX World Championships in South Carolina.

First descenders can’t wait to get a taste of Whistler’s new high alpine trail, the Lord of the Squirrels.

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

to 22 PtheowerPeople

irt for All 30 DSeasons

ike Park 36 Bexpansion

inkbike 38 PEvents Calendar

The debate over mountain e-bikes comes to Whistler.

Local mountain biker Steve Storey talks about riding throughout the Sea to Sky corridor all year long.

Whistler Mountain Bike Park crew joins forces with local trailbuilders to add 14 km of new trail to Creekside Zone.

Mark your calendar for the non-stop summer action in the Sea to Sky corridor.







Crank’d produced by

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

Whistler Publishing LP A division of Glacier Media Group

publisher Sarah editor

Strother

Alison Taylor

production manager creative director sales manager sales



Karl Partington Claire Ryan

Susan Hutchinson

Kate Whitley, Tessa Sweeney, Amy Allen, Jennifer Gibson

marketing

Kate Whitley



the Lord





Contributors

Writers and Photographers

Writers

On the cover

Andrew Mitchell Vince Shuley Steve Storey Alison Taylor

Mike Hopkins fighting through all the elements to get the laps counted in the Whistler Bike Park. Photographed here on Dirt Merchant as he scrubs through smoke. We used coloured flashes to give the illusion the forest around him was on fire as Mike rips the trails. This image was part of Laurence’s 2015 Deep Summer slideshow.

Photographers

Laurence Crossman-Emms Ben Haggar Justa Jeskova Reuben Krabbe Estela Potenciano Dave Steers Clint Trahan

Photo by Laurence Crossman-Emms laurence-ce.com

crankdbikemag.com WPLP

crankd@piquenewsmagazine.com

iders’ 20 RChoice

C  rowning

WHISTLER PUBLISHING Limited Partnership

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

In association with: Printed in Canada

©2017, Glacier Media Group. All rights reserved. All photos are copyright of the credited photographer.

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Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


Photo: P. Gore

2017 BIKES AND CLOTHING WHISTLER’S LARGEST BIKE STORE RENTALS: DOWNHILL • CROSS COUNTRY • KIDS REPAIR: ALL BRANDS AND MODELS

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rip-through reads

quick laps

Fitzsimmons Bike Park to be demolished and rebuilt Not to be confused with the Bike Park, the free Fitzsimmons Bike Park, in the centre of the village, is getting a major overhaul this spring. Like the neighbouring skate park, which was expanded in recent years, the bike park has been a hit since it was first built in the 1990s. It’s seen a lot of tires over the years and is ready for a new look and feel. Joyride Bike Parks, a local trail building company, will be doing the work. “There’s a lot more dirt coming in,” says Joyride president Paddy Kaye. “The park that was there before was progressive 10 years ago but it hadn’t evolved at all. Our challenge and our goal is to deliver an up-to-date, progressive park for the community in Whistler.” Work includes: demolition of the existing dirt jump area, construction of a new beginner and intermediate pump track, construction of new dirt jump lines in the adjacent dry creek bed, construction of new beginner jump trails and a new staging area, and return trails. 4

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

The footprint of the tracks will be longer too giving riders more time to find their rhythm. The idea is to provide a park experience for all riders, regardless of age and ability. There will be a clear progression of difficulty, creating opportunities for riders to improve their skills. The municipality has budgeted $200,000 to demolish the old features and start from scratch again. The work is expected to be finished by the end of June. “Both the skate park and bike park have really become part of our culture,” says Whistler Mayor Nancy WilhelmMorden, of the increasingly busy area tucked between the Day Lots and Fitzsimmons Creek that offers free activities for locals and guests. “There are just more people over in that area because of the skate park renovations and addition. And we’ve just seen the continuing increase of families visiting Whistler because of the reputation of being family friendly.” The bike park work will all be done in coordination with the municipality’s new Cultural Connector project, a scenic pathway that links six significant cultural institutions in Whistler, and the Valley Trail realignment. Kaye adds: “Biking will also be on display in a world class manner so I think that’s important.”

Both the skate park and bike park have really become part of our culture mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden

Above: Locals enjoy the old pump track at the Fitzsimmons Bike Park in the village. Photo by Justa Jeskova justajeskova.com

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


quick laps

Photo by Justa Jeskova justajeskova.com

Whistler’s ‘Epic Ride’ trail — Comfortably Numb — slated for work this summer It’s been more than a decade since Comfortably Numb officially opened for mountain bikers in Whistler; it’s time to put some more love back into the iconic trail. This summer the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) is planning some upgrades in the middle section of Comfortably Numb. Usage of the trail has changed over the years, with riders

accessing Comfortably Numb from Yummy Numby as well as taking short cuts out through Jeff’s. WORCA plans to tackle some of the middle sections to help with the changes in flow. “With Yummy Numby and some of the other trails, people are now using the trail in different directions,” says WORCA’s director of planning Todd Hellinga. “It’s just become more used than it was in the past, when it was almost strictly north to south, single direction. There were no cut outs, there were no short cuts. It was very much a four to six-hour ride. “We’re just trying to make sure that the trail

ONE FACILITY. FOUR WAYS TO PLAY.  @RMWhistler |  @rmwhistler |  @rmowhistler

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

is really good in both directions and able to handle that different type of use.” Comfortably Numb is the only singletrack trail in Whistler with Epic Ride status from the International Mountain Biking Association. In its entirety, it is 24 kilometres of singletrack from the entrance near the Wedgemont parking lot to the finish in Lost Lake Park. Hellinga adds: “It is a destination trail that people have heard about and they want to ride and it provides a unique experience out in the old-growth forest.” Meanwhile WORCA is also setting its sights on some lesser known sections on the south side of town in the Cheakamus area. “Cheakamus is one of our main focuses in the next few years for more intermediate terrain. Lost Lake is kind of tapped out and the only other place with less climbing, that’s a little flatter, with a little gentler terrain, is that Cheakamus area,” says Hellinga. WORCA’s short term plan is to build a connector from Far Side up to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead as well as a return trail back to Function Junction but the work has yet to be confirmed. “Those two — the out and the back — are high on our priority list,” says Hellinga. “We think that will really enhance the network down in that end in the next couple of years.”

Located just 5 km north of Whistler Village, Meadow Park Sports Centre is Whistler’s best place to swim, skate, sweat or play squash.

whistler.ca/recreation 604-935-PLAY

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

5


quick laps

It’s all in the numbers After two summers of collecting data, Whistler is awaiting the results of a major study which will outline the economic impact of mountain biking in the valley. If the recent Squamish study in the same vein is anything to go by, Whistler’s numbers will be staggering in terms of growth over the last decade. Though field work began in Whistler in the summer of 2015 and wrapped up last summer, local partners, which includes Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), have taken more time with the data to really delve into the nitty-gritty details of biking behaviour in Whistler. “While one of the objectives of the study is to understand the economic impact of mountain biking in Whistler, other objectives are to understand mountain biker behaviours, demographics and preferences,” says Meredith Kunza, Tourism Whistler’s senior manager of

research and product development in an emailed statement to Crank’d. “While field work was completed prior to 2017, the partners have taken additional time working with the CSTA (Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance) to ensure the scope of the project includes a comprehensive view of the full bike season length and biker types, and that the methodology allows the results to be as comparable as possible to other studies in the corridor.” Meanwhile, Squamish released its economic impact study this spring with compelling numbers over the past decade. When the 2016 results are compared to equivalent data from 2006, it shows that tourism spending from mountain biking in Squamish has gone up 330 per cent — $9.9 million in 2016 compared to $2.3 million a decade ago. More riders are staying overnight — 1,702 in 2006 compared to 9,927 in 2016. The economic impact has jumped from $1.1 million to $5.2 million in 10 years. Whistler’s results are expected early this summer.

Brett Rheeder put together a clean run to get the win at Redbull Joyride Crankworx 2016. Photo by Estela Potenciano

Stephen Matthews and Sid Slotegraaf enjoy Dirk’s Diggler above Squamish. photo by rEUben krabbe rEUbenkrabbe.com

Another road leads to Crankworx Whistler They say “all roads lead to Whistler” when it comes to the world’s biggest mountain biking festival, Crankworx. In 2017 another road is wheeling back to Whistler, this time from Innsbruck, Austria. Innsbruck is now the third stop of four in the Crankworx World Tour which ends in its home base, Whistler, from August 11-20, after stops in Rotorua, New Zealand, followed by Les Gets, France. “We were looking for another European location,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx general manager. Innsbruck is big on extreme sports, has a vibrant youth culture and is no stranger to hosting big sporting events. “It just seemed like a great place,” adds Kinnaird. The move puts to rest any doubt, if ever there was any, that Crankworx has become the hottest commodity in mountain biking festivals around the world. What does this extra stop mean for Whistler? “Just more great stories,” says Kinnaird. “All roads lead to Whistler — (it’s) opportunities to grow the scope of all the Crankworx sports and events and the festival.” 6

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


P: Robin ONeill

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Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


Community-built Pemberton track produces world-class riders By Alison Taylor

T

he massive trophies in his bedroom are testaments to Tegan Cruz’s triumphs on the BMX track. They line the top of his chest of drawers, so many now that they’re spilling onto his bedroom floor. Some are so big, they’re taller than his little brother.

Opposite: Pemberton’s Tegan Cruz hopes to bring home some more hardware from the BMX World Championships in South Carolina this summer to add to his growing collection. Photo by dave steers flickr.com/ photos/dbsteers

Above: Cruz catching air on his home BMX track in Pemberton. Photo by anthony lyon

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

Cruz is coming off a huge year. At 11 years old, he has qualified for the UCI BMX World Championships in July, where the world’s top BMX riders will gather in Rock Hill, South Carolina in a battle to see who’s best. In the world of BMX, only the Olympics are bigger than this. “I’m really excited but also a little bit nervous too ’cause there will be people from all around the world,” says Cruz, who has ordered two Canadian jerseys, one to keep and one to trade with a kid from another country as is the custom. He is one of two local boys, the other his friend Robbie Tribe, who call Pemberton their home track and who both qualified for the 2017 Worlds. Since opening under the powerlines in 2012, the track has been a rallying place for the community, now producing riders who can compete on the world stage. “I always call it our pool and our rink in Pemberton,” says club president Graham Turner, a nod to the fact that Pemberton kids have to travel to Whistler for swimming and skating lessons but not for BMX. Turner, along with wife Jessica, was instrumental in getting the track to where it is today. People now see the impact it’s having on the community, drawing 50 to 70 riders for the weekly races throughout the summer. “What a perfect thing to do on a Thursday evening,” says Turner. “It keeps our kids close at hand.” It’s a family affair for the Cruzes. Mom Tracey, dad Ernesto, older brother Lucas, Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

9


The community is always helping me and so is my family and everybody’s always super kind. It makes me feel good and want to try harder.

Below left: Head down, Cruz is in full BMX concentration mode as he makes his way around the track. Photo by lee cejalvo

Below right: Cruz is looking for more space in his bedroom to house his BMX trophies. Photo by dave steers flickr.com/ photos/dbsteers

10

tegan cruz

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

and younger brother Levi, have been an integral part of the Pemberton and the Sea to Sky corridor’s BMX family — volunteering at the track, participating in the races, prepping the course. Their summer schedule is set — every Monday at the BMX track in Squamish, Tuesday for races at the Whistler track, Wednesday is Phat Wednesday (downhill races in the bike park), and Thursday is racing on the home track. The Whistler track was the last to come on the scene, finished just last year. In typical Whistler fashion, this track is unlike most others in the province. It is a UCI standard track, complete with a 5-metre start hill. With three tracks in three towns, the Sea to Sky corridor is ripe for more rider development, given the facilities, not to mention the gene pool. This is a place where kids are just born in the saddle, developing a love for the sport from their parents. BMX is often the entry point to downhill racing. “What we’re going to see is more kids developing quickly,” says Whistler track director Brian Finestone, of the BMX youth movement gaining more momentum with Cruz and a handful of others in the corridor. “It’s really going to be a breeding

ground.” Rarely without his trademark grin, especially when talking about BMX, Cruz transforms into a different kid in the start gates, singularly focused on the task at hand, fearlessly staring down the track, playing it out in his head, how he’s going to battle the corners and make it to the next moto or heat. He credits older brother Lucas with lighting the way for him, showing him all the ropes. But that’s not the only secret to his success. The other factor, he says, is support. When asked to expand, he explains: “The community is always helping me and so is my family and everybody’s always super kind. It makes me feel good and want to try harder.” Meanwhile, he has jobs to do — get good grades, feed the horses and the chickens, muck out the stalls, help out around the farm. This, too, is a family affair. Plans are in the works to build a pump track and dirt jumps on the farm. If all goes according to his own plan, this Grade 6 Signal Hill student will be racing in the 2024 Olympic Games (BMX made its Olympic debut at the Beijing Games in 2008). “Wait, how old will I be?” he asks. He’ll be 18. Watch this space.

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


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

pembertontrails.com tourismpembertonbc.com nimbyfifty.com PembertonValleyTrailsAssociation

volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

11


the of the Rave reviews from the first riders down Whistler’s most anticipated trail By Vince Shuley

In

the fall months of 2016, tipped-off locals finally left tire tracks on Whistler’s most anticipated trail, many choosing to do so before trail builders had even finished their work.

Photo by ben haggar benhaggar.com

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Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


After seven years of planning and three labour-intensive summers of trail construction, the Lord of the Squirrels was finally, almost, ready for riding. Whistler couldn’t wait any longer. Over a period of a few weeks they gathered in Function

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

Junction and set their bikes on an uphill course. While long approaches to mountain bike trailheads are nothing new in Whistler, riding all the way up to the alpine for one long descent has long been a piece of the trail network puzzle that was missing. Until now. Its working name says it all: The Alpine Dream Trail.

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

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Photos: Jordan Hodder is one of the first descenders down the new Lord of the Squirrels alpine trail last year. While the trail has yet to be officially opened, mountain bikers couldn’t wait to get their first taste of this new riding experience — an endless climb, unbelievable views, a fast and fun descent in one epic new trail. Photos by ben haggar benhaggar.com

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Now, renamed as Lord of the Squirrels, the trail is set to change the way Whistler rides its mountain bikes in the years to come. “I would always look at magazine articles and pictures of the alpine riding in places like Revelstoke and Crested Butte and the scenery would make me want to go ride there,” says Team Whistler cross-country racer Chloe Cross. “But all that time, we had the potential for that same riding experience here in Whistler. And the best thing about Lord of the Squirrels? Even an intermediate rider can do it.” Cross rode the trail with her Team Whistler comrades last fall. And while it was far from ideal riding conditions at the time, being a part of the trail’s first wave of riders it was an experience not soon forgotten. “We ripped down it at full speed to the sounds of each other’s hooting

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

and hollering. It didn’t matter that none of us knew the trail, there’s no big features or steep sections where you’d usually stop to inspect before riding them. It was so much fun without being gnarly.” Carly Janz also rode Lord of the Squirrels when trail builders were putting on the finishing touches, albeit in more pleasant weather. With her friends, she completed the loop in about seven hours, including a 90-minute diversion up towards the alpine weather station on Sproatt Mountain. “Even on the climb up, you look one direction and see Black Tusk and the other direction you see snow-capped peaks in the Callaghan,” says Janz. “It was a big day, easily as big as a day in the Chilcotins. I was exhausted when I got to the top, but I think that’s the beauty of it. I spent the whole time looking forward to

this trail that I knew I could ride even if I was tired. At no point on the trail was there a section where I had to get off and walk.” A big effort with a big payoff, one that almost any determined mountain biker can ride. That’s the soul of the Lord of the Squirrels.

, whistler s tRail evolution - a watershed momenT

From the early days of cross-country riding on rigid steel frames to the rise of freeride mountain biking spurred by the gravity-fed Whistler Mountain Bike Park, this corner of the Sea to Sky corridor has forever pushed the progression of the sport. As the design of the bikes evolved, volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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so too did Whistler’s trails. Trail builders choose their lines through the forest not only to give a fun riding experience, but also to provide adequate drainage for the coastal rain and armour against braking. Local builders have honed this skill to a fine art. Advanced, double black riding, making the most of the steep fall lines, has long been what Whistler is known for, the thing that sets it apart. “Lord of the Squirrels is a big shift in the style of descent trail that we typically have here in Whistler,” says Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) Director of Planning Todd Hellinga. “I think that’s the next step; we’re getting into a different environment with a slightly different style of riding. It gives people more reason to come and visit us in Whistler.” After roughly seven years of volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

planning and funding and three years of manual labour, Lord of the Squirrels represents the next phase in Whistler’s trail evolution. “I think with the access now in place to the Sproatt alpine, this will be one of those watershed moments,” says Hellinga. “Now you can get into the alpine and see the valley from a new perspective. I really want people to be in those type of environments because I think it fosters appreciation, respect and a desire to protect it.” The steep walls of the Whistler valley have long dictated the high percentage of advanced and expert trails in its portfolio. Intermediate trails are few and far between, but WORCA is trying to change that. “Our trail development has been so concentrated in the valley bottom, so much so that we haven’t really

1

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Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

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Opening: While the early descenders got the jump on the trail last year, the Lord of the Squirrels has not yet officially opened. The municipality, in charge of the uphill portion of the trail, has yet to complete the final 300 metres of trail on the top of Sproatt Mountain. Early snow hindered efforts at the end of the summer last year. That work will begin as soon as the ground is clear. The municipality also plans to install directional signs and trail head signs. Once this is complete, the Lord of the Squirrels will be officially open to the public. Opening date remains up in the air due to the greater than normal snow pack this winter. Stay tuned.

