Heading down the windy road working our way east from New Denver and enjoying the beautiful lush forest and narrow valleys that the Kootenays provide, the only feeling I had was pure excitement. My partner and I were heading to Retallack Lodge for a weekend full of biking, relaxing and indulging in some great food and wine. We were heading out for the trip of a lifetime. Having spent the majority of my working years providing services in similar style backcountry lodges, I was beyond excited to find out I had been chosen as one of the winners from Mountain Biking BC’s Backcountry Giveaway contest and was about to spend 3 nights at the Retallack Lodge for a weekend of big mountain shuttles. Even better, I got to bring a lucky someone along with me to share the experience!
To most people The Flying Nun is the best way to finish a ride at South Canoe trail network. Ask the riders emerging from the Salmon Arm trail network why they’re grinning, though, and they’ll probably struggle to explain. The trail’s not particularly fast, steep or hard. The few potential jumps are small. There’s no view to speak of. But it does swoop and bank through the forest, twisting and turning in that way great trails do, leaving a feeling of excitement and exhilaration – and a big fat smile.
With indoor recreation facilities and most organized sports cancelled for this spring and summer, trails in British Columbia have seen an explosion of users in the last few months. With the traditional mountain bike fundraising events usually held at this time of year also cancelled, trail organizations in the province are looking at new ways to support trail maintenance.
I’m following a 16-year old ripper off a tabletop on When Pigs Fly. A grandmother is on my tail and an 8-year old surprisingly close behind. In our group of 15 riders exploring Burns Lake’s 100 kilometre trail network, there’s everyone from middle-aged teachers to bike bums, expert to intermediates, in jogging pants and on triple crown downhill rigs. I’ve never ridden with a more diverse crew, especially not on assignment.
If you haven’t heard, the city of Quesnel, located in the heart of the Cariboo Chilcotin in the lands of the Lhtako Dene, is the home of a quickly growing network of world-class mountain bike trails. The Cariboo region has long been known as the Shangri-La of mountain biking, a quicky growing destination and home to some of the best riding in the world. The trails being built in Quesnel will further establish and enhance this reputation.
Amid the pandemic and all the change that has come with it, there is a heartbeat in the mountain biking communities of British Columbia that belongs to the bike shops. Deemed an essential service, bike shops offering mechanical services have remained open through the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 restrictions; pivoting their policies, staffing, and service protocols on the fly.
Like you, we’re passionate about riding BC. We love the outdoors, and the euphoric feeling exercise gives us. But now is not the time to explore our beautiful province. Please stay home and follow the advice of health authorities. When the pandemic is over the trails will be waiting for us.
But how do we stay fit and keep our sanity? Most of us have an inherent need to go out, to explore, to discover new trails or ride a favourite one. But, as parks and trailheads around us close we need to find alternatives to satisfy that itch to ride and to keep fit.
A go-to guide for female-focused races, clinics, camps, and courses in BC that are creating more diversity in mountain biking.
Growing up in Kenora, Ontario, Devin Knopf was in love with bicycles in their many shapes and sizes. Spending the bulk of his time Cross Country racing, while finding inspiration in the blooming free ride scene out west, Devin was – unknowingly – building a unique ability for performing and enjoying himself in any situation, regardless of wether he had the right bike for the terrain.
Looking for a trip that combines flowly singletrack with flowing beer? This 7-day mountain bike trip through BC’s interior is just the ticket. Explore BC’s lesser known bike regions of Merritt, Invermere, Cranbrook, Castlegar, and more on this trip built just for you.