Quick trip to Canada - Must ride list?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Quick trip to Canada - Must ride list?

    I am travelling from Sydney to upstate New York in June 2019 for a wedding and am keen to make the most of being on that side of the world by getting some down(hill) time in Canada.

    Time will be a challenge, i'll probably only have 3 days worth of riding depending on how much travel is involved.

    What would you say are the must ride locations for amazing scenery and fun rides?

    Is whistler a clear winner? or should I consider somewhere else... Banff?
    If there is anything further east it would be more convenient.

  2. #2
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    Where in upstate NY?

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    North Brach. A couple of hours north west of New York City I think

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    Are you talking about DH specific riding, as in resort and shuttle riding, or cross country? If the former, there really is a clear winner - Whistler. If you are talking about trail riding, it is not so easy.

    I believe I have spent a reasonable amount of time now biking in every one of Canada’s mountain biking destinations. Most recently I went on an extended Western Canada swing late last summer and covered a lot of ground and regions.

    I love the Whistler/Squamish/Pemberton area. But I also feel that my own back yard is home to some of the best riding Canada has to offer. Plus the city itself (Calgary) is a world class destination (as is Vancouver).

    I posted this in another thread:

    On a side note, LyNx, I just completed another Western Canada bike trip. It made me (again) appreciate how good Calgary is. West Bragg Creek and Moose Mountain each alone have significantly more riding (more diverse, and more trails) than MANY other ENTIRE areas. And that is just scratching the surface. Some of the stuff off Moose (and Razor's) has as much gnar as anyone could possibly want.

    https://mmbts.com/trails/

    Trail Maps – GBCTA – Volunteer Trails Assoc.

    Add to that all of the various sub-regions of Kananaskis Country (Prairieview/Jewell/Razor's Edge/Baldy area, Cox/Jumpingpound area, Powderface area and others), plus Canmore (including the Canmore Nordic Centre), Banff (including Minnewanka and the Tunnel Mountain network) and even Canada Olympic Park if you want some lift assisted stuff, all of which are within an hour of my driveway, and Fernie and Golden, which are both within striking distance (2.5 hours for each) and yeah, Calgary is an incredibly under-rated biking epicentre.

    https://www.albertaparks.ca/media/39...trails-map.pdf

    And 95% of my daily commute from the extreme west side of Calgary to downtown, is on one of two car-free bike paths (one on each side of the Bow River), with a decent 5 minute twisty downhill dirt blast in the middle that's a great eye opener each morning.

    https://www.visitcalgary.com/story/1...ays-in-calgary

    Don't overlook the riding in the Calgary area - it's awesome - stay a while. Hang with the Structure Bike gang. I'll buy you a beer.

    EDIT: coincidentally, from today. This is only scratching the surface...maybe 1% at best of the local riding:

    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/east-of-...mountains.html

    And then there is this:

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/lifest...orld-1.4051997

    Here is a pic from Prairieview - the trailhead is 35 minutes from my driveway:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Quick trip to Canada - Must ride list?-8cc4c455-f1a4-4c35-b5be-a2d8483026be.jpg  


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob2gnarly View Post
    North Brach. A couple of hours north west of New York City I think

    If you only have 3 days to ride, and are only a few hours north of New York city that puts you rather far from Canada. I'd have some much more logistically practical places you'd be better off with.

    Are looking at real lift assist DH? I assume you'd be renting a DH bike?

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    flights actually work out really well to come home via Vancouver.
    I could fly in to Vancouver early on the monday and wouldn't need to fly out until late Thursday night.

    So that would give me 2.5 days of riding time at whistler and would be the same amount of flying as if I were to head home from New York.

    Thinking about other areas is giving me FOMO for whistler...

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    Yeah I was going to say, if you fly through Vancouver (direct flight to Sydney), that’s a no-brainer. If you want to chairlifts, Whistler is your spot. If you want to pedal, check out Squamish or Pemberton (Pemberton is usually still good in June, but skip it if the weather has turned hot and dusty). North Van is also worth a ride if you’re in the neck of the woods.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob2gnarly View Post
    flights actually work out really well to come home via Vancouver.
    I could fly in to Vancouver early on the monday and wouldn't need to fly out until late Thursday night.

    So that would give me 2.5 days of riding time at whistler and would be the same amount of flying as if I were to head home from New York.

    Thinking about other areas is giving me FOMO for whistler...

    Well then... if you've got the opportunity to hit up BC - go for it !!!!

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    Depends what you like... Banff doesn't have a lift. BC has everything you could ever want to ride, but BC is big. You mentioned that you wanted to ride downhill, so Whistler would sound like the obvious choice (I'm assuming you have a downhill bike). It's also within 30 minutes to an hour of some great shuttle runs. But, Whistler is often very busy, the braking bumps are god awful and the resort in general is very touristy. Some people love it, some people don't. Some other places to look into would be - Coast Gravity Park, Valemount, Silverstar or Retallack.

