Bike Season in BC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike Season in BC

    how long is the bike season in BC {when does it start/finish}and where would be the best place to live with work yet good trails nearish

    not just bike park stuff but trail riding also

    recently moved to Calgary and I'm finding the 9 month winter a bit heavy going tbh, originally from the UK so not scared of mud but thick snow is no fun

    cheers
    Lee

  2. #2
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    This year on the coast there's been no snow to complicate riding. Last winter there was 4' of snow everywhere from December to February (1 in 14 year winter). The Vancouver area is the mildest spot in Canada (also one of the most expensive to live in).
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 02-10-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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    if on the coast are there plenty of accessible trails?
    doubt we could afford to live in Vancouver tbh

  4. #4
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    Lots of stuff in North Vancouver, although some of it tends to be run towards the technical... and Squamish is a 45 minute drive for epic XC riding, and some minutely less pricey real estate.

    There are also lots of trails on the Sunshine Coast (ferry ride away) and some small but bustling communities (Powell River and Gibson's Landing).

    There are trails readily accessible in Coquitlam and Port Moody up the valley a bit, slightly less pricey real estate.

    Over on Vancouver Island there's Victoria and area if you're in a business that's government related. Or up Island in the Nanaimo to Parksville area, there's many trails that are part of the BC Bike Race.
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    We're riding in the Okanagan right now. The girls rode a 15km trail yesterday.

    Although usually it's only good from late March to early December.

  6. #6
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    We're riding all over on Vancouver Island, this year, and we only had about 3 weeks last year
    we got shut down from snow. Out weather on the south island is a bit more mild than Vancouver.
    We have less rain, warmer temps, more sun and less Prius drivers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kauaibullit
    ...and less Prius drivers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnySmoke

    Although usually it's only good from late March to early December.
    them dates sound better than mid June to 1st week of September

    some research required this year then to find a place we would like to live, then talk the missus round and its plain sailing

    cheers
    lee

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    In Victoria we ride all year around. We may get a freak snowstorm...but it NEVER lasts. I was out in my t-shirt and shorts last week...it was awesome.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee p
    them dates sound better than mid June to 1st week of September

    some research required this year then to find a place we would like to live, then talk the missus round and its plain sailing

    cheers
    lee
    Seriously?
    HTFU! Mtn biking season in Calgary is April - November, and occasionally February - December.

  11. #11
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    Seriously?
    HTFU! Mtn biking season in Calgary is April - November, and occasionally February - December.

    Yeah, but you're still stuck living in Calgary.

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    this year it was June before a lot of the white stuff had gone{inc Fernie} and it snowed again 1st week September which never seemed to shift from Kanaskis which made me stop trying by the end of Sept, yes I can play about a bit in town but thats not what I'm talking about I'm wanting to ride actual trails for as long as possible

    maybe this was a freak year?

  13. #13
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    It was an El Nino year which means warm and wet on the coast and that will mean more moisture makes it over the mountains to fall as snow on the East slopes. It has been much less snowy in recent years in Calgary compared to what it was like before I moved out to the coast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee p
    them dates sound better than mid June to 1st week of September

    some research required this year then to find a place we would like to live, then talk the missus round and its plain sailing

    cheers
    lee
    Living anywhere in the lower mailand you are an hour away MAX from good trail riding except for Whistler /Squamish area. There are many places to live at a reasonable price not far from downtown Vancouver. If you are looking to buy it is costly, but to simply rent it isn;t that bad.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kauaibullit
    Yeah, but you're still stuck living in Calgary.
    I'll take the annual 200+ days of sun over 200+ days of rain, thanks.

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    I rode in my shorts and t-shirt again today on Vancouver Island. How's that snow treating you. :P

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I'll take the annual 200+ days of sun over 200+ days of rain, thanks.
    I don't live in Vancouver...try Vancouver island at about 1/3 the rainfall.

    I hate snow.

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    There's a reason they shoot all those vampire movies here in Vancouver, it's easy to find extras who don't need makeup.
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    I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the whole snow thing. I lived in Vancouver for a while, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to spend another winter there. The Island is a lot drier, but it's almost as depressing. Nice places to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I'll take the annual 200+ days of sun over 200+ days of rain, thanks.
    Calgary can get 300+ days of sun and living in the Interior of BC right now, I can tell you I miss the sun. It may be warmer in BC but the lack of sun gets really depressing in the winter and spring. It's a trade off for sure.

