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  1. #1
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    Texas XC'r Headed to Whistler -- What should I expect?

    I am looking for some sort of perspective on what to expect moving from XC terrain to DH for a highly anticipated trip to Whistler Bike Park. I would love to hear from someone that has ridden in the Austin area as well as in BC. I have ridden Tahoe as well, if any one has some comparable opinions from the trail system there.

    any insight would be helpful!!

    Thanks!

    Drew

  2. #2
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    Take it easy.
    The trails are bigger, faster, and harder than you think.
    When your body or brain says your tired, listen to it and call it quits.
    The trails will be there tomorrow.

  3. #3
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    If a feature sketches you out, if you have any pause in your mind at all about hitting it...don't do it. Be progressive. Start small and work your way up.

    If you are going to hit a feature, commit. scope the feature and landing a few times then hit it mid run without stopping. Don't give yourself time to think about it, just do it.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

  4. #4
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    up rate everything for the first few runs until you feel comfortable - blues become blacks and so on - whistler has the best rating system of any mountain ive been on but it will lull a beginner into a false sense of security. Every trail is super fun but like people have said, harder than you realize. First time i was there, the blacks at whistler felt like double blacks at north star and the double blacks were insane. Everything is built perfectly though so if you're going to hit it, you know it's not going to be sketchy and you just have to commit. Hard not to have the most amazing time on that mountain - you'll love it!

  5. #5
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    Expect awesome. That's what will happen.

  6. #6
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    like everyone says.....1st day take it easy and if you have questions of hitting it or not walk....look at everthing first....trails have such good flow, they tend to lull you into hitting something real big

    do a gravity lesson
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  7. #7
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    great advice from you all. Thanks! Needless to say, I CAN NOT WAIT!!

  8. #8
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    What should you expect?

    Expect to be nervous, but excited!
    Expect to be taken up the lifts quickly!
    Expect to see bears in the fields and crossing the trails!
    Expect to have an adrenaline rush every run!
    Expect to be totally amped every time you're standing in the lift line talking about the last run!
    Expect to meet new friends!
    Expect to stop a couple times every run and give your hands a rest!
    Expect to be tired after a long day of riding!
    Expect to step up your game and improve due to the flow and how amped you'll be!
    Expect to sleep like a baby!
    Expect to pay a lot for Ok food and a lot for beer!
    Expect to over pay for any service or parts you didn't bring extra of!

  9. #9
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    All have said it well.. but Whistler will change your life for sure!

    Don't forget mid day swims at lost lake, great way to cool off for an hour or two..

    The riding days are really long, 10-8, take a break and relax, a good swim will help you finish the day a little stronger in my opinion.
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    Mountains????? I hear they don't have them in Texas.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  11. #11
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    I live in TX, been riding for 3 or so years. One short trip to Angel Fire is my only DH experience. Only rode the green and blue trails. If someone offered me an all expense paid trip to Whistler to ride I would not take it. Why? Those trails are way out of my league. Then again I suck at riding bikes and I've been known to be a ***** when it comes to jumps and drops, so your situation might be different than mine. Still, proceed with caution. Oh and if you're going to crash, remember to turn your GoPro on before you do it.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    No but seriously, as for as technical DH trails go, whistler ain't that bad. But if you're an XC-er from Texas, expect to get destroyed. Seriously.

  14. #14
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    I grew up in Tahoe, and I just whent to Whistler for the first time a few weeks ago. Whistler is on a whole new level in terms of technicality, but it's not bad if you take it slow. If you're planning on bringing your xc bike, don't. Seriously. Rent a full DH bike and be prepared to use its capabilities often. A big bike with beefy components, a dual crown fork, and lots of travel is pretty much a necessity. There's a reason that you don't see AM bikes very often; the braking bumps alone are enough to eat them whole.

    And yes, as everyone said, take it easy. Don't hop on A Line or In Deep right away, or you'll probably end your trip before it begins. Start with some really easy stuff to get a feel for how your tires behave on the dirt. Then hit some of the more mellow blue runs like B Line, Karate Monkey, Ninja Cougar, etc. They have some small jumps, but they're really tame and safe to roll if you don't feel like clearing them. Crank It Up is another great intermediate with some slightly bigger jumps, if you're feeling ready for them. If you want to get on a longer blue run with less people, my personal favorite is Blue Velvet. Amazingly fun run. It starts from the top of the upper lift (Garbanzo), and flows through perfect bermed turns and medium-sized, pretty tame jumps all the way down to the lower mountain. It's a very long run and is super fun from start to finish. Even though it isn't very technical, riders of all skill levels seem to love it. I could ride it all day long and be happy. And the upper mountain is where you might see some bears too

