Kelowna/Penticton BC.... Why no buzz here?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Kelowna/Penticton BC.... Why no buzz here?

    Or have I just not noticed? I just read the feature on these areas in the new Bike and it looks like some awesome singletrack. Nice to see Bike doing stuff about the kind of riding I love.

    Anyone here familiar with the trails mentioned?
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  2. #2
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    I've done all of the KVR, but haven't ridden the other trails mentioned in the article. Maybe this summer...

    KVR info:
    http://www.planet.eon.net/~dan/

    For a BC trail book, this one is good, "Mountain Biking British Columbia"

    http://www.whistlerbooks.com/shop/de...sub=27&item=84



    You might also want to ask on the Western Canada board.

  3. #3
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    krob - the north shore gets all the hype. Those who know Kelowna and Penticton know to go there.

    Craig - that Mountainbiking in BC book is beyond bad. Its inaccurate, the descriptions are dated and the maps are wrong. Even the paper is too scratchy to use for ass-wipe

  4. #4
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    Any suggestions on better guide books for BC?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Any suggestions on better guide books for BC?
    Nothing is good right now. The province is so big that its impossible to get one together. Most of that info is in my head and Smoke's head

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    If you go here, http://www.rdos.bc.ca/d_ls_trails_search.htm There are tons of trails in the area around Penticton. Some are just hiking trails and some are Bike trails etc. But most of the local trails are listed on this site. The riding is nice in the sparse Ponderosa pine forests of the valley and when you climb into the higher elevations it gets a bit thicker. There are a few shuttle routes that drop approx 3000 feet which are really fun to ride. Lots of stunts are showing up on the trails to feed the need to go crazy.

    I haven't checked out the magazine yet, but I hear the article is written by a local bike shop guy.

  7. #7
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    Wasn't that a great article?

    The writing and photos were vintage Bike, evoking the glory days of the magazine when it was all about the experience of riding singletrack in beautiful places with your friends.

    I've been living and riding in the Okanagan for about 10 years and I really feel like it's an undiscovered gem for people who love trails. There are shuttle rides with jumps, stunts and drops, but they're outnumbered ten to one by great networks of singletrack.

    You asked, "why no buzz?" There are probably lots of reasons, but here are a few:
    • I suspect that the riding scene itself isn't big enough to generate much publicity, and it's distributed up and down the valley with no real center
    • It's a different kind of riding than people associate with BC -- drier, less vertical, more cross-country oriented, mellower terrain, not well signed or mapped
    • People come here for wine, beaches, fruit, skiing, or to visit their retired relatives...and perhaps don't bring their bikes along because they aren't aware of the riding
    • Employment -- it's a tourism and retirement region that doesn't support much employment for young riders, so when they're done high school, they move to Vancouver for work or university
    • The forest fires in Kelowna pretty much wiped out the South Slopes, which had three or four distinct riding areas -- you can still ride there, but it's grim
    • It seems like there's been a major shift in the cycling scene here, where most of the older trail hounds switched to road bikes, and the younger kids use their "shore hardtails" and FS rigs mostly for jumping off curbs or getting shuttles to the few hardcore trails with stunts...which leaves fewer people around to maintain, develop and promote "regular" trails.
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  8. #8
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    The riding is awsome in the OK. The lack of hype also has to do with the lack of attitude, or lesser attitude. After moving to K-town from Van and Whistler I really noticed a huge diff in how riders acted, and interacted with eachother. Over the years a bit more of the goof factor and "Dude, you suck, I rule" crap has emerged but nowhere like the coast.

    We have killer single track, sick, sick, built stuff, awsome laid back stuff, and several great ski resorts catering to gravity like Apex, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks, and of course 5 1/2 hours to Whistler for a once a year attitude fix!

    Ya, a lot of burnt trails too.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by headspacej
    The writing and photos were vintage Bike, evoking the glory days of the magazine when it was all about the experience of riding singletrack in beautiful places with your friends.

    I've been living and riding in the Okanagan for about 10 years and I really feel like it's an undiscovered gem for people who love trails. There are shuttle rides with jumps, stunts and drops, but they're outnumbered ten to one by great networks of singletrack.
    Thanks for the report. The fact that it's less well known is OK (in fact, preferable) for me.

    What's the riding season like? The article said it was warmer and dryer than most places in BC. When's the the best time to visit? It sounds like I'd need to hook up with locals to find some of the best stuff.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  10. #10
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    Those stunts are amazing!

