Video: MTBers Raise Money for a Bike Park with a Gruelling 2,500km Ride from Whistler to Yellowknife

May 9, 2020
by Quinn Lanzon  


There's a reason we ride.


When you have a passion in life, life is easier. That’s an oversimplification. But it’s not wrong. For me and my friends, bikes are the thing. Sure, we’re basically just idiots, blinded by the freedom of two wheels. But it's about more than just the ride. Bikes give us purpose and community. We depend on them both for our independence. They're our weapon against boredom and the dark places idle minds can lead. A straight shot at good times and good health.

Sometimes we get tired, injured or too run-down to ride. And it sucks to realize that you can't go full-blast all the time. But, ours is a longterm relationship, we’ve put in the time and laid an inextinguishable bed of coals to keep the connection warm. Even when we can't ride, we know bikes will be there for us when we're back at it. We’re damn lucky to have found these magical machines. And each other, too, I guess.

On May 24th, 1989, I was born in Yellowknife, the only true “city” in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Though my birthplace, I'd no memories of it. The day I turned 30, my grown-ass friends and I hit the road. The plan was for a 10 day, 2,500km road bike ride we thought would be long, but relatively easy.

At 7:00am on May 25th, 8 riders left Whistler, bound for Yellowknife.

At 11:55pm on June 4th, 6 riders arrived in Yellowknife (no one died).

If you want to know what happened on the ride (lots of stuff happened) watch Graeme Meiklejohn’s beautiful film, words can’t do the story justice. Enjoy!

The Ride of Your Life is raising money for the construction of a new bike park in Yellowknife. If you’d like to donate to Project Bike Park you can visit our GoFundMe page.

Take care.


Words by Quinn Lanzon
Film by Graeme Meiklejohn
Photos by Jamie Blades

Charge Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades
Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades

Photo Jamie Blades

Photo Jamie Blades

Photo Jamie Blades

The Ride of Your Life Photo Jamie Blades



62 Comments

  • 19 0
 Drop bar haters incoming
  • 5 2
 I love how when spandex is involved, the comment section is either disrespectful or very brief. If this was an article about HTA there would be all kinds of comments.

These guys are MTB riders so there won’t be any haters. But if it were roadies, watch out.
  • 6 0
 No hate. It's for a good cause.
  • 2 0
 It is always amazing to me how quickly mountain bikers and roadies turn on each other just because we like opposite ends of a sport. If we all got along, cycling advocacy could go way up, funding for projects, paths, trails, etc would go up, and we could take on the next foe (drivers or hikers, take your pick)
  • 2 0
 @goldencycle: It's like skiers vs. Snowboarders. Snowboarders have gotten so much hate from skiers over the years that they don't want anything to do with the skiers and rightly so. Maybe if both sides got their heads out of their asses then this stupid rivalry would die off. NGL though, lycra looks kinda stupid.
  • 5 0
 @DaFreerider44: in my experience the only people hating on one another in skiing/snowboarding are people who suck
  • 2 0
 @arrowheadrush: Couldn't agree more. From the cycling side I have hung out with Hardcore Roadies and Hardcore MTBers'. Funny how often they are often one and the same person.
  • 14 0
 What an awesome adventure. Under planned, haha. The scenery of the northern interior is so rad, way to improve the community and offer another option for kids.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for the kind words. It was a helluva trip and so rewarding to be able to support the riding community up there. Take care!
  • 8 1
 FKNA! Epic trip, can’t believe you did the Nimby mid day.

Could you post up a map of the exact route?
  • 1 0
 Yeah still not sure how we pulled that off. I think the route might exist on one of the guys' Strava, but it if you put Whistler - Prince George - Dawson Creek - Fort Nelson -Fort Liard - Fort Providence - Yellowknife into Google, you'll see the route. Glad you liked the film!
  • 4 0
 Gnarly! How do one deal with the saddle sores on these multi day grinds? I'm guessing the rain and cold took care of the bugs too?
  • 2 0
 We used a ton of chamois butter. That stuff is so essential to back-to-back full days in the saddle. As for the bugs, yeah the rain and the cold took care of them. Thanks for watching!
  • 2 0
 Guys, hats off to everyone of you! Not only for the physical and mental achievement but also for doing this and contributing to biking by raising money for a bike park.

