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Bike Festival coming together



New events, features added to schedule

The final details for the Whistler Mountain Bike Festival are coming together, according to organizer Richard Juryn of Shore Events – the only problem is that the event keeps getting bigger.

"I’m a little on the busy side these days," he said.

The main events of the weekend are the B.C. Freeride Challenge, the Remax Village Criteriums and the Whistler 6 Hour Enduro. Side events include a bike toss, a tricycle slalom, a product expo, a mountain bike photography exhibition, and a Beer Cup competition featuring 10 B.C. breweries, an all-ages barbecue and video exhibition, and musical guests She Stole My Beer.

Not a bad lineup of events considering that Juryn has spent less than three months organizing the festival.

"I’ve been getting a lot of help from people in Whistler, and the mountains, and the people organizing the event with me," said Juryn. "We were open to ideas from the beginning, and it’s just grown as people have suggested more things that we could include.

"It’s the first festival for us, so we really started with a blank slate. If something works, we’ll do it again next year, and if not then we’ll have to come up with something else. Personally, I think it’s going to be great."

On Friday, Sept. 27, the festival will kick off with event pre-registration and the B.C. Freeride Challenge Course will be open for competitors to practice. There will also be a mountain bike industry tech talk and forum. The photography exhibit will likely open as well, at a location still to be announced.

The action gets underway on Saturday morning with the B.C. Freeride Challenge in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. The Challenge will be timed like a downhill, but includes several sections where riders will have to choose between riding a stunt or taking the long way around.

According to Juryn, more than 50 people have already signed up for the event and more than half of them are youth between 11 and 15 years old.

Juryn has also received several e-mails on behalf of "passionate" freeriders telling him exactly what has to be included on the course in the way of stunts to be legitimate.

Right now the tentative course is Upper Joyride to Schleyer to Good Call to Crack Addict to Hornet to the GLC Drop, although that might change before the competition day.

The organizers are also putting videographers along the course to film the competitors, and the footage will be shown at the all ages barbecue that evening.