It is amazing what is popping up on Whitehorse trails these days.
This week’s Sunday ride leader was my friend, Rick. As well as being an avid cyclist, he is also a cross-country skier. He knows the Mount McIntyre trails very well and that is good.
Wendy and I were the followers, not just because Rick knows the routes better but because he is also in great shape and there is no way we could ever keep up with him. He doubled back to meet us (waiting is too boring) no less than five or six times on the ride.
He’s a pretty good coach as well as tour guide. He leads us over routes that we would never tackle on our own, but that we always manage, complete with cheering and kudos as we tough it out to top a hill without getting off to walk the bikes.
The route started from a little trail behind the Kopper King that leads to the Olympic 10K. We took a right on the trail and started climbing hills immediately. Skirting around the edge of the new Raven’s Ridge subdivision, we followed the gradual curve to the left until we reached Fireweed Hut where we took Upper Selwyn’s and then Wolf to Harvey’s Hut.
“How you guys doing? Can you handle more?” We nod, having recovered a little from the recent bit of downhill riding, so he leads us right onto the Lower Valley Trail, using the valley connector before the swamp to take us back toward the recreation centre on Upper Valley and Copper.
As we make our way back, I notice some new numbered markers on the sides of the trail. I see, near each pair of markers, a strange post encircled with chains and loops of metal. It’s a disc golf course. I’d heard about this.
Just before the bridge that leads back to the parking lot, we take another left and find ourselves in a clearing filled with ramps, dirt jumps, logs, rock formations and teeter totters. It is the most amazing bike park I have ever seen and it is here, in Whitehorse, tucked away amongst the ski trails.
Still marvelling at Whitehorse and its eclectic athletic nature, we keep riding, taking the World Cup 5K until it connects back with our original trail right before the S Bend, a nice big hill to complete the ride. We followers walked that one.
It was a perfect ride, with great weather, good company and a solid 15 K on our wheels. It was also great to discover that there’s even more fun to be had just a few steps off of a main road – with Disc Golf and at the Bike Skills Park.
A trail map is available at www.xcskiwhitehorse.ca/trailmaps.html.