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Video: Opening Day at the Whistler Bike Park - What's Changed?

Jun 30, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  

Merry Whismas! The Whistler Bike Park is officially open for 2020 and while things may seem the same, there are a handful of differences to be aware of.

Regions in Article
Whistler Mountain Bike Park


  • 85 14
 I feel like a broken collarbone is more of a risk than COVID at Whistler.
  • 19 68
flag Torrrx (Jun 30, 2020 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 Depends on if using clipless or flat pedals.
  • 61 6
 @Torrrx: In what world is a broken collarbone exclusive to a pedal type?
  • 12 82
flag monkeybizz (Jun 30, 2020 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 Well yeah clipless pedals will help with that. I’ve only ever seen/met people riding those who actually have broken a collarbone. Why? Because being attached to your bike causes under rotation and prevents your body from moving the way it should in a crash SCIENCE (shouldn’t be this magical thing)
  • 17 7
 Haha I love this. I'm recovering from my collarbone right now and it never would have happened if I wasn't connected to my bike. Few more weeks and I'll be back clipless.
  • 5 16
flag monkeybizz (Jun 30, 2020 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 @MatthewYoung4: your rides uploaded to Pinkbike say otherwise? O.o
  • 4 4
 @MatthewYoung4: nvm my bad, read it wrong
  • 20 3
 @monkeybizz: I have to fully disagree with you in terms on exclusivity to clipless pedals.
The one and only crash I've ever had that damaged anything to do with my shoulder was done on flat pedals. Clips are alot like driving a manual car. You need to get used to the action. I naturally unclip in every "oh shit" situation. I crashed more when getting used to them, just like you might stall a car getting used to manual. If your a flat pedal rider who thinks clips are more dangerous, you haven't really given them enough time to get used to.
  • 53 0
 Pre-ride, Re-Ride, Free-ride. Or if you're like me, just Pre-ride, Pre-ride, Pre-ride, ride home.
  • 3 26
flag monkeybizz (Jun 30, 2020 at 9:34) (Below Threshold)
 @jomacba: I’ve ridden both extensively, clipless on a road bike so I know what they’re like.
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: Yeah, I'm back riding but not clipped in. Just casual pedaling and hanging with the wife and old man.
  • 3 3
 @MatthewYoung4: Sounds like we will need to agree to disagree then sir.
  • 13 18
flag Torrrx (Jun 30, 2020 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)
 @jomacba: Clipless pedals are like the adult version of training wheels, where you need help just to keep your feet on the pedals.
  • 5 3

Until shit hits the fan and you can’t unclip because it’s too fast, and now you’re laying there with a bike on you.
  • 6 1
 @nickfranko: then you need more practice with clipless lol
  • 7 1
 @Torrrx: Tell that to the Elite DH riders across the world. I'm sure that's exactly why they use them.
  • 1 4
 @jomacba: that sort of is exactly why they use them in this case
  • 5 1
 @nickfranko: I've never stayed clipped in during a crash. Its only 15 degrees to unclip. Its really not that much.
  • 5 0
 @Torrrx: Yeah sort of... but I think adult training wheels perspective is kinda wrong. I think its more in the perspective from where flats no longer can provide the same performance. I believe all riders should start on flats, they teach major fundamentals to riding that clips dont provide, but i think there is much more to clips than just keeping your feet on the pedals. You ability to put down power increases massively, to which when were speaking of racing, is a massive gain.
  • 5 0
 @Torrrx: Sorta. Training wheels make it easier to ride hammered. Clipless not so much.
  • 3 3
 @jomacba: what about Sam Hill or did he not win EWS on flats multiple times?
  • 2 0
 oh that s me then
  • 3 0
 @monkeybizz: Never said you can't win.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: while I fully agree there are people who have been rising SPD since Shimano invented them and still aren't used to them. I had an argument with one guy who insisted he had been rising SPDs since they came out, but also claimed he had to think about unclipping (hence his move to flats).

If you have to think about unclipping you haven't learned them. It took me maybe 7 rides to get over my initial fear (but still having to think about it) then maybe a season for it to be pretty much taking my feet off the pedals. Of course I grew up with toe clips and found them a pretty much non-wvwnt except for when going over the bars.

My recommendation to anyone learning: fresh cleats, release at 0 clicks. You'll have the benefit of clipless yet easy release from anything but straight up and down (e.g. pull to a side and your foot is out). JKW only ran 2 clicks for release. Basically you want the benefits of toe clips without the risk. You can pull up on a pedal withy you foot coming off, bit can yank you foot off without thinking about pulling your foot from a cage. If you have to think about it you have too many clicks of tension or not enough experience.

