Growing up in a hockey rink was a cold, smelly but fun experience. For the next generation of kids with parents addicted to biking the rink is replaced by a forest. This summer I dragged my nine year old son Dane around the forests of the North Shore (his backyard), Silverstar and Whistler. We started with a bike camp I hosted on the Shore.
The campers with former Nsmb.com team rider Ian Nelson. Taking a break after a big climb on Richard Juryn trails. The Seymour Demonstration Forest and lower Fromme trails were crawling with other bike camps. North Van parents love to get their kids into the woods on two wheels.
Pushing their heavy kids bikes up hills was exhausting…but character building I guess.
Dane Hansen riding the newly renovated Lower Griffen trails to his backyard.
Ready for launch. First bikepark experience. Silverstar is the perfect mountain for all levels.
The mini-skills park has a few launches and log rides to get warmed up. This is also the location for Dane’s first-ever ski experience years ago.
The chairlift was a welcome break from a week of climbing singletrack and fireroads on the Shore.
Ian Galbraith, Silvestar’s bikepark marketing guru, recommended we hit Challenger as a first run. It is a smooth green run with blue options to challenge riders, hence the name..duh.
A sweet wall ride which is a mini-version of the big one on World Cup. We rode it both ways and loved it.
The Silverstar instructors use Challenger as a test for rider readiness for higher difficulty levels. Here Dane rides the next trail Superstar. I have usually hit it as a warmup when I am in town. All the jumps are small enough to roll or transition with speed. Fun for the whole family.
“My arms are killing!” The hardtail with an inch of travel rattles even the rubber of youth.
After Superstar we moved on to the windiest trail I have seen, Snake Pit. We decided all the tight turns, long singletrack and occasional uphills were not what we wanted. The berms, airs and speed of Challenger and Superstar were perfect.
If this wasn’t lift-accessed it would be a great singletrack ride.
From the Shore to Silverstar then back to the mecca: Whistler. Camping at Cal-cheak is perfect for riders; single track via the Sea to Sky trail to either Brandywine to the south or Whistler to the north. This trail had a lot of tight stuff that could put a kid into the river quick.
The Lost Lake trails in Whistler are perfect for young riders. The Zappa trails, named after Frank Zappa songs, require an easy gravel singletrack uphill but the downhill is filled with bridges, rock features and fun, flowy singletrack. The XC ski hut is also a good launch spot.
Toads of the Short Forest – the trail name.
The Nsmb.com Airprentice with the Nsmb.grom apprentice. Muni DJ’s are fun for all levels.
Tyler Wallace and Dane scoping the rock face on Danimal. The spoiled brats were shuttled twice on Danimal and once on Big Timber. Who can resist a free shuttle?
The perfect ending to a summer of riding: catching trout in Nita lake.