On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) will host the inaugural Soo Valley Rumble — a race created to fill a weekend usually dominated by the Samurai of Singletrack as well as to showcase trails not typically included in the weekly Loonie Races. It’s also WORCA’s way of thanking the community for another great season — 1,200 members as of last week — and for the local mountain bike community to support the local Terry Fox Run.
It’s going to be a challenging event, with several cut-offs along the way. It starts in the Soo Valley, and includes the North Flank Trail, Cat Scratch Fever, sections of White Knuckles and Shit Happens, Big Kahuna, Section 102 and Kill Me Thrill Me.
Event organizer and WORCA trails director Jerome David said he only expects a handful of riders to make the final cut-off at the end of Section 102, four hours after the noon start. The fastest riders expect that it will take at least three hours to complete the course.
“We decided to go into the “no flow” zone because that area hasn’t been featured in any Loonie races this year, and the Cheakamus Challenge takes place on the south trails and the West Side Wheel Up has the West Side,” he said. “I thought it was important for (WORCA) to keep a presence in that area, with everything that’s happening with the Rainbow Development and the First Nations land deal. There is definitely more work that needs to be done.”
Sign-on will get underway at 11 a.m. in the Soo Valley. The sign-on is up the Soo Valley Forest Service Road, which is also the access to the Shadow Lake hiking trails. The entrance, which is about three kilometres north of the exit of Kill Me Thrill Me, will be well-marked on the day of the race, as will the route to the main parking lot at the dam. From there it’s about a 3 km ride to the start line.
From the start, it will take riders between one and two hours to climb to the North Flank Trail, and then descend into Alpine Meadows.
The first cut-off is after 2.5 hours at the water station in Alpine Meadows, followed by another cut-off after 3.5 hours after the White Knuckles. From there, riders will have half an hour after coming off Big Kahuna to get to the final cut-off after Section 102. That way most riders will be off Kill Me Thrill by around 5 p.m., with plenty of time to make the after-party at Edgewater.
The cost of participating is $15, which includes food and refreshments after the race. WORCA will be donating $10 from every entry fee to the Terry Fox Run, as well as offering pledge sheets to riders wishing to make larger donations. Some athletes are planning to take part in both the Terry Fox Run and Soo Valley Rumble as part of the overall Month of Pain festivities.
Non-racers are also welcome at the after party, and tickets to get food and refreshments are also $15.
There will be prizes for the top male, female and junior athletes, as well as draw prizes for all participants that are being donated by local businesses.