E3 On Da Marquee
Happy Sets The Pirate P.A.
Backstage Rock Stars
Tiff Taylor Pirate Perenial V.I.P.
Senior Pirate V.I.P. And Company, Jake Todd
Standing Room Only
Standing Room Only
Stories Bled Into The Night, Scott McNeil
Good Friends, Fond Memories
am sure by now all of you loyal Pink Bikers and MTB forum frenziests
have heard about all the contract swapping this week. It is
exciting to me to see so much buzz surrounding the careers of our top
gravity athletes. The big news was of course Cameron Zink
signing with Haro, after two years shredding for Santa
Cruz/Syndicate. Raising questions in my mind as to Cody Warrens
Shopping, now that he has that fancy National Championship in his
pocket. Of course the BIG news, the rider we all l love to hear
about, Steve Peat has signed with Santa Cruz Syndicate for this
season. hanging up the Orange/Royal Colors he has carried so
proudly in favor of a program that can take better care of him on the
road. So here's the question... Switching from Single Pivot
to V-10, from homeland to distant shores, from being a solo rep to
sharing a pit with Nathan Rennie? Will Peat be faster? Will
this ride be what he needs to hang on? Click on the Poll and let
the world know Peaty's fate.
Pirates In Whistler
It was a ludicrous, last minute undertaking. Completely illogical red eye mission to the the heart of free ride, British Columbia. Three days, seventeen hundred miles, much less sleep, and enough incredible biking to make it all worth while. The notion was spawned by the usual shisety subject, Jed Olson. It was proposed as an alternative to giving up another jaunt to Ahsland Oregon for the Chutes and Ladders reboot. The premise was this; Jed's good friend Sam from Australian was going to be in B.C. for a matter of days, they had been trying to connect for some time, this was the closest they had been to one another, conveniently Sam was close to Whistler, so we kill two birds with one crazy stone, drive up there in just over a day, pick Sam and his wife Lyndsay up, cram everyone and their crap into Jed's Subaru, cruise to Whistler, ride for a day and a half, then drive back home all night so as to return to work the following morning.
It began on Saturday, Jed was tied up all morning sending away some
inlaws, while I was chilling and packing. Eventually he got back,
and eventually we got our stuff in the car and hit the road. By
the time this came about it was nearly noon and we planned to come up
just shy of the Canadian border that night. We cruised hard all
day, made good time, made good conversation that wasn't maddening
anticipation of the riding ahead, and just took 'er easy. Ate
some grub in a very strange town in Washington, filled with drunk Bingo
players and tang gone sour, real sour. Without much to keep us
there, and with both of our attempts to make contact in Seattle failing
we pressed on to Bellingham. Jed had crashed there years before
during a bike tour and thought we might be able to poach the same
school grounds he had stayed at. It was pretty late by this
point, nearly midnight, and turns out Bellingham has about twenty
different schools, and twice as many police patrol cars cruising them
all night long. So after sneaking around town, quite confused for
a bit, we found a cutty little path that hooked right up to the back of
a small school. Utilizing it entailed creeping by two wayward
teens sitting in the back of a pickup, each sipping a 2 liter of
Mountain Dew, and avoiding the Po but we managed. I carried the
gear up the trail while jed parked the car on a nearby residential
street. Soon we were comfortably bedded down next to a jungle gym
on some very posh wood chips, snoozing and saving our energy for the
next days activities.
pretty much up with the sun, a bit before six, and heading out.
Got away and down the street to our awaiting vehicle, which Jed had
unknowingly parked in front of the local Marshals house. He
wasn't up yet. We were soon on our way to Canada. With all
the proper papers we made the crossing fine, without batting an eye as
the female guard asked us "Do you have any little baggies of
Next stop was the town of Tsawwassen where the ferry was bringing Sam
and Lyndsay in from Victoria. We ate some breakfast, marveled at
the minor differences of the Canadian social landscape, and spoted the
second skatepark in the small town right across the street. We
unpacked the bikes and hit the park for a solid hour. Soon
wearing out the provided terrain we resorted to plywood lips o our tool
box and the bike rack, making sweet kickers where there had not been
before. Once we tired out we loaded back up and headed for the
ferry. After a fat wait, though a nice break to nap and relax,
the friends arrived on the mainland and we headed north toward
Whistler. Two brief stops added four 2 for 1 lift passes from the
local Race Face rep., as well as a classy Stump Jumper (better known as
the Dirt Merchant) for Lyndsay to ride.
We were soon cruising through some of the most magnificent terrain I have ever seen, along the Sea To Sky Highway, and not soon enough arriving at Whistler - 1:30'ish on Sunday afternoon. The rest of the crew went to check in, Sam and Lynds had gotten a sweet condo, while I built my ride and suited up. The rest had decided to give up Sunday, but I was going to get every run available. Soon I was whoring myself out at the ticket booth for a 2 for 1 partner, found a nice girl to throw down the cash and got me $15 up lift for the rest of the day.
First run up i grouped up with some friendly Canooks who offered to show me some trail, unfortunately they lagged moer then expected causing me to step off my bike in a root garden and roll my ankle. It wasn't serious but the first run dab made me bitter. I tryed to ride with them once more but could not stand their pace, so I ditched and charged solo for the rest of the afternoon. Sunday the resort was packed, and the yuppy traffic was a bit disheartening as I tried to pin it down everything I saw. Along with the was the shere number of trail and line options down the hill, even with the upper Garbanzo chair not yet open for riding (spring skiers were still hitting the snow) there were enough signs and splits to boggle even the sharpest trial memory. I wasn't super impressed with the challenge of the A line jump trail, but soon found what I was looking for on the National Downhill double black. Serious pucker factor, with relentless rocks and roots top to bottom, on a slope that would not give. I found this to be a bit of a challenge. My second attempt was quite fast until I launched a siper steep log drop into a sharp right hand corner. The drop lands on a rock face with a shifty groove down the middle. I was floating ready to stick the corner until the groove grabbed my rear end and sent me down hard. Took the visor off my helmet, melted my knickers, and strained my hand. That made me question the integrity of my back for such abuse, but only long enough to go back to the top once more.
Soon the day was wrapped and we were grubbing in the village and sipping some suds. The suds made a reappearence later in the room, as all four of us decided to take a hot tup in the whirlpool unit. It was quite nice, as we were able to wash our dishes as we bathed. The boys then decided then would set a bubble bath world record, and soon had suds running out the door. A hard crash is about all that could follow such a party, and soon we were all down for the count.
Day two at Whistler gave me the chance to ride with Jed and explore new trails and maneuvers. We rode non stop all day styling everything. Our second run of the morning put us on a trail called Clwon Shoes. Jed remembered it being pretty fun so we gave it a go. Before we knew it we were up on ten foot high skinnies with gaps and jumps in them, leading to severe drop offs, along with insanely steep chutes into 90 degree quickcrete berms. A bit intense for a morning warm up, or at anytime. We concluded that the Clown Show kick to the crotch wasn't exactly our style and moved on. Our next uplift paired us with an older greying gentlman on a strange unfinished bike. The bike caught both mine and Jed's attention, as we simply assumed we were riding along side another yuppy. As we cruised over the bike he yelled something at a fella below who happened to be Richie Schley, and Richie happened to recognize him and called him 'Hans'. As we chatted on the way up Jed slowly pulled out info. He lived in L.A., originally from Europe, was riding a prototype GT, had been a pro rider for 20 years, and his last name was indeed Rey. This got us pretty stoked as we played our way down, reinacting the conversation.