Saturday 7/27 – Whistler

I am sitting here at 7:20 on Saturday morning. Right now, Cadel Evans is on the course, Frank Schleck is on the course and Carlos Sastre is on the course. As it always seems to, in the modern era, the TDF has come down to the final time trial. The weather looks fantastic for them, much better than the day we had there in the mountains a few weeks ago, and much better than they had for a few days in the mountains as well. When you reflect on it like this, that race is completely epic.

In the time that they have been racing every day, I have ridden a huge stage in France and now ridden my DH mountain bike rig at Whistler for 4 days. Wow.

A few things have happened this week. It has been a really really fun and exciting week.

Early in the week, the girls were riding with Candace Shadley. She is their hero. She has been able to teach them so much about riding and line selection and confidence it is amazing. I will always spend the money to put the girls in one of her camps (www.dirtseries.com) if they would like to go.

Ali, Hanna and Candace at the top of Fitzsimmons chair.

Lukas and Christian have ridden most of the week with Jose and I. It has been amazing to see their riding improve over the week. They have ridden – Original Sin, Schleyer, A-Line, Dirt Merchant, No Joke, Fatcrobat, In Deep and many other of the big name trails here. And, not only did they just ride it, they dominated it.

Unfortunately, on the 3rd day of riding, Lukas found himself on the ground and probably has broken his arm. It was my job to lead him down In Deep and Jose was leading Christian down. Lukas and I got separated by a bit, and he did not have me to lead him over the technical sections. He made a bad line choice and tried to jump down a rock face. That resulted in going to fast into a horribly rooted section and he went over the bars and probably tried to break his fall with his arm.

Lukas with the possible broken arm.

We then had to ride all the way down the trail with Lukas with a probable broken arm. It was probably 30 minutes down many very technical trails, all the while with Lukas feeling a super sharp pain on every small little bump. At one point he attempted to follow me over a jump and when he landed the pain was so sharp he had to stop and sit in the shade to keep from throwing up. Ouch.

We took him to the clinic at the bottom and had an Xray done. The Xray was inconclusive, in that they could not tell if the line they saw was because of the growth plates still coming together or a small fracture. Either way, it will heal up soon for him, but unfortunately his Whistler riding will probably be over.

I finished the day riding with the girls. We went to the top of the mountain, and the girls rode terrain that I did not think they could ride. But, things are so dry that we experienced a huge amount of flats. 4 in just an hour. Liz got the prize, as she had 3 of those 4 flats.

Liz working away at one of her many flats that day.

Yesterday at lunch we all met at the top of the mountain. It is spectacularly beautiful. It is not any kind of extreme adventure, but it was fun.

Ali and the Gonzales family at the top of the Gondola at Whistler.

Probably our Christmas card photo for this year.

The big extreme adventure yesterday was the Lukas, Hanna and Kelsey doing a bungie jump. I cannot understand how someone would want to jump off a perfectly good bridge over a river, but they did. On the way there, the kids were so so nervous. They kept jabbering on about things, and Hanna admitted that her palms were even sweaty. Lukas wanted me to drive more slowly, as he was openly admitting that he was not sure that he wanted to do the jump.

Nervous kids!

The rest of us were too chicken to contemplate jumping.

The chickens (me included).

In the end, they all went through with it and came out with huge smiles. Lukas jumped with an enormous amount of style, Hanna got the scream of the day award and Kelsey tried to hold on to the bungie for all her worth. It was a scream.

Kelsey, Lukas, Hanna after the big jump!

Joe

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