Whistler doesnt mark the change of seasons by leaves changing colour, but by the ceremonial swapping of gear bikes go into storage and the skis and snowboards come out. But not before one last epic ride.
For Whistlers hardcore riders that epic could be the Joyride Huckfest, an amalgam of past end-of-year events held since 2001 to mark the closing of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Huckfest runs Oct. 8-10 and includes three competitions, a movie premiere and a few end-of-season parties.
Paddy Kaye, who organized Joyride events in the past, is back heading up the Huckfest festivities.
"I guess the theme for this years Huckfest is participation, getting people out," he said. "It was such a successful year for the bike park, everybody was so stoked, so were keeping all events open for an entry fee of $10. We have amateur categories, and a Super D event that includes climbing as well as downhilling to get more people involved. The more the merrier."
The Super D will be followed by a slopestyle event in the Boneyard at the base of Whistler. The number of features in play and tricks allowed will be limited to encourage more riders to take part.
"Our goal is to show the talents of all the great riders and youth, and what these guys are doing," said Kaye.
The last event is the Joyride Downhill, an expert race on one of the Bike Parks most technical trails, "for the more hardcore riders," said Kaye.
While this years Huckfest is bigger than in the past, Kaye says that reflects Whistler-Blackcombs commitment to the bike park and the fact that the park is bigger and better every year. "I got involved to boost the event a bit, get more exposure and grow it, but at the same time its still geared to grass roots and local riders, the whole mountain bike community," he said.
Saturday, Oct 8
Super D New to Whistler, the Super D discipline is a mix of downhill and cross-country riding that is becoming increasingly popular at NORBA events south of the border. The basic format is downhill, but the course includes a few uphill sections as well.
The course starts at mid-station, and climbs Expressway to Too Tight. From there it descends through Upper Angry Pirate and After Atlantis before climbing Easy Does It. From there riders will head down Golden Triangle, World Cup Singletrack, and a new downhill trail called Devils Club. Riders will climb another section of Easy Does It to North West Passage before the final descent on Lower A-Line and Heart of Darkness. The finish will be on the service road after another short climb.