I’ve always thought you were so beautiful; regardless of season, there was always a reason to visit. A mountain town that attracted mountain people – people of adventure, of sweaty pursuits, up to living life large. Really, the epitome of living the west coast dream.
What I didn’t know is that you have endless paved roads, far beyond the “gran fondo” route; hills to climb that would otherwise be known as mountains #15%grade,whaaaaat; weather patterns that change drastically from 4degrees and pouring rain to warm air and dry roads. You are a mecca for road cyclists, yet certainly not for the faint of heart. #bearsincluded!
What I’ve never fully appreciated are your quaint lil coffee shops. Upon bonking today, i pulled into the local Bean Around the World for a final hit of caffeine. I handed the sweet chic behind the counter this 20 in an attempt to make it home (up the yep, final, climb!). When she looked at it and told me that there were lots of counterfeits this weekend, i so proudly smiled and told her that it was in my tire. That split tire, when i rode down on my rim, in the rain on a flat, surprised i didn’t crash my face across the asphalt. Yah, that 20! Instead, it bought me a coffee after 3 solid days in the saddle, a few hundred kilometers of riding later and several thousand feet of climbing.
(Not to mention, the fact that every ski shop transforms into a bike shop for the summer and getting new brake pads mid ride is my version of burning rubber!)
What I learned this weekend is those remarkable people that are attracted to the mountain life are actually another level of epic. And to say I feel lucky to get to start a ride with them, and hang on for dear life only to be dropped shortly thereafter, feels like such a treat. Really. Yet, it’s this chic who has forever been a triathlete legend to me that takes it up a notch. She recently morphed into more of a coach-figure (along with this rad guy!) and we are now Whistler cabin mates for the summer. Her engine is similar to that of race car; her attitude and approach to sport and life are ubiquitous with integrity – it’s a simple formula: be your best. She delivers nothing less and expects the same of you. They say you are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with; Chrissy Fletcher is indeed one who bumps my average to awesome!
If I was keeping score, I’d say Whistler, you’re up one on me…yet don’t think for one second i’m not comin’ back to rock and roll over those rollers! That climb from Pemberton to Whistler, 130km into race day, yah….you + me are gonna be very well acquainted in no time.
Until the next weekend of suffering, I remain…