What it’s like to… LAND YOUR FIRST BIG DROP
Laura Aliperti, Whistler, B.C.
I’ve been riding ever since I can remember. I was very lucky to grow up around my dad’s bike shop in Brazil. I did a bit of XC and marathon riding from when I was 12 years old in Brazil, but didn’t start riding more serious singletrack and downhill until I was 18 years old.
My first big drop was the gap in Fade to Black in the Whistler Bike Park. After that, the biggest drop was at Kamloops Bike Ranch on Fistful of Dollars – that one took a lot of nerve, but doing a season at the Whistler Bike Park helped me immensely.
[A note from trishb rom ley, instructor at whistler bike Park :“if you’ ve ever seen the fade to black or fistful of Dollars drops, these aren’ t small. making the jump from something semi-roll able to something with real consequences takes time, skill, and confidence.–Eds .]
It feels like floating down obstacles while riding your bike on trails. The best was looking back at a drop that I never thought I’d have the nerve to ride. Riding bigger features gives me a sense of accomplishment and confidence for whatever obstacle I will have to tackle in the future. It’s funny how something so intimidating can become so much fun as well. When I was finally thinking about doing it, the coaching I got gave me a lot of confidence. I was doing an instructor’s course to be able to teach intermediate riders, and I had done similar, smaller drops. After getting a better understanding of all the movements, watching other competent riders do it, getting comfortable with the speed and then visualizing how it would feel, it all helped me immensely. You know that person you hear shouting “weeoos” and “wooos” through a trail? Yeah, that’s me – on those occasions – very loudly.