Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Downhill Mountain Biking-A Beginner's Try

I am in Whistler, which is bustling with bikers of all kinds this week, due to the huge Crankworx festival. Crankworx celebrates all things mountain bike, with loads of downhill races for both pros and amateurs as well as freeride mountain bike events. Inspired by all the riders that make it look easy, I decide to try my hand at mountain biking again.

map of bottom Fitzsimmons Zone 
Whistler now has three zones on which to ride. A new peak zone just opened this summer, where expert riders can ride up the chair to the top of the mountain and take a new trail, Top of the World, dropping almost 5000 feet from top of mountain to bottom.  The middle Garbanzo section is also for intermediate/experts with the bottom Fitzsimmons zone having a mix of beginner, intermediate and expert. It is this bottom zone that I will try, still no small thing, as this zone drops 1200 feet in elevation.
map of Whistler bike zones 
I take the green run of "EZ does it", a winding steady trail with enough challenge for a beginner to practice on.
Start of trail 
Wide berms to practice turns

 The downhill keeps you at a steady speed so not much peddling needed. Just watch for rocks and dips that may throw you off balance. The path is also wide enough to give you room to maneuver if you need a bit of extra space, as you get the hang of it.
Wide Bridge to cross 

There are a few narrower sections and some boardwalk bridges to cross. Also watch for a few spots where other trails merge, with some more advanced riders speeding  by you. Just keep to the side, and no problem. I found the more trickier part was where there was loose gravel near the finish, but just go slow and steady. There are some fun parts too, especially the rolling hills or "whoops" where you can feel the bike's suspension. All the bumps are small enough to get the feel, but not lose control. The berms are fun too.
Nearing the end 
Final Turns 
 The end brings you back to some more loose gravel on the final slope past the GLC pub, and then the bottom where everyone finishes.

Give it a try! Downhill mountain biking at Whistler is fun, even if you are not an expert.

No comments:

Post a Comment