Whistler Village is looking a little different these days.
While you can still spot a few die-hard skiers and snowboarders meandering the Village Stroll in heavy boots and winter gear, you’re more likely to observe throngs of armor clad mountain bikers speckled with dirt, tough-looking bikes in tow. May 16th marked the official opening day of Whistler’s world-renown bike park, and the many local and visiting mountain biking enthusiasts couldn’t be happier.
Welcome to the Whistler Bike Park
The Whistler Bike Park is famous for its sheer size and for the variety of trails offered throughout the park: first-timers and seasoned pros alike (and everyone in between) will find plenty of options that are perfectly suited for them. The incredible terrain and views set the perfect stage for a day spent navigating through winding trails. You’ll be amazed at how different the mountain looks once the snow has melted: runs that you’ve skied a thousand times suddenly take on a new life when being conquered by bike.
It can be intimidating to tackle the Whistler Bike Park for the first time– that’s why we recommend enrolling in a few lessons with one of Whistler’s many qualified instructors. Check out the Whistler’s official Bike Park 101 program to get started. You’ll probably be surprised at just how tough it can be to navigate a bike downhill, but the thrill of the challenge combined with the spectacular coastal temperate rainforest scenery will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.
Like a Pro
For those who have already been bitten by the downhill mountain biking bug, we probably don’t need to do much work to convince you that Whistler is THE place to ride. Case in point: every August, Whistler hosts Crankworx, the infamous freeride mountain bike festival. If it’s good enough for the pros, chances are pretty good that you’ll have an unforgettable time playing the bike park.
The World of XC Mountain Biking
Mountain biking isn’t just limited to the downhill variety: equally as enthralling is cross country mountain biking, or “XC” biking. From Squamish to Whistler to Pemberton, the Sea to Sky region is chock-full of undulating paths and trails just begging to be explored by bike. Many trails are peppered with man-made features, making it a veritable playground in the woods.
The Wonderful World of WORCA
You can’t discuss cross country mountain biking in Whistler without talking about WORCA, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association. For the past 25 years, WORCA has been an advocate for all things mountain biking in the Sea to Sky area. They also throw some of the best events in town.
The Toonie Rides are, without a doubt, WORCA’s most popular series: for a mere $2 (half of which goes towards WORCA’s trail maintenance, the other half dedicated to the winners’ prize purse), bikers with their own gear can join other XC enthusiasts on a pre-determined route, culminating in an apres session at a local watering hole. The Toonie Rides take place every Thursday. Fierce competitors and recreational riders alike are welcome to join in on the fun.
Crud 2 Mud
Mountain biking is celebrated throughout many events over the summer months. First up is “Crud 2 Mud”, an event that is all about bridging the ski and biking seasons. This Saturday (May 24th), competitors will descend Whistler Mountain on skis or a snowboard until the snow runs out. Then, they will swap their snow gear for a downhill mountain bike, and will continue to ride down the mountain right into the Village. There is no better way to celebrate the turn of the season!