For the past week we have been shacked up living the plush life at the Westin Hotel. Shimano brought in an air bus of journalists from every hemisphere so they might tangle with the Chuck Norris of modern day bike components. We spent the week marinating on drenched trails, but oh buddy, it was smashing good time. No matter how bad the weather is in Whistler, it’s hard not to be pumped. Food, presentations, hot-lap the bike park, shoot a little here and there, hit the hotel, grab the hardtail and session the airdome till dinner… pretty much awesome. Riding with all the other athletes was unreal. Vanderham has the park lines dialed, so if you get a chance to spin a few laps with him, you’ll be looking at the trail in a new light by the bottom. On one of our only dry days we met up with an entourage of buddies flying the SRAM colours and threw together a swagger train like Whistler has never seen. It was insane watching everyone’s different styles and lines. I followed Mason Mashon down A-Line and the guys is an absolute trail Ninja. We finished off the day with quality session on the newly revamped and extended Crabapple booters, and no joke, they made these things LARGE. We couldn’t believe that Whistler had built something of this size that is actually chairlift accessible. I think the last hit stands at 50 feet, but the boys on Whistler’s trail crew should be awarded a golden spade because after the first two hits you drop the brakes, grab nothing but bar, and send it. Wicked FUN! Such a killer week, and I don’t think I will be waiting so long for the next visit. Time to head home. Thanks Shimano!