In the always-quiet, sometimes dark and dank, but always flowing forests of the Fraser Valley, it might appear as if very little is happening. With world renowned riding hotspots only a couple hours up and down the highway in either direction, it’s surprisingly easy to pass through the valley without the thought of stopping for a ride. But for those in the know, something special resides in these woods. And this is precisely why Tyler Maine calls the Fraser Valley home.
Tyler Maine, Santa Cruz Bicycles’ Western Canadian Brand Manager found a home just below the trails of the Fraser Valley in the winter of 2005, almost by accident.
After a few years of being immersed in a bike-centric lifestyle as a shop employee in Calgary, Alberta, Tyler was dreaming of the mountain town lifestyle celebrated in places like Smithers, Golden and Revelstoke.
It was by fortunate coincidence that a store customer, named Radek, invited Tyler to visit Chilliwack on the terms of a work offer that winter. When Tyler found mid-December trail riding, and the pace of life he’d been imagining, he packed up his 4Runner and hit the road to become the first employee of a small mountain bike website, called Pinkbike.
With mountain biking growing at a steady pace, Tyler found his job at Pinkbike exciting and dynamic. He was creatively challenged and constantly building new connections around the cycling community. And to this day, Tyler remains incredibly appreciative of his opportunity to be involved in building what has grown to be a media behemoth.
But at some point, after over a decade in that role, Tyler began craving a change. “I was so personally invested in the success of Pinkbike, that I think it started to become unhealthy.”
After so many years of working long hours, many of which were often by himself, Tyler began to miss the in-person communications and relationships that first grabbed hold of his heart as a bike shop employee, over 12 years prior. “At some point, I realized Pinkbike had an enormous team of talented, capable, and dedicated employees, and that everything would be ok if I moved on to something new.”
Tyler found himself back at a local bike shop, LifeCycles in Abbotsford, for a solid stint in 2017, which rekindled his passion for people. But knowing that he would be his happiest with a new set of challenges, Tyler took to a position with Santa Cruz Bicycles as their Western Canadian Brand Manager.
And while he admits that he’s new to his roll and still defining the exact responsibilities, Tyler finds himself excited to grow with it.
Tyler’s job means loads of time on the road, visiting retailers around British Columbia and Alberta, and he loves that. Riding, hosting community building events, and sharing the good word of the bicycle is exactly what Tyler wants in his world, at this point.
And despite such a big love for riding all over B.C. and the opportunity to branch out on the regular, there is still something about the Fraser Valley that pulls Tyler back and makes him feel at home.
“I’ve lived here for 14+ years. And in that time, I’ve had a few changes of heart, a few different careers and relationships, but I’ve never packed up and left the Valley. It’s got everything that I need and gets a little more awesome, year after year.”
Tyler has found joy and appreciation in witnessing the organic growth of his local riding community. He admires the work of dedicated builders and trail advocates in the area for their fight to legalize trails, and he loves that groups like the MuddBunnies and Sprockids are finding a space for their growth, too.
All of this, in addition to a low-key vibe and the greatest dirt he’s ever experienced, lets Tyler know that great things are growing in the Fraser Valley, and that this is a perfect place for him to continue to call home.