Summer 2013 Edition (http://www.escarpmentmagazine.ca/flipzine/2013-summer/#20)
In the mid 1990s, a dedicated group of patrolmen and trail crew from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park planned, constructed and sessioned their trails, pioneering the way for future trailbuilders. In doing so, they learned valuable information about the flow, features and rideability of their builds which they implemented, constructing legendary trails like A-Line and Dirt Merchant. These game-changing runs instantly grabbed the attention of the mountain biking community, landing the Whistler Mountain Bike Park on the bucket list of every hard-core rider. Soon the group was offering trail development advice to resorts throughout North America and Europe.
Gravity Logic was born, and became independent of Whistler Mountain shortly after. No longer simply consulting on builds, Gravity Logic began traveling the world, building and providing expert advice on the safety, risk management, mapping, environmental planning and construction practices of mountain bike parks. Clearly not a group of out-of-touch consultants, each Gravity Logician is a rider in his/her own right and is actively involved in daily testing of the trails they build, implementing their version of artistry upon the landscape.
Now, these innovators who are behind some the best-known, world-class bike parks have arrived at Blue Mountain Resort. Director of Mountain Experience, Peter Sutcliffe explains, “This is phase one of a three-phase bike park improvement plan. This summer we are concentrating on a three-trail enhancement: one green trail, a progression blue trail, and a black trail.” The first two trails are designed to safely introduce beginner and novice bikers to the downhill mountain biking environment, while the redesign of the expert trail “Haole” will undoubtedly satisfy the thirst of Blue Mountain’s expert riders.
“We have a lot of core riders that have been with us for a lot of years, and the one thing they’ve always wanted is ore air, and that’s what Haole is now,” Peter continues. “It’s more air in a controlled environment. And it’s being build by the guys who are the best in the world at what they do.”
Haole’s facelift includes step-ups, step-downs, wooden c-walls, berms and a few surprise features to gratify the junkiest of adrenaline junkies. Plans for phases two and three include a Canada Cup quality race run, a jump line and additional blue and green trails, with the likelihood of additional chairlift access.
With new bike parks popping up all over the planet, a recent economic impact study conducted by the Mountain Bike Tourism Association analyzed the economic impact of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in addition to several other regional mountain bike locations. The study concluded that the Whistler Mountain Bike Park contributed to over $16,000,000 in economic impact to the Whistler community during the length of the study. An exciting prospect for the Town of the Blue Mountains as we redefine summer destination travel in Ontario.
Gravity Logic Supervisor Blayne Taylor explains, “Blue Mountain Resort has the perfect set up to handle the traffic, with the village at the base of the hill. It’s close to Toronto, it’s a fantastic destination and it has a lot to offer.” When describing the challenges of trail building on the Escarpment Blayne says, “This place has a beautiful forested canopy, but I will say that the clay is challenging to build on. I’ve never seen anything like it in the world. I’ve built trails all over North America and this is the hardest dirt I’ve ever seen because as soon as the ground gets a drop of water on it, the clay turns to grease. That said, once it’s dried it sets up like concrete, which is good for the maintenance of the trail. It doesn’t develop braking bumps as easily once the clay is dry.”
Wouldn’t Jozo Weider love to know that his beloved clay, that was used in the artistry of Blue Mountain Pottery, continues to be moulded today – not into swans – but into lasting physical enjoyment for generations of thrill seekers to come.
Watch Geoff Gulevich shred the new and improved Haole Trail in the video below.
photos: Blue Mountain Bike Park