Mountain biking in British Columbia
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Mountain biking in British Columbia is a popular sport as well as a thriving manufacturing, service/retail and tourism industry.
The North Shore
The North Shore suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia are a well known place for mountain biking. The north shore of Burrard Inlet, is steep terrain with trails on many of the local mountains. These include Mt. Fromme, Cypress Provincial Park, and Mt. Seymour. While it is not considered part of the North Shore, Coquitlam's Eagle Mountain, and Burke Mountain offer riding that is similar, though access to the trails is typically more difficult.
The local mountains have mountain bike trails that are known for their extremely difficult and dangerous mountain terrain, and this unique style of trail building was born from the need to create a way to successfully ride this terrain. These trails contain numerous natural challenges like fallen logs, giant boulders to drop off, ravines to jump across etc. The area is home to old-growth Red Cedar, which when dead and dried out, naturally splits into nearly straight planks. The abundance of these natural cedar planks provided much of the material used to create the early ladders, bridges, and stunts that were required to negotiate the difficult terrain and fallen trees. Thus, most of the trails also contain man-made obstacles like skinny bridges, twisting "ladders" raised above the ground, and teeter-totters to ride on. This style of trail building and biking is sometimes referred to as "North Shore", describing trail systems that incorporate natural and man-made features of terrain. One of the most famous of these trails is CBC (originally a hiking trail). Due to concern from Metro Vancouver the North Shore Mountain Bike Association has not been allowed to do routine maintenance on CBC. It has become generally unrideable. What once was a world-famous trail is now a collection of broken technical trail features and an eroded mess. Other trails on the North Shore have seen a tremendous amount of revitalization since 2013 through the NSMBA's trail adoption plan. A well run concept TAP pairs local businesses with trail builders to achieve thousands of hours of trail work.
The Whistler-Blackcomb resort in Whistler, British Columbia is one of the best known places in the world for Mountain Biking. Both downhill and freeriding are popular there. The Fitzsimmons ski lift and Whistler Gondola are used on the bottom of Whistler Mountain. The Garbanzo lift is used in the middle. Biking opens around the end of April and is open through the summer. Numerous mountain biking events are held annually including Crankworx and the Joyride Huckfest.
Vancouver Island, though not as well known for mountain biking as the North Shore, boasts a growing number of trails. They are located near the communities of Victoria, Sooke, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Cumberland, Gold River. Victoria has a dedicated Mountain Bike Park called Mount Work – Hartland. (Also known as "the Dump"). This is a Capital Regional District park and is operated in partnership with SIMBS (South Island Mountain Bike Society). Great trails, trail signage and detailed trail map available. Parking and bike wash on site. As of early 2015, SIMBS is working with BC Parks to assess the trails in the Partridge Hills near Durance Lake. This is a preliminary step to opening the area for multi-use trails.
A new series of trails that has been open to the public for years locally in Gold River has just become a part of the Annual PBR Grand Prix of Vancouver Island tour. The Antler Lake and Scout Lake Loops is fast becoming a popular ride for mountain bikers on Vancouver Island. It is in areas like these that mountain biking is fast becoming must experience sport and adventure for all ages.
The Delta Watershed park is a popular destination for local riders. It is one of the few place to mountain bike in Delta. There are other locations but they are mainly paved trails with no features – for instance Burns Bog trails (by Great Pacific Forum) and the Boundary Bay Dike.
Burnaby Mountain is a somewhat popular destination in the lower mainland. There are a couple of Downhill trails on the Mountain including two black diamonds called Lower Snake and Nicole's Trail, and two blue squares called Gear Jammer and Poplars. Lower snake comes directly after Gear Jammer, and Poplar leads you to Nicole's trail. There is a cross country trail that goes around the Mountain called Mel's, and another one called the Trans-Canada trail. Aside from the listed trails, there are six known secret trails on the mountain, with big jumps and berms suitable to experienced riders who are looking for unridden park style trails. One advantage of Burnaby Mountain is the bus system. After the trails, five minutes of biking will lead you to the production bus loop. The 145 takes you up to the top of the mountain, where you can access all the trails along the highway.
Nicole's trail features tight corners, optional jumps, rock gardens and skinnies. Gear Jammer is a smooth trail with small skinnies, it is currently closed as of June, but is still one of the most popular trails on the mountain. A couple of secret trails are also located on the mountain. There is one located after the entrance of Gear Jammer as you walk towards the campus.