This past weekend was the big kickoff of bike park season with the opening of the Whistler Bike Park! Those of us at Kona USA and our Canadian offices are fortunate enough to live within just a short drive of the park, so it was a no-brainer for the dedicated downhillers to make their way through the throngs of traffic and people to sample a bit of some of the best trails on earth. However this year, the crowds and traffic were absent. Whistler’s new policy is to run the chairs until 8pm every single day. This helped keep the crowds at a manageable pace since people were able to space out their riding.
I arrived at 2pm on Friday and was still able to easily crack off double-digit laps on my favorite trails: Joyride, Schleyer, Clown Shoes, Detroit Rock City, and Lower Whistler Downhill (I have a thing for rock slabs.) The dirt throughout the weekend ran the gauntlet of conditions: dusty and dry on Friday, a river after the monsoon of Saturday, and perfectly tacky hero megarad (insert buzzword) dirt on Sunday.
If there’s one thing I took away from the weekend it’s that downhill is not dead! Dual crown forks were everywhere and Operators were happily flying over the A Line Tombstone jump and ripping around freshly sculpted Canadian Open berms. The park has undergone a few changes from last season including a revamped Longhorn trail, which is chock full of super flowy berms. More changes can be expected, including an additional jump line sure to get the Dirt Merchant/A Line crowd hyped up.
Did you make it to the park this weekend?