We Love Early Season Escapes to Vancouver Island

We Love Early Season Escapes to Vancouver Island

Video by Ollie Jones Photos by Mark Mackay Words by Hailey Elise Waiting for the mainland trails to appear from under the snow is like waiting for Christmas – all-consuming anticipation. As the rumours fly, you keep your ear to the ground for any intel on the current rideability and your eyes to the forest for the snow line. What’s even worse, is that surprise spring snowfall that hits and sends your dreams of brown pow that can be reached right from your door into a distant memory. But what if just a ferry ride away, lie trail networks that are already in their seasonal prime? Vancouver Island is the answer to your springtime woes. It boasts mild winter weather that leaves many of the trails without snow much of the year. Located only 2 hours from Vancouver by ferry, the Island is bursting with networks waiting to be explored. While it’s common knowledge that the island riding scene has been around for quite some time and is highly established, many refrain from travelling to its shores because of the ferry. Needless to say, if this is what’s stopping you, you’re missing out. Riding zones span the entirety of the island and in theory, it would take weeks, if not months to sample each of them. That being said, the close proximity of the networks makes it perfect for a weekend or week long road trip. To give you a taste of what Vancouver Island has to offer, here are three stops you can connect for an all-encompassing mountain bike trip. Duncan Duncan is situated 40 minutes south of...
Fall 2017,  Hornby Island reporting in.   It’s THAT time of year!

Fall 2017, Hornby Island reporting in. It’s THAT time of year!

Thompson: Dry Cold (Brass Monkeys: Happy) -18.2 °C 4cm Snow Expected by Thursday Whistler Village: Raining (Otters: Excited) 4°C 12 mm Expected  Rossland: Freezing Fog (Bears: Hibernating) -3°C 20cm Snow Expected By Tonight Coquihalla: Blizzard Conditions (Truckers: Worried) -16°C 26cm Snow Expected By Friday Hornby Island: Dry (Local Riders: Grinning) Sunny 13°C Winds: Light. Trail Conditions: Tacky. Expected Rider Accumulation: Whoever you bring with you Its THAT time of the year again. Sidewalks are rolled up, leaves are crinkling, apples are crunching, trails are epic.   The crowds have receded back to the concrete jungle. The locals have retreated to studio and farms to recover from the summer onslaught and BnB’s are sitting idle. But wait! Its THAT time of the year again! (Don’t tell anyone cause its my personal favourite) Golden sun slants through reed straight second growth, dewy grass sparkles like jewels in the morning light, skies clear of summer smoke allow vistas from Mt. Baker to North of Campbell River and mist hugs the ground at dusk. Its THAT time again. At the summit you look down on eagles soaring and watch thousands of Bonaparte’s gulls feasting on krill in Lambert Channel. Wait! What’s that? Whales! Also feasting on krill! Who ever thought one could whale watch from your bike at the top of a mountain? Descending is only interrupted by air under wheels on the various optional hits or pure terror (fun) on the built drops and berms of Yer Mom. Mushrooms lurk in the forest, deer scamper off the trail as you climb Four Dead Aliens to the panoramic mossy views on Outer Ridge....
Exploring Cumberland and Hornby Island with Stephen Shannon

Exploring Cumberland and Hornby Island with Stephen Shannon

Growing up in the West Kootenay, Steve Shannon developed an early love for the outdoors. He began skiing at age two and by high school was firmly addicted to exploring the mountains around home by a variety of means. From those early childhood past times, his appetite for adventure has only grown. His interests have led him around the globe, from racing his dirtbike in the International Six Days Enduro in Chile and Greece, to photographing races in Romania and Mexico. Recent adventures have taken him rafting the Grand Canyon, skiing in Iceland and Norway and mountain biking in the Nepalese Himalaya and Canary Islands. Cedar bridgework highlights Munday’s Child, named after the longtime local builder. Framed by moss laden trees, this lower elevation trail is a visual delight. Trail: Munday’s Child Location: Cumberland Rider: Jeremy Grasby Fireweed in full bloom and the Beaufort mountains lining the horizon. 50:1 is fast and flowy through one of the many cut-blocks in the Cumberland Forest. Trail: 50:1 Location: Cumberland Rider: Jeremy Grasby Following an old abandoned railway, Short Line and Steam Donkey provide a gentle climb up to Vanilla, Truffle Shuffle, Bear Buns and more. Remnants of the railway are still hidden on the side of the trail, some more obvious than others. Trail: Short Line Location: Cumberland Rider: Jeremy Grasby One of the signature descents in Cumberland, Bear Buns is a must ride. It’s quite a climb up to the top, but the reward is a descent full of features. Rocks, roots, berms and flow - this one gets the heart pumping! Trail: Bear Buns Location: Cumberland Rider: Jeremy Grasby...

The BCBR Experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 13, 2017 Day 1 – Cumberland With the countdown to the BC Bike Race on, it’s time for us to release the first of our seven-part video series showcasing the communities we visit. Through these edits we will share the unique culture and history of each, as well as, the 2017 course maps for our daily stages! These short stories will touch on the evolution of mountain biking here in BC and what has catapulted our province to a top destination for mountain biking globally. This project was made possible with a grant through British Columbia’s new Marketing Co-Op program. With the province’s support, we are thrilled to have the platform with which to share these communities, which have been such a big part of our success as an event, with the world. In each segment, we will talk to some of the colourful characters who have had a role in the continuing development of mountain biking in their towns. From our Cumberland course designer and owner of the Riding Fool Hostel, Jeremy Grasby, to Dream Wizards and legendary trail builder, Ted Tempany, and even the Godfather of Freeride himself, Wade Simmons, we have a wide array of stories to share about what makes mountain biking happen in our backyard. BC Bike Race is Ready to Roll In just 22 days, racers from 33 countries will arrive in North Vancouver for the BC Bike Race! The action will kick off on July 7 with the first stage in Cumberland before continuing to Powell River, Sechelt, North Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler! Last year’s winner and the...

New Highway Sign Invites You to Explore Legendary Cumberland

Travelers along the Inland Island Highway in the Comox Valley are now invited to explore the Village of Cumberland and everything it has to offer. The Village of 3900 has a new highway entrance sign welcoming you to the legendary community. The sign portrays the uniqueness of the Village, its rich and gritty history, and the future that is the new Cumberland.

Cumberland Trails Agreement Finalized

Cumberland, BC – The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), Village of Cumberland, TimberWest Forest Corp., and Hancock Forest Management are excited to announce that a land access agreement has been reached to formally allow non-motorized recreation on private managed forest lands adjacent to the Village of Cumberland. This progressive and multi-faceted agreement not only authorizes public recreation on private and public forest lands south of the Village, but gives the private landowners the opportunity to better communicate and manage risks associated with people recreating on their land.“This agreement represents the collective efforts of all parties involved and demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration,” said Mike Manara, UROC President. “I am proud of the UROC board for their dedication to this project and the commitment to making mountain biking a legitimate industry in our community. We are stoked to put Cumberland and our amazing trails on the map! I would also like to thank the Village of Cumberland for their support in this endeavour, as well as all the volunteers that have contributed to our trail network over the years – you know who you are and we thank you!” “Completion of this project is a very positive step,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, Chief Forester and VP Sustainability for TimberWest. “Years in the making, this agreement provides for legitimate access to mountain bikers and recreationists to enjoy a series of trails over multiple ownerships. Much credit must go to UROC and the Village of Cumberland for their efforts in bringing this agreement together.” “Hancock Forest Management endeavors to give back to the communities that surround our managed forest lands and...