The 16 th annual West Side Wheel Up takes place this Saturday, Sept. 12 with a slightly longer course but the usual good cheer.
Registration gets underway at 10 a.m. at the entrance to Function Junction and the race starts at noon, following the old Millar Creek road to Alta Lake Road and the climb up Cardiac Hill to the access to Lower Sproatt. This is the only road section of the course, except for a small section in Stonebridge and the crossing at the end of Mel's Dilemma into the new Emerald Forest Trails.
The Lower Sproatt climb features two new trails, Piece of Cake and A La Mode that are optional but are a good alternative to the steep and loose climb of the past. From there the course heads back down slightly to the Beaver Pond trail that comes out on Stonebridge Road. From there it's a short pedal up to the entrance to Upper Beaver Pass, which riders follow until the Whip Me Snip Me climb. Bypassing Lower Beaver Pass, riders head up to the bridge over Rainbow Creek and follow the winding Riverside trail down to the short climb that joins up with Bob's Rebob.
After Rebob riders will be heading back up Get Over It, a new trail that connects to the lower part of Mel's Dilemma. From there riders cross the road onto Emerald Forest trail and a new section that links up with the start of A River Runs Through It. The trail follows all of River, including some older sections and the new section that ends up in the Rainbow Park parking lot and the finish.
In total distance it's about a Toonie Ride and a half in length and the top riders should be just over one hour.
The cost is $25 to race, which includes the legendary post-race party near Rainbow Park, as well as a chance to win draw prizes - including the annual presentation of a season pass for Whistler-Blackcomb and other prizes donated by hotels, restaurants, bike shops and other Whistler businesses.
All proceeds from the race go towards the B.C. Disabled Ski Team, the charitable organization selected by race founder Les Clare after he became paralyzed almost eight years ago. Clare will be on hand this year to greet new friends and to present trophies to the top male, female and junior racers.