Above Top & Left: Jordan Hodder climbs for an epic descent of Lord of the Squirrels. Photos by ben haggar benhaggar.com

Above Top Right: Builders encounted three unafraid squirrels while working, wtih countless more squealing at them from the safety of the trees. Photo by clint trahan clinttrahan.com

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looked beyond the Flank Trail,” says Hellinga, of the mid-mountain trail that runs parallel to the highway on the west side of the valley. “When you look at it in that context, our trail network has actually been really homogenous; technical, steep singletrack. We got a little bit away from that with the Lost Lake trails, which really opened up mountain biking to more people. Now we’re looking beyond that and diversifying what mountain biking is in Whistler. In the long term, I think there’s room outside of the valley bottom corridor for this type of (alpine) development that’s suitable for the whole non-

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

motorized recreation community.” The Lord of the Squirrels is not just a trail. It’s a test of sorts. WORCA lobbied BC Parks in the past to allow sustainable trail development within park boundaries but has always been met with opposition. If the Whistler riding community can demonstrate that mountain bikes will have minimal impact to the environment and other users, it may be enough to convince BC Parks to go the route of Canada’s national parks and allow mountain bikers on certain trails. “(Lord of the Squirrels) is a stepping stone for potential future (alpine) development,” says Jerome David, WORCA’s vice president. “This is what the Whistler riding community wants. If we’re successful and sustainable about it, it’s also going to open the door of communication with BC Parks.” WORCA was founded more than 20 years ago in an effort to lobby against losing access to Garibaldi Provincial Park via Singing Pass. Those access points remain open to cyclists to this day. And while BC Parks remains cautious about letting mountain bikers loose on some areas of its hallowed

ground, Lord of the Squirrels and the greater Sproatt Alpine Project will hopefully demonstrate that mountain bikers can treat their environment — and other nonmotorized trail users — with the appropriate respect.

blood, sweat and beerS When tackling a trail building project of the magnitude of Lord of the Squirrels, it’s the planning that’s considered the hard part; gaining permits from the authorities, securing funding from local government, and other busy work like consulting land stakeholders. The actual trail building is supposed to be the fun part. Dan Raymond’s signature can be found on quite a few of the expert trails on Whistler’s Westside. Rockwork Orange and Wizard Burial Ground are examples of this local trail builder’s style and choice of steep, feature-filled terrain. But just as Lord of the Squirrels was a phase shift from Whistler’s usual trail make up, so was it for Raymond when he and his crew set off from the south Flank Trail volume 3 / issue 1 / 2016


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Photo by Justa Jeskova justajeskova.com

armed with shovels and pulaskis. “The question trail builders always ask themselves is: ‘Will this be one of your favourite trails when you finish it?’” says Raymond. “That was one of my goals for this. It’s filling a void of what we don’t have in Whistler; a flowy, smooth, blue (intermediate) trail that winds through the alpine. I wanted to make sure it was accessible, but most of all I wanted it to be fun.” Making a trail just as enjoyable for an intermediate mountain biker as a World Cup racer is not an easy task, but with the right placement of jumps and utilizing natural objects like rock faces, the speed dictates the difficulty instead of the trail itself. Lord of the Squirrels is also 100 per cent hand-crafted singletrack with no excavators or machines used to shape the trail. The only petrolpowered tools were chainsaws and a brush cutter. “We managed to keep the trail feeling like you’re riding the natural terrain,” says Raymond. “There’s no big, built up berms. It’s all very well massaged into the existing scenery 18

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

and setting.” As much as Raymond enjoyed his last three summers of full-time field work on the upper flanks of Sproatt Mountain, his team had many challenging days. Bug repellant was ineffective against the swarms of mosquitoes and black flies, so everyone got through the day by wearing veiled nets. Rain would soak the builders, their clothing and their tents for days at a time. Then, of course, there were the squirrels themselves, squeaking warning calls and constantly reminding the humans of whose kingdom they were invading. While Lord of the Squirrels will no doubt take its rightful place as Whistler’s new alpine classic, it’s only a first step towards an alpine network that could potentially span the valley. As long as the local and visiting riding community takes responsibility for minimizing environmental impact and sharing the trail with other user groups, the Squirrel Lords may yet be usurped. For now, however, it’s set to take its place as the king of Whistler’s trails..

Photo by Justa Jeskova justajeskova.com

volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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to the Photo courtesy of giant bicycles canada

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Photo courtesy of giant bicycles canada

Electric motor-assisted mountain bikes spark debate over access By Andrew Mitchell

people volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

Lungs burning, sweat dripping, legs cramping, there’s something magical about finally reaching the high point of a bike trail. Your first reward is the view, always more beautiful through salt-stinging eyes. Your second reward is the descent, a rock and dirt-fuelled mix of adrenaline and joy that pulls you into the here and now, shoving every negative thought out of your head. But what happens to that experience if you take away the first part, the glorious suffering of the climb, and replace it with a battery-assisted uphill cruise. Is the view as beautiful? Is the joy as genuine? Did you earn that moment, or did you buy it? Were you even mountain biking? Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

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This is really going to open up the sport to a lot of people. The more people focusing on biking, the more support we’ll have for everything – including trails. paul foUrnier

Photos: Three-wheeled electric mountain bikes help people with physical challenges get out into the forest and into the surrounding wilderness. The Whistler Adaptive Sports Program has a fleet of mountain e-bikes. Photos submitted

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Mountain biking is a spiritual pastime in the midst of a spiritual crisis. The culprit is the steady rise of electric motorassisted mountain e-bikes, which add power to every pedal stroke to help you ride further and faster with far less effort. No longer the next big thing on the horizon, off-road e-bikes have officially arrived. Some 35 million e-bikes were sold worldwide in 2016 — mostly commuter models but almost every major mountain bike manufacturer has added an e-bike to its catalogue in the past few years. Mountain e-bike sales are easily in the millions and growing fast. The rise of the mountain e-bike has sparked intense debate in mountain bike communities over whether they should be allowed on the same trails as human-powered bikes, or classified as motorized recreation. Are they bicycles or electric dirt bikes? “People are very divided on the technology, and there’s a lot of very strong gatekeeping going on about what is truly mountain biking and what isn’t — and a lot of people feel e-biking isn’t,” says International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Canada executive director AJ Strawson. “Our role isn’t to be the gatekeepers

