This past weekend once again proved what an amazing community we live in. Just days ago the Squamish bike community threw a fundraiser race for a friend and that race known as the GK Ripper has become no less than a phenomenon.
The race features the lung busting, soul-crushing climb up the road from the golf course to the Diamond Head lookout. Then your partner goes down the decent of madness built by Big Red Ted, Manus and many more local lunatics who poured sweat and soul into getting everything ready for the big day.
So, who went in the race? It's tough to put the craziness of the talent in perspective. Especially when you have local legends that set inhuman times of less than an hour up that road. Then someone gets the wise idea to invite the worlds fastest rider and barely breaking a sweat, a hungover Roland Green comes and wheels his way up in 39 minutes.
Even more stellar than Rolland's reality breaking time however was Neil "local boy does good" Kindree's fantastic finish. Yes, Squamish's own 16-year-old cross-country maniac pulled off the most rock star move of the day. He graciously waited to tag his partner before proudly displaying why this event is also called the puke and bleed. Downhillers *pah* setting a record pace up that hill then throwing up beside Roland Green is the punkest thing I've seen in a long time. And there was stiff competition, what with the Johnny Mac sideshow gulping, not a packet, not a bottle, not even a liter but a PITCHER of ketchup for the cause. Even more money was given just so he wouldn't go for the mustard as well.
But world class shenanigans aside, what has made the GK Ripper a true phenomenon is the fact that it's all about helping out a bro. Originally created by Tantalus' Al Ross as a fundraiser for Graham Kuerbis who in the span of a year has gone from spinal cord sketchy, to a wheelchair, to now leaping about with grace few thought possible. After this successful event who knows how far he can go. The biggest pat on the back however is reserved for Allie Sheridan with her seemingly unlimited cheer and enthusiasm she rescued the race from its potential demise. Not a year in Squamish and already she's selflessly giving her time and energy to make another reason to love this town.
In the end the GK Ripper was a fabulous way to end the
summer. It not only gave everyone a huge hangover but it also gave hope
as well. It showed that with the right energy and people, the healing
process can overcome even when it almost seems impossible. That's
the kind of hope we all need to grab on to as we stumble head first into
fall, and no doubt some of the most turbulent times this town has ever