AKA – Dusty Business
Day 1 – Practice
We got into Whistler in time to register and do a couple of runs on Friday, which is cool, because I don’t usually get to practice on Fridays. (We being myself and the Zablotnys, who very kindly brought me along with them!) I had to register on site because my registration was bugged online. The line wasn’t too bad though, and they offered up free Clif bars. I couldn’t eat them, because all the flavours had chocolate, but it was nice anyway.
I very nearly expired at the cost of the Whistler evening pass ($55) – but then a friend informed me that they actually sell a 3 ride pass which is $20 less and worked out perfectly. I only had two hours to ride and that gave me plenty of time to watch a few riders hit some lines and have a good look at the course. They ran the course on Whister DH, Schleyer, Detroit Rock City and Canadian Open.
It was loose, dusty, and had several rock slabs that were a little bit tricky to navigate. Luckily the only really big jump was the stepdown at the bottom of Canadian Open. I hit everything on the course except the stepdown and got it out of the way – some features are only scary until you figure out how to ride them.
Day 2 – Practice
I woke up eaaaaarly and then couldn’t go back to sleep because I started thinking about the stepdown. I kind of waffled over hitting it but it wasn’t really any faster than going around it so I decided pretty early on to just skip it and ride around. I only had one silly crash – I tried an alternate line and hit a tree halfway down a rock slab section. Ended up sliding about 15 feet but was relatively uninjured… I did sadly put a hole in my brand new jersey!
Day 3 – Race Day
Another early one! I can never seem to get a good sleep the night before a race – even if I’m not thinking about the course until all hours of the night.
Once I found out I was all alone (Whistler what!!!???) it took the pressure off and I was feeling relatively calm. Despite that, I was still disappointed. Whistler has a reputation for having a lot of fast women riders and I was quite shocked that there was almost no ladies racing.
It was staggeringly hot in my race gear but at least Whistler had water fountains and a mister in the lift lines. I was appreciating the nice light Flexair jersey for sure. I put down a solid risk-free run and made it to the end of the day without injury!