Click here for Cynical Sunshines Home Page Click here to check out Cynical Sunshines Store Click here for Cynical Sunshines Writing Archives Click here to Contact Us at Cynical Sunshine

Let er' RIPPER! (05.11.01)

Well, that certainly was something!

Where do I even begin to describe an event that left everyone saying, and I quote, "That was the best race/event I have ever been in!"
Perhaps a highlight reel could best take in all the events...

Roll em'

We start with a young Tantalus/Kona Free Rider named Graham Kuerbis. Recently, Graham was riding the North Shore when his bike slipped off a log and crashed, leaving him an incomplete quadriplegic. The astronomical costs of such an accident are staggering to say the least. Help was needed - friends got together - a lightbulb went off - and an idea was born: A fundraiser race for both cardio freaks and downhill nutters!

So it was that May 4th 2001 would be born the GK. RIPPER! A one of a kind intense rally mountain bike race featuring Squamish's most grueling, lung busting,
puke inducing, soul crushing climb up Diamond Head road. Only to have a teammate descend down the soup du jur that is "19th Hole". A root infested gnarly decent featuring: drops, creeks buckets of mud and a whole lot of love.

So it is conceived, so it shall be done. And boy, oh boy was it done!
The race gods were surely smiling on the Tantalus organizers that day. Everything from parking to the weather clicked so seamlessly you'd think they knew what they were doing.

Now we join the racers at the start line:
"Holly crap those are some BIG bikes!"
It would seem that 5 inches of travel is the cross-country set up for some of these guys who's front forks were thick like baby legs. Yes, the downhillers came out for this one, as the 45-pound peddleless pro's came out to finally take part in a twonie race. Even the most hard of the local core were humbled by the task at hand.

It is here that I must say "Lets give it up for the ladies!"
Talk about intimidating. I estimated only about dozen women downhillers and can't imagine what was going through their heads as a sea of long travel testosterone surrounded them. The ride up the hill really put it in perspective as 12 other guys fully decked out in full body armor and gear discussed the gnarly downhill. And there sitting quietly was that crazy girl who lives with me. No doubt alternating between thoughts of "what have I gotten myself into?" And "I'm gonna kick all your asses!" So it was that we arrived at the top of Diamond Head road to await the arrival of our fellow riders.

How to sum up the uphill. Oh, I got it. You know that classic cartoon action with the eye's bulging out of someone's head? Well that was the first couple riders and it only got worse from there. Lucky for most Jack-o was there at the beginning and end to keep us fueled with wonderful Health Food Heaven concoctions.

The best part of the downhill? Without a doubt, The bike fans. Riding down 19th hole with fans lined from beginning to end is exactly as crazy and dreamlike as it sounds. After surfing the mud and crashing for each and every camera I wondered how the others faired. Luckily no injuries, well except the odd bruise and scrape.

Roll best quote from the lovely Phyllis being one of the first female Squamolians to go down, "You're not sending me in with all those boys are you?

Zoom in to the after party at the Squamish Golf club where some absolutely great Howe Sound BrewPub grub was provided. For a rare twonie race moment, there was enough for everyone. Usually the first reap the spoils but those burgers just kept flown'. Luckily some left room for desert as Johnny Mac once again proved he simply is not human, and we're damn glad to have him on our team. Johnny's the guy who for 160 hard earned donated dollars, drank and entire bottle of Crank body wash WITHOUT BLINKING! That my friends is putting the fun back in fundraising!

Grand total of funds raised - $11,500. That's awesome! Oh and if you couldn't make it but would still like to contribute, donations will continue to be accepted at Tantalus.

As for the winners, well first overall was whistler wonder boys Chad Miles and JJ Desmoroux.
But the big winner is Graham. Having that many friends come help you out, well, it was an awe inspiring show of support by anyone's standards.

Another winner I think is Squamish. You know, at Balding for Dollars we reached around $50,000. And for the GK. Ripper, the Mountain biking community in Squamish got together for an event that raised $11,500 for a friend.

You know what, Squamish, with all that's been going on it's things like this that restore my firmly held belief that deep down, this town is good people!

*internet bonus* For some good pictures and video check it out at Tantalus Bike Shop!



Click here for Cynical Sunshines Home Page Click here to check out Cynical Sunshines Store Click here for Cynical Sunshines Writing Archives Click here to Contact Us at Cynical Sunshine