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Coming to Vancouver for a year

April 8, 2019, 11:49 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: April 8, 2019

Hi guys, looks like I'm coming to live in Vancouver for a year with my wife from mid summer (we're from the UK). Just wondering if there are any regular group rides I could tag along with? I noticed that a few of the shops have mid-week local rides, maybe I'd be best joining one of those? I've had a look on trailforks and it seems fairly easy to navigate but I guess it would be good to meet some local riders. Looks like it's not possible to ride year round because of the snow you get, do you guys (cough) road ride (cough) at all? Any help/advice much appreciated.........can't wait to arrive, the riding looks incredible :)

April 9, 2019, 7:53 a.m.
Posts: 106
Joined: June 17, 2016

Hi Mike,

Joining NSRide is a good way to meet other riders and get to know the trails. https://www.nsride.com/

And check out the NSMBA Fivers, fun low key events disguised as "race". https://nsmba.ca/fivers/

Also, many trails are often rideable year round, but some winters they can be snow-covered for a couple of weeks or months.

April 9, 2019, 8:13 a.m.
Posts: 1173
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

https://www.nsride.com/

We can pretty much ride year round, although the last couple years the trails have been more snow than usual, the new normal? Who knows.

Enjoy, there is endless riding on the shore.

BTW we spell it tires, not tyres. haha

April 10, 2019, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: April 8, 2019

Thanks for the replies guys, will check out those sites. Good to know riding year round is sometimes available, I'm a keen boarder as well so don't think I'll be getting bored.

Haha Brocklanders, 'tires' is wrong for sure :)

April 10, 2019, 10:10 a.m.
Posts: 1126
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

April 10, 2019, 5:37 p.m.
Posts: 17760
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Both NV and Van are getting better and better bike paths (road) every year.  Often you can pedal over a bridge quicker than you can drive. 

https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/cycling-routes-maps-and-trip-planner.aspx

April 10, 2019, 7:47 p.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: March 19, 2017

Hey Mike81, we moved out here almost 3 years ago from the UK and you won't be disappointed, though it takes a while to get used to the "new level" of riding, a UK black is a north shore low level blue. I'm riding every week and happy to show you around. PM me if you wish. good luck with the move and don't forget your helmet and your nerve.

April 11, 2019, 9:42 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Probably easier to not try and predict what sort of gear you'll need r.e. tires or whatever. Just get here, find some friends/Trailforks and start riding and you'll figure it out soon enough. There are so many amazing bike shops in Vancouver which have all the beta you need.

April 11, 2019, 12:03 p.m.
Posts: 3490
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

Posted by: craw

Probably easier to not try and predict what sort of gear you'll need r.e. tires or whatever. Just get here, find some friends/Trailforks and start riding and you'll figure it out soon enough. There are so many amazing bike shops in Vancouver which have all the beta you need.

I built my dream bike before moving over here in 2005, sold it within 2 months.

More shops than ever have demo fleets now and that's priceless - good trails and good demo options to figure out what is right for you. There's nowhere quite like here.

April 11, 2019, 11:03 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: April 8, 2019

Thanks for the replies/advice! Even from videos I can tell that the riding is another level from the UK (plus videos never do things justice)! I'm just going to bring the bike I have which is an alloy Slash.......which I've already dented after 2 months :( What bikes are you guys riding, 150/170 enduro bikes? I got the Slash with 'robust' in mind knowing I was coming to Vancouver.

Good to know there are lots of shops, I'm a bike mechanic in the UK so was going to try and get a job in one of the shops there.

April 12, 2019, 8:06 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Good choice on the Slash! Most people are on Enduro type bikes.

Check the Inside Line forum - there's a bunch of mechanic jobs on there. We sometimes call them techs.


 Last edited by: craw on April 12, 2019, 8:07 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 12, 2019, 3:06 p.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct. 25, 2009

As someone who has done what your are about to do here is my experience. Bike clubs don't exist as you know them, there are no local teams, clubs or group rides. There are organisations which offer social rides usually of a entry level ability. Some road race teams do exist but the one's I'm aware of are more of a closed shop deal.  

Road riding is very poor in Vancouver, there are next to no back roads, B roads or quiet country lanes. Partly due to geography and I'd guess partly due to the short history and heavy car reliance of the area. Fairly much all rides involve moderate to heavy traffic unless you start an hour or so down the valley where the roads tend to be on a grid layout and relatively flat. You really you need a car to go road riding, weird. I gave up road riding after a while due to the conditions here but I think a gravel bike might be a pretty good option to hit up the many forestry roads if you're in Van proper.

You have the right bike to start exploring the trails, there is very little in the way of DH trails and pretty much no XC around Vancouver. Trails tend to be a bit rougher with no crazy big stunts like there used to be though you can find that if you want. Uphill trails have only recently became a thing - the shore was founded on shuttling and big bike trails - and as such are not as numerous as you might like. There aren't really big loops to try but rather go up the climb and pick your descent from many and repeat. And don't forget the elevation difference, there are mountains here not hills. Climbs are long.

I'm sure somebody will jump in to correct or refute my points but this was/is my experience as a former UK resident. Find a group of friends with a similar ability and go ride, the Shore is bloody ace mate.

April 12, 2019, 6:02 p.m.
Posts: 1063
Joined: May 4, 2006

Bike clubs don't exist as you know them, there are no local teams, clubs or group rides. There are organisations which offer social rides usually of a entry level ability.

Not sure I agree with that. NSRide have some VERY advanced ride(r)s if you're feeling brave/fit and they are a sociable group! I'd start off with the intermediates until you get better orientated though...

April 13, 2019, 8:35 a.m.
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: bingobus

You have the right bike to start exploring the trails, there is very little in the way of DH trails and pretty much no XC around Vancouver. Trails tend to be a bit rougher with no crazy big stunts like there used to be though you can find that if you want. Uphill trails have only recently became a thing - the shore was founded on shuttling and big bike trails - and as such are not as numerous as you might like. There aren't really big loops to try but rather go up the climb and pick your descent from many and repeat. And don't forget the elevation difference, there are mountains here not hills. Climbs are long.

To add to these. I think that historically shuttling was a necessity that emerged from the super heavy freeride bikes of the time. As soon as we had better bikes we stopped shuttling for the most part. Don't worry there are places to shuttle all around here if you want to. There is a little traditional XC in Vancouver and lots more in Squamish and east in the Fraser Valley, places where you can also string together giant loops. But as bingobus says, on the shore it's mostly straight up-straight down. I think it's easier to plan your gear around that rather than trails that meander and canoodle up and down and around. 

If you are used to judging rides by distance covered you will be disappointed by the stats. But hey, you climbed 800m in 1km and came straight back down one of the best trails you've ever ridden!

April 14, 2019, 2:54 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: April 8, 2019

Some interesting points there bingobus, thanks. A google search highlighted some decent road rides out along the coast but like you say, a fair bit of the city to go through before you get to those roads. I think a poplular ride is up Froome or Seymour, then straight back down. I'm going to bring my road bike anyway, if nothing else it's a way to get around the city.

What you described is what I expected for MTB, massive climb followed by massive descent, rinse and repeat as many times as you can handle. There's a place I ride in Scotland that quite the same but on a hill not a mountain, same fireroad climb, mutiple descents from the top. I'm not that really into XC or DH as such, just like riding trails that are technical 'for me'.......which obviously varies between people. I ride a local DH track on my Slash which I'm sure is going to get blown out of the water on an easier shore trail!

Craw, I quite like stats, but mainly for the elevation gained, doesn't sound like I'm going to be dissapointed there :)

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