First Ride of the Year

As a new transplant to Vancouver, I hadn’t experienced mountain biking before I moved here. In fact, the only fake mountain biking I had ever really done was on some cross country ski trails in the Temagami area of northeastern Ontario – hilly, yes, but by no means mountainous. My husband was very interested in it, however, so I figured I’d give it a try.

Last summer was an extensive effort in my attempting to get over a fear of crashing into the ground, rocks, trees, branches, and other bikers. I took a course with Women’s Only Mountain Biking which helped a bit until I hurt myself in one of the classes and ended up on crutches for a week. When I recovered, I financed myself a full suspension real mountain bike and got into a Sugoi Dirt Series Mountain Biking Camp in North Vancouver. That went much better than the first course I took – only bruises, no crutches.

Perhaps my tales of injury are not a good selling point on mountain biking… Oh well, too late now. (What, edit? NEVER!)

A week ago Sunday, we went for our first ride of the season on the lower trails at Burnaby Mountain.

For our first ride, since we were going out with me (still a beginner and afraid of falling, although better than I was) and our friend Tara, who had never mountain biked at all before, we chose some easy trails – more technical cross country than downhill. It’s a great place to learn, and in my case to get my courage back up to being able to do those North Shore downhill trails.

The lower Burnaby trails are great for beginners and intermediate riders who want to get some practice in on something that isn’t going to kill them. There are some well-built, low structures that are great to learn on, a little playground area with some jumps and skinnies, and the technical single-track trails are well maintained. The trails are shared with joggers and you’ll see all levels of riders. What I like is that you can ride the trails both up and down, to maximize riding time and to change things up a bit. If you get tired, there’s a gravel trail under the power lines to get you out quicker.

We had a great time and I didn’t hurt myself once. We hope to start riding about once a week from this point onward on various easy to intermediate trails in the area, weather permitting. Who’s in?

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