    I ride a lot of technical trails & some DH resorts & I can't imagine hitting a gap like that. I crash some of my jumps & man is that 2nd jump make or break. How bad do some of your riders get injured up there? I would hate to come up short on that. Thanks for the pics.

  11. #11
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    This site has most of the standard tourist type stuff you would be looking for:

    http://www.thompsonokanagan.com/

    Kelowna weather stats (actually, the airport is half way in between Kelowna & Vernon):
    http://www.weather.ca/weather/stats/...1.htm?CABC0149

    Penticton weather stats (airport is right on the South end of town):
    http://www.weather.ca/weather/stats/...3.htm?CABC0218

  12. #12
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    Decent riding season...

    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    What's the riding season like? The article said it was warmer and dryer than most places in BC. When's the the best time to visit? It sounds like I'd need to hook up with locals to find some of the best stuff.
    We were riding into late December last year (which is a bit later than usual), and that photo I posted above was from the end of February, so it's not usually a very long winter. Trails at higher elevations tend to lose their snow later in March or early April. It's hot and dry between July and mid-September, when many trails turn to powder dust and you want to be ending your ride in the lake. October and May are my personal favourites.

    I was riding in the Three Blind Mice area near Penticton/Naramata this afternoon, one of the spots featured in the article -- it's beautiful in there, with rushing creeks, huge old-growth trees and a fantastic network of very sweet singletrack with mellow climbs and swooping descents. I'd definitely recommend it for singletrack fiends. Nothing hardcore for the freerider set, but there are fine places nearby for them too.

    Lots of decent shops in the valley who don't seem to be stingy with trail advice -- Freedom Bikes and The Bike Barn in Penticton, Gerick's or Kelowna Cycle in Kelowna. They should be able to hook you up with the right locals for the type of riding you want to do. Westbank has a couple of awesome rides too -- haven't heard much about their shop, though.

  13. #13
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    Disturbing...

    That gap is disturbing. It looks like the margin for error is about zero.

    That kind of riding is pretty much the opposite of the spirit of the Bike article...but blows my mind anyway -- thanks for posting. Is that in the Gillard area? The last time I was in there, I couldn't believe some of the built stuff -- one of the trails had concrete-reinforced hits.

  14. #14
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    that stuff is from an area called powers creek in westbank. some guys have done an amazing job of building hq stuff up there. gillard is also an awsome playground with wild stunts but as stated by others earlier and myself we have everything. the only drawback is that it gets so freaken hot and dry in summer that the climbs can be hell. being a shuttle baby once in a while is ok because of the heat.

    main thing to remember is that you can do the dumbass freeride stuff which is a blast but also xc stuff to test anybodys limits, or load up the back back with some vino and take your babe for a cruise along the mission creek trail or the high elevation KVR except where the trestle bridges burned in the big fire.

    check out pinkbike.com for the best photo sets of our area. we are proud of it.

  15. #15
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    I can't wait to hit the interior BC trails!!!

    I've been meaning to get out there for 6 or 7 years, but Whistler, the shore and other areas of the continent have taken all my vaca, but we're finally making it happen in a few weeks!! I'm really stoked! 10 days of biking and camping in interior B.C. with my better half (Courtney) and our mt. bike dogggies (Shasta and Baker) is gonna rock.....

    Our plan is to leave Seattle on Friday, June 10th, and head to Merritt and ride two days of singletrack/FR with Dawgprimo and a couple of others (telebiker, come join us, dude!!). From there, we'll head to the 'Loops and ride with Chuck Brennan at Kamloops Bike Camp along with the usual areas (Mt. Lolo, etc.) and then head to Kelowna and Penticton to shred the trails there.

    This should be a graat roadtrip.........we're bringing both our XC and FR bikes and are looking forward to some truly epic riding!!! If anyone wants to throw out some camping/riding suggestions for these areas, I'd be most grateful. If you live in these areas and wouldn't mind showing some yanks around, shoot me a PM.

    Cheers,
    EB

  16. #16
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    Powers Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmole
    that stuff is from an area called powers creek in westbank. some guys have done an amazing job of building hq stuff up there.
    I've been meaning to hit Powers Creek for years, but have still never made it out there. I'm only about 20 minutes from Glenrosa Road, so I have no excuses now. Any advice on the best climb/descent routes in that area for non-shuttlers, maybe a loop of a couple of hours? I've heard there are some good old-school trails in there with swoopy singletrack, little kickers and mellow drops. Have they all been replaced by nasty stunts for the freeride huckers?

