The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta

Nov 22, 2021 at 9:44
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Have you been lucky enough to ride the Whistler Bike Park? For most of us, it's a goal - or even just a dream - to visit the unofficial Mecca of lift-accessed riding and bang out non-stop laps all day, every day. At just over 7,000-feet, Whistler is home to more than one hundred trails when you include the upper Garbanzo section, from smooth flow lines to near-endless jumps to classic tech and everything in between. Of those trails, twenty-two come with a double black rating that signifies their ''Expert Only'' status, and there are just six ''Proline'' trails that Whistler says are even more difficult.

Christina Chappetta set out to ride every double black in the Whistler Bike Park in a single day because, er, why not? If you're hoping to get to Whistler in the future, or if you just appreciate a solid day of riding, this episode might be for you. Christina explains how she planned the day, why it was far from a slam dunk, and what made it such a rowdy seven hours of descending.

Want another new episode? Number 92 comes out tomorrow and sees Seb Stott, Mike Kazimer, James Smurthwaite, and myself arguing about bike weight. How much should a trail bike weigh? Can an enduro bike be too light? And Seb even brings some math to try and show how little bike weight matters in the grand scheme of things.

Nov 25th, 2021

Otherwise known as the lobster claw challenge?

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 14 1
 @mikelevy, question

I just watched the film Arrival(2016) I thought the aliens were pretty cool, but was disappointed they weren’t weirder. Have you seen that film, and do you have any thoughts in how the aliens are presented in that film? Do you have a favourite movie which you feel gives an ‘accurate’ or at least interesting depiction of extra terrestrials/aliens?
  • 3 0
 They are already here and Mike is one of them
  • 1 0
 Arrival (2013), I think its the prequel, is pretty good. Those aliens sure are sending hard on them bikes.
  • 11 1
 Usually podcasts with two random people chatting does nothing for me, but this felt just like a conversation with some old friends while I had a coffee. Thanks for the company Mike and Christina.
  • 2 0
 Probably the two industry professionals I’d most like to go for a ride with - not that I’d be able to keep up
  • 6 0
 I have a question that Brian Park maybe can shed some light on: How does bike manufacturers decide prices in different regions? Some manufacturers seem to decide what they want/need to make on each bike and then prices will vary depending on local taxes, shipping costs, etc. Other have price strategies that are a bit harder to figure out...

Here is an example. Canyon and Specialized both have a top tier XC bike on the North American and European market.

Canyon LUX CF SLX 9 LTD:
- DK price = 55.199 DKK (= 8.830 USD)
- US price = 7.799 USD
- 13,2% more expensive in the EU, which makes sense.

Specialized Epic S-Works:
- DK price = 107.000 DKK (= 17.120 USD)
- US price = 12.000 USD
- 42,7% more expensive in the EU!

Are there some tax/import/export rules that make it harder for a company like Specialized to compete on the European market, or are they just greedy? I mean... $17k for a frickin' bike??
  • 3 0
 I'm sure from his time at RMB he also has opinions on spec. compromises to suit certain markets.
  • 3 1
 How does it make a sense if German Canyon is more expensive in EU?
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: The parts are sourced globally, mostly from Taiwan and China. A company the size of Canyon has the capacity, logistics and order flow to ship parts directly from Asia to whatever continent they will be sold on, never even touching European soil.
  • 1 0
 Santa Cruz:
USD price $5000
What should the GBP price be?
  • 4 0
 The podcast needs more Christina! She knows how to talk like a radio host. Very helpful to keep the podcast engaging! Not going to call anyone out but some of the crew can talk a bit monotone and lazy voice. Positive criticism here! No hate!
  • 4 0
 I love riding trails like goat's gully or lower joyride. The tech gnar are definitely my favorites. Too bad most of the bike park in France are too much about berms and jumps. The gnar is fading away.
  • 3 0
 I used to think the same thing, that the gnar is going away. That'll never happen, though. I think it's just that a lot of the newer trails being built are more focused on flow than tech. Things change, just like how skinnies are less of a thing these days. Thankfully, there's still plenty of gnar out there to be ridden or built.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: The thing is here in France a lot of bike park resorts change the trails toward more flowy and berms and jumps trails. If they just built new flow trails but let the gnar trails, it would be fine, but unfortunatly they tame the existing trails.
Luckily you still have some resorts like La Grave where it's just only about tech gnar stuffs. But it's just a minority.
  • 5 0
 Can’t wait to listen to this. Christina is a badass and I’m glad my daughters have riders like her to look up to.
  • 1 0
 I took a new rider to Whistler bike park this summer. She wanted to try A line, so we did the bottom 2/3 (minus the one drop along the way).

The problem with riding Whistler early in the biking career is every other trail pales in comparison now. lol. It's worth a visit to ride these excellent and well-crafted trails. Crank it up was especially fun.
  • 3 0
 Nothing like a bike park to accelerate that new rider learning curve.
  • 2 0
 A full days drive just for me to get there, one I'll likely be making next season. The video and this episode definitely generating a TON of stoke for when I can make it. Thanks as always for the motivation
  • 4 0
 “OK, let’s keep on going before the pain sets in!”

That is mountain biking !!

  • 1 0
 Christina is awesome and so humble!! I have hit a few of the Garbo DB's and a few of the others . I can probably tomahawk down the rest but hitting Crabapple?... probably not. She is a ripper!!
  • 3 0
 Captain Safety in the wet is the wildest thing
  • 1 0
 The right side of that rock is the wet line, for sure. I've been in the very same tree Christina is talking about haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: lol who hasn’t been in that tree. The locals left line is the real wild one these days. Even in the dry.
  • 2 0
 dang i am superdelayed on the podcast, i might have to skip a few just to listen to Christina
  • 2 0
 I always forget WBP is a destination for most bikers. Me just doing laps and bitching about lift lines
  • 4 0
 Right?! If you live close-ish to Whistler, it's easy to forget that it's a world-famous destination when you're showing up to do three runs and then go home like it's nothing haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: ....and getting comped on the lift tix/pas amiright?
  • 3 0
 This is way more fun to listen to than I would have guessed
  • 1 0
 It is interesting to me when a rider can talk or discuss the ride while riding. My mind is so focused on my ride, not sure I could do that. Awesome work.
  • 1 0
 Legit does anyone afford to live in Whistler? Every property I see is pretty expensive and all the jobs on Indeed look like shit.
  • 1 0
 Ridden dirt merchant a ton of times and I still get scared everytime I drop in.
  • 2 0
 When are we getting a night riding episode?
  • 14 0
 As soon as Kitt has picked up the Hoff,
  • 3 0
 I used to do a ton of night riding but not so much these days. I had one of the first sets of Nightrider's HID lights 15+ years ago... Compared to the 20w orange circle of the Nighthawk lights I had been using, it was a game changer. @henryquinney Have you been riding at night?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I'm riding at night at least once per week from begining of September to end of March (I ride before work in the morning).
I just use cheap chinese LED lamps for the last 7 years and honestly, it works pretty well, especially when you take in account the cost (around $50 per lamp). So OK, I had to change the battery once in 7 years for better quality one but that's about it.
It could be counter intuitive but it's actually easier to ride technical stuffs at night than high speed stuffs. On the gnar stuffs, you're very slow so the area you're looking at is flooded with light (lux are high) and very easy to manage then. At the opposite, faster you go, further down the trail you have to look at and less bright it is because the lamps have to light up a big area so with the same of lumens, the lux are decreasing.
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