Last year was my first year of regular downhill/park riding. I’ve done a fair bit of downhilling over the years, but never as much as my last year in the Whistler Bike Park. I can’t remember the number of laps I did, but I’m fairly confident that I rode in the bike park for 74 days last season. At home I’d be lucky to ride cross country 74 days in a year, let alone downhill.
When we arrived in Whistler we didn’t know anyone. We sorted our accommodation, and then I had two weeks to find a bike. The bike park opened mid-May, and I wanted to be riding as soon as possible. We had moved to Whistler to ride bikes – I didn’t want to be waiting around for the best deal and not riding a bike. I’d looked at a few second hand options, thought about building something up, but realistically I didn’t have any tools and just didn’t want any hassles. Buying brand new seemed like the way to go.
Checking out the bike stores in town I was torn between the Giant Glory 1 and the Trek Session 8. They were pretty much on par for spec aside from the fork and were for sale at the same price. The shop selling the Trek dropped the price for me, which helped to make my decision… I snapped up the Trek.
I learnt a lot on this bike – both how to ride and things to look out for in the future on a downhill bike. At times I was disappointed with my purchase – spending too much on something with an average spec, or being frustrated with the quality of the suspension, but ultimately it got the job done.
I had a warranty issue with the 2010 Boxxer Race that it came with – something that I had to work hard to prove to my LBS. Eventually after asking them to sort it out for months, the fork seized one afternoon to the point where I had a fully rigid Boxxer. That ended my season a few days early as the fork had to be sent back to SRAM to be repaired. Aside from this though, my Trek Session 8 was the perfect “newbie to Whistler” bike.
I had a lot of fun on this bike, and now that it’s gone I think I’ll really miss it.
For more information on Trek Bikes, take a look at their official website at www.trekbikes.com.