  17. #17
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    Powers is built properly. if its too big you can take the easy way around. and nobody bags on you if you don't take the big stupids.The boys working on it are not hacks, its obvious they are passionate about riding and making sure all have fun. There is stuff for all and you won't find yourself standing there wondering what the hell am i gonna do now.

    also, mcdougal rim is wicked oldschool climb and downhill.

  18. #18
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    riding in the kelowna sucks!

    So does riding in Merrit.

    Don't go there.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodiegrrl
    riding in the kelowna sucks!

    So does riding in Merrit.

    Don't go there.
    Yeah, from what I hear the riding around Merritt, Kelowna, Penticton and the Loops isn't good at all. Actually, we've decided to spend 10 days at home instead of riding those horrible, terrible trails!

    Cheers,
    EB

  20. #20
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    K rob......

    What's up stranger? I am from the Okanagan (Summerland) and I always (albeit gladly) wondered the same thing. It's always been kind of off the radar of hotspots so to speak. There are so many cool trails in the hills West of Summerland that don't even have names that are just great to ride. The Action Quest was a great race that used to take place in Summerland, and the course is a beauty to ride. Maybe on a busy day you might see a guy on a horse out on the trail. I didn't know what user conflicts were until I came to Utah. Incidentally, I'm leaving to go up there on this Friday the 27th for a whole week. I haven't been in a year and a half and can't wait to check out some of the newer stuff. Gonna bring the Skinny-tired one as well as there's alot of great road riding there too. Hopefully I'll have alot of pics to post when I get back. Cheers, Scooter

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOTERINSLC
    What's up stranger? I am from the Okanagan (Summerland) and I always (albeit gladly) wondered the same thing.
    Hey Scooter. How's it going? I remember you saying you went to BC often but I didn't know you were from that area. Thanks for the report. That Bike article really made me want to ride there. They kinda said the same thing you did. Miles and miles of unmarked singletrack. The pictures were gorgeous. Sounds good to me. We'll expect a full report when you return..... unless of course you'd like to keep it quiet and unsullied. Nothing wrong with that.

    I think my friend and I are coming over to Park City at the end of August to do the PC100. Should be grueling,,,, but a nice way to get a tour of the facility all in one day.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    Yeah, from what I hear the riding around Merritt, Kelowna, Penticton and the Loops isn't good at all. Actually, we've decided to spend 10 days at home instead of riding those horrible, terrible trails!

    Cheers,
    EB
    Not to mention you have to climb! on a BIKE even!

    Loops riding, major suckage. Don't EVER ride Harper.... total waste of time.

    ( l like the names of your dogs!)

  23. #23
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    Just posted McDougall Rim ride report and update of some old forest service roads that are now gone

  24. #24
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    McDougal Rim

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmole
    also, mcdougal rim is wicked oldschool climb and downhill.
    I like how you put that. Wicked oldschool climb indeed. I wrote up a description of the route I usually do there: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...889#post934889

    Thanks for the Powers Creek info too. I'll have to check it out asap.

  25. #25
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    Summerlander

    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOTERINSLC
    I am from the Okanagan (Summerland) and I always (albeit gladly) wondered the same thing.
    Hey, Summerland is my current home and mountain bike stomping grounds! I've been blown away by the number of trails here -- there are four mountains surrounding the town, and they all have singletrack on them. Unfortunately, many of them are meandering cow trails that don't connect up very well, or rutted out dirt-bike paths that don't flow particularly well. There's huge potential, though, and a few of the rides are a total blast. Even my backyard ride (Giant's Head Mountain) is a decent half-hour climb with a thousand-foot vertical and great singletrack coming down.

    I've been doing some thinking about what it might take to turn it into a legitimate trail network. Just need time and a few collaborators.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    Nothing is good right now. The province is so big that its impossible to get one together. Most of that info is in my head and Smoke's head
    Hey Lee & Johnny, why don't you guys write up the definitive BC mtn bike trail book? Either that, or how doing a new edition of one of the older books?

    PaulB from AZ has connections with a publisher for that kind of book. I also know a guy who has a trail book published through Rocky Mountain Books.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Hey Lee & Johnny, why don't you guys write up the definitive BC mtn bike trail book? Either that, or how doing a new edition of one of the older books?

    PaulB from AZ has connections with a publisher for that kind of book. I also know a guy who has a trail book published through Rocky Mountain Books.
    Craig - what makes you think I want such a guide book out there? Those favorite trails will become gorbyfests. You dont count as a gorby as I'd gladly show you around.

  28. #28
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    LOL! Then you can become a rich and famous author!

    I already use your site when planning road trips.

    I probably take you up on your offer in the future. You'll just have to take it easy on me on the climbs. I don't have Lee legs.

