Advice on planning an MTB trip to BC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Advice on planning an MTB trip to BC

    Hi all,

    Th GF and I have been talking about planning our first overseas mountain bike holiday, heading over from the UK. I have been to Canada a couple of times with work and she has always wanted to go.

    I know canada is a big place and we are looking at heading over to BC to stay and get some riding in.

    The sort of riding we are looing at is more to suit my girl friend, some good mountainous XC type riding with flowy singletrack nice views, and some cheeky technical bits thrown in (for me, she can walk them!) We are not into freeride stuff, big jumps, tabletops and the likes.

    I am looking at booking with a tour company to make the most of our time there and get maximum rides in, rather than spending the first few days trailhunting and then tying to figure out our way round them.

    Due to the fact my daughter is off school during the summer months we have to look at coming over in either June 2011 or Sept 2011, when would be ther best? Dont you start getting snow in Sept? And what about daylight hours in Sept?

    Can anyone recomend any good locations & MTB tour guides, I have been looking on various sites but I find the forums a better place for impartial advice!

    I will appologise now for any stupid questions I may ask

    Cheers in advance
    Last edited by Gruffalo; 12-13-2010 at 05:22 AM.

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  3. #3
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    Cheers rockyuphill, I will sit down over the weekend when I have a better internet connection and look over the links you have posted regarding the ride reports.

    I have been having a good look at some websites and the one that sticks out for me is www.bearbackbiking.com they sem to have some good packages.

    I take it while at whistler you can follow marked trails?

  4. #4
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    There's lots of marked trails in and around Whistler...

    http://www.whistler.com/resources/pd...ike_trails.pdf

    ...the thing that a guide can do for you is make sure you don't end up on a trail that is over your comfort/skill level. Black diamond tends to mean something very different in this part of the world that any other part. Most blue trails are about equal to Black diamond trails in other more rational parts of the world.

    There's many other BC communities that have well established trail networks nearby: North Vancouver, Squamish, Merritt, Kelowna, Rossland, Nelson, Revelstoke, Golden, Salmon Arm, Fernie, Burns Lake, Hornby Island, Comox, Parksville, etc. etc. so it's mostly a matter of matching the sort of terrain and riding you want to do with the trails to pick a destination.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  5. #5
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    If you want to go with a tour guide, I'd recommend Martin at Islandmountainrides.com. MOst of his trips are in the Comox Valley.....possibly the nicest place to ride in the province when it come to trail diversity.He's a local, and can set up rides that will suit you and your Mrs very well. Most of his gigs are here on Vancouver Island, but he does hit up Hornby as well. Check out his site and send him an e-mail to get some prices. I think you'll find him quit resonable. Plus he loves the Poms Tell him Dr. Preroll sent you

  6. #6
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    Regarding when to come, June and September are both good choices. In June, the trails may still have some residual spring moisture, making them less dusty. However, June can be wet and cool. September is often one of the best months of the year because it is often sunny, but not as hot as July and August. In September the trails can be quite dry and dusty if the summer has been dry. As for daylight hours, you should find it to be similar to your home in the UK. Whistler, for example, is about the same latitude as Penzance in Cornwall. Most of the famous coastal BC riding is south of that. As for snow, you wont have to worry about that. Coastal BC is usually snow free year-round. Even Whistler operates its bike park until mid October. It is presently 11C here in Victoria.

    I think the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island would be a good choice for what you want to do. The views from the trail networks are as great as the trails themselves. Check out the pictures from the BC Bike Race to get an idea what the riding is like. There are many other great places as well.

  7. #7
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    June has better daylight, but many trails will still be under snow at that time. Also...bugs are typically at their worst. There's usually a bit more deadfall around at this time as well.

    September the days are shorter, but the alpine is at it's best and the bugs are usually over at this point.

    You can get snow at any time, but you shouldn't see any significant amounts (ie - sticking to the ground in increments of feet rather than inches) until late October.

    In general, try to spend a few days in each area. Doing two whole weeks in Whistler is a bit silly, but then so it trying to ride a new area every day. There's literally thousands of great trails in BC, so there's no way that you'll be able to ride them all, but at the same time you gotta get out and see more than just one place.

  8. #8
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    Many great options

    I'd agree with everyone that you've got many great options here in BC. Both June and September will provide you with access to the vast majority of areas, with the likelihood of slightly drier conditions in September.

    Martin at Island Mountain Rides led a group of us on a fantastic tour this last September, covering a number of great areas on Vancouver Island. A recent article in Mountain Bike UK, describing a tour led by Martin, closed by saying "after sampling the goods of Vancouver Island it's hard to think of a more ideal place to ride. Is this mountain bike heaven?" - pretty good testimonial if you ask me!

    If you want to see some of the riding and xc trails in the various communities we hit, check out our website for videos. A new site is being launched this weekend with a few new videos, if you're interested.

    All the best,
    Tom Skinner
    www.bcbikerace.com

  9. #9
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    Cheers for all the replies, its been a massive help, at the weekend i can sit down and do a bit more planning from all the above info. vancouve island is sounding nice, I will check out the website Tom.

    It will more than likely be September on us heading out and going by what has been written, probably the best time to go.

    I have managed to find cheaper flights with Canadian affair.com so thats a bonus.

    Well, I have plenty to be going with. cheers all, but please keep the avice coming, I really appreciate it!

  10. #10
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    My advice is to avoid Nelson if you are looking for XC - my buddy almost ended up a relationship with his wife by taking her there, very technical and oriented towards bigger bikes.
    For XCish singletrack riding, I'd go with Vancouver Island (Cumberland/Comox area), Whistler, Rossland & Fernie are awesome for plentiful easily accessible trails, Kelowna, Merrit etc. One option could be flying to Calgary, renting a car and working your way out to the Island and Whistler and then working your way back.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinS
    One option could be flying to Calgary, renting a car and working your way out to the Island and Whistler and then working your way back.
    I like that idea, will look it up too.

    I can start planning this again now xmas is over with.

  12. #12
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    This page has a list of trails in the Squamish area along with many videos of the trails. This might help give you a sense of what you've got available.

    http://www.tourismsquamish.com/what-...ountain-biking
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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