Whistler in Canada is a year round destination, of course it is a resort that many skiers and snowboarders dream of visiting, the terrain and runs are legendary. However during the summer hikers visit to enjoy the well marked trails and spectacular wildlife but the mountain bikers also arrive in their droves.
There are several thousand of them in the village at present, many of the top riders in the World are in attendance. Apart from the usual attraction of the great trail riding and the conversion of the chairlifts to transport bikes up the slopes there is the Crankworx freeriding biking and music festival.
Bikers appear to be like rebels on two wheels, never really conforming to what society expects, they live for the thrill of a fast downhill and catching some big air. If there aren’t any jumps around then the industrious bikers will build one!
Looking around the chairlifts where they all hang out it appears to be about wild shades and even wilder hair. Long hair is the norm and rastafarian cuts are relatively common but wearing a helmet for several hours at a time is murder for the coiffure. Splashes of colour everywhere with bikers draped in bright yellow, orange, red and green long shorts and tops, the bikes can be even brighter often resplendent in vibrant, fluorescent colour schemes.
Two things all the bikers have in common however is plenty of body armour to protect against falls and a generous splattering of mud and dirt even in the dry conditions. Maybe the more dirt that is worn the more respect that is earned, like a badge of honour. If the dirt is excessive due to an obvious fall maybe less kudos is afforded, for me a fall is a sign of trying something new and more difficult.
I managed to catch a few on the bike park whilst on the zipline eco-tour which was fun a fun way to get around the rainforest.
Many of the bikers were really getting some impressive height and taking the jumps and corners at speed, very exciting for spectators. The bike park at Whistler understandably attracts some of the top bikers, those jumping that day may not have been the very best but they were pretty impressive anyway.