Interview: Bike Park Trip of a Lifetime US & Canada Winner

Aug 30, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Photo by Aaron Thiesen

What was your initial reaction when you found out you had won?

Complete disbelief. Really. I am guessing it took Andy from Pinkbike ten minutes to convince me that he wasn't a scammer. I don't think it felt real until we were standing on a dusty berm at Joyride. The super cool part is that in a really small town like ours, everyone else was stoked for us, too.

What were you most excited about?

Hands down, riding on the West Coast. We're East Coast riders. Our home resort is Mount Snow, Vermont with Killington, Vermont and Thunder Mountain, Massachussets within easy driving distance. We have some super fun parks and great trail systems, but getting to ride some of the best parks in the US and Canada?! The stoke factor was high!

Who did you take with you and why?

One of the first questions I asked Andy was, "How old does my plus one need to be?" and when he confirmed that it didn't really matter since I qualified as the adult, there was only one person to take: my 13 year old son, Cooper. He has been riding park since he was 5 or 6 and easily spends three days a week on a downhill bike at our home resort of Mount Snow, in Vermont. His passion for riding runs deep and even though there is a huge gap between our ability levels, I knew he was going and we could easily manage the skills gap by getting local guides (which worked out great).

How did you prepare for the trip?

Well, Cooper rode his bike three or four days a week, and was able to spend some time at Killington, Vermont and Thunder Mountain, Massachusetts. We own a tree nursery and garden center, so our regular work days give us a pretty solid workout. I also broke my collarbone badly on June 22... Genius, I know... I broke it and displaced it more than 2-inches. On June 27, my amazing surgeon installed a new, blue, titanium plate and 9 titanium screws. By day 4, I was walking 2 miles a day and kept increasing from there, hiking up something most days all summer in the hopes of staying strong. We started traveling on Saturday, August 4. On Friday, August 3 (5 weeks post-op), my surgeon told me not to ride. So I got back on a bike at Snow Summit on August 6th. I made smart terrain choices, was good about staying on smoother terrain and am amazed that I was able to ride everywhere except Whistler - which I opted out only due to the rider traffic. I called the surgeon to come clean and see if she wanted another x-ray - she was not surprised. She is a hockey player. She gets it.

How much riding did you do on the trip?

We rode every "scheduled" day except for one - day 1 at Silver Star was wet and super foggy and we were a little weary - so I pulled the mom-card and we took a recovery day to sleep in, have an amazing lunch at Bugaboo's, do some merch shopping, drool over bikes and enjoy the private hot tub on our deck. Cooper rode most days from opening to 4:00. I rode as long as my broken collarbone would let me - which varied - but most days, I was able to ride from open until 2pm.

What was your favourite trail?

Cooper's favorite was "Dirt Merchant" at Whistler. But I have to say, as a parent, the coolest text I have ever gotten was when this popped up: "Just rode A-Line". My favourite was Shazam" at Silver Star. Those berms were perfection and the dirt was so sticky! It was giggle-inducing.... A close second would be "Off the top" to "Beach Cruiser" to "White Bark" to "Kamikaze" at Mammoth.

What was the highlight of the trip?

Only one?! You are killing me here. The entire trip was, quite honestly, epic. The terrain was insanely fun. We got to demo a ton of great bikes. All of our accommodations were amazing. My nephew lives at Mammoth, so he was our bike guide and took us to the hot springs. Crankworx was insane. Joyride was mindblowing, even with the smoke. We got to ride so much amazing terrain! And we met so many amazing people. Selecting a single highlight is actually impossible. Every damn stop was a highlight. Maybe the real highlight was all the brownie points this mom got with her 13 year old son?

How did this compare to other mountain biking trips you've done?

This is our first ever big bike trip!! So I'm not really sure how we can go up from here... Maybe we should just keep winning the Trip of a Lifetime contests?

Thanks again to all destinations involved @SnowSummitBikePark @SilverStarBikePark @MammothMountain @SunPeaksResort