To everyone out there having an aversion to road bikers: you might reflect on the fact that it is also a facet of biking - and realize, although it is different from mountain biking, a lot of roadies are much tougher than you think - just try hopping on a road bike and doing just ONE 200 k/day ride.
Ridiculing and despising other without even knowing others is the least productive way of going about the world around you...
  • 1 0
 So true! You'd be surprised how much stronger you feel on the mountain bike after putting some time in on the road.
  • 2 0
 @sickmansick: mtn and road riding totally benefits one another. Road biking helps make those long fire road climbs much easier while mtn biking totally improves bike handling which is awkward on drop bars.
  • 1 0
 @cuban-b: Big time. I find the road bike gets me in the habit of pedalling a bit more on the trails too.
  • 2 0
 Just googled yellowknife bike park, found the local clubs FB page,...............

Main Page
www.facebook.com/ykmtbc

Page with drafts of what the Bike park will look like
www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2116206241833195&type=3&__tn__=-UC-R
  • 1 0
 They also have a website with all the information.

Website:
sites.google.com/ykmtbc.ca/www/operation-bike-park?authuser=0
  • 2 0
 I grew up in Grande Prairie, AB, which is about 80 miles from Dawson Creek (Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway).
Furthest I ever made it was to Pink Mountain, beautiful country, but it looked a lot different when we were up there, as it was Feb/19xx vs your trip in late May/early June. I've never seen so many game tracks! It had snowed overnight, and we left GP @ about 6:00 AM, and the ditches looked like the sidewalks downtown, covered in footprints of various wildlifeSmile

Great adventure, and well illustrated in the vid, thanks for showing us all how your trip went!
And 200+ K/day?? good on ya, but I think MY body would tell me to F right off after the first daySmile
  • 1 0
 Hope you had a burger at Sasquatch Crossing when you were in Pink Mountain. That place is so good. Thanks for the stoke and glad you enjoyed the film!
  • 6 0
 Epic.
  • 3 0
 You guys are beasts! I have driven Kamloops to YK many times and it is not an easy haul by car, let alone by bike. Well done!
  • 2 0
 Yep, there's no short way of making that trip overland. But that road is insanely beautiful! Thanks for watching.
  • 6 1
 Respect
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 3 0
 That made for a great story and was really well told, too! Nice work all around on a badass adventure!
  • 1 0
 Thanks! Graeme did an amazing job on the film. Glad you enjoyed it.
  • 2 0
 That is what cycling is all about! Solid work Quinn & Co! Truly inspiring.
  • 1 0
 Thanks buddy!
  • 2 0
 You savage beagles! Amazing ride, the boys, and a fantastic job on the film Graeme
  • 1 0
 Thanks Woj! Agree, G-Baby killed it.
  • 1 0
 Spartan effort guys for a great cause! Variety is the spice of life enjoy as many types of bikes you can. well done! #allbikesmatter
  • 3 1
 Rad! The balls on these guys
  • 3 0
 Y'all need some fenders!
  • 1 0
 There was much debate about fenders! We decided against them because we figured they'd rattle loose at some point.
  • 1 0
 @sickmansick: Fair enough! I'm happy with the SKS Raceblades on the winter roadie, they cover really well for a clip-on fender, but can be rattly over rough terrain.
  • 2 0
 Way to go Quinn! That’s an awesome adventure, and for a great cause.
  • 1 0
 Thanks! Can't wait to see them build that new bike park.
  • 2 1
 So there you go. Thinking about visiting BC? It's all rain and gravel roads.
Excellent video. Epic adventure.
  • 1 0
 There are also a few good spots to eat lunch! Thanks for the stoke.
  • 3 0
 Wow. Respect
  • 2 0
 Wow, that looks great! Well done!
  • 2 0
 wow, your guys are tuff. great job, Epic Journey.
  • 2 0
 Congrats! Awesome video/adventure.
  • 2 0
 Guys like these who go on big adventures are the guys I want to marry
  • 2 0
 So rad!
  • 2 0
 Serious ride! Great work
  • 2 0
 Well done!
  • 2 0
 great work!
  • 1 0
 Great work guys!
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