Squamish: Where to go for your first mountain biking experience

I’ve been slow on updates with everything in life for the past two weeks, and so nothing has been getting done. My apologies.

So last weekend was jam-packed with mountain biking action for me. On Saturday morning we drove up to Squamish and bought a map from Tantalus Bike Shop of the local trails. They were quite friendly there, and not at all standoffish like some of the shops I’ve been to more locally. We were scouting trails for a trip that the husband wanted to do with his work – a kind of Introduction to mountain biking for his co-workers who haven’t tried it.

There was much climbing done – not so steep that we had to get off the bikes and walk it, but I would guess that we were riding uphill for nearly an hour and a half before we decided to turn around. It was actually a nice climb, and a good warm-up. I must be getting into better shape, because I wasn’t nearly as exhausted as I thought I would be when we reached the top.

Turning around was when the fun part started.

We were actually riding part of the Test of Metal track (a 67km cross country race held yearly in Squamish.) The first section we rode was a fantastic winding dirt singletrack called Rob’s Corners – it was like nothing I had ridden in Vancouver to date. The second part, Cliff’s Corners, was more of the same winding switchbacks near the power line trail we had ridden up.

There was more fast, wide trail all the way back down to where we started. I don’t usually get to go very fast on the trails we’ve been frequenting, since they’re usually of a more technical (read: difficult) nature than our Squamish ride. I had a fantastic time, however, and for an introduction to mountain biking, I would highly recommend some of the trails in Squamish.

2 Comments so far

  1. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    What are your thoughts on local beginner trails? I’m not exactly an adept mountain biker (more enthusiastic than skilled), and I’ve ridden a few trails around town, but they seem to fall into two classes: ludicrously easy (Pacific Spirit park)or pretty darned hard (most of Burnaby Mountain; even CBC on the Shore).

    Maybe I’m just picky, or conveniently dividing trails into “Trails Ryan can Ride Easily” and “Trails that Give Ryan Pause.”

  2. Jenny Lee Silver (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

    Pacific Spirit Park is very much pathetically easy. I was actually disappointed when I went.

    Burnaby Mountain’s Lower trails – specifically the North Road trail – are good for learning technical skills, although I found them very intimidating when I started. The good part about it is that there is very little incline and the structures are mostly at ground level with options to go around almost all of them, so while it’s a technical trail it’s still fairly rideable. We go back to the lower Burnaby trails frequently just to try and improve our skills.

    North shore is harder – it’s very difficult to find a NS trail that’s not on a steep incline, and that makes things a lot more challenging. The only really easy spot is maybe Seymour Conservation Forest, in the lower area. The Bridal Path is also a reasonably nice trail with some more challenging sections (like the rock garden that put me on crutches, but I’m a lot better now than I was then.) Nothin I remember on the Bridal Path was incredibly tough, and the Empress Exit trail was incredibly fun with awesome switchback banked corners.

    Flywheel on Burke Mountain in Port Moody is a pretty good trail for not being too steep, but it is exceptionally muddy (or has been every time I’ve been) and many of the structures are treacherous, they’re in such bad shape. With some maintenance it would be a great trail.

    Delta apparently has some good flat trails with some logs to ride over or something, but I haven’t been and am somewhat inclined to think that they’re more akin to Pacific Spirit Park’s trails.

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