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  1. #1
    SS in CO
    Reputation: Jayson44's Avatar
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    Portland & Whistler this summer - where should I ride?

    I'm turning 30 this August, and my wife has surprised me with a trip to Portland to stay w/some friends for 2 days, then driving up to Whistler for 4 days of mountain biking. I've always dreamed of Whistler, so this is huge for me!

    we will be renting bikes both in Portland (one day only, probably only will ride one trail) and in Whistler.

    where can I rent bikes for us, and what trails should we ride? we're used to technical XC here in TX, but neither of us have experience with downhill or freeride. I'd like to do some of Whistler's all mountain rides on a good FS bike. short rides are ok, but only if we can get to another trail easily. long rides (4-6 hours) would be nice.

    is it worth it to go with a tour company for Whistler?

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  2. #2
    ups and downs
    Reputation: rockyuphill's Avatar
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    A tour company would be able to match up trails to your skill level in Whistler. Check out the Western Canada thread, there's a bunch of recent threads about Whistler that should give you a bunch of info. Do a search for Whistler in the Western Canada thread to pop up the most recent posts
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
    dog's best friend
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    Also have a look at the trail reviews on this website.

    More info here: Welcome to WORCA.com

    and here: Whistler Mountain Bike Trail Wiki

    There is a lot of variety in Whistler. My faves are the "Zappa Trails" near Lost Lake.

  4. #4
    The Unaffiliated
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    I have rented from "Fat Tire Farm" in Portland. Good guys.

    This summer I would ride Sandy Ridge near Sandy, Oregon near Mt. Hood. Not only is it really fun, but it would give you a taste of DH oriented riding, without being full on downhill. There is a fun XC loop, a trail with some fun jumps/berms, and a long downhill trail that isn't too hard and will show you some roots and some moisture on the trail. And I haven't been since the most recent improvements, so it's better than I remember.

  5. #5
    SS in CO
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    cool. thanks for the input, guys. I did find my way over to the WC board shortly after posting this. I'll see what I can find.

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  6. #6
    Squeaky Wheel
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    If you want more XC riding, on your way up to Whistler take a day and ride Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham at Mt. St. Helens in Washington. Outstanding XC ride. If you end up renting a downhill rig, don't take it on this ride. But a good AM rig would be perfect for this ride.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Theres no mountain biking in portland.. sandy ridge is *really* fun though, but its a good hour'ish out side of portland. Its worth the drive out, but you'd probably have to make a day out of it.

    Its definitely not freeride or "downhill" in the conventional sense, but its tons of flowy fun.

  8. #8
    SS in CO
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    thanks guys...I think we're gonna skip the Portland riding and just hang with some friends. once in Whistler, we're gonna look for a guide service to show us some good AM riding.

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  9. #9
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    I grew up in Portland and visit it very frequently. As stated above, there is no riding in Portland. Sandy Ridge is amazing, but yes, it's an hour away. That St. Helen's loop is also quite good. Many of the other rides around Portland are fun, but not as great as those two. Further out in the Gorge is an assortment of fun, but like I stated above, over an hour drive away.

    That being said, I think you have the right idea about just hanging out. Portland's a fantastic city. Lots of things going on. You will really enjoy just being with your friends and having them show you around. Maybe head out to Multnomah Falls for a hike? Hit up some breweries? Stroll around the downtown eating cart food galore? I think this is your best option.

  10. #10
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    Traveled to Whistler last year for my 30th birthday as well - you will not be disappointed!

    As I had never been to Whistler before and was a little concerned about what to expect, I did a private tour of the Lost Lake trails with a guide from Arbutus Routes on a Stumpy FSR to start out. The guide was awesome, provided guidance to enhance my riding and even charted out a great afternoon ride for me. I highly recommend Artubus but like others have said there are many tour companies to choose from. A trip over to the Western Canada forms like rockyuphill mentioned is a must.

    Also, I spent a full day in a Bike Park with a guide and another rider from England. Highly recommend at least a half-day with a guide if you have never ridden downhill like me. Downhill is a blast but be prepared to be sore the next day! And rent a Go-Pro if you don't have one!

    Being from Houston, I did not fell overwhelmed by anything I rode but then again wasn't out to conquer Comfortably Numb or A Line either. I predominately rode intermediate with some advanced trails thrown in. Overall, Whistler was blast, and I cannot wait to go back! If you have any questions, let me know and will try to help out as best I can. Have a great trip!

  11. #11
    brandisher of chainsaws
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    As a Texan who spent 6 weeks in Whistler last summer, I think I can help. Depending on how good your fitness is, I would plan my riding out like this. PM if you are thinking about a guide, I did a coaching school up there and know a lot of people who guide for the park. As far as renting, grab a coupon book or just rent directly from the mountain- they're sponsored by Giant this year.

    Day 1- Bike park, rent a DH bike and as much body armor as you can stand to wear if you're new to it. Crashes are usually more violent and nobody wants a trip ruined that could have been prevented by wearing a chest piece. Spend your first day on blue runs. I would suggest Crank it Up, B Line, Ninja Cougar/Karate Monkey/Samurai Pizza Cat, and Angry Pirate (easy black). Crank it Up is a jump run that's easy and should be an absolute blast for someone who's from Texas and probably hasn't ridden anything like that before. Also, don't go too hard in the park on your first day. As soon as your legs start to get noodley and you start to get arm pump, STOP. That's when people start to make mistakes and get hurt, and even if you avoid that you'll be too damn sore to be able to do anything the next day.

    Day 2- Local trails, rent yourself a 6" all mtn bike and go explore the trail systems around town. I would start off with A River Runs Through It in the morning. RRT is a must do ride while you're there, it's heaps of fun and is fairly short with hardly any climbing and lots of man made stunts that you can bypass if you want. You should be fine without a guide, it's close to town, short, and there's a great map of the local trails you can pick up at most any bike shop. Then ride the Lost Lake trails in the afternoon. You don't need a guide for these, they're incredibly well marked. Every section on there that is a blue is kickass singletrack, the greens are crushed rock doubletrack that you use to connect to the fun stuff. A bonus after your ride is getting to go hang out in the water at Lost Lake.

    Day 3- Comfortably Numb. You might want a guide for this. This trail is an all day affair and is difficult but crazy good and totally worth it. It's a bit over 15 miles long, allow yourself at least 4 hours if you're doing it alone and bring lunch. Again, try to take it easy so you don't blow your legs out.

    Day 4- Bike park, go nuts. It's your last day so ride whatever the hell you want. Look into getting one of the new peak passes that lets you ride the new trail they're building way up above the tree line. I would however stay off A Line unless you're confident you can clear every jump and keep up a good pace. It isn't the hardest trail there and really shouldn't be a black, but it's the most popular run in the park and you don't want to be getting in anyone's way, fast riders have the right of way on black and double black runs.

    Hope this helps!

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