  21. #21
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    The lack of sun is the only reason anyone can hold a job out here, otherwise you'd be out playing hooky all the time.
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  22. #22
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    The lack of sun is the only reason anyone can hold a job out here, otherwise you'd be out playing hooky all the time.

    What does the sun have to do with it?

    Surfing the last two days, I'm sun burnt and too tired to surf today. Bike ride tomorrow maybe?
    We had a really sunny winter last year, this year had a bit of rain, but nice and warm (high 40's
    low 50's). There hasn't been one day this year that the weather would have prevented me from
    surfing, riding my bike, going for a hike (you have to wear a coat and boots to stop you from
    freezing to death, no different wearing a rain coat...oh, except you won't die), the fishing has
    been fantastic. I live in Sooke, we get 60 inches of rain a year, not too bad considering where
    I lived in Kauai I got 86".





    To the OP, it comes down to what you want to do. If you want the most snow in the ski hills
    we have it (Whistler and Mount Washington), if you want to fish year around we have it, if
    you want to ride your bike and not worry about freezing to death before help arrives if you get
    hurt in the winter this is the place, if you want to SCUBA (some of the best in the world) year
    around we got it, if you want to hike in the mountains without driving across flat prairies for
    hours on end we have it, if you want to surf or windsurf we have it.


    Look at this and compare the two:
    Victoria-
    http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc....ls=&StnId=121&

    Calgary-
    http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc....s=&StnId=2205&

    For me it was a no brainer.

  23. #23
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    The lack of sun doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything, it can just get a little depressing sometimes. I used to live in Calgary and really liked the sunny days but I prefer BC because of the obvious advantage the province has with outdoor activities.

    I never had to drive across the prairies for hours when I wanted to get my mountain fix in Calgary either. The closest trail head from my place in NW Calgary was only thirty five minutes away. If you can't live in a mountain town, Calgary is the next best place.

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    thanks for all your input guys, it all boils down to really missing my bike at the moment, coming from the UK you can ride all year so being stuck to a cold commute at 4.45 am is a bit crappy in comparison, maybe I need a road trip to perk me up

  25. #25
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    Not to rub it in, but this is what the trails look like less than 12km away from the Winter Olympics snowboard/freestyle venue at Cypress Mountain... and pretty much like in Squamish right now too
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-2010_0124new0024.jpg  

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  26. #26
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    We ride all year in Victoria and most of Vancouver Island. The only thing that makes it harder to ride are the early evenings. Riding in the wet is great. You really learn how to pick your line and you don't overheat. I even miss the damp soil when summer comes. My favorite ride from last summer was A River Runs Through It in Whistler during an unexpected downpour.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Not to rub it in, but this is what the trails look like less than 12km away from the Winter Olympics snowboard/freestyle venue at Cypress Mountain... and pretty much like in Squamish right now too
    Ugh! That does not look like a trail anymore!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by telebiker
    Ugh! That does not look like a trail anymore!

    I'm sure it gets real fun when it's wet.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kauaibullit
    I'm sure it gets real fun when it's wet.

    It is the North Shore, I swear the roots get grippier in the wet.

  30. #30
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    This is what that section of trail looks like from the other direction. The gnarly barked tree on left in this one, is the one on the right in that previous shot.

    If you're running a grippy enough tire at a low enough pressure, the roots are manageable.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-2010_0124new0023.jpg  

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  31. #31
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    For the Shore, that's pretty loamy, dry, and smooth. Usually it looks more like:


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    Just started biking in the Kamloops area... One of the sunniest cities in Kamloops, but can be pretty hot. This year, guys have been riding since February, although usually it would be March I would think. The snow hasn't really started falling 'till about the end of October or into November (if that) for the last few years, so the season is pretty long.

    The trails here are numerous and right out your back door from almost anywhere in the city! Great singletrack, awesome fast fire roads, tricky and/or fast downhills, and lost of traversing opportunities for the XC rider (myself).

    I actually commute to work 15kms, and most of that (10kms) is on trails. Can't beat that kind of commute! Not many get to spend 2 hours a day mountain biking and still be home for supper and spend time with the family!

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    Seeing as we are on the topic of BC........ can anyone tell me if there is any guidebook covering the good MTB trails in Vancouver Island?

