Long weekend plans, a bachelor party, the Xterra Canadian Championships and a variety of other factors kept the numbers low for the 2010 running of the West Side Wheel Up - although in the end that didn't seem to matter. People who couldn't be there sent along money to buy raffle tickets or bought extra to make up for the lower numbers and in the end organizer Phil Chew said they earned as much for the B.C. Para Alpine Ski Team as past years - roughly $3,000.
"It was a long weekend that was busy with other activities, which probably drew about 30 of our riders away," said Chew. "But people really stepped up this year, and the result was that we raised about the same as last year for the ski team."
Chew says he will look at the calendar next year to try to find a weekend for the Wheel Up where there's less conflict. That could mean moving the race up a week to the last Saturday in August, or moving it back to the end of September or early October.
"We're not a big race, so we may just have to look at where we can fit in, and how we can make it better," said Chew. "The race is going to happen, no question, but there are a few things we need to look at."
The race itself took place in perfect conditions - about 20 degrees with a breeze. Some rain earlier in the week also helped to keep the dust down but there wasn't a single puddle on the entire course.
"It was probably the best race we've had with the conditions, and it was really cool to see Matt Ryan win the (draw prize for the Whistler Blackcomb ski) pass as well as the race, especially after winning it four years in a row," said Chew. "Brandi Heisterman put the boots to a lot of the guys out there, and it was nice to see her out there. And we also saw an incredible time for Mahon (Lamont) in the juniors. He gave a few of the guys a run for their money."
The times can't be compared to previous years after a course change - Danimal North and Whip Me Snip Me rather than Beaver Pass - but were roughly on par with 2009.
Matt Ryan was the top racer for the fourth consecutive year, completing the race in 1:09:36.
"I don't want to say it was kick-ass, but it was," said Ryan. "You couldn't ask for better conditions, it was just phenomenal. The course was great, the ride went smoothly and everything came together - no mechanicals, no dabs, and a clean ride all the way through."