  29. #29
    I think this is a trail..
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL
    what makes you think I want such a guide book out there? Those favorite trails will become gorbyfests.
    I have a feeling Doug Eastcott regrets the day he published the Bible. I don't think he ever expected mountain biking to get as big as it did.

    A lot of people want to burn Chick Scott at the stake for disclosing some of the locals powder stashes in his ski ascent books. Definitely be careful about exposing other peoples hidden jems.
    Yard Sale! Corner of Courage and Incompetence

  30. #30
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    Craig - not all the best stuff is on the site!

    greg - i hear ya about eastcott and Chic Scott. Often when I get to a place for ski and bike I spend some time poring over topo maps and figuring out good routes. Why should it be easy to find the goods?? Having said that I have all their books so i guess Im a hypocrite

  31. #31
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    At some point I'll have to hook up with you for a "best stuff" tour.

  32. #32
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    Yeah, Harper was a total waste of time.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brodiegrrl
    Not to mention you have to climb! on a BIKE even!

    Loops riding, major suckage. Don't EVER ride Harper.... total waste of time.

    ( l like the names of your dogs!)
    Brodiegrrl and crew...

    I'll post a full ride report with pics, etc, but I can tell you that I'll be making another trip inland in September or early October of this year. Although we didn't get the most ideal weather, the riding in Kamloops, Merritt and Penticton were simply spectacular. Beyond the riding, we met up with some folks who, beyond their solid riding skills and trail knowledge (like most Canucks, eh?), showed us the best hospitality imagineable.....

    I can't thank dawgprimo, headspacej and the kind folks at Full Boar Bikes (Trevor, Tysun, Brandon, Brian and Curt) enough for their generosity. I hope I can repay them during visits to the Seattle area in the future!!

    I know folks here are gonna shoot me for saying this, but I think Merritt could become a singletrack destination similar to Fruita. The riding there was unbelievable, but we only saw 2 other bikers on the trails (not that I'm complaining)!! Of course, 10 years ago, Fruita wasn't a blip on the mt. biking map until Troy and crew came in and built the unbelievable trail networks at 18 road, kokopelli, etc. I think Merritt would need a dedicated group to make something like that happen, but there's already a good base of trails there. Maybe I'm smoking crack.............dawgprimo said the bike shop that was in town went out of business, but it seems (to me) that it's just ripe for the picking for someone with the love and dedication to make it happen there. On the other hand, maybe Merritt's close proximity to Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vancouver is the reason it hasn't taken off. Just a thought......

    Cheers,
    EB

    P.S. Harper Mt. - Wow, all I can say is that I was following a 16 year old (Tysun Marshall) down some of the craziest stuff I've ever hit on a bike, but it all had amazing flow and was so well built that I just tried to stay on his wheel. What a beautiful area......and those guys are continuing to add more trails up there.

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    Ancient Thread!

    Ya', this thread is freekin' ancient - but if any of you reading this get auto-messaged with "New Reply" bumps; check out Sweet Singletrack - South Okanagan Hiking, Biking, Singletrack Trailguide

    This Okanagan Trailguide site took me a few years to create, but now that its done I want to share it with my fellow riders. I'm a huge believer in "life is crazilly short, don't hide the singeltrack on yer' bros and chicks"!

    Andrew

  34. #34
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    Depending on what people are looking for there is a pretty decent book out there called "Okanagan Trips and Trails" that has a ton of trails and service roads listed.

    Geared more to the hikers, so no "technical" stuff listed, but covers the Okanagan - Similkameen, good jumping off sort of book.

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    I'm currently in Penticton and struck out at LBS. Can someone please tell me how to get to the start of Rock Oven...from Skaha Bluffs, is it the single track one takes or a fire road? Once on the right trail, are there any turns to navigate?
    Thanks for the help. I plan to ride it tomorrow.

  36. #36

  37. #37
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    Thanks. I'd already seen second link and couldn't figure out where start is. First link doesn't help much either.
    Have you done this trail? If so, can you tell me where it starts? If I can get the starting point (I think near Skaha Bluffs) I think I can figure the rest out.

  38. #38
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    The trailhead is from the Skaha bluffs parking area. Just before you hit the parking area, look for the gate on your right. Park and head back to that gate. Ride up for about a half hour on that road, and take a turn to the right. It's not marked. When you get up to the big grassy open area, just go straight through. It will eventually turn to singletrack, very technical.

    I can hook you up with GPS tracks if you like.

    Did you try Freedom? They have decent beta on the trails.

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