where to ride in Vancouver island and surrounding areas
I'm taking a trip up to Canada this summer.I plan on going to Vancouver Island, but if the trails are much better inland then I would much rather go there if it truly is better as far as conditions and trails go. I simply do not know a whole lot about where to ride. I am planning on focusing this trip around mountain biking, however I truly know nothing of trail conditions and the best time of summer to ride. I would love to go to some towns that have a lot of different trails in the area to ride to reduce travel time searching for trails. I have a Norco Range 3. It is a 160mm travel frame with 160mm forks. I do a lot of all mountain riding and a little freeride. I can do basic hips and jumps with gaps of 6-8 feet. So although I am not a complete newb, I am nowhere near expert level riding. I've heard a lot of the 'fabeled' North Shore riding, and would love to check it out. Any recommendations would be great! Again, looking for towns to be able to go to lots of riding spots. I am going to be going to different towns, but I would like to visit trail riding hot-spots.
I plan on getting a Garmin 705 Edge or some sort of GPS to load up with a 8 gig Micro SD that I've already got. Also planing on checking out the Locals Guide to North Shore Rides
Last edited by ehigh; 06-14-2011 at 08:50 PM.
slaving away in paradise
I'll take a stab, on the island:
Sooke, fairly new trail system, but you do earn your turns. There's Harbourview and Broome.
HV has mostly technical with lots of rocks and some fast flowy sections. Broome has more of
a freeride feel to it with more jumps and stuff, but tons of ride arounds. The views from the top
are some of the best anywhere. Also, Heartland is only 1/2 hr away with some really fun trails, but
limited in scope depending on your fitness.
A couple hrs north you have Prevost (shuttle) and the Zoo (mount Tzouhalem) both with some
really fun trails. Prevost has mostly DH style trails that are really fast and on any weekend before
they shut it down to cars (it gets really dry there by late July), and the Zoo has tons of variety
with some good views from the top.
There's Cumberland and Forbidden plateau further north with Mount Washington (lift biking)
all within spitting distance from each other. Also, there's Port Alberni and Gold River etc.
Mount Washington has been getting better every year, but I fear it may be a while before
they can open this year as it's June and there's probably still 10' of snow in the hill (they got
the most snow of anywhere on the planet this year, something like 30').
Try http://www.vimb.com/bboard/index.php forum for the south island information (lots of
people on there) and http://cvmtb.com/ for the Comox area.
In summary, there is lots of riding on the island with mostly earn-your-turn kind of riding.
The North Shore has three main mountains, with a very developed trail network and some
very dedicated trail builders. Be ready for some very technical riding though. Try http://www.gutsploder.net/
for some good maps and pictures and http://bb.nsmb.com/ for their forum.
Whistler is a great destination, there's the resort with enough trails to last a speed junky
for a couple weeks. Some say they get bored after a few days, but two weeks isn't enough
for me, but it depends what level riding you can do. If you're really good you might get bored
and if you can only hit the blue runs you also might get bored. But it really is Disneyland
for bikers for me. There's also a ton of riding outside the park if you want some more AM
type stuff, with, Pemberton and Squamish just a few minutes drive north or south with tons
If you think what I wrote was vague, it's because the island as well as the mainland has so
much riding it would take a few books to cover them all (and there are a few books).
Maybe decide on what else you want to do besides riding and that would make us giving
you advice a bit easier. Otherwise, all you're going to get is peoples opinions of their favorite
spots which will mostly be their hometown riding areas, North Shore peeps going to say
the NS is the best, where it started, you haven't ridden unless..., and others are going to
say Whistler is the best (my favorite), others yet are going to say their hometown (Comox
boys got lots to be proud of as does us guys here in Sooke and Victoria.
So, what else do you want to do? Party? Vancouver or Victoria is your place (even there
people are going to differ). Hiking? Yeah, everywhere here has that too.
ehigh - read this - its a good summary of riding opportunities in central Vancouver Island
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