Once again the girls of freeride were getting down and dirty at the Slope Sistair
event held in Whistler, British Columbia. Tired of people thinking that they were holding bikes for their boyfriends, the girls hit the Whistler mountain bike park in full force on August 5th to strut their stuff in a jam style event. If you saw a train of ponytails passing you down A-line, you’re right, that was them.
The morning started off with around 15 girls and 15 downhill bikes meeting at the beautifully decorated pink Slope Sistair table where Heidi Telstad got all riders to sign their life away and gave them their identification dog tags incase they got lost in battle. With such a large group of giggling ladies and big bikes, we couldn’t help but attract attention as a rather massive circle of boys gathered to view the display. Then the crew hit the bike park starting with a little A-line lovin’ followed by Dirt Merchant and Freight Train in fine fashion to warm up for the Boneyard jam later in the day.
As the girls rode up to the Boneyard the giggles quickly turned to silence as they scouted the features. Finally the hip onto the big step up into the quarter pipe was in full session mode and the girls began to throw down. Intense heat made for a bunch of sweaty, sunburned and tired girls but this seemed to draw out quite the crowd of male spectators who cheered the ladies on. Even Brian Lopes came out to watch and give the girls a few pointers…but nobody believed him because he was riding around with a giant cable lock and looked like a dude out to meet chicks!
Gale Dahlager, Stephanie Nychka, Darcy Turenne, Hannah Steffens, and Emily Johnston began busting out their bag of tricks and Stephanie even attempted a tailwhip! She had some nice war wounds to display from that one at the bar later that night, but it was Julie Gamache who stacked the quarter gap, kept riding, and then showed up at the party with a camo wrist cast and 9 Frankenstein stitches in her shin. She must have learned that trick from Heidi who attempted to ride with a freshly broken thumb but realized early on that it wasn’t such a good idea when her hand swelled up like a balloon… Thumbs up ladies!!
With time ticking, mechanical issues, injuries and the sun getting hotter, the girls didn’t have a much of a chance to explore the Boneyard. Many of the big features were closed so Steph hit up the massive dirt jumps while others perfected their hip to quarter airs, and others made friends with the Kokanee box. By the time 5pm rolled around the competitors were more than ready to hit up the Longhorn Saloon for awards, beer and wig party.
Heidi Telstad a.ka. Ms. Pink was first on scene raffling off tickets to win a brand new Banshee Scream frame. Heidi and her crew worked the crowd and raised some serious cash for the Canadian Spinal Cord Research Organization (CSRO) and Rick Hansen Foundation and got the party started.
When the rest of the girls rolled in, the coifs were in full effect ranging from Gale’s best/worst hair of the night 80’s rocker shag, to Steph’s white and purple “see you at the next rave” do, to Lilias’ trailer park mom mullet, to Darcy’s blonde feathered look straight out of a 1950’s Mr. Clean commercial. Let’s just say the girls looked SAAWEET!
Awards time came and organizer Steph decided to take the pressure off of the riders (who originally were going to have to peer judge) and turned to the word of secret spies on the course that took notes on each of the girls’ riding. Because 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc awards are boring, and these girls are anything but boring, different categories of prizing were handed out and the winners were crowned with exquisite beauty pageant sashes.
Gabe Newman won the “Miss Jordan” award for coming out of nowhere with big airs; Darcy Turenne won the “Miss Beckham” award for her steezy style and flow on a bike (she was expecting a kiss from Mr. Beckham as a reward and was rather disappointed when she didn’t get one); Emily Johnston won the “Miss India” award for being a rider as improved as the country (and for always having a great attitude); Gale Dahlager won the “Miss Houdini” award for her deep bag of tricks (especially her radical hair transformation), and organizer Stephanie Nychka won the “Miss Diddy” award for her all-around talents as a rider (she was also disappointed when Mr. Diddy didn’t come out and support his new wife).
Tad Brockwat of Woodinville, Washington won the Banshee Scream frame and rear shock. Tad was so impressed with our idea to donate all proceeds to Spinal Cord Injury Research that he has offered to write a cheque for a couple more American dollars! As Tad was not present at the draw, Banshee will be meeting up with Tad next week to ensure he has the correct size of frame for his height.
The women of freeride showed that they could ride, party, and pull off crazy hair-dos, but they send a huge thank-you to their sponsors of whom they couldn’t have held such a great event without. Dax at Camelbak, Joel at Hayes, Matt and AJ Go Huck Yourself, Michelle at Helly Hansen, Elayna at Fox Racing Shox, and Jay and Dalen at Banshee Bikes/Trident…you guys rock.
Slope Sistair 2006…over and out.
To learm more about Slope Sistair II, please visit www.slopesistair.net