Pirate Race Productions
3 weeks in Vancouver
I'm tagging along for a 3 week trip to Vancouver while my wife works on a research project. I have nothing planned but to ride. We are staying in Burnaby, supposedly near some trails. I'm looking for folks to ride with for the duration, and some advice:
1 - Long term rental v. bringing a bike? Its about $300 round-trip to bring my 4" xc dually (road bike is a breakaway so its coming for free) - thinking I might be better off trying to work out a deal on renting a bigger bike while I'm there, thoughts?
2 - Go-to shop in Burnaby or somewhere relatively nearby?
3 - Car advice: I hear the public transport is great, and I'll have a road bike, but what about getting to the trails? I assume with all the Whistler biz there are places I can rent a bike with racks short term?
4 - If you had 3 weeks in Vancouver and nothing to do but ride, where would you go?
5 - Source for gps files? I have a Magellan and no sense of direction, and have done okay so far not getting eaten by a bear in the Pisgah, but I'd rather not push my luck.
Thanks a ton
What are your regular trails like that you ride? That's going to be the biggest determining factor in where you'll want to ride in the Lower Mainland.
If you're near Simon Fraser University then there are trails on the mountain that the University is perched on top of. Trail map can be found here.
Burnaby Mountain Biking Association
If you want to get a flavour for the other nearby mountains on the North Shore (Seymour, Fromme and Cypress) and the mountains further east up the valley (Bear, Eagle, Sumas, Red, Vedder) then this website has trail maps with clickable image links (green dots) on the maps that will bring up photos taken on those trails.
If you want to ride the North Shore, this book is a great guide to North Shore trails, and most local shops will likely have a copy. There's also a 3 mountain map available.
You're going to be about 1 hour's drive away from Squamish on the Sea-to-Sky highway on the way to Whistler, it has some of the best XC trails around.
Squamish Mountain Bike | The Squamish Offroad Cycling Association : SORCA : Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association
For bike rentals Endless Biking has a rental fleet and several shops like Different Bikes have smaller rental fleets that vary per location. Endless Biking can also do guided rides that will match your technical skills/interests. (just don't try to BS them about what you're comfortable with or they could take you on things that will scare the crap out of you).
Some rental car agencies might have bike racks available, not sure about that myself.
Pirate Race Productions
Thanks a ton for all the details!
Looks like I'm staying right on the Burnaby campus across from one of the trailheads, so that's nice.
I'm a pretty strong XC guy, live in the Pisgah, and ride Wilson's Creek which is super climby at some elevation (3-5K') and is full of long hairy descents. However, I'm no hucker, and in my late 30s, so I imagine there is some stuff out there I may not enjoy. However, I imagine we'll do a Whistler trip at some point, and really want to hit the legendary North Shore I've heard so much about.
Are there any regular group rides, or BBNs where people post rides?
Yep, there are some organized groups
nsride.com - NSRide
and some disorganized groups
North Shore Mountain Biking Forums - Powered by vBulletin
and several of the bike shops have group rides, you can check them out: John Henry Bikes, Lynn Valley Bikes, On Top Bikes, Different Bikes North Vancouver and Burnaby
The important thing about trail ratings around the Lower Mainland is that a Blue Intermediate trail looks like a black diamond in most other parts of the world where the trail surface may be a somewhat continuous series of roots and rocks and low bridges or skinnies, and many technical trail features are optional, where a black diamond or double black diamond trail often means there are mandatory technical trail features (elevated bridges, skinnies, rock drops etc. with no ride around.
This is a Green circle beginner level trail (Richard Juryn Trail)
and some more video of green and blue trails on Mt.Seymour
and a blue trail on Mt.Fromme (Dreamweaver)
Flowy loamy XC is not a common feature in the lower mainland, for that sort of trail, a trip to Squamish is worth the effort (Dead End Loop).
Here's some good video documentation of trails in Squamish
Squamish XC Files - Dead End Loop.wmv - YouTube
Squamish XC Files - Rob's Corners - YouTube
Squamish XC Files - Cliff's Corners - YouTube
Squamish XC Files - Roller Coaster
Squamish XC Files - Pseudo Tsuga - YouTube
Squamish XC Files - Half Nelson - YouTube
Although there's some new XC trails in Abbotsford at Sumas Mt that are flowy and loamy, that's about 45 minutes east of Burnaby.
Last edited by rockyuphill; 05-27-2012 at 11:56 AM.
Pirate Race Productions
Sweet - I'm not about the flowy loamy and most of the stuff around here is similarly eroded. We've got a new bike park in town which has a bunch of skinnies, so I'll have to do some serious practicing this week so I dont keep chickening out.
I'm just stoked to go long someplace new. A lot.
re: Blue = black diamond in other areas...
I just got back from Whistler and consider myself an intermediate to advanced XC rider down here in Santa Cruz. The blue trails I rode (Whistler Valley -- Lost Lake, Cut Yer Bars, etc) were all easily ridable. Blue trails seemed to be characterized by root/rock climbs/descents, tight switch backs, and quick changes between descents and climbs; there were also cases (out near Green Lake overlook, for instance) where Blue indicated a pretty grueling climb. For the most part, the black trails were ridable at my level -- I'm not a big trials rider so some of the stunts/playground areas were played with but had ok ride arounds (River Runs Through It).
It is hard to rate skill level, I was happily surprised with what I was comfortable with and look forward to my next visit. The key take away for me, though, is that there isn't a clear mapping of one location to another. If you are comfortable with slick rock, roots, and rapid gear changes, you will enjoy most blue trails.
Trail difficulty ratings are always a self referential thing.
If you compared Black Diamond XC trails at a trail network like Mont Sainte Anne in Quebec (like L’Arche du Boisé), they'd be roughly equivalent to a Blue XC trail in North Vancouver like Bridle Path. The red diamond XC trails at MSA (like La Basse Amazone or Le Sentier du Moulin) would be similar to a lot of the green trails like Richard Juryn/Serra's Trail on the North Shore. A Blue trail at MSA (like Les Faux plats or L’Enduro Sud) is like a public park trail here.
Spending a day with Endless Biking would give you a good idea of what North Shore trails are like and then you could use the trail ratings to get an idea of what you might want to ride on your own.
1) Burnaby Mountain. There is a well developed/.maintained trail system and It may take a day or 2. It depends on your fitness level and the available time.
2) Buntzen Lake. It is not far away from Burnaby and it is in the Port Mood/Anmore area. One of the best technical/old school cross country riding in the Burnaby/Tri-Cities area.
3) Eagle Ridge. The trail systems is on the Heritage Mountain. Full of lung busting climbs and classic Vancouver singletracks.
Also check out: Vancouver Mountain Bike Meetup (Vancouver, BC) - Meetup I am a member of that group and lots of friendly people and they will love to show you various tails in Vancouver
Pirate Race Productions
Sweet - can I potentially ride to those other trail systems from SFU?
I posted up on Meetup too, thanks
SFU is maybe a 1 hour ride (16km-ish) to Buntzen Lake or Eagle mountain. It would be the same route until you get to Ioco Road in Port Moody, and then you either head north toward Belcarra Park/Buntzen Lake or east into Coquitlam to Eagle Mt..