Toyota Dream Ride: Revelstoke

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Mark "Mags" Mackay (unless otherwise noted)
Video Chad Jones
Date Jun 20, 2016

The life of a pro mountain biker is exactly as amazing as you think it is. Maybe better. For last summer’s edition of the Dream Ride, we told the crew at Toyota BC that we wanted to give the winners something unique: a taste of the pro mountain biker’s lifestyle. Set them up with a fresh trio of Altitudes from Rocky Mountain and a sparkling Toyota Tacoma to use for the weekend and send them down the road to a weekend of riding with Thomas Vanderham and the NSMB crew. We wanted a quintessential British Columbian mountain bike destination. Glacier-topped mountains, high alpine riding accessible by truck, and good vibes in town. Could we have chosen a better destination than Revelstoke?

Waiting at the end of the road was a log cabin. You would only call it modest if your last name rhymed with Drumpf. When Dream Ride winner Brett Grayston and his two pals showed up, we were there waiting for them. The fridge was full of beer, the steaks marinating, the hot tub flipped on. Party mode engaged. And the riding hadn’t even begun.

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The McKay Creek Chalet was our home base for the weekend – complete with hot tub and lots of space to stretch out and relax post ride – or get schooled at pool by Vanderham.

The cabin, the partying, the beer and the steaks were all great, but the main event was the alpine riding that laid in wait for our crew. With our guide and longtime pal, Jonny Smoke leading the way, we spent the next couple of days fending off rain clouds (unsuccessfully) while we ticked off some Revelstoke classics like Martha Creek – a 5,000′ alpine descent – and Frisby Ridge, which starts up high in marmot territory and drops you into the forest after an endless ribbon of sweet dirt.

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Dream Ride winner Brett Grayston, flanked by buddies Blair and Jeff. These guys were a lot of fun to have along for the weekend, and they knew how to handle themselves on a bike, as well.

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The Cabin at Mckay Creek – we recommend it.

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Loaded up on day 1. We were rolling deep with no fewer than four Tacomas of various generations.

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On days like this driving the shuttle is a perk. Headed up to Martha Creek on day one.

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Big crews often get balled up but this group meshed beautifully. Having Jonny Smoke to run the show was a huge asset.

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This is what we came for. Views were scarce all weekend but the top of Martha’s Creek delivered seven-figure views and glimpses of blue sky.

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Martha Creek trail starts in alpine terrain that will leave you gobsmacked before dipping into the trees for a combo of flow and technical ripping. The drive to Revelstoke was worth it for this ride alone.

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Lots of protein for big days in the mountains.

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Rocky Mountain provided Altitudes for the Dream Ride winners to ride for the weekend.

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You too can win a Dream Ride, and find yourself chasing Thomas Vanderham down Martha’s Creek.

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Water was not in short supply.

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It was that kind of weekend. Rainbows and unicorns.

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Any time spent in an alpine area is memorable. Add bikes and you’ve created a lifelong memory.

We all started to get cold so we decided to pin it down the trail as fast as we could. Thomas was leading the pack and I made it my goal to try and keep up with him. -Dream Ride winner Brett Grayston

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Spending the weekend riding and hanging out with Vanderham clinches once-in-a-lifetime status for the Dream Rider winners.

Toyota_Dream Ride Revelstoke_MarkMackay44The weather got nasty when we were on top of Frisby Ridge. Coming down was a splatter fest but it didn’t dampen the fun. Ollie Jones got a face full.

At the start of the weekend, we wondered what kind of riders our winners would be. Would the pace suffer? Not a chance. They came ready to charge all day and all night.

Brett sent along a few words to describe the weekend:

Wow! It’s hard to sum up how amazing this weekend was. It was a life-changing experience that will not be forgotten. It was literally what the name of the trip was called, a Dream Ride weekend. When I got an email saying that I had won the trip, my jaw dropped. I thought it was to0 good to be true as I rarely have won anything in my life.

I don’t think reality set in until we were in the Toyota Tacoma, heading to Revelstoke. The trip included a Toyota Tacoma for the weekend, Rocky Mountain bikes to ride, a mansion to stay at in Revelstoke, good company, food, and beer. Did I mention that Johnny Smoke was the guide and that we got to ride with Thomas Vanderham and the nsmb crew?

The weather during the trip was a mixed bag. We shuttled Martha creek on the first day which had picturesque views and the amount of vertical that we got to ride was insane. The trail was technical single track with gnarly sections that seemed to go on forever.

The second day we got to ride upper Frisby Ridge. As we reached the top the sky opened up on us. It’s amazing how fast the weather can change when you’re in the mountains. We all started to get cold so we decided to pin it down the trail as fast as we could. Thomas was leading the pack and I made it my goal to try and keep up with him. When we all converged at the bottom of the trail, we were all covered in mud and all you could see were smiles. Everyone was discussing which corners they had drifted and we were giving each other high fives. Both days were some of best riding that I have ever done. After we were done riding we headed back to the place where the nsmb crew cooked us amazing dinners while we relaxed. Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible. Not only was the riding incredible, but we got to meet some amazing people. The three of us had a fantastic experience.

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Toyota BC supplied a Tacoma to the winners to drive for the weekend. The expectation was that it would come back muddy. It did.


When we all converged at the bottom of the trail, we were all covered in mud and all you could see were smiles.

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Wet, muddy, a wee bit chilly: never been happier.

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That is the face of a guy livin’ the dream.

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Hailey Elise never shies away from a little mud.

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Ollie Jones putting in a little pre-ride prep on his Diamondback Mission Pro.

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A little Tour De France to warm up our engines at the beginning of the day.

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Just try and make Hailey stop smiling. We haven’t figured out a way yet.

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See what we mean? Photo: Jonny Smoke

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Trevor Hansen grippin’ and grinnin’ on Martha Creek. Photo: Jonny Smoke

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Dream Ride wasn’t just about the riding – we also made sure to have some fun at night. Photo: Jonny Smoke


Cam McRae and a follower climbing to Upper Frisby Ridge on Day 2. Photo: Jonny Smoke

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Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of days shredding Revelstoke with this guy along? Thomas is always welcome on our trips.

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Moody skies added layers of fun to the weekend.

It’s road trip season. Our Tacoma is going to be hitting the road all over BC. Where are you off to?

If you need a guide for your next riding trip in BC (and beyond) we highly recommend Jonny Smoke and Bush Pilot Biking.


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Jeff Scott
6 years, 1 month ago

Such a great weekend! Thanks again to all the sponsors and organizers! It was a memorable trip.


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