The annual Westside Wheelup mountain bike race kicks off at noon Saturday, Sept. 10 from Function Junction.
Originally founded by Les Clare as a season-ending ride and party for local mountain bikers, the event has evolved into a fundraiser for the B.C. Disabled Ski Team with a list of draw prizes that includes a dual mountain seasons pass for Whistler-Blackcomb and two nights accommodation at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Registration for the 12 th annual Wheelup takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Function Junction intersection.
Proceeds from the race will go to the B.C. Disabled Ski Team, which is based in Whistler and coached by Phil Chew.
"Weve put about 10 members on the national disabled team in the last 12 years or so," said Chew. "Last year Morgan Perrin graduated to the national development team from the B.C. team."
There are 10 members of the B.C. Disabled Ski Team right now, with several of them good prospects for the 2010 Paralympics in Whistler, according to Chew.
"Were working hard to promote B.C. skiers and build a good reputation for skiers at the Olympics," Chew added. "Were raising the bar. The level of skiing is going up a lot every year."
Central to the success of the B.C. Disabled Ski Team is the support it receives from Whistler-Blackcomb, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and other local businesses.
"If it wasnt for Whistler-Blackcombs support the ski team wouldnt be where it is today," said Chew. "Theyve provided a lot of support over the years."
The course for the Westside Wheelup is slightly longer than a Loonie Race, taking the top riders just over an hour, and features a selection of trails. The route starts in Function Junction on the old Millar Creek Road, at the corner of Highway 99 and Alpha Lake Road, heads up Alta Lake Road to Lower Sproatt trail, then does a circuit of Beaver Pass, Whip Me Snip Me, Bobs Rebob and River Runs Through It.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the race organization can call Chew at 604-932-2110.