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If you could live anywhere else and just ride all the time, where would it be?

May 25, 2024, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 1075
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Cost of living aside, is there somewhere better than Vancouver for having such a spectacular range of riding within a 250km radius? Where else has the steeps and gnar that we enjoy along the S2S corridor?

There's nothing better than an Orangina after cheating death with Digger.

May 25, 2024, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 3254
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I've been looking at Spain lately, for reasons besides just access to trails.

But the big advantage S2S has is the density of trails in the region. There's no where else that can match it. If you're a rider, it's really tough to beat this region.

May 25, 2024, 10 a.m.
Posts: 2185
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Feel like I've been after it pretty hard my entire adult life. Chased down every riding area possible as they popped up on my radar over the decades- most every holiday, long weekend and over many dozens of sleepless work trips. It's an amazing world we live in.

Most renowned riding areas I've been claim to wear the crown, and without fail all compare themselves to The North Shore. Sometimes you can't help but burst out laughing, other times you pause to consider. 

But as far as I've seen Vancouver riding is a full notch above anywhere else in the world.

May 25, 2024, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 1075
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

That's been my experience so far of traveling to ride. Different spots are great in their differences but the density isn't there and often you need a local with secret knowledge to make the most of it. I went to eastern Spain last year and the guided riding was incredible but would I consider it feasible to live there and figure it out for myself? Probably not. I still have a lot of places on my list: Les Gets/Morzine, Finale Ligure, Madeira, Andorra-Ainsa region, Queenstown. Is there anywhere else that even comes close?


 Last edited by: craw on May 25, 2024, 10:07 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 25, 2024, 10:09 a.m.
Posts: 2600
Joined: April 2, 2005

what you don‘t have: the option to link everything inbetween your trail centers.

May 25, 2024, 11 a.m.
Posts: 2185
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

/\ 👑

May 25, 2024, 11:22 a.m.
Posts: 649
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Fernie is pretty close. Lots of trails in the valley, good gravel riding and a bike park too. All in a relatively small town with a small town vibe. Some tourists as the town is a reasonable distance from Calgary but not like Squamish or Whistler. But it’s not close to Vancouver.


 Last edited by: andy-eunson on May 29, 2024, 9:08 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
May 25, 2024, 11:45 a.m.
Posts: 879
Joined: June 17, 2016

I grew up in the Netherlands without any mountains and once I got hooked on mountain biking I asked myself this question many times.

North Vancouver is pretty sweet, we ended up staying for 10 years. The trails are unique and I really came to love them. They are also all within a fairly narrow band of steeper, technical, ride all the way up, drop all the way down riding. There isn't much XC-type trail riding or less technical, flowy trails.

We are now coming up on 2 years in Comox Valley and I'm really enjoying the wider variety or riding including more XC-ish and pedally rides but I do miss the Shore style trails!

While neither is perfect (no place is), these two places are at the top of my list. I feel privileged to have been able to follow my dreams and live in these beautiful places with so many great trails.

There are a few other places in the world where I could see myself living, I liked Christchurch in NZ for example for its low key vibe and some pretty nice riding in the area. Queenstown is nice to visit but not to live, just like Whistler. Too touristy. There are probably other places in NZ where I could live, it's a great country with great people.

Living far away from family and friends in Europe is not ideal and the pandemic drove that point home. Maybe one day I'll want to go back to Europe.


 Last edited by: [email protected] on May 25, 2024, 12:25 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
May 27, 2024, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 423
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: andy-eunson

Fernie is pretty close. Lots of trails in the valley, good gravel riding and a nike park too. All in a relatively small town with a small town vibe. Some tourists as the town is a reasonable distance from Calgary but not like Squamish or Whistler. But it’s not close to Vancouver.

trails get too dry in the summer and the shuttling isn't as easy.

May 27, 2024, 12:14 p.m.
Posts: 1075
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: LoamtoHome

Posted by: andy-eunson

Fernie is pretty close. Lots of trails in the valley, good gravel riding and a nike park too. All in a relatively small town with a small town vibe. Some tourists as the town is a reasonable distance from Calgary but not like Squamish or Whistler. But it’s not close to Vancouver.

trails get too dry in the summer and the shuttling isn't as easy.

That's a major issue of the interior in general: fires.

May 27, 2024, 2:40 p.m.
Posts: 1382
Joined: May 4, 2006

Where else has the steeps and gnar that we enjoy along the S2S corridor?