of what is authentically mountain biking. We’re going to stay out of that discussion and instead focus on the management issues we may have to deal with e-bikes on our trails.” The Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), which maintains Crown land trails and sanctions events for over 1,700 members, is of the opinion that mountain e-bikes are essentially motorized, regardless of whether pedalling is required or not. “We’re advocates and proponents of non-motorized recreation, and we build and maintain trails for non-motorized users,” explains Todd Hellinga, WORCA’s director of planning. “We consider e-bikes to be motorized... the easiest distinction is if a bike has a motor or it doesn’t. “That said, we understand they’re coming and we’re looking ahead with our partners in town to have meetings where we hope to designate a place for their use in the valley. We’re of the opinion that (mountain e-bikes) should be allowed in those designated places only, and not everywhere... It’s a pretty big paradigm shift in technology, and it could drastically change how we manage our trails. We have serious concerns over who will take responsibility for potential negative volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


ramifications.” The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has taken note of the increased number of e-bikes on trails and the Valley Trail network and confirmed that they are currently studying the matter. The RMOW owns two off-road e-bikes that are used by parks and recreation staff, as well as electric road bikes that are available to employees travelling between municipal facilities. However, the municipality has noted the increase of e-bikes on public trails and is “considering developing a policy that would clarify e-bike use.” The RMOW has the authority to ban e-bikes on mountain bike trail networks that fall on municipal land, including parks like Lost Lake and the Emerald Forest. It has no authority over Crown land trails controlled by the province, which is also studying the e-bike issue. But while official policy is still being determined, many mountain bikers have already staked out positions on mountain e-bikes. For Paul Fournier, who has been riding mountain bikes in Whistler since the early days of the sport, the question isn’t whether e-bikes should be banned but whether we can even do anything about it volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017

at this point. “They’re already out there,” he says. “I went shopping for an e-bike last year and everyone I talked to was sold out. The demand is so high that the companies manufacturing the bikes can’t keep up. “The truth is I don’t think most people would even recognize some of the newer e-bikes unless they knew what to look for; the technology is so good these days. A lot of them look like any other bike.” Fournier doesn’t need an e-bike to get around but says it will be a nice option when he gets older or if an injury makes it impossible to continue riding the same way he does today. “It would be nice to be able to keep riding for a long, long time; it would kill me not to be able to get out there anymore.” Fournier says the debate over mountain e-bikes reminds him a lot of the days when skiers wanted to ban snowboarders from the mountains. “People are arguing that e-bikes are going to destroy the trails, but a lot of the people saying that have never been on one. They’re not what you think. They’re heavier than normal bikes, but they’re really smooth – you can’t really spin out the tires like you can on a regular bike.

We’re now able to take people who are amputees or are paralyzed out on the trails, It just blows them away. They’re so happy to be able to get out into the forest again. It’s really hard for people with some disabilities to get into nature, especially if they’re in a wheelchair, so they’re pretty excited to have this opportunity. sylvie allen

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Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley rents easy-to-operate, electric-assisted, fattire bikes that are ideal for cruising the park’s designated bike routes. Photo courtesy of Whistler Sport Legacies

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Allen typically takes her clients on easier routes like the Sea to Sky Trail or the gravel trails in Lost Lake, but sometimes takes advanced riders onto singletrack as well. She’s impressed by how well the e-bikes and riders can handle the terrain. “I think it’s a great thing, and not just for people with disabilities. Someone who doesn’t have the same fitness level or has a health condition that prevents them from riding can now keep up to their partners, and enjoy the trails with friends and family,” she says. “But I also do understand the other side of the argument. The bikes are a bit heavier and a bit faster, and it’s pretty easy to blow a corner. That might tear up the trails a bit more. It also means the trails will get more frequent use because you’re taking away the grind to the top (of the trail) that scares off a lot of people. But it’s also more people having fun on bikes, which is a good thing.” Dan Raymond, an Olympic halfpipe coach, mountain bike fanatic, and the lead trail builder on a number of local projects, knows just how hard it is to build and maintain trails. While he has used mountain e-bikes to get around while working on trails, he also believes that mountain e-bike riders, guided e-bike groups and anyone renting e-bikes in Whistler will need to make a real contribution to the trail network to earn the respect of other riders. “Respect is earned,” he says. “If e-bikers become a community and want

Photo courtesy of giant bicycles canada

In my opinion, the people who shuttle or ride downhill bikes on cross-country trails are trashing the trails far more than e-bikes.” Fournier says the only trail maintenance issue he can foresee is the result of increased use. However, he believes that the number of new people it could bring into the sport will help offset those maintenance costs. “This is really going to open up the sport to a lot of people. The more people focusing on biking, the more support we’ll have for everything — including trails.” Sylvie Allen, a mountain bike guide and accomplished racer, sees both sides of the e-bike argument. On the one hand, she’s an avid mountain biker who is concerned about trails and trail access; on the other, she’s seen firsthand how mountain e-bikes can get more people out riding. Allen helps coach and guide for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program (WASP), which has an e-bike fleet to rent to individuals with physical and mental disabilities. That fleet includes threewheeled, hand-pedalled mountain e-bikes for riders with mobility issues. “We’re now able to take people who are amputees or are paralyzed out on the trails,” says Allen proudly. “It just blows them away. They’re so happy to be able to get out into the forest again. It’s really hard for people with some disabilities to get into nature, especially if they’re in a wheelchair, so they’re pretty excited to have this opportunity.”

