What do a cross-country racer, free rider, dirt jumper, two World Cup downhill racers, a trials rider and two Whistler locals all have in common?
Aside from sharing a despicable amount of talent across nearly every discipline of cycling, these athletes are each members of Norco’s many teams. Silver Star Resort was the location where Evan Guthrie, Mike Hopkins, Andrew Taylor, Jill Kintner, Bryn Atkinson, Ryan Leech, Sarah Leishman and Zander Geddes all came together for Norco’s RAD Fest. Formerly known as VPS Fest RAD Fest, or Rider Appreciation Day was the place for Norco riders to come and experience one of the best lift-access mountains in the world.
In the interest of making the most at this event our eager team of shredders showed up a few days before the event to one of the many chalets found at Silver Star. Wednesday night was the first time meeting for a few of our team riders. Apparently gluten free Strava-crushing XC racers, and caffeine-dependent, berm-smashing free riders travel in different circles. The bonds of cycling run deep and as a cohesive unit the team came together leading up to Saturday’s event.
Thursday morning started off with a morning photo shoot on the jumps of Pro-star. The afternoon was spent banging hot laps before heading an hour and a half back down highway 97 to the desert paradise of Kelowna. Here the team visited Sovereign Cycle
, an awesome shop owned and operated by passionate local shredders Russ and Rick.
Friday’s strategy was divide and conquer, With Brynn Atkinson, Jill Kintner, and Sarah Leishman electing to ride and shoot on Silver Star’s steeper, loamier trails. Conversely Andrew Taylor, Mike Hopkins and Zander Geddes decided they hadn’t yet had enough of Silver Stars endless jumps and berms.
After a long day of riding and shooting the Friday was concluded with some heavy barbecuing and cold beer. Post dinner, a fascinating discussion broke out on what each athlete does to train and stay healthy, with some sage advice being provided by yoga guru and 16 year factory team veteran Ryan Leech.
Saturday was the by far the busiest day of the camp, with RAD Fest in full swing. The Norco team riders are not only extremely talented riders but also some of the friendliest in the business. Event attendees, young and old alike were stoked on the chance talk to their favorite athletes, and even get a lap or two in with them. Besides riding with elite athletes, riders also received free tech support provided from Norco’s talented mechanics. Lastly, everyone in the village, even those not riding, showed up to take in the wonder that is a Ryan Leech trials show.
After Ryan’s last show of the day the lift stopped for the night and it was time for a prize giveaway, and one last meal at the saloon. With over $5000 in gear to give away through protection, apparel, and well-needed bike parts we made sure that every rider that made the trip up to Silver Star felt the love, and walked away with at least an autographed poster and a couple tubes. The event finished off with a lengthy series of high fives and plans to meet up and ride later this summer
Thank you to everyone that came out for the 2014 Norco RAD Fest at Silver Star Resort!