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Vancouver/Squamish area on a trail bike

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
So I'll have about 2.5 days to ride around Vancouver/Squamish next week. I'll be riding solo and have my megatrail with me. I figure I should check out some of the North shore trails and maybe Squamish since my only BC experience in the past is at bike parks. Is my best bet to just look on trail forks and hit up some of the more popular trails and routes (Half nelson? ladies only? bobsled?) Or something else? Probably looking to do about 4-5k feet (that's 1300 metric feet) of climbing per day. Any specific tips or suggestions? .
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,911
1,247
Australia
Go to Squamish for sure. I did the same thing last year and enjoyed the Squamish stuff the best. The stuff around Valleycliff you can do easily on your own without shuttle bumps or whatever. Lots of low speed techy stuff.

The Alice Lake area is good for solo/non-shuttled riding as well and is probably the best. Trailforks lets you do most of this stuff really easily on your own.

The area where Half Nelson was (diamond head? something near a university I think) is a bit more of a crap climb IMO. Great trails - but nag a local for a shuttle or 5 for that spot if you can.

Personally, I'd trailforks myself around Alice Lake for at least a day. Its the same standard climb for most of the trails, nothing too hard and not just mindless fireroad slogging. The trails are hectic in spots though so if you're riding alone play it safe. Anything rad you do won't be believed/caught on film anyway so don't get fucked up and eaten by a bear for nothing.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
23,629
3,041
In my pants
Oh man what an opportunity. Such rich history in that area. Having been in this situation many times trust me when I say this:fuck all that mess and drive to Bellingham.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
If you do have to slum it on the Shore.
Much of this route.
https://www.trailforks.com/ridelog/planner/view/61109
Is in this video.
All that slow techy classic steep brake dragging Shore jank that Woo lives for.
Yes! yes! That is exactly what I want to ride. Gnarly, but not too gnarly, and not huge hits. I'll check that route out Sunday afternoon, then head to Squamish Sun night and ride there Mon/Tuesday maybe?
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
23,629
3,041
In my pants
Shore sucks listen to Kidwoo.
Fish in a barrel. :rofl:


It has little to do with the shore because I've avoided that place like the plague for the last several years.

It has everything to do with driving through vancouver an getting shit stolen out of your car.


I'll be back one day. Running from the dumpster fire that america has become, seeking asylum in your humble canadian hillsides.
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,911
1,247
Australia
fuck all that mess and drive to Bellingham.
My buddies went to Bellingham without me. Dicks.

Need to get down there mainly just to visit Transition HQ and demand free shit. I'm a menace driving right hand side vehicles though so will make an interesting trip down from Van
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,861
2,426
North Van
Yes! yes! That is exactly what I want to ride. Gnarly, but not too gnarly, and not huge hits. I'll check that route out Sunday afternoon, then head to Squamish Sun night and ride there Mon/Tuesday maybe?
I think some of that was on a different mountain, but Shirk knows moar than I do.

A lot of that video was a way cooler version of what I ride most often. A pedal from my house.

Let me know if you’re stuck for a retrieval, or unable to decide where to drink beer.
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,617
84
PNW
So I'll have about 2.5 days to ride around Vancouver/Squamish next week. I'll be riding solo and have my megatrail with me. I figure I should check out some of the North shore trails and maybe Squamish since my only BC experience in the past is at bike parks. Is my best bet to just look on trail forks and hit up some of the more popular trails and routes (Half nelson? ladies only? bobsled?) Or something else? Probably looking to do about 4-5k feet (that's 1300 metric feet) of climbing per day. Any specific tips or suggestions? .
In terms of riding the shore, I've heard mixed reviews - I live in Seattle, but have always just driven through Vancouver and hit Squamish and Whistler since it's really not much farther for some truly world class riding.

If you're in Squamish, be sure to hit Credit Line and Boney Elbows at Alice Lake, and then ride Angry Midget at Diamond Head. Half Nelson is lots of fun once, but its so non-technical it looks like a broom was taken to it. Not my style really.

