Tonnie Ride Season

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The toonie season is here and it is open to everyone! No matter if you are a hardcore rider out to win or a first-timer out to enjoy the ride.

Sponsored by local businesses and organizations, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) hosts a Toonie Ride every Thursday for 20 weeks over the summer months in Whistler. Why is it called a Toonie Ride? Because it only costs $2 (a toonie) to take part. Half of the entry fees from each race go towards WORCA’s trail maintenance fund. The other half are awarded to the top finishers.

Although the top finishers are usually hard core riders who use these Toonie Rides as part of their training for big events, including nationals and World Cups, these rides are for everyone. When you arrive at the first Toonie Ride of the season, you will find tha it is really more of a social event. Although there is that group of hardcore riders decked out in their spandex with their eyes on the prize, the atmosphere is really one of high fives, talk, and fun. These races are open to everyone – young and old, expert and beginner and this all adds to the social vibe of the ride.

Now, they call it a ride but is it really a ride or is it a race? Well, with everyone going in the same direction and following the same course, it really is a race but at the same time it is all just fun and usually ends with apres at a local watering hole – and really, what kind of race finishes with a cold beer, food, and good conversation? There are prizes for the top finishers but most people are really there for the experience – to explore the trails, get some exercise, socialize, and have fun!

Where do the Toonie Races take place? Each week the course is set by the amazing community sponsors so it is always different – in terms of length, route, and difficulty. I would say that the average course falls somewhere in between a cycle on the Valley Trail and Crankworx – now that is a big span so it is best to review the course map each week so that you know in advance what you are getting into.

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A Few Tips & Tricks

  • The Start: Races always start at 6:30 (with sign-in starting at 5:30). If you have your eye on the prize, be there early so that you can get a start position near the front of the pack. The later you arrive, the further towards the back you will be. If you are looking to move at your own pace with no pressure coming up behind you, position yourself near the back of the group so that you won’t have to be constantly stopping and starting to let the faster riders pass you. Some, but not all, races have a staggered start.
  • The Crowds: These rides are very popular so there will always be crowding at the beginning and sometimes at the more technical sections. Just remember that if you are feeling crowded, so is everyone else so it is all part of the experience.
  • Walking: Remember, these races are open to everyone so if you get to a section that is to difficult for you then don’t worry! It is perfectly acceptable and expected for you to hop off of your bike and walk until you feel ready to ride again. If you are walking and a rider comes up behind you, just move off to the side and let them pass.
  • Rules & Regulations: Helmets are required at all times for all riders. Bikes should be in good working order and you are responsible for supplying your own on-course water and repair kits.

The first Toonie Ride of the 2014 Season

The first Toonie Ride of the 2014 summer season is on May 1

You can find the rest of the 2014 Toonie Ride schedule here. Will I see you out at any of this year’s Toonie Rides?

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