Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Cranking It Up

Day 2 of hitting the bike park and I'm pretty sure I won't be looking for any XC riding here. I know there's lots of amazing trails, and it'd be nice to ride without the full gladiator costume on, but Whistler Bike Park is just too much fun. It's like going to the fun fair every day and choosing which of the world's best roller coasters to ride :o)

Me, Spangles and Rosson warmed up on Crank It Up. My current favorite trail, the jumps are gauged perfectly to instill confidence, but forgive the odd misjudgment. The flow sections are super fast too, so it's the perfect way to get into the swing of things. After Crank' we hit B-Line and then explored some of the other blue rated routes. Golden Triangle was a little disappointing. Flowy in places but also quite flat (chair lifts and steep descents have spoiled me.) However it lead to Samurai Pizza Cat - rooty and rutted with some nice challenging technical sections through the trees, and Devil's Club - ladders with fairly tight switchbacks (especially for the guys with double crown forks.) Great fun and a nice change of pace from the bermed, groomed stuff we'd been riding.

The morning's technical riding was a good taster of what was to come in the afternoon. We took the Garbanzo lift high up the face of the mountain. Our plan was to hit blue routes all the way back to Fitzsimmons but Rosson persuaded us to hit some of the black routes too. Good call! Blue Velvet lead into In Deep and the Freight Train. The terrain up here is steep, in some cases insanely steep - I must've fried 3 months worth of normal brake pad wear in less than 15 minutes. The drops are fearsome too. You have no idea how steep the other side is unless you just gun it and commit, or pull up short and peek over the edge. I baulked a couple of times. The constant problem solving over steep, challenging terrain mixed with unforgiving jumps started to fray my nerves. By the time we hit A-Line and the trails back to the village, I was done.

Ready to call it a day we instead took time out to relax, sit down and sink a couple of cold beers. People have told me it's always a good idea to ride downhill with a drink or two packed away, but I always dismissed it. I want to stay focussed and feel strong! But sometimes my brain can overload with trying to process the trail and I start to make errors and slow down. So, to try out the theory, I decided to do one last run on Crank It Up (Rosson and Spangles, veered off down A-Line instead.) As it turns out, the beerskis sorted out my whirring head and I had one of my best runs that day! Admittedly, a few of the jumps were hit a little too fast and I almost cleared the backsides, but my body was loosey goosey and so was my brain. I just relaxed and didn't worry and focussed on having fun. I'm not quite ready to replace my Camel Sack's contents with IPA, but it's good to know a little pit stop at the bar can sort out frazzled nerves and give you one last run of the day :o)

No comments:

Post a Comment