Tales of loam infested trails, steep chutes, and rock slabs tantalized me from afar. Sure, we have great mountain biking where I come from; there are more miles of singletrack and bike parks in Colorado than you can shake a stick at. But there was still something missing in my repertoire of riding. Something that you can’t find in the lower 48— wild, raw, and bonafide singletrack that takes you from the highest peaks down to the clearest lakes. Linking up the best trails in four destinations would typically be a challenge for a newcomer to weave together a seamless itinerary in less than a week. But jumping on board the Trans BC Enduro stage race provided the framework for a grand tour of Interior BC.
One of the oldest saloons in British Columbia and by far the oldest in Rossland, the name comes from a steam-powered helicopter plane constructed by Lou Gagnon, an ambitious Gold Rush-era inventor. Built of iron, wood, brass, canvas and piano wire, Gagnon imagined the “Flying Steamshovel” would carry ore down from the steep slopes of nearby Red Mountain. It didn’t. The craft first took flight in February of 1902, leaving the ground and wobbling a few stories skyward before crashing near the very spot we’re currently putting back burgers and beers.