Beyond Whistler The e-bike conflict has already come to a head in Moab, Utah, one of mountain biking’s most popular destinations. In 2014, mountain e-bikes were classified as motorized transportation and banned on all state-run Bureau of Land Management (BLM) trails. That classification was later adopted by the federal Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and National Park Service. On a wider scale, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) – an organization that has been fighting for mountain bike access to public lands since 2008 – has asked the U.S. Government to classify mountain e-bikes differently than human-powered bikes (for the time being anyway), which could result in bans on other non-motorized trails as well. IMBA’s stance didn’t change after commissioning a study that found that the impacts of mountain e-bikes were only slightly greater than humanpowered mountain bikes, suggesting that other studies, including impacts on other trail users, needed to take place. That’s not to say their stance couldn’t change — their study concluded that “with conscientious management and attention to trail design, Class 1 eMTBs (pedal assisted, lower wattage) may have the potential to offer a beneficial use of public lands with acceptable impacts.” In the end, AJ Strawson, executive director of IMBA Canada, says it will likely be up to land managers across Canada to make decisions on what should be allowed on their lands. They can ban all e-bikes (like Parks Canada), designate separate e-bike trails, or try to somehow limit the types of mountain e-bike technology that people can use — something that Strawson says may ultimately be impossible to enforce. He adds: “Right now we’re encouraging our member clubs to have a dialogue in their communities and get a consensus from stakeholders. Not everywhere is the same or has the same issues — e-bikes may be a problem on some sensitive trails in B.C., but are probably a lot less contentious in some places like Ontario because of the style of trails.” volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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Fitness and experience kind of go together in mountain biking — you get stronger and better the more you ride. With an e-bike, it’s maybe easier to get in over your head as far as your skills go. dan raymond

to be a user group that’s respected, then they need to go out there and build some trails as well. It’s taken a lot of sweat and blood to build our trail network, and they get to roll in and reap the benefits of all that work. I would really encourage them to participate.” Raymond has other concerns as well, based on his own experience riding e-bikes on trail projects. For one thing, he says the mountain e-bikes climb so well that riders may start to ride some downhill trails in the uphill direction — something he says could create conflict, collisions and increased erosion. As a result, he says some trails may need to be posted as directional as a matter of safety. As well, he’s concerned that people will use the bikes to go further into the woods than they could make it on their own power, and might need to be rescued if they are injured or their bikes fail. Riders, he adds, will also be able to access trails that are beyond their skill level. “Fitness and experience kind of go together in mountain biking — you get stronger and better the more you ride. With an e-bike, it’s maybe easier to get in over your head as far as your skills go. If you can’t pedal up to Lord of the Squirrels, for example, you probably don’t have the skills to handle the descent.” The debate over e-bikes is similar to past debates over heli-biking and whether bike tour companies should be allowed to use trails built and maintained by volunteers. That debate ultimately resulted in those companies building their own trails and pitching in to help groups like WORCA build and maintain trails. WORCA would like to see e-bike proponents, including retailers, organize

and make a contribution to the trails. “What’s served us best in the past is being able to show other non-motorized users that we’re more like them and less like motorcycles,” says Hellinga, of WORCA. “That argument got our foot in the door, and then we put our money where our mouth was and managed and improved the trail network. Personally, I’m unwilling to put all those hard-won gains at risk for something that we were not asking for. If the industry and e-bike retailers want the opportunity to ride on the trails, then they also need to put their money where their mouth is and come up with a proposal... to upgrade these trails and make them appropriate for e-bikes.” Currently, the only e-bike regulations on the books in B.C. apply to commuter e-bikes, with a maximum power output of 500-watts and a top speed of 32km/h without pedalling. Anything above that and the bike is classified in the same category as a scooter, and must be licensed and insured like a gas-powered vehicle. The European Union (EU) has a standard for mountain e-bikes that is being considered on this side of the Atlantic as well. In the EU, bikes with Electric Pedal-Assisted Classification (EPAC) must be pedalled for the electric motor to engage (no throttling) and are limited to 250 watts of power output and a maximum speed of 25km/h. Whether similar standards for mountain e-bikes will be adopted by Canada, B.C. or Whistler, or all e-bikes will be classified as motorized, has yet to be decided. While the pros and cons are being debated however, the bikes are already out there — and coming to a trail near you.

Photo courtesy giant bicycles canada Photo courtesy ofof giant bicycles canada

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When it’s still snowing in Whistler, it’s mountain biking season elsewhere in the Sea to Sky corridor Text by Steve Storey | Photos by Justa Jeskova

O

ne of the questions locals are often asked in the Sea to Sky corridor is: What’s your favourite trail?

Everyone wants some insight into what makes this coastal mountain corridor community the mecca of mountain biking. My answers vary: Do you have a few hours to discuss it? What time of year are we talking about? What’s the weather like? Am I riding this trail solo or with friends? Depends on what I rode yesterday. Every winter season I have a lot of time to think about my preferred trails and the different seasons and conditions I choose to ride them in. What I’ve realized is: it’s an impossible choice. There are so many factors that make a trail a “favourite” on any given day. We have a whole corridor of trail networks that can keep us on our bikes almost year-round. When it’s snowing on Whistler, it’s spring in Squamish. And when the fall rains begin in earnest and the chill begins to set in, Pemberton offers its seemingly endless summer. Each community has its own distinct flavour. Without picking favourites, here’s a quick guide to how one local makes the most of the Sea to Sky corridor on a mountain bike. 30

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Squamish in the spring

W

hen spring is nearly upon us and the trails start to shake off their winter coat, the Squamish trails start calling out. The ultra-lush greens of the forest come alive at this time of year. With months of living in a white-covered world, it’s a welcome change to see flora exuding an almost electric appearance, made further vibrant by morning fog. Squamish’s environment and trails have such a unique appearance; you can tell it’s Squamish just by looking at a photo, whether you’ve been to that spot or not. With over 250 kilometres of trails, it’s a perfect place to get rid of any winter ‘rust’ that’s been accumulating on both bike and body. At this time of year, velcro-like dirt blesses world famous trails like Half and Full Nelson. It’s quintessential coastal BC and you won’t find a more beautiful time of year to experience this place.

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The height of summer — Whistler

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ventually, spring morphs into summer and we are spoiled with the riches of living in a mountain biking world. All three of our Sea to Sky towns are buzzing with excitement. Arguably, this is when Whistler steals the spotlight for its share of the year. Dry trails and fast rolling dirt are back. Massive alpine missions are all open. Our after-work rides are only limited to our leg power and even Lord of the Squirrels becomes a possible option with the forest staying light enough to ride until after 9 p.m. Or if climbing’s not your jam, the bike park is open late, too. Schleyer and Canadian Open laps until you can’t hold onto the bars anymore is a fantastic way to spend an evening. The toughest part of the day becomes deciding which trails to ride. Weekly beer league DH and XC races, group trail rides, as well as men’s and women’s nights all vie for our attention. The days we spent daydreaming during winter come alive here. For a short while, it all feels like we’re in a perpetual summer that we never want to end. Bike park days bookended by lake sessions on hot summer days — maybe a BMX or pump track session to follow up after a day-long valley trail outing. We’re spoiled for choice here and choices are all good.

