BIKE PARKS BC ROAD TRIP
Whistler // Sun Peaks // Silver Star // Big White // Kicking Horse // Fernie
In this second installment of the Bike Parks BC Road Trip. In part 2, we're heading south from Sun Peaks to the Okanagan Valley. Check out the links below for our route and the other episodes.
Silver Star Bike Park
In the second part of our Bike Parks BC road trip we headed to the Okanagan region to check out Silver Star Bike Park. Only a few hours from Sun Peaks, down the lush highlands off highway 95A, Silver Star conveniently lies 30 minutes North East of the City of Vernon. Will and Kozman had visited Silver Star a few years back, while this was uncharted territory for Sharky.
Silver Star has a noticeable family focus vibe to it, apparent as soon as you get into the village as there are lots of families out on bikes together. It's no surprise as the mountain is known for its extensive network of blue flow trails, but there is far more variety on offer than what we expected. We spent 3 days exploring the park on both trail and downhill bikes and were pleased to find suitable tracks for both our rigs. For all the families looking for a bike park, Silver Star's 3-ways to ride means their trail network supports all flavours of bike and ability; be it XC, enduro or DH. For all the haters or downhill enthusiasts, we guarantee you can still find a use for your big rig at Silver Star.
We would recommend stocking up on groceries and beer in town. The mountain market has a decent selection of essentials, but you do pay a premium for convenience. Be sure to bring a grom to carry your groceries for you.
Grom oozes style on everything he rides. Rolling down this steep bonus slab on Downtown wasn’t enough, he just had to do a stoppie.
Pipedream is a rad black flow trail with some fun features, like this drop out of the start hut.
Pipedream also boasts some of the best berms in the park. Will carves one on his trail bike while Grom leads the charge.
The bike park has recently expanded what’s on offer for riders on the more advanced side of the spectrum. With the addition of Walk the Line, they have created one of the most sendy series of jumps on offer in any bike park, and arguably the most fun booters of our whole trip. The jumps are a slightly toned down, but still proper, version of those found in Brett Rheeder’s opening segment from “Beautiful Idiot”.
More Walk the Line and more Kozman style. Whoever says 29ers can't be playful, Kozman isn't listening. SHAMELESS PLUG - GET THIS KID INTO WHIP-OFFS!
It ain't easy being steezy, sometimes you slap.
Evolve is the mountain bike shop at Silver Star. They helped us out when Kozman blew up a set of cranks, a huge shout out to the crew for making it happen in such a short timeframe.
After a few days of bike park laps we were starting to feel a bit lethargic. Turns out riding chairlifts and drinking beers isn't great for your cardio. Thankfully Silver Star has an extensive XC network that we explored one morning in an effort to stretch our legs and burn off some barley.
These Silver Star Groms RIP. We had a riot chasing them down their favourite party lap; Superstar-Rockstar-Walk the Line-Rockstar. From left to right: Karl is 15 years old and only started riding bikes last year because his friends told him to. Levi sounds like a seasoned vet but says he is only 15. Chase is 14 years old and just loves riding bikes with his friends. The whole crew lives in Vernon and spends their summer vacation lapping Silver Star.
We spent most of our downtime at the Red Antler. They had a good selection of BC craft beers, killer food and a pool table. The schnitzel and tuna were team favourites for dinner, while the Biker Breakfast wrap was our go-to in the mornings.
Our Favourite Silver Star Laps
Mark - Chainsaw Mullet, Dag’s Downhill
Kozman - Rockstar, Walk the Line, Rockstar
Will - Pipedream
Bike Big White
Less than two hours away from Silver Star lies Big White, the province's newest bike park. Big White has been operating since 2017, and that season they were only open for 15 days to let local riders get a taste of the trails. Mark and I were lucky enough to sample the goods during their first season, and we were excited to come back and witness how the park has progressed since then. The park has expanded its hours of operation from weekends only to 5 days a week from Canada Day to Labour Day weekend
Much has happened since Big White's opening season. Trail Crew lead Kris Hawryluik estimates the full buildout of the trails should be realized within the next 5 years which suggests Big White is on track to be a serious bike park in the coming future.
Catapult Ranch is the BC Cup DH racecourse, that has no shortage of high-speed tech rock smashing to keep you on your toes.
More tech and more rock on Catapult Ranch, it's easy to get lost on this trail as it looks like this from T2B. Kozman bounces off the rocks and keeps it wide open though.
When you get tired of smashing, Dark Roast is a new black flow trail with some serious turns. Kozman took full advantage of being one of the first riders down the trail, shredding the corners.
Turns out there are a few ways to ride the slabs at the top of Rock Hammer. Kozman prefers the wall-ride while Will rides the steepest bit he can find. Then they get fancy.
We're not in Whistler anymore, $3 cans is a budget friendly happy hour.
The food at Woods is on point! This foot-long filled Kozman up, which is something to be said for the grom.
Ride bikes, drink beers, eat food, repeat.
On our last day, Kris and the Big White Trail Crew gave us the OK to get onto The Joker, their iconic jump trail, before it was open to the general public.
Will and Kozman talk the talk as they do an initial walk down The Joker. This trail was conceived by Bas van Steenbergen for the movie segment Rhythm. It has since been toned down for public consumption, but not by much.