Hmmm, if I have one criticism of the S2S it's that the riding is pretty one dimensional, though with the caveat, you're probably right - there is unlikely to be anywhere with such a density of stunning trails.

May 27, 2024, 3:19 p.m.
Posts: 3254
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: SixZeroSixOne

Where else has the steeps and gnar that we enjoy along the S2S corridor?

Hmmm, if I have one criticism of the S2S it's that the riding is pretty one dimensional, though with the caveat, you're probably right - there is unlikely to be anywhere with such a density of stunning trails.

I used to think that and still do to a certain degree, but feel a lot of that perception comes from the fact that most people tend to ride similar types of trails. If you get off the Shore there definitely is more variety out there, especially more pedally types of trails and less gnar type trails. The one thing the Shore could really benefit from is a mellow blue descent that is a bit more up and down with a mix of trail styles, some flow/jumps and some easy gnar.

May 27, 2024, 3:39 p.m.
Posts: 791
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: SixZeroSixOne

Where else has the steeps and gnar that we enjoy along the S2S corridor?

Hmmm, if I have one criticism of the S2S it's that the riding is pretty one dimensional, though with the caveat, you're probably right - there is unlikely to be anywhere with such a density of stunning trails.

I used to think that and still do to a certain degree, but feel a lot of that perception comes from the fact that most people tend to ride similar types of trails. If you get off the Shore there definitely is more variety out there, especially more pedally types of trails and less gnar type trails. The one thing the Shore could really benefit from is a mellow blue descent that is a bit more up and down with a mix of trail styles, some flow/jumps and some easy gnar.

Is that not basically Ned's or Expresso?

As far as where to live, it's a great question. If I couldn't live in North Van, or alternatively if I could live anywhere else, where would it be?

Really tough question, I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather be. Sunshine coast or Salt Spring might be cool, but I'd miss being able to hop on the seabus and wander around down town.

Down town Vancouver would be cool, but I think the novelty would wear off and I'd rather be closer to the forest.

IMO that's what makes North Van so amazing, it can feel almost wild and rural or quite metropolitan, however the mood strikes you.

I sometimes wouldn't mind being further south but I don't want to be an American, so that kills that.

I grew up in northern BC. No interest in going back to that, culture wise or weather wise.

Interior BC, too much fire.

Further east, too flat.

So, stay here unless my mortgage crushes my soul completely.


 Last edited by: Kenny on May 27, 2024, 3:51 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
May 27, 2024, 4:21 p.m.
Posts: 201
Joined: March 12, 2021

Posted by: craw

Cost of living aside, is there somewhere better than Vancouver for having such a spectacular range of riding within a 250km radius? Where else has the steeps and gnar that we enjoy along the S2S corridor?

250km is a very big area. I'm sure in Europe you could find some sick zones - the World Cup does.

I live in the lower mainland and I don't have enough time to ride everything that is within 45 minutes of my house.  I do my best to frequent Fromme, Seymour, Burke, Eagle, Woodlot, and Galbraith and it can be 6 months or more before I get back to one of those zones.

We are so spoiled for choice here it's ridiculous.

Even with the places I listed above there are a bunch of awesome zones I am not getting too; Cypress, Sumas, Bear, and Vedder. I am sure I am missing some :)

May 27, 2024, 4:32 p.m.
Posts: 3254
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Kenny

Posted by: syncro
I used to think that and still do to a certain degree, but feel a lot of that perception comes from the fact that most people tend to ride similar types of trails. If you get off the Shore there definitely is more variety out there, especially more pedally types of trails and less gnar type trails. The one thing the Shore could really benefit from is a mellow blue descent that is a bit more up and down with a mix of trail styles, some flow/jumps and some easy gnar.

Is that not basically Ned's or Expresso?

Well maybe for us in the myopic Shore world, yes, but in a lot of places those trails are on the more extreme end of riding. Mind you I haven't been down Ned's since it's recent rebuild, so my opinion there is moot.

Something like Forever After, but longer with more up and down, smoother/easier in some spots, and without the high speed to sharp corner sections. There are sections that are awesome and sections that would need to be tamed down a bit. I think it's not too much to ask to have one trail that fits that criteria. When you consider the number of loamers that have been popping up that fall into the the aggro bermy/flowy category I think having one longer blue trail would be great. I think a good example would be Mel's at SFU, but waaay longer. Sometimes it's great to be able to do a ride where you don't have to be on all the time but can still get a decent rip in and have lots of fun. 

Still thinking Spain would be the place to go to. The biggest thing that kills it for living here is the cost of housing.

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