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  • 48 1
 Maybe the actual highlight was getting to take my son...!
  • 21 1
 I should of won this prize , But I am really glad that you did after reading your story Smile
  • 2 0
 @konacyril: Thank you!!!
  • 1 0
I work in hort and love trees. Do you grow any Aussie natives?
You should grow some Eucalyptus regnans.
Tallest tree ever felled and recorded !
Or Acacia leprosa - the only Acacia with red flowers in the world!
  • 17 0
 Rad!! Can't imagine even winning a pinkbike keychain, let alone THIS.
  • 14 0
 So rad! The world needs many, many moms like this.
  • 6 0
 I agree...... I am often the only one and admit it gets lonely!!!!!
  • 8 0
 Looks like pinkbike could not have found a better winner for this one! Kids remember these kinds of trips for the rest of their lives!
  • 8 0
 So rad! And getting to take your son along??? Absolutely awesome.
  • 7 0
 Congrats, what an awesome experience! I am sure your son will cherish that forever!
  • 3 0
 Thanks, all. It was tremendous. I freely admit that the kid was super grateful for the trip and soaked up every minute. If anyone has an amazing gif idea for my surgeon, let me know? Because that woman's skills totally saved our trip!!!!!!!!
  • 3 1
 That's so awesome. I remember my first trip out to Whistler in 2006 at the age of 17, first time out of the EC as well and it was mind blowing. I cannot imagine if that included Crankworx and multiple other resorts. Good choice on the winners, very jelly.
  • 6 0
 Cooper, dude, you lucked out in the mom deparment!
  • 6 0
 I am going to make sure he reads this!!!
  • 1 0
 @802mama: for sure he knows!
  • 3 0
 Gratitude is infectious. Great to see the prize package was won by such appreciative and well-deserving folks.
  • 3 0
 Well that was very very cool
  • 3 1
 great to see you made it out to Todd Lake at Sun Peaks, awesome ride!
  • 1 0
 Impressive that you recognized it!!!!!!
  • 3 1
 @802mama: I live there! ridden out to that place many times. Looks like you guys had a great trip, me and the wife visited Mt Snow a few years back, beautiful area.
  • 2 1
 @expat: Dead jealous!
  • 3 14
flag RollinFoSho (Aug 30, 2018 at 22:26) (Below Threshold)
 @expat: fyi, it’s better if you say “my wife and I” vs me and “the wife”. Saying “the wife” like that implies that she is just a mere object to you. It could be seen as deraogatory, which will then make people think you are an a-hole. Pass it on, hear it lots from dudes in Kamloops.
  • 15 1
 @RollinFoSho: Thanks for the English lesson. FYI needlessly correcting peoples grammar and sentence constuction during a pleasant discourse between two complete strangers that you are in no way involved in could be seen as being sanctimonious and pretentious, which will then make people think you too are an a-hole. Especially when a person is using a harmless colloqualism commonly used in the area of the UK where they grew up , Also, FYI, "my wife" (is that better for you?) regularly calls me "the husband", I don't find it the least bit derogatory nor does it imply anything, at all. But regardless of that, rest assured I shall make it my mission to inform the "dudes" in (or of?) Kamloops that you are deeply concerned about their usage of the phrase and they should cease and desist immediately. Hope that helps.
  • 5 1
 @expat: Haha.....My thoughts exactly expat (Go ride your bike RollinFoSho)
  • 2 4
 Ha, alright keep on calling her “the wife” then, was just trying to help.
  • 2 1
 Haha top comeback fella!!@expat:
  • 2 5
 Expat, It’s a shame you’re calling yourself Canadian, then using the excuse that you are British. Classic.
  • 4 1
 Not entirely sure what your point is there but keep going, you're doing terrific.
  • 1 4
 @expat: The point is that if you are going to be calling yourself a Canadian now that you have presumably immigrated from the UK, you may want to adjust your grammar so that Canadians and Americans don’t get the wrong impression. You were having this “pleasant conversation” with an American woman who may have taken some offense to your comment. Just for fun, I asked my wife her opinion about men calling their partners “the wife” or “the girlfriend” and she was disgusted. I would also presume that you have been getting away with it a bit in Kamloops because people there are a little on the redneck macho side. My 21 year old brother, born and raised in Kamloops, sais “the girlfriend” all the time. He still lives there, worked at the tar sands.... Hopefully he’ll learn one day too.

Anyways, hope that helps you understand my point better. And sorry, I should taken more care in the way I worded it for you since you obviously took offence to it.

Keep on shredding Tod Mnt., my old stomping grounds. Welcome to Canada
  • 2 0
 Result! Well done, sounds like a great trip you both had!
  • 2 0
 Awesome, well done! #coolmom
  • 1 0
 Super cool, would like to see follow ups with all the prize winners: bikes, design contests etc.
  • 2 0
 Really stoked for you and the kid!
  • 1 0
 Happy to see a fellow VTer win - congrats!
  • 2 0
 Hoping to get up to KT soon! I still havent been!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @802mama: Lots of good stuff there! I would also recommend Stowe/Burlington area for some great trail riding. Perry Hill, Cady Hill, Cochrans, Saxon Hill to name a few!

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