    Also, if you're looking for some rough all mountain trail riding, have a look at getting some one-time passes to the Top of the World trail (Peak Zone). There are only 150 passes up to TotW sold per day, and it's pretty technical and riddled with rocks. But it is absolutely beautiful, the trail is nice and long, and is a LOT of fun. Definitely worth the cost to do it once. Just be sure to get the passes early or they will sell out.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  15. #15
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    Just got back from a 9 day trip to whistler. First time there was in 2010. Literally after our first run down ("just" crank it up) it was immediately a mandatory yearly trip. We go at least once a year and twice if possible. The first year there was two of us. The last trip we had seven. It really is that good, and really can't be overstated. With all of that said, the one thing that has made all the difference for myself and has taken my riding to a level I honestly never thought I would or could get to, was lessons. I know some might think lessons are cheesy or just for noobs but I take at least one full day private every time I go. This trip I did three full days. Yes it is expensive but has paid for itself endless times over from what I've learn and the comfort level I've gained. Worth every penny, but that's JMHO. Enjoy the trip and as everyone else has said take it easy so you have a better chance of not hurting yourself. Trust me, I've separated both shoulders there since I started going.

    PV

  16. #16
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    Professional lessons are good for almost any serious activity until you get to a certain skill point.

  17. #17
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    bring lots of money....everything is expensive and a 12 pack of beer is close to 24 dollars (and that's warm beer - you still have to chill it )

    run a little higher tire pressure - many people flat through the chunk
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  18. #18
    perpetual pucker factor
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    Oh, and they have water fountains at the base of the Fitz chair (the main lift at the base of the mtn). They're mounted to the fence rails in the lift line. That's super convenient, as you don't need to lug around a backpack with a camelback in it.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  19. #19
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    buy the gel gloves like Specialized BG.....they are a saving grace from the high speed chop....ice hands at night
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 08-05-2014 at 09:58 AM.
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  20. #20
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    if your a first timer, then deffo look at getting a guide, maybe a lesson, if your not wanting to or willing to pay, then try hook up with a friendly local, to show you round,,,
    as the others have said, defo take it easy on the first few days. scope everything out and learn the lines, most of the features in the bike park have chicken lines round them, so no need to be intimidated, just be aware of faster riders coming up behind you if your on black trails.
    what should you expect,,,, hmmmmm, a mixed bag of emotions, excitment, stoked, happiness, tiredness, fatigued, pain, anger and dissapointment,
    the first few, excitment, stoked, and hapiness, will be when you first get there, and see how great all the trails are, you will be blown away,
    tiredness fatigue and pain will come in after a few days of continuous riding, usually feeling it in your hands forearms and legs,
    anger will come when you find out how expensive things are in whistler, ha ha
    and disapointment will first appear when you have to leave, and next time you hit your local trails and think to yourself fooooooooooook this aint as good as whistler.

  21. #21
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    Enjoying all the comments. Definitely will be renting a DH bike for park days. We will be riding some of the local trails a couple of the other days. We are expecting everything to be expensive, just like skiing. We got a smoking deal on airfare and room for the week, so we can blow it out a bit on the fun stuff. 2 1/2 weeks to go!!

    here is a decent clip of some of the best trails in the Austin area. It's private ranch that hosts groups, races, and open riding most weekends. The majority of the trail network is on a solid granite dome. Really cool.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSlHp3ZCGQ

    Adam - my buddy in vid just completed Wilderman - full Ironman , all off road (2.4 swim, 112 mtb, 26.2 trail run). He is a beast.

  22. #22
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    Re: Texas XC'r Headed to Whistler -- What should I expect?

    Avoid One Last Run at all costs: Whistler takes a higher toll on your stamina and agility than you might realize, if you're tired enough to be thinking about bagging for the night when you hit the bottom, take it to the GLC, grab a pitcher of Stella and relive the day's adventures.

  23. #23
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    Have you been to the Freeride512 park at Twin Parks in Dripping Springs? There are berms, tables, wall rides, wood features, a progressive drop zone, skinnies, jumps, etc. Its the only place I know of in central Texas to go and get some exposure to the kinds of features you find at a DH park. Freeride512.com has some pictures, and the facebook page has some videos.

    Nice RPR video -I love that place.

  24. #24
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    Totally worth getting a lesson or at least a guided tour. My first few times I had really experienced riders show me around and that helped. A few weeks ago I put my 9 and 10 year old girls in a lesson and they were riding Crank It Up and BLine by the end of the day.

    The only problem now is that they are asking how soon they can go back and when they get their own DH bikes.

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