It’s safe to say Whistler is the epicenter of the mountain bike world. Visitors flock from all over the globe to ride the famous Whistler Bike Park and more riders of all abilities visit each year to explore the endless singletrack trails in the valley.
This amazing dirt-based sport sustains a rich and vibrant mountain community here in Whistler. A result of this MTB lovin’ is an amazing lineup of Whistler mountain biking events during the summer. With more celebrations of all things knobby-tired than you can shake a handlebar at, it would be surprising if a week went by in the Whistler summer without some cool event or race to attend.
SPRING TRANSITION TO BIKES
As spring rolls around, it is hard to deny the craving to ride your bike while there is still snow in the mountains to be skied. How does one possibly choose? We personally prefer our same day boarding and biking to be helicopter propelled! But let’s be realistic, this isn’t an event nor for everyone but dang it, it was a really good time and helped ease the transition of the seasons.
What better way to celebrate the beginning of bike season with some Mountain Bike culture. Every spring the Whistler Museum hosts Mountain Bike Heritage Week that features presentations, film screenings, art shows and more. The week promises to illuminate how integrally connected the Whistler community is to the sport and culture of mountain biking. This year Mountain Bike Heritage Week is June 6-12, 2019. If you are late to the game, just starting to get back on the bike and missed any of these events, don’t fret they will be back again next year.
WORCA: FILLING YOUR WEEK WITH WHISTLER MOUNTAIN BIKING EVENTS
The Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) has been going strong for over 25 years and hosts a number of regularly occurring Whistler mountain biking events. The most legendary of the WORCA happenings are the Thursday evening Toonie races. For a mere toonie (with a WORCA membership) riders get race entry, chances to win great prizes, food and a beer. Sponsored by local Whistler businesses (sometimes us!), the weekly races are a true local’s celebration of the Whistler mountain bike culture. Beer and tasty grub for two dollars couldn’t possibly hurt.
WORCA doesn’t stop with just the Toonies. Once the Bike Park opens for the year the Phat Wednesday races begin. These gravity-focused downhill races are quickly becoming infamous. As a racer, you’re just as likely to be lining up next to a World Cup-level DH racer as you are some local dude more focused on the post-race party antics.
Whatever the focus, these rides are not to be missed for anyone with a spark for the sport.
The cup for what dude? BC and Canada Cup are a series of bike races that take place throughout British Columbia and Canada. These races provide competitive opportunities for the next generation of mountain bikers to move from a provincial level to a national or international level of bike competition. On June 22nd and 23rd Whistler will host races in both the downhill and cross country disciplines for those up-and-comers striving to gain points and improve their overall ranking for the season. Don’t be fooled by their age, their talent certainly speaks for itself. With the pool of talent that Whistler draws, it would come as no surprise to see one of these guys/girls on the world stage in years to come.
CRANKWORX: WHISTLERS MOUNTAIN BIKING FESTIVAL
As summer moves into full swing, anticipation mounts for Crankworx, the main event on the Whistler mountain bike calendar. In reality, this is the main event on the world mountain bike stage. Running August 10-19, this debaucherous display of mountain bike mayhem draws tens of thousands of spectators, as well as the most talented riders on the planet. Every day is a literal assault on the senses, from exhibitions and live music in the village, to gravity junkies of all types flying around the mountain like modern gladiators.
Events not to miss are the Pump Track Challenge and the Joyride Slopestyle. The Pump Track Challenge brings a party-like atmosphere to the Whistler Village, along with hundreds of tonnes of dirt shaped into a BMX-style head-to-head race course. The races go late into the night, and the action is definitely crowd-pleasing. The Slopestyle is the marquee event of the whole festival, evidenced by the 20,000 plus strong crowd cheering on their bike heroes as they flip and spin their way through a jump and drop filled custom-designed course. Looking for a good place to catch a piece of the action? The Longhorn Saloon patio has got your food, drink and viewing needs covered but get there early because it fills up fast!
BC BIKE RACE: A SEVEN-DAY-ER
Still looking for more mountain biking events? The BC Bike Race is the western hemisphere’s largest mountain bike staged race. This seven-day cross-country race through the West Coast wilds ends it’s the final stage just 30 minutes South of Whistler in Squamish. Witnessing over 650 international racers celebrate as they complete this arduous (and spectacular) journey on July 12th at the Brennan Park finish line will be well worth the drive.
TEACH ME: WHISTLER MOUNTAIN BIKE CLINICS AND CAMPS
All these events and races and ya don’t have the “skillz to pay the billz”? Coaching and lessons are the best way to go from back-of-the-pack to podium in no time (or just get more comfortable on your mountain bike). Whistler Bike Park offers all types of packages to get you rolling. Ride with the pros at the Summer Gravity Camps or experience women’s only and co-ed coaching with the Trek Dirt Series camps.
Whether you’re spectating or participating, there’s no shortage of Whistler mountain biking events to get out and be a part of. Summer is a fleeting season, so mark some of these onto your calendar, and prepare to enjoy the vibrant MTB scene Whistler has to offer.
Not local to Whistler but keen to be a part of the action this summer? Get in touch with our Whistler concierge service today. They can tailor make your perfect MTB getaway, designed specifically to suit your needs and planned around your must-attend Whistler mountain biking events.
Copy by Joe Schwartz in 2016, updated by Meredith Eades 2018, Abby Cooper 2019.