I'm more concerned about clipping in than out. When I'm tired, quickly clipping in before a feature is the difficult part.
  • 1 0
 @eh-steve: I have never used SPD cleats so I can't speak to that. I've been on exclusively Time Atac's back in 2002 otherwise I've been on either flats or Crankbrothers. Personally, I really love the feel of the CB system.
  • 2 1
 @monkeybizz: I wish my clavicle got the memo that it shouldn't break because I ride flats... You talk about science but obviously have no understanding regarding the etiology of clavicle fractures.
  • 1 1
 @blkmrktrider156: LOL
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: clipless on a road bike so you know what it's like. Lol.
  • 72 14
 Any Whistler locals want to adopt a COVID-free Washingtonian for 21 days (14 days quarantine + 7 days riding)? You won’t see me and I’ll pay all your normal expenses for the month.

Oh, Canada - how I miss you!!
  • 20 2
 Man I dunno how you’re getting downvoted but that’s a sick deal lol
  • 10 0
 I'm getting sick just thinking about Whistler. I'm gonna self quarantine out of despair....
  • 13 6
 Not until at least end of July. With a bit of luck they will keep the border closed longer.
  • 1 5
flag makripper (Jun 30, 2020 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 Or just camp??
  • 3 5
 But for real, does anyone have tips on how to hit whistler this summer as an American? Actively trying to figure out the logistics of a 14 day quarantine lol
  • 13 3
 @me2menow: you aren’t coming to Canada this year bro...better get used to the idea now
  • 29 3
 @me2menow: get the rest of your country on board with quarantining, social distancing and face masks... then maybe Canada will open up their border to you guys... but definitely not at the moment... Thank Trump for that!!
  • 12 20
flag blowmyfuse (Jun 30, 2020 at 14:44) (Below Threshold)
 @clalonde: You're funny. Thanks for lumping a country this big into one big old mess.

If you're reading stuff on Seattle, Atlanta, Florida beaches & all those mega-ant hills in NYC full of inbreds crawling and seething all over each other....that's not the other 99% of our country.

I can social distance pretty easy by just living my daily life. All these people who "shelter in place" those big cities though, they really don't have a choice. They can social distance all day, but there isn't 6 feet of distance between front doors there, so they're going to transmit like crazy. And you can't pretend like Montreal or Vancouver are these germ free zones. Outbreaks there are just as common.

Try not to fall victim to the news please.
  • 11 2
 @clalonde: I've been at it pretty strictly since early March personally. Poor leadership no doubt is ruining it for everyone else who has been diligent.
  • 3 2
 Just ride the PCT to Manning - get picked up on HWY #3 - you are golden.
  • 7 2
 @clalonde: well I live close to Hollywood and there were 25,000 protestors Slammed together on Hollywood Blvd few weeks back. So yeah, gonna be a minute.
  • 56 1
 Hey @Whistler Blackcomb, what are the chances that twilight hours will be introduced? As a Whistler resident who works full time, this is where buying a pass carries any sort of value.

Many locals were surprised that the season's pass is the exact same price as last year, despite the season being 6-weeks shorter with reduced hours. However, I'm sure people can understand some of the financial hardship that Vail has seen and will continue to see as a result of Covid, and may still be willing to pay. What is hard to understand though, is the fact that WB has done nothing to specifically cater to the local customer by both excluding twilight hours and withholding communication to the community about opening/trails/practices.

Perhaps the higher cost is in place to intentionally reduce the volume on the hill in order to keep lift lines small and the paying customers happy, but I think instead out overcharging for the season, it would have been wise to just communicate the right messaging. Things will move slower, volume will be reduced, the world is a different place.

I, among many others in my circle, will not be buying passes this summer for this reason. It has been the resounding conversation for the past week, that if WB had offered later hours (5-8pm), and/or reduced the season pass price to an appropriately pro-rated value (~630 hours of reduced opening time), then many people would have either purchased passes or had kinder words to say about our home mountain.
  • 11 0
 Vail got a massive bailout...they could run that place empty for year and wouldn’t give a f*ck...They certainly dont need the money...On top of reduced hrs and shorter season, the Creekside zone is closed, the peak is closed and the warmup runs ( Aline / DirtMerchant) are closed...It should be cheaper by a lot this years...

