Bike Park cranks up season with Bike Bash ’04 

Although it has been open on weekends since May 1,

Although it has been open on weekends since May 1, the official opening of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park is next weekend, May 22 to 24.

The mountains will celebrate the start of the season with Bike Bash ’04, which includes a massive bike expo in the village, demonstrations, and the third annual Crud to Mud Downhill.

The bike expo and demos will run throughout the weekend, and Sunday, at the base of the mountain, getting underway at 10 a.m. All of the Whistler bike shops have been invited as well as 20 bike manufacturers and suppliers. Celebrity riders will also be on hand to demonstrate the equipment.

The new Garbanzo Bike and Bean shop will also open during Bike Bash.

The main event is the Crud to Mud Downhill on Monday, May 24, which combines skiing and snowboarding with downhill mountain biking. The race gets underway in the alpine with a giant slalom, followed by a transition period as skiers and boarders switch to their mountain bikes. For people racing as individuals, this is where all the strategy comes into play – how fast can you get you ski boots off and into your cycling shoes? Do snowboarders have an advantage because they can keep the same footwear?

You can also race as a team in male, female and co-ed categories, with one member of the team handling the snow part of the race, and the other handling the park.

Registration is open to everyone, but it’s recommended that you be in the intermediate to expert range on the snow and on your bike. Because of the logistics you have to sign up before May 24. Drop by Whistler-Blackcomb Guest Relations or call 604-932-3434.

The cost is $20 for solos and $40 for teams of two, not including lift passes. Specially discounted passes are available to participants for $20. The race starts promptly at 10 a.m.

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