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What makes this one of the greatest places in the world to ride a bike is the proximity of our communities, each a world class destination in its own right. steve storey

Pemberton by fall

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y the end of summer and start of fall, I start to pine for tacky trails and an end to the dust. At this time of year, the Pemberton trails truly shine. Fall colours and warmth explode on this corner of the Sea to Sky more than anywhere else. The typical fall rains we endure have a unique effect on the Pemberton dirt. Due to geographical conditions, mud seemingly doesn’t exist here. The trails drain exceptionally well and when most of the Sea to Sky is saturated, Pemberton begins its rule as the place to be for the final months of the year. It doesn’t hurt that some of the corridor’s biggest descents are here. Jack the Ripper and Tenquille Lake epics make good tests after a full season of pedalling. But it’s not all about day-long missions; there are still more than 130 other trails all worth riding.

So there you have it: there isn’t one best place to ride or even a best season in the Sea to Sky corridor. What makes this one of the greatest places in the world to ride a bike is the proximity of our communities, each a world-class destination in its own right. I know where I’ll be as the months roll on. Where will you be? Whistler local Steve Storey is one of the team riders for Knolly Bikes, out of Vancouver. He is a a trail builder, a racer, a traveller and a writer. 34

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Two local trail-building companies to join forces with WB for Creekside expansion By Alison Taylor

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histler Blackcomb (WB) is gearing up for a massive year of trail construction in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Approximately 14 kilometres of new trails are planned in the Creekside Zone this summer — the first step in Whistler Blackcomb’s goal to almost double the size of the bike park in the coming years. To put that in perspective, the park now has more than 80 km of trails, built over the past 20 years. WB’s trail-building crew is set to combine forces with Gravity Logic and Joyride Bike Parks, two local trail-building companies with deeprooted ties to WB, to pull off this season’s work. “It’s just a huge project,” says Rob McSkimming, WB’s vice president of business development. “We wanted to bring in the resources of some of the people in the valley other than our team, which I think is a good thing. And we’re just really interested in making sure we’ve got a good variety of flavours.” Bringing in top-level builders in town, particularly ones familiar with Whistler dirt, adds new perspective, he adds. Joyride Bike Parks president Paddy Kaye has been working in the park for the past 20 years, watching its progression closely. This is just the latest step in continually innovative and evolving work in the park. “There’s no other resort in the world that’s made the kind of moves that Whistler has,” says Kaye. “That’s why it’s the world leader. To work with Whistler Blackcomb on this stuff is truly an honour. They allow us to do it right and set the standard for bike parks and trail building.” Kaye has already walked the trail Joyride will be working on — a blue flow line with a narrow footprint. 36

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A rider explores the Creekside Zone at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. There will be more options in that zone after the massive trail expansion planned this summer. Photos by Laurence Crossman-Emms courtesy of whistler blackcomb

“It’s a classic Whistler forest — second growth — with a bunch of little bluffs and neat little features already that we’ll be able to use in the trail,” he says. “No one person or company can build all the trails that this community needs so when you get some good, experienced crews together, it’s amazing what you can create.” Dave Kelly, director of Gravity Logic, says they’ve yet to sign the contract with WB but he believes they’ll be building two trails. Unlike the park’s iconic jump trails like A-Line or Dirt Merchant trails, which Kelly had a hand in building back in the day, these will be more like singletrack with nice bermed corners and great flow. “Think more like Ninja Cougar, only a little steeper and more technical,” says Kelly. “We refer to these types of trails as “hybrid” where we use excavators to do all the heavy work and make really nice berms but we try to give the trail a natural, singletrack feel.” The Creekside trail expansion is part of WB’s much grander vision for the future. In February, the company signed off on a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with the province and neighbouring First Nations, which includes 60-year land-use contracts detailing how WB might expand in the coming years. This MDA paves the way for Whistler Blackcomb’s $345-million Renaissance plans, which includes an indoor waterpark, a new adventure park, a boutique hotel and upscale townhouses, among other things. Renaissance, which still needs approvals and zoning, begins this year with just two projects — the bike park expansion and a new signature suspension bridge at the peak of Whistler Mountain, part of WB’s $23 million budget for maintenance and discretionary projects in 2017.

“From a business perspective this expansion is a great thing,” adds Kelly, whose company is now working in 12 different resorts around the world. “Bike parks and ski areas all around North America, and further, take their cues and follow WB’s lead and I think this sends the message that the industry is strong and growing steadily. If you are operating a ski resort and you want to generate four-season revenue and/or weatherproof your existing summer operations, WB has proven that bike parks are a great way to accomplish those goals. Hopefully a move like this from WB will ensure our phone keeps ringing.” If all goes according to plan, McSkimming hopes the trail building will begin in May so the trails are ready for riding in the 2018 season. The 14 km in Creekside will consist of five new trails. The WB trail crew will be working on the easiest trail. “It will be like an ‘Easy Does It’ style — so machine-built, low-angle, really designed so that anybody can ride it and make their way back to Creekside,” says McSkimming, referring to the beginner green trail on the other side of the park. This will be WB’s second full summer running the Creekside gondola, which opened in August 2015. Meanwhile, there is still work to be done in the Village-side of the park. “We’re focusing on a connected blue trail from the top of the Roundhouse all the way down to Olympic Station. We’ve got bits and and pieces of it in place. And hopefully this summer we’ll complete it,” says McSkimming. In total that’s another three to four kilometres of new trail. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is set to open May 19. The Creekside Gondola opens June 17. volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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2017

event Calendar In Association with

Weekly Rides Mondays

CRANKWORX WHISTLER AUGUST 11 – 20 Kidsworx Enduro Friday August 11 CLIF Bar Dual Speed & Style

Race Events Nimby Fifty XC Mountain Bike Race – Pemberton May 20

crankdbikemag.com

more information

Some events may be subject to change. Please visit the relevant website to confirm events details. pinkbike.com worca.com (WMBP) whistlerbike.com (WCC) whistlercyclingclub.ca

photo:

