Gravity Festival kicks off Monday 

It’s time to get cranked for the summer’s inaugural Gravity Festival from July 14 to 20, bringing together the biggest names in downhill, freeride, cross country, biker cross and trials biking. The professional and the just plain crazy converge on Whistler to partake in an interactive party atmosphere on and off the course.

While the competition schedule list is packed full of excitement, there is also a tonne of other action-packed events, including activities and parties to keep all Festival goers engaged and enthralled, whatever your level and interest in the sport.

What: RISE world premiere

Where: Garibadli Lift Co.

When: Wednesday July 16, 9 p.m. to late

A film about the simple love of riding a bike, RISE features everything from World Cup stars trying to squeeze a tenth of a second off their best time to after school rippers jumping a backyard road-gap. Fasten your seatbelt for non-stop action at this Zero Ceiling fundraiser – a Whistler based charity that brings disadvantaged youth from the city to the mountains to snowboard, mountain bike and try other cool outdoor activities. Tickets $10.

What: Industry Expo

Where: Lot 1 and the base of Whistler

When: All week long, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Featuring the latest tricks of the trade in the mountain bike world, with the best bike manufacturers and supporting industries for Festival attendees to explore and interact with. There will be lots of new 2004 equipment to test and Shimano is doing the worldwide release of their new Freeride Gruppo called Saint at the SGF. Free entry.

What: Athlete and Industry Tech Talk and Forum

Where: Coast Whistler Hotel

When: Friday, July 18, 8 to 9 p.m.

Ever wanted to ask your favorite rider how they train, what they ride, or even what they eat? How about finding out from that top industry person what is coming in 2004? This is your chance. This informal gathering will have some of the top riders like Alison Sydor, Roland Green, Wade Simmons and Cedric Gracia answering your questions . Free entry.

What: Shimano Soul Party

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Saturday, July 19 from 9:30 p.m. to late

This is the big festival blow-out after the Shimano Slopestyle Expression Session, where 15 of the world’s top freeriders will go ballistic on a custom built course to the hip hop sounds of Brassmunk. The Shimano After Party will feature the eclectic sounds of Velvet, an electronic groove collective created on Vancouver Island. Velvet’s membership includes DJs, percussionists, bass players, guitarists, projectionists, a stylish singer and, depending on the gig, you could experience violinists, accordion players, trumpet players or an expert on the trombone. Their sound has been compared to Jamiroquai and US3. Prepare to be velvetized. All the big names and bog fans of the sport are expected to be there. Tickets are $25 from the GLC.

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