Top of the World
My feet hanging off the ledge, thousand feet of darkness lying beneath me; I feel like I’m really on top of the world.
It all started with a dream. Mountain biking has always been my passion. Although my hometown-shanghai, China is one of the biggest and most populated city on earth it is possible the most unlikely place for one to mountain bike, but I kept this hobby throughout my childhood.
Although there are a handful of trails a few hours’ drive from Shanghai, they are all poorly build, poorly marked and do not have any sort of challenge. But on the other side of the globe, it’s a completely different story…
The holy land and the founding place of mountain biking, British Columbia, Canada with more than 8000 marked trails and world’s best lifted accessed bike park -Whistler. Whistler has always been my dream destination for mountain biking, but it is halfway across the world.
Well, that’s not the case anymore. Now I live here, Coquitlam: five minutes’ drive from world class mountain bike trails and two hours drive from Whistler.
Whistler is such a majestic place, with the roaring rivers, the snow-capped mountains, it is truly the Garden of Eden for extreme sports and Heaven for sportsman alike, but one must admit the crown jewel of it all is the peak of Whistler. Sitting at 7000 feet, the peak chair of Whistler is one of the highest chairlift in BC. Although the peak zone is nothing of too much significance in winter, when the summer rolls around it becomes something special. A trail like no other lies here, Top of the World: a trail covered with razor-sharp rocks and thousand feet clip to the side. Stretches over five kilometers and 2000 feet of elevation, a trail that’s limited to 100 riders daily, only open two months per year and a trail that cost extra 20 dollars per lap: this is not an easy trail to ride.
Even within so many restrictions, one must try this trail. And that’s exactly what I decide to do in the summer of 2016.
I sprint out of the bed; today is the day; I am going to ride Top of the World. But there is a catch… Anyone with common sense will ride whistler bike park with full face helmet and neck brace, unfortunately I broke my helmet the day before riding Top of the World. After debating with myself all night I decide YOLO and kept my plan of riding a few of the hardest trails with a half face trail helmet, I’m sure I was one of the handful maniacs who did that in 2016.
I walked into the bike park, my heart is pumping so hard, I’m not only riding one of the hardest and longest trail on the mountain that I have never ridden before, I’m also doing it without adequate protections, If I mess up and crash I will plow my face straight into those razor sharp rocks…
As those scary thoughts rushing through my mind, as time flew past. When I came out of my thoughts I was already at the roundhouse and about to load up the peak chair… On to the peak chair we go, I look down, the view is so different than winter. Without the soft puffy snow covering everything, the mountain doesn’t seem so kind with it’s scattered sharp rocks and hanging cliffs…
After a short ride, I’m at the peak of Whistler, it was a long journey but I made it… My feet hanging off the ledge, thousand feet of darkness lying beneath me. I felt like I’m really on top of the world. This is what I live for.
The ride was amazing and I didn’t plow my face into the ground as I thought I would…
I did well on:
Need to improve: