A pretty cool vibe has developed on the "Old Riders, but not Old School
" Pinkbike forum and talk of us all getting together in the summer at Silverstar Mountain Resort near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, had come up from time to time. Imagine the intensity behind a train of old dudes railing Silverstar's berms and hucking the jumps on Pipe Dream, World Cup, Rock Star, etc on our mountain bikes! That and the all-around good time had by everyone off the trails too. Well, after months of planning and waiting, it actually happened. Read on for the juicy details of a three day fun packed tour of the BC Interior
.What's a PinkGeezer ?
I'm not sure where the term PinkGeezer came from or who exactly started it, but it was coined some time in early 2009 when the Old School forum thread blew up. Which is actually pretty cool in itself, because it's more or less a self moderated forum and has an unofficial no bitching/whining/personal attacks rule. I guess Pinkgeezer is just some loose term for a rider that's not 18, isn't throwing it down huge doing massive tables, wearing a DJ lid and with a yellow spotted bandana hanging out his jeans' ass pocket. Pinkgeezers are just everyday riders, hacks if you will, who mostly came into this sport late in life and enjoy hammering down the trails cack-handed, breaking stuff, including themselves, on the way. Pinkgeezers have mostly given up thinking about hitting that 40-foot gap, but in their mind, that 6-10 foot gap they hit last season was about the same size. In fact, it was bigger, strictly cuz a Pinkgeezer hit it. Rise of the Geezer
I'm not sure what it's like in your part of the world, but in many British Columbia and Alberta mountain towns, geezers are practically everywhere. Geezers are buying good quality used bikes, adding upgrades, riding them like crazy, and now ordering new 2011 bikes they're so stoked on the sport. They're buying trucks specially to shuttle themselves and their buddies around. Despite the recession, geezers are thriving. They're the ones turning out for traildays, building their own new trails, helping haul garbage out of the bush. Or entering DH Cups in their early 30's, founding mountain bike clubs in their 30's and 40's, helping communities build bike park facilities, becoming sponsored riders, or turning out to ride the day after Boxing Day in -6 Celsius. That's "farkin cold" for you guys south of the border, cold enough to freeze the steam on the inside of your goggles.
Even in the depths of winter geezers are taking up extreme snowshoeing and getting off their couches. They're starting up bike shops, or finding cool things to do in their spare time such as help run a team of shop riders, put on epic road trips, or hook people up for rides. They're buying stuff, breaking it, and figuring out what they should have done right the first time. Seriously though, geezers and geezettes (for there is such a thing) are a big part in the growth of the sport and something that's helping sustain sales during a tough economy. After all, who do you think is breaking all their stuff ? Geezers, of course ! Hacks, the great component replacers. Great business for bike shops all across the world. Geezers have the motivation, and the wherewithall to hook up with others to explore new trails and head to resorts for a large dose of bike park action. They have the willingness of youth, the wisdom of years, and the agility of a dead sloth. Their lack of airborne skills will have you laughing out loud. Hopefully with them, not at them.
Geezers are super keen, and they're best recognized for their positive attitude and big grins. Loving this sport is the biggest sign of a Geezer. They're not grumpy and cynical - every ride, every road trip, is a blast, and they're grateful for every opportunity to ride. Geezers never knew the hard times of v-brakes and spongy 4" travel. We're just here to ride and have fun.
The key to geezerism is that it isn't a specific age, it's an attitude to life. But watch out, it could be contagious. And that geezer rolling behind you, well they might just burn you off the trail. Day One - Sun Peaks Resort Kamloops BC
I have to admit I was nervous on this day. I'd stoked up the interest in riding Sun Peaks and told everyone how rad and rough the trail system was. Would they like it? Would it be too hardcore for the crowd? Would I be shunned by a mob of angry, unimpressed geezers?
Turns out I need not have worried. The day started off warm, but a fresh light rain blew in after lunch with a gentle fresh breeze to take away some of the BC Interior heat and freshen things up. The signature jump trail Steam Shovel had been reworked and flows better than I've ever seen it, but it still has some gnarly sections. The ridge line drop in run was a blast. "Keep right" I was advised, to stay out of the chunder line. I kept left just for kicks. It was here that we met Rudy, on tour from Switzerland. Rudy looking somewhat lost, joined up with us and only quit when the Sun Peaks gnar broke his shock. The friendly and helpful locals directed him to a Kamloops bike shop which could fix his fork. Cool!
The Sun Peaks offering is really pitched at fast, loose, rooty, steep downhill trails with natural features to test your skills. Advisory warning: full suspension, plenty of it, and well set up. There's plenty of opportunity to progress from the blue trails that allow for less aggressive riders to work their skills right up to advanced riders who can test themselves on some of the steepest rootiest terrain I've ever seen on any bike park in BC. Garbanzo has nothing on Insanity One and Honeydrop...seriously
. We kept it moderately mellow, mostly riding Barn Burner, Gummy Bear, and Mach linked to Arm Pump/Home Run finishes, but ridden hard and fast they're enough to keep anyone entertained. Midweek presented us with a distinct lack of wait lines and some very helpful lifties.
We have to shout out to Mountain High Pizza for some of the best pizza pie we've ever tasted. Just awesome. And well priced too.
Showing just the lower part of the hill. That chairlift goes up. And up. Sun Peaks has trails that in the case of the steeper options, follow fall lines. Not your typical new skool bike park resort.
