It's all about the lovely assistant. That was the surprisingly deep first thought to cross my mind as my eye's slowly pried open and I awoke in what can only be described as a disaster area. Boxes strewn about, papers piled half-hazardly, left overs making their presence known by sight and smell. Ahh yes, the carnage that befalls all those the morning after they put their life on hold and plan an event. This past weekend saw the 2nd annual "Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls" freeride challenge. I thought it would be great to have an event, complete with prizes, party and comradery, but without the stress of competition. It turns out other people wanted that as well as dozens of riders from all over the province saddled up and took on the granite challenge that is Valleycliffe.
Was it a success? Well, I believe the only yard stick to measure a success is people's smiles and their insistence that good times were had by all. So yes, it would have to be classified as a definite success. Especially considering the morning started in a worst case scenario with me turning ill and having to stop for a quick pick me up in the hospital. Luckily my lovely assistant / life partner was there to juggle the balls all the way to the finish line.
First I believe props must befall all those who truly made the event shine. First the volunteers. Especially the Double Dog Dare Dolls, and the Fabulous Fruit Crew, not to mention Eric the grill man and his lovely assistant Michelle. Together they huffed a grill and BBQ supplies up the formidable FM tower to attempt to have kebabs ready for the hungry masses on the last climb.
As for rider rock star moments there are several awards that must be handed out. "Woke up drunk" award goes to Mike Melosh, at 6 in the morning he joined the birthday boy for one more cold one and hit the sack. Two and a half hours later he's sweating booze and leading the pack completing his share of the Dares. "Is that all you got?" End of the day and Dean figures down ramps are for sissies as he hucks doubles where there aren't any. "At your age I won't suck" award has to go to Miranda. She's 14 and has balls to match the craziest. Got a call the day before the ride "Hi Bryan, I tore my ACL but physio says I'll be fine as long as I don't do any drops."? Now that's passion. "Fall down go boom" award was a tie this year. Contestant one is Mr. Moe. His first ride since snapping his femur like a dime store matchstick. Back on the saddle and going for gold, Moe rides like a star then goes back for seconds on the trail I built just for the day "Joint Effort". Boom! Kodak courage strikes again and he's still seeing stars. Then there's the tree kisser whose name is being researched at this very moment. Now, I've hit many a tree myself, but never have I been close enough to touch the stomach churning carnage as it was happening. Not once but twice he proves, not only teenagers can bounce. Needless to say, everyone who took the challenge deserves a raised glass and knowing glance for coming out and putting themselves to the test.
Of course the event is nothing without the sponsors. The town of Squamish certainly has some kick ass businesses and this year they went above and beyond the call of duty supplying some dream prizes for almost all the riders.
Now it's done and all efforts are on the next one since I didn't get to ride it this year. Plus, this event is evolving into a cult classic and who am I to stop that. Next year, things are going to be bigger and scarier, but it's hard to imagine a better time. One thing's for sure, next year there will be some nutty challenges that will clearly define a winner.
So thanks again to all those who came out, I'll see you next year as we go Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls!!