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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 115 > WHISTLER FOR MORTALS


What happens if you take a Lycrawearing cross-country rider and throw him in at the deep end in the world’s most famous bike park? Do you create a gnarly dude who says ‘stoked’ a lot or do you end up with a gibbering wreck? We sent Sanny to Whistler to find out.

As Valentine’s Day presents go, this one was definitely up there and it wasn’t even from my wife. “Sanny. We’re doing a launch of our new gear in Whistler. Do you want to come as my guest?”, read the email from Damian, head of all things marketing and PR at POC. I stared open-mouthed at my screen. Replying so fast that my ‘hell yeah,’ response practically arrived before Damian had even pressed send, I was already counting the days, hours and minutes.

Everyone knows that Whistler is the darling of downhillers and freeriders the world over. However, a brief conversation with a friend who had spent a season there convinced me that there is a burgeoning cross-country scene and that there is much more to Whistler than just the park. So it was with a little trepidation that I found myself on a flight to Vancouver and a date with destiny.

I will hold my hand up and say from the outset, I am a cross-country rider. To me, Whistler is a whole different ball game and I reckoned I was going to need a much bigger ball. [Or balls… Ed]

No time for jet lag when there’s riding to be had.

The drive up the Pacific Highway is stunning, or so I’m told. All I saw was murk, drizzle and trees – lots of trees – from the back of the transfer shuttle. “I could have had this at home without the jet lag,” I muttered to myself. However, pulling up to the door of my hotel, the sun came out and proceeded to stay out for the entire trip. Result.

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Trailhunter – Tom Fenton continues his search for the very best trails, and finds that Dartmoor might just have them. Classic Ride – Sanny takes us on a tour of the Merrick in Scotland, where there are great views to be had… if you get the weather. Grouptest – Wil puts eight sets of top trail brakes to the test – which four will make his pick of the bunch? Bike test – Better known for their carbon models, Barney tests out three alloy bikes from Norco, Santa Cruz and YT. Finnish Epic – 100 years after its independence, Hannah goes to Finland in search of fat-bike fun. Luckily all the bears are sleeping, and the moose are on her plate. Singletrack Recommended – We bring you the products that are so good, we’d spend our own money on them. Oddball – we love bikes, but we love other things too. This issue, it’s knives. It’s just as well we love each other in the office. Kit Bag – We take a peek inside the tool box of Ray Waxham, Trek’s enduro race mechanic. What does it take to keep the wheels of champions racing? Room 101 – Charlie dispenses justice for your complaints. This issue he has a couple of celebrity submitters in the form of our own editor, Chipps and a pioneer of mountain biking: Charlie Kelly. Jason Miles – Jason passes on his wisdom after years of racing as a top-level amateur endurance racer. Arizona – Charlie The Bikemonger goes on holiday where life is simpler and the trails are paved with cactus spines. Escaping the Bike Parks – Anthony Pease avoids the French bike parks and heads off for a hut to hut trip in the Alps. Whistler for Mortals – in this area better known for its technicality, Sanny discovers there are trails for those who prefer to keep their wheels on the ground. Last word – A ponder on the transient world of the mountain bike enthusiast.