The Mountain Bike Life

Category: Rides

Driving through Vantage, Washington doesn’t inspire visions of biking adventures. Interstate 90 slams straight though this shrub infested wasteland, full of wind turbines and cow patties. The Columbia River offers only a momentary break from the monotony of brown, mostly treeless views. Petrified wood and the basalt columns of Frenchman Coulee make up the only claim to fame for this tiny town. But this place has a lot more to it than what is framed in a speeding car window…

The sun may be far away but when the sun has storms it sends charged particles hurling off in all directions. Sometimes those charged particles make their way to our atmosphere and the earth’s magnetic field reacts with these particles, and the result is the aurora borealis. A few weeks ago the northern hemisphere experienced a few nights of heavy activity from the sun. Reading the reports, I called up my buddy Jeff Currie from Outtabounds – bike and board…

When someone tells you that there’s a stellar, flowy trail worth exploring on a mountain you’ve never heard of and near a town you’ve never been to, you might be skeptical. Even more so when the trail in question is in another country and the locals there have never heard of it or ridden it. Looking at a map you can see it’s out of the way and will take a whole day out of your vacation plans – is…

This winter was supposed to be all about riding our new fat bikes in the snow. Wool socks, boots, pogies, insulated camelback bladders: we were ready to spend our weekends pedaling in the cold, white world. But a little South American by the name of El Nino decided to send us West coasters the Pineapple Express – insanely warm winds that rocket up the coast from Hawaii to dump tons of rain and push temps to 10C+. Whatever snow we…

Being a mountain biker at forty offers rather more challenges than just terrain and skills. For me the sheer complexity of managing a corporate job, frequent and unavoidable travel, a tribe of children (seriously seems like they’re everywhere!), a busy working wife and a very energetic puppy mean that locating time to pedal is the toughest element of the sport for me. This means that when I do get a rare, selfish opportunity to dedicate time and travel to the…

Nephew Leo’s text came through at 10:30pm Saturday night. If I hadn’t been out later than usual, I’d surely have slept right through it and missed out on one of the best rides in a very long time. I was just crawling in to bed when my cell phone buzzed. “Hey, I can ride with ya tomorrow after all! I’ll meet you anytime, anywhere!” Boyfriend Al, lying next to me and deep in thought about the cowboy mystery on his…

With winter hitting the Canadian prairies pretty hard I was finding it tough to stay motivated to ride. I’d been making my way out on the bike a night or two a week. Sunday night rides on the indoor track and the odd night on the studded tire steel beater bike to tour around the park with the dog in chase. Thankfully with winter comes my other favorite sport, snowboarding. This season I wanted to get into it a bit…

Sitting around camp the night before the start of our three-day backcountry riding trip, one of our friends exclaimed that they wanted to see a bear. Not too close, but close enough to get a good look. Like most first timers to the South Chilcotins wilderness of southwestern British Columbia, our friends were excited about what they would see and do over the days ahead. The promise of endless stretches of singletrack weaving back and forth from valley bottom to…

Wales is as synonymous with legends as it is rain and sheep. If legend is to be believed, if you sleep alone on the top of Cadair Idris you will awaken either a mad man or a poet. I’m clearly not fully a man of legendary characteristics, as I awoke the day after my ‘jaunt’ up Cadar Idris without any poetic fervour, I was however grinning like a mad man. This trip had been a long time coming and we…

The rainy season saw us on the run recently. Away from the damp, grey box of our mountain-lined city towards sunny, wide open spaces. Weather forecasts pointed us southeast of the Cascade Range to the rolling land between Yakima and Walla Walla. In this sage-filled desert, there are trail networks that make for great late season riding. One of these is just over the Washington border in Echo, Oregon. Those of you who have driven Interstate 84 with Moab-glazed eyes…

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