2 years ago
I've been in Whistler for the past week for Crankworx. The trip started last, last Sunday when I got on a train to Seattle right after 'nearly' building up two bikes. Yes, you can actually get to Whistler without a car or flying. About 37 hours later, I arrived in Seattle where a lady asked me if I was "one of those x-games people". From there, I took an Amtrak bus to Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canada/USA border is simple driving through in a car. In a bus, not so much. We had to take our carry-ons and checked bags into a building where we were asked the usual questions: "how long are you staying ?", "have you had any trouble with the law ?", etc. and then some ridiculous questions such as "do you any have money ?" which I replyed with "like five bucks". He then asked what my credit card limit was and then why I had so much stuff. He also asked if I was going to Crankworx. I said yes and he said, "...wasn't that like a week ago?"
After all that, we got back on the bus and soon arrived in Vancouver where I stayed in a hotel for the night. It was 2am, so the only place open for food was Mcdonalds or 7-11... I went to 7-11 thinking i'd come back with some snacks and a few beers. I left the store with beef jerky, an ice cream bar and a banana. Apparently you can only get beer or liquor at liquor stores in Canada.
The next morning, I took a bus from Vancouver to Whistler. Since my reservations were all through amtrak and the first bus was an amtrak bus, I thought the second one would be too. After waiting in front of the station for a while wondering where the bus was, I asked someone where it was. The bus to whistler is actually a greyhound bus, which boarded behind the train station. It was interesting getting my two bike boxes and all my bags through the station and to the bus in less than five minutes. It took several trips 40 feet at a time. Once I got to the bus, I was told it was full. After all that, I thought i'd have to wait for another... Fortunately, they had a second backup bus. A few others and I had the second bus to ourselves.
By Tuesday afternoon, I was in Whistler. Since the downhill bike was missing a few parts, I put the hardtail together and took some runs in the bike park. A-line and Crank It Up were a bit rough on street tires and a 75mm fork, with all the brake bumps Crankworx brings, though fun. Ninja Cougar is the best trail on the mountain for a hardtail. It's a tight, twisty, smooth, almost pump track like trail.
Through out the week, I caught up with lots of friends while shooting the races (& slopestyle competition) and riding the mountain as much as I could. Friday morning, I was off to the dirtbike shop 'in town' to get some fork oil and brake fluid. My left fork seal on the DHR was leaking all over so I had to replace it before it got on my brake pads. Little did I know... it would be quite the journey. I rode north probably 3km, following the map on my phone. I ended up at an animal shelter which looked nothing like a dirtbike shop. After riding in circles around the Sea To Sky highway for an hour, asking several people, someone told me where it was. It was actually in Function Junction, which was 10km away, the opposite direction. I rode along the highway for a while until I got to Function Junction. The shop was really there, so I got what I needed, and picked up some stuff at the hardware store, then got a sandwich. Then the bus came... while I was eating my sandwich. I tried to catch it, but I couldn't... I didn't want to ride back since it was so hot and mostly uphill, so I tried hitchhiking at the intersection. I had no luck. Do I really look that sketchy? 30 minutes later, another bus came and I was finally on my way back to whistler. By the time I got the bike together and got down to the village, the lift closed just as I was going to up for one run. The next day, I got to ride the new bike for the first time. I was surprised how quickly I got used to it and how fast I was going the first day on it.
Whistler has had Souther California conditions the last 2 months. I heard it did rain one day before I came up. It's dry, dusty and loose. Just how I like it! I would love for it to cool down though. This morning, I did three runs and was dripping sweat on my phone... and had to lay down in the shade for a bit. I'm up here for another week, so some cool, foggy weather would make for some nicer riding and photos (since so much of what I usually shoot in California are the sunny and dusty shots).
Riding photos to come soon!