FIGHT OFF HIBERNATION
THE COLD SUCKS BUT SO DOES NOT RIDING. WE HAVE TO FIGHT OUR INSTINCTS TO SET THE BIKE ASIDE AND HIBERNATE DURING THE WINTER SEASON.
The cold sucks but so does not riding. We have to fight our instincts to set the bike aside and hibernate during the winter season. We could easily migrate south to avoid the inevitable. Or we could throw on a few more layers to explore deeper into the woods through a different lens. Whistler, B.C. is a hub of world-class mountain biking. Home to indisputably the best mountain bike park in the world, it is the trails flying under the radar that come alive when the chairlift stops spinning. Despite the change of season spurring natural tendencies to retreat indoors, the mystical forests beckon us to play.
Yeti Ambassadors Reuben Krabbe and Sarah Rawley journey through the backwoods of Whistler through uncanny conditions. When the dense fog and lowlight cast a dark filter over slippery roots and rocks, perspective becomes everything.
I love going out several times a year when the weather is at its gnarliest. To experience a landscape when temperature or precip hit their hyperbole gives you an appreciation for how and why a location has its own character and identity. Until you’ve ridden through fog thick enough to chew on the coast, the Old Man’s Beard on the trees don’t mean nearly as much.
The allure of loam and steep descents up north are what keep my thoughts churning at night. After the repetition of summer events, I crave the deafening silence of the damp forest. Instead of winding down from a season of racing and riding, there is an intangible force that urges me to keep the wheels turning, no matter what the prevailing conditions suggest. The added surprise of snow falling out of the sky, melting on my jersey upon its delicate impact, only amplifies the foreign feeling of sliding my way through a trail.
The last decade of my life has been dominated by exploring the Coast visually, as a photographer. A photographer experiences the world in qualities of light. But for this week I could experience in a more visceral, kinetic way. Fighting to move where I wanted to, regardless of the sinister plans of wet roots and rock.
Pemberton offers an entirely different zone, a mere 20 minutes north of Whistler. The maze of trails dishes up every style of riding—steep, tech, flowy and janky. Every so often, the trail bends to take a peek at Mount Currie, standing majestically at 8,500’ (2,590m) across the valley.
A playground of natural features tied together by rock slabs and root gardens. New textures and sensations emerge when the slippery granite plays a cruel joke on me. Traction one moment, and tires break loose the next. My Colorado reflexes fail me.
The feeling of dropping into a trail for the first time, again and again, never gets old. When the body becomes weary, it is this feeling that reinvigorates the motivation to keep rolling—no days off. Seek out experiences that challenge your daily grind and the routine of seasons, and you will always keep that insatiable desire alive.