It's all about perspective. That was the surprisingly deep first thought to cross my mind, as my eye's slowly pried open, and I awoke in what can only be described as a disaster area. Boxes strewn about, papers piled hap-hazardly, left overs making their presence known by sight and smell. Ahh yes, the carnage that befalls all those the morning after they put their life on hold and plan an event. This past weekend saw the 2nd annual Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls Freeride challenge. I thought it would be great to have an event, complete with prizes, party and comradery, but without the stress of competition. It turns out other people wanted that as well as dozens of riders from all over the province saddled up and took on the granite challenge that is Valleycliffe.
Was it a success? Well, I believe the only yard stick to measure a success is people's smiles and their insistence that good times were had by all. So yes, it was in fact a success. It was also an incredibly eye opening experience. Being the second run, I honestly thought that things would be easier. I knew what to expect and more or less, the bridgework was done the first year, so the second should be smooth sailing. Well it appears I was wrong, and no matter how many times you throw an event, those monkeys keep finding new wrenches to throw in your system.
But it all went well and just days later I was lucky enough to join a film crew looking to shoot some footage in the trails I call home. These guys were pro's, they've lived the charmed life getting paid to travel around the world shooting "extreme" footage.
Well as these guys were quick to repeatedly state, Squamish is going off. They had never seen such lunacy and they were flabbergasted to hear that these were the short jaunts locals ride to unwind after a hard day at the office. I had to mention the really nutty stuff is when people fly 20 to 30 feet across roads. Like I said, it's all about perspective.
I then realized that with the event, and subsequent tours, I love taking new people into our backyard trails. The continual raving about how amazing it is here never gets old. But it doesn't come without a hitch; the more word gets out, the closer Squamish gets to its inevitable change. I cringe thinking that one day someone will ask where Squamish ends and Whistler begins. Consider as well the latest issue of Mountain Bike UK (the worlds largest distributed mountain bike magazine) featuring our own Big Red Ted busting out a huge air on the cover beside the words "Secret Squamish? Just as good as Whistler."
But since we can't stop it the best we can hope for is to hold on and enjoy the secret while we can.