Whistler Trail Profile: Upper Joyride

Eric Behn | CycleCycle
Upper Joyride, Whistler.  photo
Upper Joyride, Whistler. photo:  todd hellinga

Whistler Mountain Bike Park is home to a plethora of amazing trails whether it be those with more flow like A-Line or the more technical trails like Tech Noir. It is a place to hone your skills and learn new riding styles and become more comfortable on your bike. 

Upper Joyride is a great combination of both good flow and technical lines. The trail is accessed from the same trailhead as Schleyer and Whistler Downhill near the entry for Crank It Up. Rated as a Double Black Diamond, the trail is difficult, but when ridden with care can be very fun and is a good transition into a more advanced trail set. Riddled with smoother rock faces and sections, riders have to stay on their toes and watch their tires, keeping perpendicular to the rock in order to prevent slipping out.

Upper Joyride, Whistler bike park.  photo: todd hellinga
Upper Joyride, Whistler bike park. photo: todd hellinga

Riding at a quicker pace, riders can hit some smaller gaps and jumps which will help keep the trail riding with more flow, but confidence and knowledge of the trail is key. Knowing three main features, and the other smaller ones will help to keep your confidence up and your riding pace a maximum.

The first feature is a long, steep rock roll that puts riders into Mach 10. This line is a simple: Approach slowly, hold on, and let it go. It might seem scary at first as the line gets steeper mid section, but the whole face can be rolled if you are timid your first time. Once you are more comfortable, let the brakes go and enjoy the rush!

First large feature.
The first large rock roll. Straight forward fun.

The next main feature is just before the Hecklers Rock section of Canadian Downhill and can leave you subject to ridicule beneath the chair lift. You can roll it through the riders left side of the section or air it over the right. Similar the A-Line or GLC drops you should feel fairly comfortable with the size. Scope it out and give yourself some mental markers on the edge of the drop.

Second Drop/Roll
The drop roll option just below the chair lift, exposed for heckling.

The third and final main feature on Upper Joyride is a long steep shale rock face. Less steep than the first face, but much much longer. You should roll into it and take the left line. Hold the brakes through the section enough to regulate your speed and feel comfortable; the further you go down this face, the more speed you’ll gather. Once you get about two thirds down you’ll likely feel your rear tire dragging, you should feel ready to slowly ease off your brakes and let your bike roll. Watch for the tight trees at the bottom and the dirt drop just after, you’ll be going quick and you won’t want lose it at the end of the trail.

Final feature
The final rock face. Beware of the tight trees and dirt drop at the bottom, you’ll be going faster than you think.

When you first ride Upper Joyride take some time to scope out the tougher lines. It’s never fun riding over a ridge without knowing what is on the other side. Keep in mind you can roll everything and once you’ve gone through go and hit it again with more confidence!

Stay tuned with CycleBrains for more trail profiles! 

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