Our life on this planet is finite, this much we know. So what activities and adventures come to mind when you think about your bucket list? From watching the Disney movie Cool Runnings when I was a teenager, to watching the real pros do it at the Winter Olympics, bobsleighing was a sport that I have always enjoyed watching, but I never thought I’d get a chance to experience it firsthand. Last week, a group of local bloggers including myself were invited by Ford Canada to visit the Whistler Sliding Centre to partake in some bobsleighing fun.
We met up at Coastal Ford to pick up our vehicles, where I was paired up with Vanessa of Modern Mix Vancouver (click here to read her post). After entering our destination into the GPS navigation system in our fully loaded 2016 Ford Fusion Energi SE, we were ready to hit the road. This plug-in electric hybrid Fusion comes equipped with a 2.0L iVCT I-4 engine and is paired with an eCVT automatic transmission. Its electric motor has a range of 40 km, which is more than enough for most daily commutes. Beyond 40 km, you’ll need to rely on its economical hybrid gasoline motor. The car was very comfortable for the hour and a half trip, and it had no problems overtaking vehicles on the winding Sea-to-Sky Highway, which happens to be one of my favourite scenic drives in the world.
— Vanessa Choot (@modernmixvan) August 28, 2015
When we arrived at the Whistler Sliding Centre, we were greeted by Robin Esrock, global adventurer and best-selling travel author of The Great Canadian Bucket List. You might recognize him from his TV show Word Travels, a 40-part adventure series which ran on OLN and several other networks. Robin has explored over 100 countries, and his adventures include driving a Ford Escape across the Trans-Labrador Highway in Canada. As we enjoyed our lunch, he led us through a slideshow presentation and shared stories about his experiences as a travel writer. I really enjoyed hearing about how he got his start in the industry, and I can’t wait to start checking off bucket list adventures mentioned in his book. This guy is living the dream!
After lunch, it was time for the fun part of the afternoon. Built as an Olympic and legacy venue for bobsleighing, luge, and skeleton for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, the Whistler Sliding Centre is home to the world’s fastest ice track in the world. During the summer months when there’s no ice on the track, they actually have specially-designed bobsleighs on wheels available that you can ride on the track. On ice, you can expect a bobsleigh to reach speeds of around 130 km/h, while on wheels, it’s a bit slower at around 95 km/h. After a quick safety crash course (no pun intended), we were ready to get on the track. You can watch the video of my run below. Our 4-person team clocked the fastest time and speed of the day, clocking in at a shade over 53 seconds with a top speed of 95 km/h.
I have to say it was more fun than any rollercoaster that I’ve ever been on, and I’m so happy that I got the opportunity to try this. I’d definitely come back to try this again on ice in the winter, and I would highly recommend it to any adrenaline junkie looking for a fun activity to do in Whistler. Summer Bobsleigh on wheels is offered 5 days a week (closed Tuesdays/Wednesdays) from late June to early September. Public Bobsleigh and Skeleton programs commence in December and run until March/April. Visit www.whistlersportlegacies.com for more information, and happy sliding!