Its a real scam and quite insulting for locals ( especially after the winter fiasco) but , they know people will be going up regardless so they keep the same price.
  • 2 1
 @neroleeloo: at least they opened, Keystone and Vail bike parks have no plans to open this season. They can say its from COVID, but us locals already snowboarded at A-basin down the road last month with socially distant lines and masks (similar to WBP now). As an extra insult, they are even running the lifts for scenic lift rides, but no bikes allowed.
  • 4 0
 @Kitejumping: scenic lift rides. The thieves of my time in a lift line. Pay less, slow the lift down, cut right to the front.
  • 49 8
 I understand pinkbike has to make money and these are difficult times, but the advertisement to journalism ratio in this piece basically makes it useless. I can just go to the Whistler Blackcomb and Trek website and get the identical info. I'd like to hear what trails were closed (A-line, Dirt Merchant, Crab Apple) and why. When or under what circumstances will they open. What was the rider experience? Was it busy? How did other riders feel about it?
At least act like you are doing some sort of independent journalism. You can do better pinkbike!
  • 32 8
 Can you please be more subtle with the trek sponsorship, I prefer when it only talks to my subconscious
  • 20 2
 Well Trek put big money up for many folk's favorite park. They deserve to be promoted. That is how things work.
  • 11 1
 Looks like a session though
  • 7 0
 Hard to miss that red rocket ship! So eye catching!
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: Looks like a Blur going downhill.
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta: great looking bike. Smile
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz: I think it's a Scott Gambler
  • 13 2
 Perfect conditions, more trails open than expected and pretty small queues considering it was opening day. Definitely worth buying the pass for, thanks to all involved who made it happen!
  • 2 2
  • 7 1
 For sure! It was awesome day and everyone was very cordial and nice out there :-) So Canadian
  • 16 0
 @christinachappetta: Can you do a pro tips video on obtaining Canadian citizenship?
  • 2 0
 Can you comment on what was closed?
  • 11 1
 @fraserw: top half of Aline, Dirt Merchant, Freight train, crab apple
  • 4 0
 @theedon: Thanks.

Dunno why you're getting downvoted. Your comment had more information about closures than did the video, or on the WBP webpage!
  • 8 0
 "check what trails are open" - How?

There's a handful of "safe bike park" pages on their website but none of them really say anything. @christinachappetta: or anyone: do you know how to check what trails are open? ps keep up the great work to you and the team
  • 6 0
As I type this, basically no A-Line, Dirt Merchant, Freight Train, Fade to Black, Rippin' Rutabaga, Clown Shoes, Crabapple
  • 8 0
 Thank you! Sorry about that, we hoped to get a shot of the usual "trails board" with openings and closings but that proved difficult. As they had lower A-line open and were working on the top section, I'm hopeful more trails will open up as they have time to fully work on them.
  • 4 0
 @haroprease: I'm suprised to see this amount of trails opened!
Hat off to WB on that
I thought only green and blues would be open!
  • 2 0
 Awesome! Thanks Jason and everyone! Dug around their site for 20 minutes before posting this, surprised I couldn't find that!
  • 3 0
 @haroprease: Was there on opening day and saw t hem working on A-Line entrance by where GMC pump tack was. And last section of A-Line was open on opening day. So I assume it's coming.
  • 12 3
 BREAKING NEWS: Canada announces any US mountain biker that passed a COVID test at border security can get in!