    The gf folks live at willis point and I noticed a couple of riders heading down to the bite...... Is this trail a good starting point for the next time I am visiting (and take my bike)

    Cheers

  34. #34
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    A friend of mine used to live at Willis Point, there were a few trails that were ridable in that area, some quite steep, and some trails over near the land fill (lots of Scotch Broom to contend with), and you could find your way to the nearby Mt.Work/Hartland riding area. That was more than a few years ago now, so development may have changed access. I can tell you that it's never a good idea to roll through a puddle where you can't see the bottom, sometimes they can be very very deep.

    http://www.crd.bc.ca/maps/printable/...eapwillispoint
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    There are good maps available at bike shops and online. The best Vancouver Island riding is in the Comox Valley and there are maps here http://www.cvmtb.com/ and at local shops.

    For the Victoria area, you can get the Harland map at stores. Maps for Sooke are here http://vimb.com/?page_id=122

    There are no official maps for Willis Point. I have some of my GPS tracks saved as maps, but I cant seem to upload anything to MTBR posts.

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    Thanks for the info guys

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    Come play in the Shuswap

    I'm going to nominate Salmon Arm as a great place to ride. There is a network of trails in town that will give you lots to ride. If you drive 10 minutes south there are trails called "South Canoe" where this May 16th 400 racers will race in the 10th annual "Salty Dog 6 Hour Enduro." It's a real family affair, it's sold out but is fun to watch. Drive another 15 minutes north and you have the "Rubber Head" network of trails. A lot of it has been reworked and developed in the last couple of years and is awesome. There is a vidio of them on Pink Bike. Speaking of Pink Bike last year my wife and I had the pleasure of riding with two pink bike reps on the "Over the Top Ride" which is 35 km with great views of Shuswap Lake. Also vidio on Pink Bike. Salmon Arm is home to the Shuswap Trail Alliance who are dedicated to building 400 kms of trail around the Shuswap. If you like to build trails I'm sure they have a shovel for you

    If you want to range a little further (25 min) there are kms of trail at the local cross country area. Revelstoke, Vernon and Kamloops are each an hour away and all offer great riding. Better mention that the LBS that sponsors the Salty Dog had their first race in Revelstoke last year, (Stoked to be Spanked) and was awesome. I believe it is on again in July.

    One more thing. BEER at the local brew pub every Wedensday after the group ride

    Cheers,
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    Yeahhh, Barley Station.

    And I agree, the biking in SA is not too shabby, although it keeps a pretty low profile. I've been riding for at least a month now. But not a lot of employment here if one is looking for work.

    And to the OP, sorry about your misfortune (living in Calgary).

  39. #39
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    I'll happily chime in to recommend the Salmon Arm/North Okanagan as well. Excellent riding, long season and a dedicated and experienced group of trail builders and riders. I'm in Vernon and we've had regular group rides 3 or so times a week since the beginning of March and we'll be riding into November. I did the Seven Summits near Rossland last year (an IMBA "epic ride") and have to say that I enjoy the Larch Hills Traverse between Salmon Arm and Sicamous just as much if not more.

  40. #40
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    Honestly I am a little disappoint whenever I ride in Salmon Arm. The trails they have are good, but until the last year there hasn't been that much construction of new trails. It seems a lot of the other BC communities have been better at getting organized and building a large trail network.

    IMHO you are better off to go to Revelstoke and ride. it has probably the best XC trail net work in the interior.

    I haven't done the traverse yet, but I hear it is a great a trail. I tried to do it last weekend but there was still snow at the 1000m mark.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    Calgary can get 300+ days of sun and living in the Interior of BC right now, I can tell you I miss the sun. It may be warmer in BC but the lack of sun gets really depressing in the winter and spring. It's a trade off for sure.
    yeah, for sure...there definitely are some differences. there is also that "boxed in" feeling in the winter when every direction outta town is a mountain pass. plus the fact that living on the eastern edge of the pacific time zone means losing basically an hour of light at night compared to east kootenays/alberta.

    to the OP, yeah the winters are long in Calgary, so you better adjust...riding the pathways all year to work kept me sane, although it's pretty tough sometimes...now that i'm back in BC (Trail), i'll miss that, as here there is no pathway system in the first place, and riding the highways in winter isn't really safe.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcolin
    yeah, for sure...there definitely are some differences. there is also that "boxed in" feeling in the winter when every direction outta town is a mountain pass. plus the fact that living on the eastern edge of the pacific time zone means losing basically an hour of light at night compared to east kootenays/alberta.

    to the OP, yeah the winters are long in Calgary, so you better adjust...riding the pathways all year to work kept me sane, although it's pretty tough sometimes...now that i'm back in BC (Trail), i'll miss that, as here there is no pathway system in the first place, and riding the highways in winter isn't really safe.

