Charlie’s Angels Wrap-Up

Words by Sarah Devriese. Photos by Jinya Nishiwaki, Kenny Carruthers and Rob Phoenix

A few weeks ago, I had preridden some of the trails for this two-day, women-only race. Split into three teams (Jill, Sabrina, and Kelly), I sported pink all weekend long to show off being a member of Team Kelly. And Team Muddbunnies! This race consisted of a downhill portion in the Whistler Bike Park on Friday evening, followed by a 20 km cross-country portion in the Whistler Valley on Saturday.

July 27th
I grabbed the Skytrain from my home westwards and met another racer Heidi. I put my bike on her car and we drove up to Whistler on a nice, cool Friday afternoon. I have never seen that many ladies in line for the bike park!! I got a practice lap in on the course right before they closed it for the race. My plate number was 193 so I had nearly an hour and a half before my race run started. I eventually made my way up the lift and rode to the start along Ninja Cougar before the road crossing. I waited for my turn and hung out with Heidi. She raced after me so we chatted until I had to line up.

I was super happy with my run! I felt a lot better than during the practice lap and passed two girls. Heidi passed a bunch as well! We both realized we may have been a bit too modest about our capabilities when the organizers seeded us. I ended up placing 151st out of 238 girls. Not bad at all for me and my 6-and-6 all-mountain bike! After the downhill race, I ate a big meal with my boyfriend Ryan, who had driven up to Whistler after work to watch me finish.

July 28th

The next morning, we ate breakfast early and then walked around the village to warm up my legs and get that meal settled a bit. I then peddled to the base of Blackcomb while Ryan went riding around the Valley with another friend. I found lots of familiar faces from the Muddbunnies Club at the start as well as Heidi. This was my first cross-country race and I was a bit nervous about the mass start. I was towards the back and after the initial prayers and Native song, this giant group of women mountain bikers climber up Blackcomb. We must have been a sight for the people on the lift above us!

I made it to Golden Boner pretty smoothly. I had to get off the bike once because there were just too many girls in front of me on the road and I couldn’t pass. Very strange in a male-dominated sport! =) The entrance to Golden Boner was tricky and we funneled into it. I was able to pass some girls on the trail that were walking and rode the rest of GB and Roam In The Loam fairly quickly. I remained loose on the bike and glided down. First time down those trails! Super happy with it!

Then back on the road and zooming towards Yummy Numby. At YN, there was a bit of a crowd again. I walked a lot of Yummy because it was difficult to stay on the bike with so many other people on the trail. Sadly, it was just more efficient to hike the bike than to ride it! The “traffic” also caused this section to be slower than I wanted… But what can you do! Once on Comfortably Numb, people were spread apart much better and I was able to throw it into the middle ring and put good pedal strokes in. CN was also a good and easy trail to pass people. A quick and friendly yell from behind and most girls got to the side of the trail easily.

Before I knew it, I was at the junction with Jeff’s and I pointed the bike down. Steep and a bit technical but a totally fun trail. And no exposure like Young Lust! =) I rode around the big rock roll and reached the end. I recognized this place! It was where we had seen those mountain bikers come out a few weeks earlier. So this is where Ryan and I were supposed to end up! This is also where 4 volunteers had set up the Love Boat. Cocktails, shots, water, coconut water, orange slices and friendly Bosleys! It was so nice! I was handed cold water and ate some orange slices. I didn’t partake in any more festive drinks but this was the happening place along the course!

Refreshed and thinking the end was in sight, I pedaled onto the Green Lake Loop Logging Road (let’s just call it that…). Soon, I was on the Sea To Sky Trail (now more finished than a few weeks before). There are still some punchy climbs along here but mostly a chance to pedal hard and get some speed going towards Lost Lake. When I reached Lost Lake, the Bosleys pointed me to turn right. Noooo! I wanted to turn left since I knew that was quicker to the lake… But I turned right and was sent on some fine single track I was getting too tired to really appreciate. After that whole excursion onto Comfortably Numb, I felt like Lost Lake was going to be quick and easy. But it felt like it took forever. Trail link-up after trail link-up, I seemed to be getting closer to the end… Finally! One man told me “Finish line is just across the parking lot!”. I sprinted. I pedaled hard. And there it was! I crossed! I finished my first cross-country race. Twenty km in 3 hours and 1 minute! That put me in 109th place out of 238 riders! I was so stoked! So happy with my time and my placing!

I threw the bike and myself onto the grass and was soon surrounded by both Ryan and Heidi. Heidi also had an amazing race, finishing this beast in 2.5 hours and placing 52nd! Oddly enough, that instant drop from all to nothing made me sick and I didn’t stick around long in the grass. Ryan and I slowly pedaled to the village, which gave me a chance to relax as well as my muscles to cool down. I spent the rest of the afternoon eating and napping and then headed to Dusty’s and shared a few beers with Ryan.

Overall, I ended in 130th place (tied with 2 other ladies)! I am extremely happy with what I accomplished, especially in the cross-country portion. Many thanks to Ryan! My climbing and descending skills improve drastically when I ride with you! A shout-out to Heidi for the ride to Whistler, hanging out before the races, and finishing 67th overall! Well done, lady! Big thanks to the Muddbunnies Team Sponsors for making my participation happen. Big thanks as well to Tony Horn (the brain behing this race), WORCA, and the Bosleys! I can’t wait to see what will happen next year!

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