    If you have a trail bike the options are unlimited. Top 2 picks tho:

    Fly into Vancouver - Day 1 in Vancouver, Day 2 in Squamish, Day 3 in Whistler.
    OR
    Fly into Calgary - Day 1 in Banff, Day 2 at Kicking Horse, Day 3 in Revelstoke (lots of driving tho)

    And to top off my long ass comment... Many people don't realize that upstate new york has a ton of good riding especially in the area surrounding Lake Placid. Plus, it's a stones throw from Vermont, which is like the BC of the Northeast USA.

  10. #10
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    Some weird ass suggestions in this thread. Just do this: VVVVVVVVV

    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Yeah I was going to say, if you fly through Vancouver (direct flight to Sydney), that’s a no-brainer. If you want to chairlifts, Whistler is your spot. If you want to pedal, check out Squamish or Pemberton (Pemberton is usually still good in June, but skip it if the weather has turned hot and dusty). North Van is also worth a ride if you’re in the neck of the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    Some weird ass suggestions in this thread...
    Oh yeah? Do tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Oh yeah? Do tell.
    I've ridden at most of these places (and they all have great riding), but I've also driven to/between all of them. There is no way you're visiting Canada for the first time for three days of riding and going to (for example) Valemount. You will spend more time driving than riding, and they don't even run the shuttle on the days OP is in town!

    Doing the Sea-to-Sky gives you the most bang for your buck and is the obvious choice, that's why everyone does it. Whistler will not be super busy midweek June. Is there arguably better riding elsewhere? Sure, but do that when you've got two weeks.

    My favourite riding destination in BC is Williams Lake, but I'm not going to suggest anyone does that with three days on the clock.

    /rant

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    I've ridden at most of these places (and they all have great riding), but I've also driven to/between all of them. There is no way you're visiting Canada for the first time for three days of riding and going to (for example) Valemount. You will spend more time driving than riding, and they don't even run the shuttle on the days OP is in town!

    Doing the Sea-to-Sky gives you the most bang for your buck and is the obvious choice, that's why everyone does it. Whistler will not be super busy midweek June. Is there arguably better riding elsewhere? Sure, but do that when you've got two weeks.

    My favourite riding destination in BC is Williams Lake, but I'm not going to suggest anyone does that with three days on the clock.

    /rant
    Makes perfect sense to me. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    You need more than 3 days . Whistler/squamish may be a good idea if you want like 1 day on the hill and 2 more on trails.

    You could spend all summer just doing BC

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    Alright I've booked flights in the post christmas sales... And given time restriction for being on the continent the best I've managed is to arrive in whistler around 4pm on a Sunday and leave Tuesday night... pretty sad, but not sure i'll ever get back to that part of the world so better than nothing.

    So now to get a bucketlist of specific trails so I don't spend too much time wandering around.

    Crank it up looks to be my sweet spot of difficulty at the moment... see if I can work my way up to A-Line before June

    I do need to get to a wedding the following weekend, so crabapple hits might not be a good idea...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob2gnarly View Post
    Alright I've booked flights in the post christmas sales... And given time restriction for being on the continent the best I've managed is to arrive in whistler around 4pm on a Sunday and leave Tuesday night... pretty sad, but not sure i'll ever get back to that part of the world so better than nothing.

    So now to get a bucketlist of specific trails so I don't spend too much time wandering around.

    Crank it up looks to be my sweet spot of difficulty at the moment... see if I can work my way up to A-Line before June

    I do need to get to a wedding the following weekend, so crabapple hits might not be a good idea...
    Lots of time to plan, there's a lot of trails besides crank it up and A line haha. Your bucket list depends on your skill level, but I'd suggest people who are decent mountain bikers but new to dh/park style stuff just try tick off all the blue trails especially b line, ninja cougar, karate monkey, samurai pizza cat, ho chi min, funshine Rolly drops, smoke n mirrors, blueseum, devils club, crank it up. Seems like a long list but some of those are short ones that link together. Those are all fun but not crazy, could be hard to you depends what you're used to. Those are all on the Fitz lift, depending when in June you are here garbanzo lift and creekside gondola could be open too. There could be some new trails by June we'll see.

    The bike park is open to 8pm at that time of year so you'll be able to ride till your arms and hands can't take it anymore. Not sure if you're travelling with a bike, or with a rental car, just staying in Whistler lapping the park as much as possible in your short trip is good.

    But maybe you want to try to get a trail ride outside of the park too. Could tie in squamish on the way in or out, or do a quick trail ride in Whistler.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    You could spend all summer just doing BC
    I've lived here my whole life and there's still places I need to check out!

  18. #18
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    I'd recommend driving to Quebec city and riding Mont Saint Anne. It has plenty for 2-3 days of riding. BKXC has couple of vids on YT from last summer from over there.

    Bromont (south of Montreal) is even closer, could be OK for one day as well.

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