If you make it up to Whistler you'll have near endless trail choices - I rode Rockwork Orange--Korova Milk Bar--Wizard Burial Ground last year and it was a great example of super unique BC trails.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
Oh man what an opportunity. Such rich history in that area. Having been in this situation many times trust me when I say this:fuck all that mess and drive to Bellingham.
Not sure if serious...?

Fish in a barrel. :rofl:

It has little to do with the shore because I've avoided that place like the plague for the last several years.

It has everything to do with driving through vancouver an getting shit stolen out of your car.
Do I have to worry about my rental car getting broken into at the trailhead in Squamish/North Van? I was hoping outside of SF that's not such a problem :(



In terms of riding the shore, I've heard mixed reviews - I live in Seattle, but have always just driven through Vancouver and hit Squamish and Whistler since it's really not much farther for some truly world class riding.

If you're in Squamish, be sure to hit Credit Line and Boney Elbows at Alice Lake, and then ride Angry Midget at Diamond Head. Half Nelson is lots of fun once, but its so non-technical it looks like a broom was taken to it. Not my style really.

If you make it up to Whistler you'll have near endless trail choices - I rode Rockwork Orange--Korova Milk Bar--Wizard Burial Ground last year and it was a great example of super unique BC trails.
Awesome! Thanks for the tips. I figure one HAS to hit Half Nelson for a lap, right?
 

shirk007

Monkey
Apr 14, 2009
346
165
Fly catchers so true.

HN and slabs, the only two things that exist in Squamish.

Shore is all slow tech jank.

No trails in Whistler outside the Bike Park.
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,911
1,247
Australia
If you make it up to Whistler you'll have near endless trail choices - I rode Rockwork Orange--Korova Milk Bar--Wizard Burial Ground last year and it was a great example of super unique BC trails.
Rode that last year as well. How was that ever an EWS race stage? I found it like a trials course - fun to play around on like I did, but I can't imagine trying to find flow or speed through it. Wizard Burial Ground took some commitment on a couple of bits. I wouldn't want to try some of those drops that land between two trees with a stopwatch running.
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,861
2,426
North Van
I would say that Seymour is well worth a 0.5 of your 2.5 days either on the way up or back from further up north.

Everything’s pretty dry at the moment, though, which is a bummer.

You can pack some high quality saddle time into 4 hours on Seymour, both up and down.

Wrap it up with the toonie drop and you’re all set.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
I would say that Seymour is well worth a 0.5 of your 2.5 days either on the way up or back from further up north.

Everything’s pretty dry at the moment, though, which is a bummer.

You can pack some high quality saddle time into 4 hours on Seymour, both up and down.

Wrap it up with the toonie drop and you’re all set.
Thanks to those who gave some tips. I rode Seymour this evening. A little hung over from the weekend, but still managed a few laps. As Kidwoo predicted it would qualify as "moist" dirt in California probably (do they water the bottom of empress bypass?).

Rode Empress, Severed Dick, Incline, powerline, Pingu, Dales, and Pangor. They were pretty much all awesome and fun, minimal amount of "slog" sections. I bet they would be incredible after you know the trails and can ride a little more aggressively.

I'm reconsidering riding Squamish. I may just hang around Vancouver Mon. and Tues and ride Seymour some more and check out Fromme and Cypress. You guys have some sick trails here!
 
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ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,617
84
PNW
Rode that last year as well. How was that ever an EWS race stage? I found it like a trials course - fun to play around on like I did, but I can't imagine trying to find flow or speed through it. Wizard Burial Ground took some commitment on a couple of bits. I wouldn't want to try some of those drops that land between two trees with a stopwatch running.
I felt same as you, but could see how riding one or two more times would let you link things together on Rockwork a bit more. Wizard Burial Ground was just gnarly, racing that would be terrifying, especially with how much jagged broken granite was just laying on the side of the trail if you were to get off line
 

shirk007

Monkey
Apr 14, 2009
346
165
Thanks to those who gave some tips. I rode Seymour this evening. A little hung over from the weekend, but still managed a few laps. As Kidwoo predicted it would qualify as "moist" dirt in California probably (do they water the bottom of empress bypass?).

