The Whistler Mountain Bike Park opened on May 17 with huge crowds from Friday to Monday, but the transition from ski to bike season is not yet complete — Blackcomb Mountain is open to the public until Monday, May 27, and Whistler is reopening to skiers and boarders for a annual event that transitions between snow and dirt: the Crud 2 Mud.
The Crud 2 Mud, taking place this Sunday, May 26, is a two-part race that includes a giant slalom course for skiers and snowboarders and a rip through the bike park. You can race it as a relay or, if you're really ambitious, as a solo rider.
It's in the solo categories where strategy really comes into play — do you take a moment to change out of your ski/snowboard boots and put on some shoes to bike a little faster, or do you keep your boots on for a faster transition and maybe lose a little time on the bike leg?
There's a full range of age categories and categories for ski and snowboard, solo and relay.
The course and transition area are usually determined by the snow conditions. This year, with an early thaw, the ski/snowboard course will start at the Roundhouse and include Whiskey Jack, Orange Peel, Pony Trail and Highway 86 as far as the snow goes before hoofing it down to the container. The bike portion is Expressway, Super Fantastic, B-Line, Heart of Darkness and Monkey Hands.
Full-face helmets are required for the mountain bike portion of the race, pads are recommended and costumes are encouraged. As well, skiers and riders should be at the intermediate skill level.
Registration is open until Saturday at 2 p.m. at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations, online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com or over the phone at 1-800-766-0449. Solo races 13 and older pay $55 while relay teams pay $80. You need a bike park pass to take part, but they can be purchased at a special rate by registered racers ($31 for adults, $28 for youth and seniors).
Details for the Bud Light Phat Wednesdays downhill series were also confirmed recently, with the first event taking place on June 12. There are eight events in the series this year, with additional events taking place June 19, June 26, July 3, 10, 17 and 31 and August 28.
You need to be a member of the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) to race, and have a valid pass to ride the park. As well, there's a $2 entry fee, with the cash going towards the top riders in each category based on the turnout.
For more details, visit www.whistlerbike.com.
Nimby Fifty rolls Saturday
The fourth annual Nimby Fifty mountain bike race in Pemberton takes place this Saturday, May 25, with racers taking on a roughly 40km course that includes some Spud Valley's toughest climbs and best singletrack.
The race starts and finishes at North Arm Farm and includes a list of trails including Radio Tower, Cross Town Traffic and Lower Moose-Jay before the long climb up Happy Trail and Big Nimby — 101 switchbacks over 11.2 kilometres. From the top riders jump on another easy trail that brings them to the start of the Overnight Sensation descent. The Overnight Sensation section features the Red Bull Downtime, a race-within-a-race where riders are separately timed, and where the top male and female can earn a $250 prize. As well, the fastest hardtail can also win $250, donated by Chromag Bikes.
The rest of the trail is a little more intermediate, featuring Spincter, Econoline, No Err, Ramble On, Moby Dick and Dark Forest.
The first three men and women to the finish line can earn $1,000, $250 and $150 respectively, and there are two additional primes as well — $100 to the first male and female to the top of Radio Tower and another $100 for the first male and female to the top of Big NIMBY.
For more information or registration — or if you're looking to volunteer — visit www.nimbyfifty.com.