Museum Musings: Introducing Mountain Bike Heritage Week

Over the last three decades, mountain biking has woven itself into the fabric of our community and Whistler’s distinct biking scene has spread its influence across the world. To celebrate how far we’ve come and how we got there, the Whistler Museum is hosting our first-ever Mountain Bike Heritage Week, a full series of events running from May 18-23.

We will be holding three separate Speaker Series events at the museum, each focusing on different aspects of Whistler’s MTB scene. It all begins on May 18 with an ode to those unsung heroes of the biking world — the trailbuilders. Dirtmasters: Whistler Trailbuilding through the Decades will explore the past, present and future of Whistler’s world-class trail network.

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With thousands of dedicated riders, it’s safe to classify Whistler’s biking community as a horde of raving die-hards. Find out how our local scene grew from niche to enormous at Whistler MTB: Building a Community, featuring local organizers, coaches and more on Saturday, May 21. The Speaker Series trilogy concludes the following evening as we expand our view outward with Whistler MTB Gone Global, featuring local riders and entrepreneurs speaking firsthand to the worldwide influence and appeal of Whistler mountain biking.

It is a mountain bike festival, after all, so there’s more than just panel discussions going on. May 19, being a Thursday night, we’ll be teaming up with the leading institution of Whistler’s MTB community, WORCA’s weekly Toonie Ride. Riders will be encouraged to break out the spandex, the clunkers and any other retro gear stashed away in storage that you just couldn’t bear to part with.

For all the freeriders out there, we are organizing a free screening of the classic freeride film Kranked 3 on Friday, May 20 at Forlise Whistler. We’re especially excited to be able to include a filmmaker Q&A with special guests Bjorn Enga and Christian Begin.

Underpinning the whole festival is Revolution: Whistler MTB in Photography and Art, featuring some of the world’s leading mountain bike photographers, artists and athletes, including Sterling Lorence, Justa Jeskova, Reuben Krabbe and many more. Running from May 15 until June 14 at The Gallery at Maury Young Arts Centre, this exhibit will showcase the trails, terrain, talent and passion that makes Whistler a Mecca of the global mountain biking scene.

Artwork on display has been generously donated by the artists and will be available for purchase via silent auction, with all proceeds going to support future mountain bike-related programming and archival work at the Whistler Museum.

The Whistler Museum will also be showcasing historic photographs and artifacts as we unveil a new display about Whistler’s mountain bike heritage in our permanent exhibit. Everyone is invited to come check it out during our regular admission hours or during one of the three evening Speaker Series events.

Whistler Mountain Bike Heritage Week is produced in partnership with WORCA, the Great Outdoors Festival, the Whistler Arts Council, and Forlise Whistler. It would not be possible without the generous support of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Province of British Columbia, Deep Cove Brewing, Chromag Cycles, Vorsprung Suspension, Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Bike Co. and David’s Tea.

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