Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Race report : 4 Kings Whistler

Words By Stotts.

Every couple of years Tony Horn, a Race Director for WORCA(Whistler Off Road Cycling Association), puts on an event to try and find the best all-around mountain biker.  The last event was 2 years ago it was the 4 Queens. One of the Previous events was the 2006 Samurai of Singletrack,  it started by riding over the peak of Whistler and descending to the valley through 50 cm of snow.   The stuff of legends.
 So when he 4 Kings was announced, it was a good goal to  see if I, and my bike, could handle it.  First, I had to get an entry,  I sat by the computer and was lucky to get in.  The event sold out in 17 min for a total of 150 spots, for the cost of one Mackenzie King.

The 4 Kings were : King Tubby Dub Master, Elvis The King , Richard Petty The King of Nascar, and King Kong. http://www.worca.com/events-a-programs/thefourkings.html

The first stage was the Dub in the Dark TT, a 14.5 km time trail around Lost Lake Trails, at night.  It was awesome.  There is something so incredible about riding at night on technical trails that has to be experienced.

At the finishing gate.
I finished about 111 in  the GC on the day, not bad for an out of towner.   

Requiste yarn bomb while having breakfast

Full face Helmet ready for the Elvis,  All shook up DH.  Gone Bakery kept me fed over the weekend.
I took 2 practice runs in the bike park prior to my race. It was needed and I was rusty with my landings.
After scooting my way down Schleyer-Lower Whistler dh- Detroit Rock City, my run landed me in 114th on the GC

not very styling.

It was time to rest before the afternoon Enduro Stage

Then it was up to the Red Gate for the start of the Yummy 500.  150 people to be timed, in groups of 10, via GPS on an up and down segment of the course.

Foreplay was the supposed reward, but I had a bad line choice on one of the rock rolls like this one.  I was rewarded with a torn rear tire casing and a last place in my group.  (Oh the rider isn’t me BTW)

My reward for fixing my tire, but I should have checked my brake pads, more on that later.

So onward and upward for the last stage.  King Kong, a 48 km epic though the best and hardest trails in Whistler. The plan: Gondola to the Roundhouse, ride over the peak down to the valley, up and down the Westside trails 3 times and travel the length of Whistler to get to the beer in one piece

As stated earlier the last time Tony had a race go over the peak it was snowing.

2006 Samurai

Better weather but the peak was cloudy.

Tony(the organizer) giving a pre race briefing, and thanks to the racers and Trail Builders.

We all carried a flower to the trail Business Time, and a tribute to Whistler Local Duncan McKenzie.

I became preoccupied with my own issues when I reached the top of the Peak and realized that my front brake pads were glazed over and near useless.  After descending to the valley below with only a rear brake, I was considering quitting the race.  But with a lot of climbing ahead I made the best of it, and was rewarded.  At the top of Section 4, a gnarly descent in the trees, a course marshal offered the pads off of his bike and I was excited to rip all the way to the finish.  48km in 7hours,  lot of the best and most technical trails I have ever rode in my life.

Bikes and riders enjoying the after effects of a good day out, and a well-deserved beer.  The gelato and beef brisket flowed like water, as well as the Phillips beers.

I was done, and feeling like a king after having a full on beat down with my bike all day.  

If the 4 Aces ever comes around, I will be there.   One race for ages, and truly an epic weekend.

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