So, I was photographing bikes at Lost Lake and came across a pile of clothes and a couple of GTs. One had the tell-tale signature of the Athertons: the restroom-family water bottle. So, where were they?
Aha! Dan and Rachael Atherton, stripped down to who knows what, taking a swim to escape Whistler's uncharacteristic 36-degree heat wave. The Athertons weren't the only pros at the lake - the two-mile trip-and-dip to the lake was a pilgrimage for the entire Crankworx cast at one time or another during the events.
Scotty Sharples is the point man at Intense Cycles. His new ride? The Tracer 275 is the bike he swears by. The DH champ says that the mid-sized 650b wheels have turned him to the dark side, and that he isn't going back to 26 - not for is every-day ride at least. The aluminum-framed Tracer is designed specifically for 650b, with different geometry and a dedicated frame and fork.
The Tracer 275 sports the new 650b Fox 34 Float fork with dedicated offset to adjust for proper trail - Kashima coated, of course. The Tracer 275's replaceable dropouts are set for a 142/12mm through-axle. Scott showed us the internals of the 275's adjustable pivot bearings - which seemed quite easy to tune. The Fox Float CTD shock is also endowed with Kashima.
Do you Know this woman? Almost everyone who rides Whistler has sampled her work. Jenny Liljegren works for Gravity Logic - the powerhouse team that is busy building the Top of the World trail. Presently, the Swedish DH racer is clearing trees and brush to make way for the motorized trailblazing equipment up there, but rock-work is her favorite part of the job.
Lift your glass for this man. Tom 'Pro' Prochazka takes a break with trail-builder Jesse Sanders. Tom Pro first managed the Whistler bike park and was instrumental in laying out the initial trail system. Tom now heads Gravity Logic - the most respected trail design firm in the world. His son Alex runs Gravity Logic's trail building operation at Whistler.
(Left to right), Trail-builder Jesse Sanders, Commencal Marketing Director Aurelien Colin, Gravity Logic Owner/Founder Tom Pro, and Trail-builder Jenny Liljegren - kitted up at the Top of the World for a top-to-bottom DH run on Whistler Mountain. Commencal sponsors Gravity Logic with bikes. Jenny races for Scott.
Gregg Winter at the controls. Winter, an accomplished excavation equipment operator, traded his city construction job for a seat in the clouds building trails for Gravity Logic. A look at his handiwork (right) and our first-tracks on the newest 100 meters of Top of the World.
POC helmets are quickly gaining popularity both in Europe and in North American mountain bike markets. The Cortex Flow full-face lid is an affordable DH helmet with a fiberglass shell. A carbon fiber version is also available. POC is better known for its Skate and Ski-style helmets and wild color options. All POC lids are tested and certified to Euro safety standards.
Body armor has fallen out of popularity, but POC offers new technology that should rekindle interest in technical protective gear. The Spine VPD 2.0 Jacket is costructed from a stretchy woven mesh and fitted with double wicking layers between the body and its visco-elastic-polymer pads. The VPD material is secured by pockets in the garment and remains extremely pliable and form fitting until it receives an impact - which causes the material to become tough and hard. VPD layers provide a high degree of comfort and impact protection without restricting movement. The chest pads are reported to conform well to the female anatomy.
The progression of POC knee and arm pads from the hard-plastic outer and padded inner strategy used in 2011, to the first two iterations of soft-cup VPD arm and leg protectors, are shown from left to right in this photograph. The new-for-2013 VPD 2.0 knees, on the far right, are fitted with plastic cups to assist DH pros safely slide to a stop when they choose to eject. Motorcycle road racers have been using slide pads for many years.
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