Rode Empress, Severed Dick, Incline, powerline, Pingu, Dales, and Pangor. They were pretty much all awesome and fun, minimal amount of "slog" sections. I bet they would be incredible after you know the trails and can ride a little more aggressively.

I'm reconsidering riding Squamish. I may just hang around Vancouver Mon. and Tues and ride Seymour some more and check out Fromme and Cypress. You guys have some sick trails here!
What did you like / didn't like on the list above and I can recommend a Fromme route. If you want to see some "classic Shore tech" on Fromme it can be mixed in with some flow or just regular "trail".

Bookwus / Upper Crippler / Upper Digger - these are Shore tech that pre-date the world of skinnies / drops / woodwork that the Shore is possibly most known for. Steep awkward slow technical moves (Kidwoo LOVES this stuff).

If you want some skinnies / drops / woodwork then hit Upper Oil Can. All the woodwork was rebuilt and a updated a couple years back. It still has some horrible awkward zero flow sections.

For "just trail" hit Execution to Dreamweaver. It's not steep, or too janky, not buffed out flow trail, no woodwork, just trail.

Our hand build flow trail is Expresso - Lower Expresso and newly updated Lower Digger (the section below the St. Mary's trail). Berms berms berms and smooth trail.
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,861
2,426
North Van
I would definitely hit Boogie Nights if you're still around. That trail is short, but fuggin' awesome.

John Deer too.

Our "Fat Man Lap" is:

Shuttle to Mushroom
Corkscrew
Incline
Powerline
Pingu
Pedal up Baden Powell to the power lines
New Severed Entrance
Asian Adonis
Pedal up Penny Lane and Good Sir Martin
John Deer
Pedal over to the bottom of Boogie Nights and push up
Ride Boogie Nights
Empress Bypass

This makes for lots of fast jiggly fun. And a bit of pedaling to not feel so lazy.
 

toodles

Turbo Monkey
Aug 24, 2004
2,911
1,247
Australia
I felt same as you, but could see how riding one or two more times would let you link things together on Rockwork a bit more. Wizard Burial Ground was just gnarly, racing that would be terrifying, especially with how much jagged broken granite was just laying on the side of the trail if you were to get off line
Oh totally. Watching a good rider get through there, they make it look like a flow trail or pump track. I guess thats the difference between them and us plebs. I found it a series of interlinking steep descents into hairpin corners into sudden pinch climbs. WBG had a few sections lined with embedded jagged rock that looked decidely unfriendly to crash on.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
What did you like / didn't like on the list above and I can recommend a Fromme route. If you want to see some "classic Shore tech" on Fromme it can be mixed in with some flow or just regular "trail".
Pretty much liked everything on Seymour.

Today I hit up Froome and did basically dream weaver to dyer maker climb up. Then did a lap on oil can, then 7th, then down espresso (upper only) then across to lower ladies only, then up the fire road to do a lap on Crinkum/Crankum and Kirkford, then back up and over to pipeline. Then finished on lower expresso and Pennzoil.

Pretty much everything was super fun. The surprise of the ride was lower Expresso. I was expecting fun, sketchy awkward tech on the shore, but I was definitely not expecting the best flow trail of my life. Lower Expresso is f-ing awesome!! Whoever built that needs to travel the world to teach people how to do flow trails.

The guy I was riding with about 2/3 of the day was pushing me to go ride Squamish tomorrow, but I really loved what I rode today, I'm thinking I might stick around the shore again tomorrow and maybe do a short ride at both Seymour and Froome.

I would definitely hit Boogie Nights if you're still around. That trail is short, but fuggin' awesome.
I'll try to do that!
 

shirk007

Monkey
Apr 14, 2009
346
165
Squamish is worth a trip to ride all the big #slabs, unless you've spent time riding big rock faces elsewhere.