Rémy Métailler racing BC Champs DH through Whistler Bike Park in 2016. Photo by clint trahan clinttrahan.com

38

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

The Gryphon Enduro – Squamish June 10 Spakwus 50 Marathon XC – Squamish June 17 Canada Cup/BC Champs XC – Whistler June 24 BC Cup DH – Whistler June 24 – 25 BC Bike Race July 6 – 13 Hot On Your Heels Women’s Enduro – Squamish July 22 Subaru Ironman Canada – Whistler July 30

Canadian Open Enduro Challenger presented by CamelBak Saturday August 12 Liv A–Line Women’s Only Session Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized Sunday August 13 Kidsworx DH Race – B–Line presented by Spawn Cycles Monday August 14 Garbanzo DH Dirt Diaries Tuesday August 15 Fox Air DH Samsung Deep Summer Photo Challenge Wednesday August 16 Official Whip–Off World Championships presented by SPANK Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox Thursday August 17

EWS #7 – SRAM Canadian Open Enduro – Whistler August 13

Giant Dual Slalom presented by 100% Friday August 18

RBC GranFondo – Whistler September 9

Kidsworx Dirt Pump Track Challenge Saturday August 19

Whistler Classic NAET September 9 – 10

Red Bull Joyride Sunday August 20

Canadian Open DH presented by iXS

WMBP GT Women’s Night (DH) May 22 – September 4 – 5:30 – 7:30pm WMBP Men’s Night (DH) May 22 – June 5 – 5:30 – 7:30pm

Tuesdays WMBP Men’s Night (DH) June 13 – August 29 – 5:30 – 7:30pm WCC Ride (Road) 5:30pm Whistler Village Sports PORCA Toonie Ride (XC) – Pemberton April 18 – September 26 – 5:30pm

Wednesdays WMBP / WORCA Phat Wednesday Race Series (DH) Visit whistlerbike.com for weekly race schedule/info WCC Social Ride – Beginner to Intermediate (Road) 5:30pm Whistler Village Sports WMBP GT Women’s Night (DH) May 24 – August 30 – 5:30 – 7:30pm SORCA Toonie Ride (XC) – Squamish April 26 – September 23 – 5:30pm

Thursdays WORCA Toonie Ride (XC) May 11 – September 21 – 5:30pm

Sundays WCC Ride (Road) 9am Whistler, 10am Pemberton May 7 onward volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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Ride On By Alison Taylor

Local bikes upturned at the Whistler Golf Course after one of the weekly WORCA Toonie Rides. Photo by justa jeskova justajeskova.com

40

Crank’d Whistler’s Bike Magazine

A

bout 25 years ago, when the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) was born, mountain biking was just a fringe summer sport in a winter sports town. WORCA’s purpose back in the day was very specific: lobby for the reintroduction of mountain bikes into Garibaldi Park, after the province cut access to Singing Pass. How quickly things change in a town on the vanguard of mountain sport. Flash forward to 2017 and the imminent release of one of the most important studies coming out of Whistler this year, detailing the economic impact of mountain biking. No one can accuse the partners in the study of not being thorough: it’s been two years of data collecting and long months analyzing it. We expect the results will be well worth the wait. While it’s hard to write about a study that has yet to be published, we have some sense of what it’s going to reveal. We’re seeing it play out before our very eyes — new and bigger bike stores in town, a massive bike park expansion, resort-wide record-breaking summer visitation. In 25 years, mountain biking has gone from fringe to a multi-million-dollar industry in Whistler with no signs of letting up. We don’t need a study to tell us the economic impact of mountain biking in Whistler is massive. For the pedantic among us, the numbers are already in black and white from another study 40 minutes down the road. Tourism spending in Squamish from mountain bikers last year totalled $10 million, up from $2.3 million a decade earlier, according to the recently-released study. More riders are coming from beyond the corridor and they’re staying longer too. That Squamish report contains another compelling line: “The Squamish Off Road Cycling Association (SORCA) conducts most of the cycling trail maintenance in Squamish, with an annual budget of approximately $65,000. In addition, SORCA, along with other partners, funds trail construction averaging $100,000 per year over the last five years.” Those numbers jive roughly with Whistler’s numbers. WORCA gets $50,000 a year from the municipality in a fee-for-service agreement. It collects more money from membership fees, and a handful of other sources, allowing the organization to spend roughly $100,000 on trail maintenance annually. While it contracts out some work, most of the management and development and visioning is done by volunteers — committed community members who appear for trail-building days, and board members who spend long hours making sure the organization runs smoothly and reflects the mood and the culture of its membership. It’s one of the biggest mountain biking clubs in Canada. This point cannot be overstated — WORCA is Whistler and Whistler is WORCA. Yet, we’re expecting a volunteer-run organization with a budget of just $100,000 to remain at the helm of one of Whistler’s most significant tourism drivers — Is this sustainable? Is it even fair? At the very least, WORCA needs more money to keep Whistler’s trails world class, to stay relevant and adaptable as it has done for more than two decades. It needs money to pay more staff. It is the only way WORCA can continue to manage a trail system that gets bigger and more significant every year. This year, for example, it’s focusing trail work on keeping Comfortably Numb in top shape — this is, after all, a trail with “epic” status; a trail that people come to Whistler expressly to ride. WORCA is working to develop more intermediate trails in Cheakamus to relieve some of the pressure on the ever-popular Lost Lake network. And, it’s about to enter into a whole new world with its high alpine trail, Lord of the Squirrels. Its role grows year over year. This economic impact study couldn’t have come at a better time. We look forward to the results and welcome the changes it must surely bring in the coming years. volume 4 / issue 1 / 2017


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Profile for Whistler Publishing

Crank'd Bike Magazine 2017  

Whistler's only dedicated bike magazine – covering mountain, downhill, road and tri biking in Whistler and the surrounding area.

Crank'd Bike Magazine 2017  

Whistler's only dedicated bike magazine – covering mountain, downhill, road and tri biking in Whistler and the surrounding area.