FrostBike – Cycling BC First Winter DH Race

Great article written by local photographer and bike enthusiast Danielle Baker. See here: http://www.bikemag.com/blog/the-bakery/ for original article.

Here’s a quick preview!

Frostbike start gate at the top of Milkyway.
Image and text by Danielle Baker

 

This past weekend, over a hundred racers took part in FrostBike and wound up performing something akin to Bambi on ice.

The event attracted a solid group of BC Cup regulars and, with the race season still three months away, it was a great excuse to hang out, ride bikes, and punctuate every other sentence with a high-five.  It was a weekend more about bonding than about winning, more about bananas, and hugs than about medals and cash prizes. Although, there were cash prizes to be had.

FrostBike MC, Brett Tippie, parties at the finish line with the B-Team.

The big debate about studded tires, fat bikes, or skinny jeans being best for racing on snow, became a moot point when everyone took hits at practice on Saturday. The conditions were warm and slushy and, for most, the challenge wasn’t about keeping your feet on your pedals as much as it was just staying upright.

 

Rodrigo Flores tests the snow.

Adriano Digiacinto barely holds it together through the berm.

Snowboarders and skiers added to the colorful mix with some original and not so original heckling from the lifts. They yelled everything from ‘PEDAL!’ and ‘Why don’t you try skiing?’ to ‘Do it for the honey ham!’

The racecourse was put together on SilverStar’s blue run, Milky Way. Bikes were loaded onto a trailer and pulled to the start line with a SnowCat while racers took the Summit Chair to the top. Ski Patrol monitored the course and took time between sections of racers to side slip it in an attempt to groom the course throughout practice. The mountain even efficiently switched the course over to night skiing between practice on Saturday and race runs on Sunday. There was a lot of speculation overnight about what the conditions would be like the next day. Would it freeze? What would the fast times be? Would there be any major injuries? Would anyone make the jumps? With the unknown conditions, it was anyone’s race.

Racers’ bikes were loaded onto a trailer and pulled up the mountain to the start by a SnowCat.

Racers loaded up the hill on a dedicated lift.

Much love to the ski patrol who not only took care of any injuries but also groomed the course throughout the day.

Nic Rodgers is psychic, he made the podium the next day.

Sunday morning came with cold wind and snow. The course was fast. Racers seemed to be more upright than in the snow and, inversely, I was on my ass more than on my feet. Brett Tippie joined us as the MC at the finish line, conducting interviews from the ‘Frost Seat’ and riling up the crowd. With two snow jumps at the finish, FrostBike drew a crowd despite the cold; there was even a girl in heels. You know your skill hill event is a success when there is a girl in heels in the snow!

FrostBike attracted suspect and rowdy fans.

Tippie gives out prizes in the village leading up to the podiums.

The resort and event organizer did a fantastic job of creating a grassroots feel and culture around a race run within the hoops of ski hill restrictions and structure. There was an all-hands-on-deck volunteer feel and I only had to sign away my life twice to be allowed on the mountain to shoot. All in all, it was a perfectly timed and well-executed race that ignited excitement for the coming race season.

Yann Gauvin took the win in Elite Men and had the fastest time of the day, with sub 52 seconds, but at a race like this, the thing I remember best about Yann is his mullet. Mullet for the win!

 

Read the full article here.

::