Wait that was just my dream last night
  • 9 0
 I'll take a double barrel swab up my nostrils to get in. Pls.
  • 18 2
 @rewob: Y'all just got voted the most infected country in the world. Europe doesn't want you nor does Canada.
We all listened to the medical professionals thats why we are able to have fun this summer.
  • 4 0
 @Yaan: 100% ... well said!!
  • 1 0
 @Yaan: yup, it sucks. They even have the lots closed at my local trails.
  • 1 0
 you guys got yourself in it for the long haul now. hopefully the border stays closed for a long long time.
  • 2 1
 @luckynugget: I've never really been on the PinkBike comments until the last few weeks. Glad I stopped in to see how smug many of you Canuckistans can be behind a keyboard.
  • 1 0
 @Nwilkes: it's a pretty easy situation to be smug about. Welcome to the other side of #buildthewall.
  • 2 1
 @RonSauce: just to check, you know which country that wall was for right
  • 2 0
 @Nwilkes: I'm referring to the restriction of travel places on us citizens who ironically want closed borders but feel THEY should come and go as they please. So I'm using #buildthewall to satirize the situation of Canada tell Americans to stay out, and Americans being mad about it. Especially when they want to use the "healthy hombre" card.
We have people in the streets with guns saying "my body my right to get sick and spread infection" I'm not at all surprised they want us to stay away.
  • 12 1
 Where is Mr. Tippie???
  • 2 0
 I think he's injured? Maybe a shoulder?
  • 2 3
 @nickyz: has covid
  • 8 1
 Too bad the USA has sucked so much containing covid and no one wants us to travel to their country
  • 8 1
 Sure would be nice to be Canadian right now. ????
  • 12 0
 for a lotta reasons
  • 29 0
 It's actually nice to be Canadian all the time not just right now.
  • 7 0
 "Right now" like all day every day?
  • 5 0
 @juicebanger: ok, guess i meant now more than ever.
  • 2 0 8:55 my perception of all Canadians being nice was shattered... not including the pea soup eaters
  • 2 0
 @usedbikestuff: Thanks for sharing that! I appreciate that John Oliver is so funny, while at the same time he talks about serious matters that need attention in a way that us mortals understand. And yes, Canadians, it is a bit shocking to know there is (one) nasty Canadian out there, we tend to think of all Canadians as super nice and friendly. And all of the times that me and my family have been up there, you don't disappoint! Thank You all (except one) for being Lovely. Maybe that Landlord will be put in an American museum. Cheers! Enjoy Whistler
  • 8 2
 @christinachappetta f*ckin' killing these videos, great job. got those hostin' skills.
  • 7 0
 THANKS! Appreciate that a lot.
  • 6 0
 Keep 6' (or 1/2 the length of the wheelbase of a Grim Donut) between you and your fellow riders.
  • 1 0
 I dont know about all of you who were there yesterday, but I felt safer in the line up then the village. The village was nearly back to full tourist capacity with no face masks etc. Hats of To WB for putting on a good opening day on short notice
  • 7 7
 Would be nice if they addressed trail closures, timelines on certain trails being reopen? Prices?
May not be the place to discuss it, but going cashless is also frightening. I can probably get the reasoning behind it right now, but if this sets a precedent for the future.....
  • 9 1
 Why is cashless frightening?
  • 3 0
 Most trails were open so we didn't feel the need to dig deep into closures. MOST importantly though...lower A-Line was open and I saw a crew working on upper section sooo..... I'm very hopeful it will be open soon! Creekside currently shut as well. As for prices, please check the WBP website for that info as there are a number of different options to purchase.
  • 13 6
 you think that's frightening, wait until the government switches to digital only currency where they can tax and fee every transaction you make and link it to your ID so they can enforce whatever policies they deem fit, i digress Big Grin
  • 6 10
flag MikeyMT (Jun 30, 2020 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 cashless if frightening? lol...have you been under a rock for hte past 20 years? Cash is going away and COVID has only accelerated it.
  • 2 0
 @imho4ep: Luckily I'm so old I probably won't live to see this day...
  • 5 0
 @imho4ep:That is what I am eluding to... No cash, forced to use credit/accounts tied to centralized networks that have access to layers of data. Anyway, probably not the place for it
  • 2 0
 @rmclarke: because they are forcing your hand to use currencies that are tied to centralized databases
  • 4 0
 The earth is flat? No way!
  • 1 0
 Words Cannot describe how jealous I am rigth now. Had a week and a half planned for July. Now just hoping I can make it up at all this yr. Locals in whistler are about to have the absolute best season ever
  • 2 0
 If it makes you feel any better, I quit my job last fall to travel for MTB for a year and planned to be in Canada for 3 months this summer.
  • 2 0
 any news on why most of the jump lines are shut? closed for the season or just whilst they groom them a bit more
  • 6 0
 Lower aline was open yesterday and running sweet. It was open as it’s technically a single black tech trail. Mid aline looks all freshened up but still closed as they want to avoid over running the vancouver hospital with air ambulances, I reckon soon. Oh and they have re shaped the berms after crabs too, so it’s all on the cards
  • 2 0
 Great reply from PeterT. We got to ride lower A-line yesterday and it was nice! I'm hopeful more stuff will open up once they get a feel for the traffic AND have time to maintain them with the lower staff numbers. You wouldn't notice anything missing though bc there are tons of options open!
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta: yup! Well, until dirt merch opens and I won’t see any other trail for the remainder of the season, haha
  • 2 0
 It was such a sick day. Totally worth buying the pass! I think it well super well considering the circumstances.
  • 3 0
 I see Christina went to the Darren Berrecloth School of Media Training.
  • 2 0
 as a whistler resident i am stoked the bikepark is not catering to locals at all this season.
  • 2 0
 So, no more grabbing buddies bikes and testing the brake levers/brakes. That is going to be tough for mtb-ers.
  • 1 2
 I just can't believe you people are taking off your masks when on the chairlift and on the trail. They should remain on your face at ALL times. No, not because of safety (let's be real). A piece of cloth on your face serves no safety purpose, but damn they look cool. So many designs and fashions. I've been wearing a used piece of TP on my face. Both for fragrance and compliance. Everyone loves the smell of their own shit. And nobody wants to see an exposed mouth.
  • 3 1
 Super cool. Well done WBP...we miss you.
  • 2 0
 The people who live near Whistler are SO lucky.
  • 8 0
 Moved over from Wicklow Ireland in May 2017 for a summer, still here and live a 3 min pedal from the chair, best decision ever to not return home lol
  • 1 0
 >> there are a handful of differences to be aware of.

yeah, a few...
  • 2 0
  • 1 1
 I dont get it. Have North America got on top of this deadly virus? Why didnt they just open as scheduled?
  • 1 0
 That is a good deal
  • 4 4
 where is the grim donut
  • 3 0
 Park day?!?! Could you imagine?!!
  • 1 3
 f*ck face masks they don’t work !!!!
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