The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) is doing a deep dive into its history to bring riders the Dirty 30 in honour of its three decades in the resort.
The race, which will be held on July 6, will give riders two options—a thriller or a chiller. The thriller course will be 30 kilometres in length and feature 1,800 metres of vertical while the chiller is 18 kilometres with 850 metres of vertical. WORCA's director of special events Grant Lamont said both courses were designed with a nod to the past.
"We're trying to highlight a bit of history, of relationships, and the way the club organically developed," he said.
Both the thriller and chiller courses will incorporate sections of Comfortably Numb, originally a rogue trail that captured the imaginations of local riders two decades ago.
"People looked at it and said, 'Rogue trail? This is better than any of the trails in the valley that have been built,'" Lamont recalled. "It was an interesting transition."
The thriller course will include riders descending Young Lust into the Green Lake Loop—the site of the first-ever WORCA Loonie Race.
"They'll be following the same loop that they did in the very first Loonie Race," Lamont said. "A lot of it's on the Sea to Sky Trail now, but where the Sea to Sky Trail breaks off above Green Lake, there are traverses on the cliffs."
After the Loop, riders will take on Wish You Were Here, which has nearly 200 metres of climbing across 1.5 kilometres, to get into Comfortably Numb. It'll have a little extra excitement, with a race-within-a-race included.
"It was kind of a goat path to get in there before and wasn't utilized a lot, but Search and Rescue soon had quite a few calls up in that region. They decided to really brush it out, and now it's turned into a full-gas climb. You can climb it all, but it's a really, really hard thing to do, so what we're going to do is make that a timed section that allows people to see how fast they can go up," Lamont said.
The idea of offering two separate rides is a continuation of WORCA's reimagining of its Toonie Races this year, with some being challenging thrillers and some being less-intense chillers. While Lamont doesn't think it makes WORCA more inclusive—he feels the events have always been welcoming—it's a move its members have appreciated after seeing a similar move by their Squamish cousins.
"We've had really good feedback on separating the two," he said. "We decided, instead of alternating the weeks (as Squamish does), we would let the sponsors choose what they'd like to provide.
"It gives people a chance to go out and ride with people in their own zone and not really feel intimidated."
Once riders return, there will be a barbecue from Whistler Cooks and beers from Coast Mountain Brewing.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. while both events will start at 10:30 a.m. The rides start and end at Spruce Grove Park.
Lamont said the race is still looking for volunteer help. Anyone interested in lending a hand can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.