Whistler Bike Park – Opening Weekend

Jonesing for gravity and an unfed desire to hit the dirt, three of our Vixen’s (Andrea, Steph & Jen) made their way to Whistler to celebrate #Whistmas in true mbt style. Our friend Gerald was the co-pilot on our West Jet flight to Vancouver. Did you know that when you book with a West Jet credit card, your first bag (aka bike bag- under 100lbs) flies for $50 each way? #amazing

We love staying at the Aspens on Black Comb. The condos are cozy and pretty affordable (we paid $170/night for a two bedroom with pull-out sofa), there is a bike wash and cage to keep the bikes safe… sadly there is no AC, but that helps keep the price down, right?

With some disappointment, on Friday morning we realized the weather man was right. It wasn’t just raining, it was absolutely pouring. We were stoked that the bike park likely wasn’t going to be as busy as normal opening weekends… but we were pretty sad about travelling so far for slip n’ slide conditions. But, if we were to describe the experience we would say it was some good ol’ sloppy fun. Still, we were absolutely stoked about being in Whistler, our bikes were totally covered in mud, but all of us gals had an ear-to-ear grin just to be back in the park. Along the way we met up fellow Edmontonian @Bethbikes from the @Loamranger youtube channel to shred some mucky laps.

Left to right: Beth Kelly (Loam Ranger), Steph Grundke & Jen Sieben

As the weekend went on, the weather got better and better and the trails were finally running fast and it was nothing but hero dirt under our our tires. We have never seen the Whistler flow trails so smooth and tacky, ever! But the line-ups for the chair were insane on both Saturday and Sunday- they wrapped all the way through the corral, out the entrance and nearly all the way to the Whistler guest services area. The silver lining was that it’s early season, so were grateful that our bodies got a chance to recover between laps… and we got to scope out some pros and their fancy shredding machines and new gear. We saw: Mark Wallace, Henry Fitzgerald, Bas VanSteenbergen, Yoann Barelli, Finn Illes, Duncan Riffel (he was sporting some clipless Vans mtb shoes!?!), Ethan Shandro, Magnus Manson, Kirk McDowall, Remi Gauvin, Jesse Melamed and the talented Miranda Miller, Micayla Gatto (with a film crew) and Vera Verbeek were out representing our favorite gender- the pro ladies! It was amazing to catch a glimpse of them out on the trails riding fast.

We were stoked to be able to sport our new Vixen race team jerseys in the park! @Sombrio did an amazing job helping us get them designed and shipped and we were over the moon stoked to be able to show them off while we shralped the trails and enjoyed our apres beers on the GLC patio. #luxuryofdirt

Now bike accessories are the best! We spent some time tuning up our suspension with the #Shockwiz. Suspension set up is sometimes black magic and when you live in Edmonton and need to travel at least 5 hours to hit a bike park, you will take any help you can get to dial it in. Jen spent sometime with the little gadget attached to her #fox40 to tweak her ride and the reports / suggestions it generated were pretty neat after just a couple laps. It gives extra confidence knowing it is dialed in just right.

Panic disassembly of the bikes so that we got out of Whistler in time to catch our flight.

And just like that, as soon as the weekend began, it was over and we had to pack up the bikes in the hotel parkade and make our way back down to the Vancouver airport to catch our flight back to Edmonton, but it was a ton of fun while it lasted.

We ride #fastasfox with help from our local bike shop Mud, Sweat and Gears as well as our partners Sombrio Cartel, Integral Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic, Fox MTB, Ride Concepts, Raceface and Bike Lane Brew YEG.

Mud Sweat and Gears Ride Group Sign Up

The Vixens are getting pumped to ride with MSG each week. Read on to find out Why!

Words by Kat Ray

The Vixens had their first public outing as a team the other night at the Mud Sweat and Gears ride group sign-up night.  We each signed up for the Monday night women’s group rides, although I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of us on the Mud Sweat and Beers coed rides on Wednesday nights.  The night was full of excited energy as everyone waits impatiently for the snow to melt and trails to clear. Those lucky roadies will be out there in no time.

If you are familiar with the Edmonton mountain biking scene, you already know that it is a tight knit community that welcomes newcomers with open arms.  We all just share the stoke of shredding the trails and being a part of something bigger than just a person on a bike. For a lot of us, it is an extension of our family and forms the basis of our entire social lives.  I have seen a lot of my closest friends in the mtb community over the winter, but those familiar faces I only see on the trails is whom I miss dearly. A quick nod as we ride by each other or a chat at the trailhead about the hero dirt is what makes me feel accepted and warm and fuzzy inside. Those are the same feelings I got while handing out jerseys at the sign up night. As I looked around at everyone else drinking beer, chatting with fellow riders and sharing bike lust, I could tell I was not the only one feeling this way.

For me, this will be my first year riding with Mud Sweat and Gears, so many of the faces weren’t as familiar to me, but I felt like part of the group already and extra amped for the season.  Everyone there shared the same passion and was spreading it around like smooth peanut butter on perfectly cooked toast.

This was an awesome night of old friends and new, just hanging out talking about bikes, bike trips and bike dreams.  Riding buzz is in the air and MSG staff and volunteers provided the perfect environment to capture these feelings and build the stoke.  What a fun way to kick off the season. This is going to be quite the year.

Shred on.  (soon)

If you missed ride group sign up night there is no need to worry!  Head in to Mud Sweat and Gears and sign up anytime. Cost is $85 and includes a rad jersey and 15% off all their awesome stuff.