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Graduate Interview: Gavin Marmion

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:12
by Peak Leaders  

Where are you from?
County Down, Northern Ireland.

What kind of riding did you do before you arrived in Whistler, and tell us about your bike(s)?
I started riding XC about five years ago, but soon learnt that I liked the downhills better than the uphills. My riding discipline changed to more of an enduro style and I bought a 2013 Ghost Cagua. When I knew I was going to Whistler, I bought my first DH rig, a YT Tues 2.0. I hadn’t much time on it before leaving for Whistler, but my motocross background helped a lot. It's brilliant in Whistler and I will be taking my YT back again this season.

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Did the Bike Park Academy meet your expectations? Who was your instructor?
To be honest, I knew the Academy would help my riding, but I can’t believe the improvements it has allowed me to make. It gave me the techniques and time to pick out flaws in my riding and correct them. It stripped my riding back to basics and allowed me to build it up properly (still lots of room for improvement though!). I was also happy to have passed my IDP Level 1 and 2 exams which saw me guiding all sorts of people around the park. I even got to take out the little shredders a few times! My instructor was Javier, he was a brilliant coach, so chilled and helpful.


What were the highlights of guiding on the mountain for a season?
There are so many perks to being a guide and living in Whistler. I met so many different and fun people from all over the world and I was able to make money while riding my bike. To finish the day, I had some brilliant post work laps with colleagues.

Favourite Bike Park trail combination?
That’s a very difficult question and one that you might get a different answer to each time… Garbo lap would be Original sin > Facrobat > Too Tight. Fitz Lap would be Fantastic > Dwayne Johnson > Devils Club > Lower Canadian Open.


Favourite trail outside of the bike park?
I was lucky enough to spend a day riding a specialised stump jumper in Squamish. I still relive the trail, Half Nelson when I’m in stuck in university.

Now that you are back home at uni, are you missing Whistler?
There would be something wrong if I said I wasn’t missing Whistler. Adjusting to life at home has been a bit of a struggle. Going from riding my bike 5 days a week on some of the world’s best trails in brilliant weather, to living in rainy Ireland and only getting out on the bike at the weekends, takes it toll! However, I know I’ll be back in Whistler this summer (at times this thought is the light at the end of the tunnel) and I’m still keeping in touch with friends in BC so I’m content in the knowledge that I’ll be in Canada soon enough. Also, the riding where I live is pretty good, so thats consolation for the moment, and I don’t mind riding in the rain.


What’s the plans for next season, are you planning on guiding again?
My end of year exams finish on the 3rd of June, and I hope to be in Whistler by the 5th!! Yes, I’m definitely going back to guide.

What are you most looking forward to when the bike season starts again?
I’m taking my trail bike over this upcoming season and I’m eagerly awaiting the trails outside of the park. My friend who has been fortunate enough to stay in Whistler has been keeping me up to date with some brilliant videos, of his trail riding. I’m very excited to see how my riding is going to progress next season.


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Member since Feb 3, 2009
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