Sure, I may look the part.
Im leaning against a dual suspension Kona Joyride. Im decked out in arm pads and leg pads and my head is swaying under the newly discovered weight of a full-face helmet.
But squinting up at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park on a steamy Friday morning, I certainly dont feel the part.
Riders are flying off jumps, kicking their bikes out to the side, landing in a blaze of dust and making it all look so effortless.
I know Im taking the easiest route down on the new E-Z Does It trail; nevertheless the bike park is still an intimidating place to hang out when you are looking from the bottom up.
"In some ways were our own worst enemy," said Bike Park Managing Director Rob McSkimming, as he prepares to take us up the mountain.
With almost 40 trails and a vertical rise of 1,200 feet, Whistlers park is the ultimate place to play for freeriders and downhillers from near and far.
But their style and gonzo approach may have edged out some of the less confident bike riders.
"In skiing there is this perception that theres something there for everybody, whereas in lift-accessed mountain biking right now the perception is that its mostly extreme," said McSkimming.
Judging from the village view, Id have to wholeheartedly agree.
"Hopefully over time well be able to change that perception and people will be able to realize that there really is something there for almost all skill levels."
To address the problem this year the trail designers at Whistler-Blackcomb created E-Z Does It, a truly green trail, billed as "the perfect trail to introduce people to the thrill of park riding."
Most of the sections in the six kilometre long trail are now complete and ready to ride.
"Its the longest and most expensive trail and the least famous... so far," said McSkimming.
E-Z Does It racked up a total construction bill of $70,000 to $80,000 because of its length and also because it was primarily built with machines. One of the major concerns in making the trail was to minimize the vertical and that meant filling in low spots and cutting out high spots instead of following the natural line of the mountain. And so the average pitch on E-Z Does It is 5 per cent and reaches a maximum of 14 per cent in certain sections.
"If youve ridden a little bit on a mountain bike, this is the perfect trail for you," said McSkimming, adding that this is a good warm up trail for people who arent used to downhill bikes.
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