BC Bike Park Tour – by Siobhan Fox

My husband, Cohen, and I decided that we wanted to venture out of North Vancouver and experience some of the riding that our lovely province has to offer. Having both learned to ride on the shore, we were ready to see something different.  I think we were partially inspired by, “Follow Me”s recent release and further inspired by our first trip to the Sunshine Coast. Exploring was fun. Bike parks seemed the natural choice. Lift access, no worries about getting lost or not having a shuttle, and lap after lap of fun.

Day 1 Sun Peaks

We started off on our bc bike park tour with questionable weather and worse traffic. We knew that planning the trip for late August, we were gambling with the weather, but we were still surprised by what Mother Nature had in store for us.  Our first stop was Sun Peaks, a bike park known for its steep terrain. We had the chance to ride Sun Peaks once earlier in the season and fell in love with it.

After a warm up on trails like Mach and Arm pump, we were ready to ride something a little more technical. We decided to head over to Sugar and Sweet one. Both of these trails are rated black, but I would say they would suit most intermediate riders, with a few advanced options to keep everyone happy. After a few more runs, I decided to pack it in early. I had 6 more days of riding ahead of me and I didn’t want to burn out early.

Day 2 Sun Peaks

We were excited to see that it hadn’t started raining yet when we woke up. I wanted to go back to Sweet one and Sugar first thing and then I had my sights on Kaboom, a super steep run that my husband was raving about from the day previous. Sugar and Sweet one were prime warm up runs and I was stoked that I was able to nail a few of the steep lines that had eluded me the day before. Two bears were also lucky enough to have a front row view of us riding the trail. As I rode down a two-foot wide ladder, I saw two bears sitting right next to the trail as if they were spectators. My husband was sure that I had fallen off the woodwork when he heard the Woooooooooo that came bellowing down the trail. Instead he saw me instructing him to GO, GO, GO.

After getting thoroughly warmed up, mentally and physically, on the aforementioned runs, we headed up with the intention of doing Kaboom. This trail came highly recommended by both my husband, Cohen, and fearless Muddbunnies ride leader Darthyoga. On the way up it started to rain, which wasn’t ideal for a first run that I was intimidated to try, but I had learned to ride in North Vancouver, so I thought I’d better suck it up. Once we started riding, it started raining harder, but it was drier in the forest. Kaboom was steep and the rock was shale. I was surprised by how much of it I rode first try. My heart was pumping and I felt like I had accomplished something awesome. I was eager to give it another go right away and nail the two sections I had walked. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. As we rode the lift back up, our bikes disappeared in front of us. At the top of the mountain, we were shocked to see (and feel) that it was actually snowing. By the time we dropped into Kaboom, I couldn’t feel my fingers. Lets’s just say modulating your brakes when you can’t feel what you’re doing, is not ideal. Unfortunately, my day ended there. As I said then, I draw the line at SNOW in August.

Day 3-4 Silverstar

When we arrived at our hostel, which offered a 15% discount to brocard holders, we were informed that it had rained/snowed all night and that conditions might be rough. On the plus side the sun was out now and it was Wednesday. We had unknowingly shown up on an extended play day. So, what we thought might be a sub par half day, was looking like it was going to be a sweet full day. Like Sunpeaks, Silverstar offers discounts on lift tickets to brocard holders, so we were raking in the discounts all over the place on this trip.

Silverstar is a mountain that is known for it’s smooth as butter berms and it’s tabletops. Being a rider who enjoys more technical trails, I didn’t have high hopes for Silverstar. That being said, I really enjoyed myself. Trails like Superstar help build confidence for those of us who are not overly comfortable in the air and trails like Downtown are steep and technical enough that I could get my tech fix too.

I had heard about the quad teeter-totter at Silverstar and being a skinny lover, I was stoked to try it. I nailed it on my second try and have to say that it was one of the coolest moments of the entire trip for me. After completing it, I got off my bike and jumped up and down like a little girl.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxm_-nIn7KE

Day 5 – Drive

Day 6 Fernie

We decided to hit up Fernie last since it’s my dad’s home mountain. Yes, My dad mountain bikes! He lives in Kimberley so we stayed at his place and drove to Fernie together in the morning. Fernie is an interesting mountain. It’s got a very laid-back friendly feeling too it. There are no gaps or tabletops, apparently due to parent company RCR’s fear of liability issues. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not huge on the whole air thing (or at least I wasn’t at the time of the trip), so this didn’t bother me one bit.

We started out on Aggravated assault. The trail starts with a bang; after three steep ramps, you’re on to a super fun log ride and the fun just keeps come. Fernie has two chairlifts, a high-speed quad and a pokey chair (as the locals call it). We spent most of the day on the pokey chair riding trails like Rubber Ducky and Phat Larry’s. The trails were confidence inspiring and would be fun for a variety of skill levels. It’s definitely a great mountain to work on your woodwork skills. After lunch, we went over to the high-speed quad.  From there we did Rumplestumpskin into TNT finishing off with Bin Logden. This fun rip had it all; steeps, rocks, wood, tight corners, and even a little air. It’s definitely the kind of combination that leaves everyone smiling ear to ear.

Unfortunately day 7 never got to happen as heavy rain set in, and Fernie is just not the kind park that seemed like it would be fun in the wet. Instead we hiked in the Rockies and again encountered that dreaded summer snow. All in all, it was a phenomenal trip that left me feeling stoked and filled with confidence. Using the brocard and staying in places with kitchen, we were able to do the whole trip on a fairly reasonable budget.

I highly recommend a similar trip to anyone who wants to get out and explore this wonderful province of ours on their bike.

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4 thoughts on “BC Bike Park Tour – by Siobhan Fox

  1. Great write up Siobhan! Makes me want to go now!
    My fave quote “I’m not huge on the whole air thing (or at least I wasn’t at the time of the trip)”……now you are looking for every little booter or jump to get air!

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