A cornerstone in Squamish's ultra-active mountain biking community has wrapped up as yet another huge success.
The fourth annual G.K. Ripper, named after former Kona pro rider Graham Kuerbis, took place on Sunday (Sept. 19) with 75 teams of two competing in the popular event. The race was founded by a group of local riders as a fundraising effort to help Kuerbis after he broke his neck in a mountain biking accident. After the first race, Kuerbis saw a need to help others around him, and the event became a full-fledged fundraising effort that combines the cross-country and downhill disciplines of the sport, to raise to help others injured in accidents.
To date, the G.K. Ripper has raised $42,000 in which every penny has gone to help injured Sea to Sky residents.
The event involved the first rider - the climber/ascender/grinder - starting from the Mashiter Creek bridge on Mamquam Road and pedalling hard for 12 km up the the Ring Creek Road to the viewpoint. There, riders tagged each other and the second leg, the descent, was tackled by the downhillers through P-Nut's wild ride, 19th hole and Pseudo Pseuga.
Andreas Hesler was first up the gut-busting climb, while his teammate Thomas Vanderham ripped up the flesh-eating descent to capture first place and all the fortune and glory.
Keith Stark and Wade Simmons took second place with Ryan Edwards and Daryl Leduke grabbing the bronze.