    It snowed a foot in Calgary yesterday.

    Does more need to be said?

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    yeah, my wife still lives there for a couple more weeks...haha

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    It snowed a foot in Calgary yesterday.

    Does more need to be said?
    I was in Nelson yesterday and it was snowing, hailing sleet, raining, with sunny periods through out the day. The summit pass got a couple of inches of snow two days ago. Supposed to start raining again this week. Tis that time of year I guess.

  45. #45
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    Okanagan singletrack. Kalamalka Park near Vernon this afternoon. 18 degrees, perfect.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-uploada.jpg  


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    How do I delete a post?

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    doesn't bc mean bring cash?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208
    doesn't bc mean bring cash?
    Only if you want to have fun!

  49. #49
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    Unless the anti-HST crowd gets their petition through, you'll need to bring 7% more cash for anything bike related after July 1/2010. Bike parts, the Bike Park admission and a whole raft of things that were PST exempt will be taxable.
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    I'm glad you all offered some input into this thread, such a huge country compared to where I'm from so didn't know where to start, after some of the things said on here and talking to some of the boys at work I want to do a couple of trips to the Okanagan valley with the family over the Summer.

    It wasn't meant as a Calgary bashing thread by the way, its just we have moved such a long way it would be a shame to not explore other options

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the whole snow thing. I lived in Vancouver for a while, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to spend another winter there. The Island is a lot drier, but it's almost as depressing. Nice places to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there...
    Hows the weather been this spring for ya?

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    Some photos from a ride in Squamish on March 6 this year... just after the summer Olympics were done. These trails were at 215-400m elevation.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-2010_0306new0004.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0306new0006.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0306new0021.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0306new0028.jpg  

    Last edited by rockyuphill; 05-15-2010 at 06:22 AM.
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  53. #53
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    Nice, almost looked like sunshine...but of course we don't get any of that. LOL

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    That's all Hollywood sunshine, there's a 10kw Fresnel on a crane just out of the frame.

    There definitely are a lot of days that look like this
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-2010_0403new0006.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0404new0008.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0409new0020.jpg  

    Bike Season in BC-2010_0328new0005.jpg  

    Last edited by rockyuphill; 05-14-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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  55. #55
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    One nice thing about Harbourview and Broomhill is that we don't have the puddle issue when
    it rains. But we don't have much in the way of dirt as it's mostly rock. LOL

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    The amusing irony is, where it puddles like that, the water is usually less than 3" deep, because it only puddles on rock or hardpan. And the mud looks like mud, but there's almost no soil in it, it's more like compost or peat moss when it dries..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike Season in BC-2010_0308new0004.jpg  

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  57. #57
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    Oh, I know that well enough.
    We went to Fromme and Seymour last month for a day of riding after it had rained there for
    over a week straight. Still a bit slimy though https://www.pinkbike.com/video/135057/ (Lorien
    flying down the hill).
    Our day:https://www.vimb.com/bboard/viewtopic.php?p=38977#38977


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    Quote Originally Posted by lee p
    It wasn't meant as a Calgary bashing thread by the way, its just we have moved such a long way it would be a shame to not explore other options
    what do you do for a living? that's pretty important...it's not always easy to relocate to bc because it's pretty hurtin in some sectors. The government is letting people go, and some resource/environmental folks are having a hell of a time finding decent work (West Kootenays). A lot of positions out here rely on the government in some way.

    Speaking from experience it took awhile finding work out here (software development, gis development now for local electrical utility)...for me it was a multi-year plan - pay off mortgage in Calgary, go to school in bc for gis, get co-op in area, find contacts, find job.

    good luck...you won't regret it

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcolin
    what do you do for a living? that's pretty important...it's not always easy to relocate to bc because it's pretty hurtin in some sectors.

    heavy duty mechanic

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