Fall Lines - Micayla Gatto

Sep 24, 2015 at 10:41
by WhistlerMountain BikePark  
FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

After the massive trains, late nights, races stacked on races topped with movie premiers, layered with the thick heat and dust of summer, mixed drinks and sticky beer cups, heckler's rock, braking bumps and sheer chaos: we enter fall.

The smell of rain as fog gracefully slithers through the tree line. Rivers swell back to a normal depth, the dirt gets tacky, and the tourists flee with the first chilled wind. Once-bare bodies roaming the village are now layered in cozy sweaters as the leaves start to turn a plethora of colours bursting with saturation, as if the trees themselves are on fire. Auburns, gold's, rusts, and fiery oranges play against the deep evergreens of the forest and piercing blue, moody skies. Fires return to dry out damp gear, and the dust settles.

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

Perhaps considered the dullest time of year -not summer, yet not ski season- Fall is my kryptonite. To me, fall is a time for looking inwards; a time of reflection and relaxation. Fall is a breath of fresh air, far away from the start gate beeps and pressures to perform. I can go as slow as I want. Or as fast. With nothing dictating where to ride, when, how fast, or with whom, I relish the time I have alone. Only echoes of the chaos of Crankworx remain as I take the gondola up past Hecklers Rock, and up and up to Top of the World. I go here when I want perspective, when I want to feel small and vulnerable and enveloped by the sheer mass of the mountains around me. I’ve grown up here, with these views, yet every time I reach the top of Peak Chair, my breath shortens and goose bumps creep over my skin. It’s a magical place, and to have a trail descending from the Peak all the way down into the park again is, to me, the best gift the Whistler Mountain Bike Park has ever given.

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

To be able to wake up in Vancouver, grab my bike, drive up to Whistler, hop on a chair and end up in this Oasis in under 2 hours is something I’m grateful for. No shuttle runs, no city noise, no excuses, no banter. Just me and my bike. Together we escape everything, and the wild freedom that meets us in the alpine is a feeling I simply can’t explain. Riding alone connects me back to why I started riding in the first place. It’s not to win races, get free swag, or look cool. It’s the sounds of my tires biting into the fresh, dewy dirt. It’s the swish of the trees and the clatter of the shale as I barrel down my favourite trail. It’s Freedom. It’s stopping to catch my icy breath after the best trail in the world and taking in all the smells and sounds the mountains bring.

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

The Top of the World trail feels nothing like the bike park; it feels like a different planet altogether. Riding Top of the World all the way down into Function Junction is like teleporting through different worlds. As you descend, the trees, terrain, animals, and sounds all seamlessly transform as you enter and exit different elevation zones. The trail is my own beautiful escape. All I need is one run, and I feel like I can take on anything the city throws at me. Fall riding is my meditation. Don’t get me wrong, friends and parties are awesome, but everything needs balance, and Fall riding is where it’s at.

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns

FALL LINES - Micayla Gatto images by Laurence Crossman-Enns
Although Top of the World is now closed for the season, what is your favourite trail to ride in fall?

Words by: Micayla Gatto, North Vancouver resident, professional downhill mountain bike athlete, and artist.

Photography by: Laurence Crossman-Emms @Laurence-CE taken September 13, 2015.

About FALL LINES
A rider driven story series shining light into their moments at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. @WhistlerMountainBikePark


21 Comments

  • + 44
 I looked at the pictures.
  • + 28
 Dayum... is she married? Oh, wait, I am...
  • + 13
 "To be able to wake up in Vancouver, grab my bike, drive up to Whistler, hop on a chair and end up in this Oasis in under 2 hours is something I’m grateful for. No shuttle runs, no city noise, no excuses, no banter. Just me and my bike."

This is why i love whistler,riding the local trails is fine, but whistler is the place to be.
  • + 11
 Could not agree more, the sunset on your right as you drive the sea to sky home after isn't a bad way to finish the day either.
  • + 14
 Micayla is an awesome individual! I surely hope she has a sponsor so that we can see her in the UCI DH again.
  • + 2
 Yea!! I understand the business, but the business need sponsor those girls!!
  • + 0
 did anyone else notice not a single one of her sponsor's logo were/are visible in this piece?

wtf?

how can an athlete maintain her sponsors if the media/content managers don't allow an athlete to have their sponsor's logos visible in a photo shoot or a media piece?

wtf.
  • + 8
 I was hoping to see pictures of her art.
  • + 3
 Check out her instagram, she's always posting some rad stuff! instagram.com/micaylagatto
  • + 3
 Very well written with some great photos of the paradise we are fortunate to live so close to. I agree that standing at the top of the Peak chair and looking out at the mountains and at Black Tusk is a great way to contemplate one's place in this world.

One of my most memorable rides this summer season was TOTW - Kyber's Pass - Middle of Nowhere - Kashmir - Kush - BC's. We earned it the hard way by leaving the village at 4:00am and reaching the summit just prior to 7:00am. Watching the sunrise prior to dropping in was breathtaking.

Thanks for the great article!
  • + 4
 Glad you like that stuff!. I rode the route: top of the world, middle of nowhere, kashmir, BC's trail into creekside. That was such a great run. Nothing like the bike park.
  • + 1
 Fall is torrential rainy days that offer of time to rest and get the things that have been put off, mixed with the special days as described by Micayla. Today Sept 25 was certainly one of them. Perfect morning golf conditions followed by brown pow and a great local beer. No wait, fall sucks. Don't try it, all the locals leave for a reason. They know best.
  • + 2
 Amazing article! Nice to read something that is written to such a high standard. The pictures are of such a high caliber and fit the wording so well too.
  • + 2
 My favourite trail to ride is the one that got the love from the trail crew last. Love me my fresh dirt. keep up the good work boys !!
  • + 2
 Such a rad woman!! Riding to living large and enjoying life's mini moments. You inspire me Micayla! Keep on wandering..
  • + 1
 Lol...can't believe the glaring error at the beginning. Krypton items is what makes Superman weak......yet Fall is her Kryptonite? Oh well cool article.
  • + 1
 Awesome post--both photos and prose. The only thing really missing is a video of Ms. Gatto killing it.
  • + 1
 Just got back from Whislter. Other than the trails, the best part is that all bike stuff is on SALE!!! Smile
  • + 1
 Well written and describes the season & the backyard beautifully!
????????
  • + 2
 YE GIRL.
  • + 1
 Adjective central right there!!

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.022082
Mobile Version of Website