But Whistler’s mountain bike enthusiasts know that a toonie is all you need for a night of trail-tackling fun.
The Toonie Ride is a summertime tradition in Whistler: every Thursday from April 30 through to September 10, WORCA – the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association – hosts weekly Toonie Rides.
The concept is simple: WORCA members pay $2 to participate in an evening-long group ride. Half the fee goes towards WORCA’s trail maintenance fund, while the other half goes towards sponsoring local riders who are training and competing at a higher level. Once your fee is paid, you’re free to take part in whatever course is set out for the evening.
Toonie Rides are what you make of them: those at the front of the pack race the course competitively, but most are just along to enjoy the ride. Anyone can participate in Toonie Rides, no matter your age or ability level.
How to take part in Whistler’s legendary Toonie Rides:
- First, become a WORCA member. It’s easy – just a one-time fee of $50 for adults, and you can pay it online. Becoming a member lets you access all of WORCA’s awesome events (yep, there’s more than just the Toonie Rides!)
- Now, you’ll need gear. Find yourself a bike that’s in good shape, and pack repair kits and tools into your backpack – just in case. Don’t forget a helmet (they’re mandatory) and plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
- Check out the Toonie Ride schedule. The route switches up every week, and the level of difficulty varies. Find a ride that looks fun to you.
- Meet at the designated location by 6:30 PM, which is when the ride kicks off. You’ll have to sign a WORCA membership waiver at your first ride of the year, so be sure to allow a little extra time to do that.
- Place yourself in the appropriate seed at the starting line: if you’re going for first place, position yourself near the front. If you’d rather cruise along at a mellow pace, hang back.
- Ride your heart out and discover why Whistler is a bona fide mountain biking mecca.
Once you’ve made it to the finish, the fun keeps going: the sponsors vary week to week, and many are generous enough to provide beer and food for a little après action. Remember – all this, for only $2!
The Toonie Rides are only a few days away, so if you haven’t got your bike gear lined up, now is a good time to start thinking about that. Luckily, WORCA has your back: the annual WORCA bike swap takes place on Saturday, May 2nd in the Olympic Plaza. You’ll find bikes, parts, and accessories – basically everything you need for the season ahead.
If you’re selling anything at the swap, drop it off between 8:30 AM to 10 AM. If you’re looking to buy, visit between 10 AM and 2 PM. Details regarding tag fees and commissions – along with other details pertaining to the event – can be found on the WORCA website.