On the drive north I was telling Kurt how rad, fast, and gnar the Sun Peaks singletrack is. I think I may have overdone it, if this pic of him checking his helmet is anything to go by. He looks like a worried man. In the background is an awesome example of a typical Kamloops truck. Solid, hefty, rugged, practical, and bike-friendly.
Dion, a Kamloop's local, was all over it and was not afraid to try any line on the hill.
At the top of lower DH. We'd just ridden DH to Hi Octane and afterwards finished with Wagon Wheel which as last run of the day was my personal outstanding memory of the whole event. Dropping in to DH was sort of orgasmic for a downhill rider like myself. We were all laughing at the thought of gaps on a green trail. A great choice of trail combination to finish. Check out Brad showing Chris the fine art of using chopsticks (I think?) or maybe explaining what happens if you crash and break both arms.
DH goes downhill. The leaning sign is a small hint of what's to come. Downhill, steep, fast, and loose. DH does what it says on the can. No BS, no uber cool trail name hype. Pure and simple, to the point.
Post ride chill out and apres with copious cold brews and plenty of talk of avoided crashes, sketchy sections of trail, and good times.
Cold beverages were certainly well earned. In the background Chris is grabbing a snack bar, just about the only thing he ate all day til a 9.00pm Subway snack attack in Vernon.
Dion proving yet again he was up for anything (this time it was beer related).
On the way back to the Okanagan we managed a full run of Rio Escondido before leaving town. This is one amazingly fast flowy trail. We were all pretty bagged from a full day of bike park riding, but amazingly we only felt the burn at the very end of the trail. Good vibes from everyone and lots of smiling faces. Commitments to come back to ride it again proved the popularity and continued appeal of Rio. Big thanks to Brad who helps maintain and further develop Rio with a few cleverly planned tricks and hits.
There's nothing better than seeing a truck full of DH bikes.
The post ride routine followed a certain format, as this essential pre-ride purchase shows. Always be prepared !Day Two - Silver Star Resort Vernon BC
Silver Star is famous for its smooth, fast, well designed flowy jump trails with plenty of effortless airtime. After the endless natural gnar of Sun Peaks, the Star didn't disappoint. Everyone had a blast on the jump lines, but a couple of us locals, inspired by the recent excess of gnar, couldn't resist ripping the steep and haggard Downtown and the rock infested Dags Downhill in the sick powdery conditions. After that we were pretty much bagged and done, leaving the visitors to fill their boots with airtime. Seems that Rock Star and World Cup were the favourite trails of the day. No complaints about lift lines since a combination of midweek riding, late opening til 7.30 pm, and increased bike carrying capacity on the Comet Six Pack Chairlift made for a smooth and solid day. The hard work and attention to detail of the bike park trail crew meant that despite dry periods and peak summer, the trails were smooth and well groomed. The one exception was Blast Off which just had some great new work done to improve the height of the berms, and was waiting for some moisture to help everything bed in. It was definitely rowdy if you pushed hard into the corners.
The post ride event. Looking familiar? In the dusty conditions, Chris was now regretting his purchase of a white TLD jersey. Not sure how Jim managed to maintain that freshly washed and crisp look. Smooth! Day Three - Kelowna BC
A much reduced crew gathered looking pretty tired for day three. It was a very hot day reaching 27 degrees and 9.00 am was an early start for us. There was definitely some lethargy showing at this stage.
We hit Gillard, riding the relatively mellow combination of Cat's Ass, a less dusty than usual Fists First, and Boss Hog. One of the big surprises for us was the good shape the Gillard forest service road was in. For midsummer, it was surprisingly smooth.
Top of Boss Hog.
Then it was Nip/Tuck, Carnie Road, Snakes Back and Wobbly Pops. The last trail is a bit of a beater and it worked a few of us over. Later on at Gillard as we were preparing to leave we saw a short thunderstorm roll in and some very brief rainfall to cool things down. After that we were in need of energy, so it was off to Postill with a stop at Subway enroute for an energy boost.
Addiction drop in.
The infamous 70-foot Postill wallride. Pinkgeezerette Monique tried to hit this twice but it just wasn't happening for her. Just a sore shoulder to show off, backed up by a lot of positive attitude for someone who's been riding less than a year. Summary
The whole event was a real blast. No major bike mechanicals reported. No major crashes or injuries reported. Good times had by all and everyone chilling and getting along fine.
We missed a few folks who had committed to attend but through injury or other circumstances, couldn't make it. They were missed, and we hope they'll be able to make it out next year.
Thanks to Chris Iversen for sorting out the logistics with Sun Peaks. Our Sun Peaks guides were awesome and provided great trail choices for specific skill levels. Kurt pulled together some great helmet cam videos. Thanks to everyone's efforts there were plenty of shuttle and retrieval trucks at hand and cold beer was never scarce, being always at hand. Also it has to be said, thanks to everyone at Pinkbike.com which is more than just a mountain biking website - Pinkbike.com gives total strangers the ability and opportunity to meet up and "share the ride" through the magic of the internet.
From myself, a personal thanks to Cheryl at the Bicycle Cafe Kamloops and to Cory Wiwchar at Sun Peaks Corporation. And the biggest thanks of all goes to everyone who attended Pinkgeezer 2010. Here's to Pinkgeezer 2011.
Gnarbar (Rich Deakin) is a geezer proudly sponsored by Kali Protectives, Kelowna Cycle, Elka Suspension grassroots program, and rides Intense Cycles exclusively.