Life In The Loops - A Lifetime In Dust

Feb 14, 2012 at 0:17
Feb 14, 2012
by Dylan Sherrard  
 
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Header for my monthly column Life In The Loops

If you've stumbled upon any of my riding or written work on this website over the past few seasons then it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that I love my life here in the loops. The city of Kamloops has played host to some of the most rampant and memorable moments of my life and as time rolls on, the situations only continue to escalate. I'm so tightly bound to this town and all its otherworldly wonder that I don't think I will ever get away, and at this point in time I have no intention to. People often question how a young man born on the east coast and raised in the great white north would have come to call Kamloops home, and that story seems as fitting a way as any to start my monthly column.


My dusty life in the loops essentially began as a vacation that I forgot to bring to an end. My first visit to the loops was when I was sixteen years old. I'd made friends with a local rider named Stevin Tuchiwsky over a parts sale and he offered me the chance to come visit. At the time, Steve held legendary status in my eye. He had what I now regard as a classic Kamloops style and the idea of riding with someone of his caliber made the 36 hour Greyhound ride from Whitehorse seem more than reasonable. I quickly packed my bags and hopped on the bus in search of a short adventure. Arriving in Kamloops I found so much more. Something about this place - the riders, the trails, the landscape and the ever ominous dust - grabbed a tight hold of me and wouldn't let me go. It wasn't long before I made the official move and the rest became history.

I ll never escape this stuff. Allan Mcvicar photo on left Matt Miles photo on right.

The riders were the first of the elements that pulled me in. In addition to Steve, I met a lot of talented riders right away. Graham Agassiz, Matt Brooks and Kurt Sorge were all living in town and never shy to take me for a ride. Riding with people like that seemed totally insane. On a daily basis I witnessed them perform acts of bicycle trickery I'd previously never imagined possible. And as if riding with rising stars like them wasn't enough to knock me off my feet, Freeride Entertainment began filming in town and I got to meet Andreu Lacondeguy and Cam Mccaul; really funny guys who are still two of my favorite riders. Seeing the way all these riders rode their bikes and the way they lived their lives made me want to be a part of this place more and more with each passing day.

It s all good times in Kamloops. Allan Mcvicar Photos.

Despite their heavy influence on my current lifestyle, the riders were only the tip of the iceberg. I also met a lot of influential photographers, talented individuals hiding behind their cameras who drew me in through their work. Allan Mcvicar was the first to invite me to collaborate in his efforts to expose the beauty of our riding and our landscape. I didn't have a car and he would drive me and my bike anywhere I wanted to go, as long as he could take my photo. Something about being involved in such artistic creations as Allan's photos sparked a creative mission for me that has lasted for years and will not soon burn out. A lot of my favorite images of myself have been captured by Allan and many of them are featured in this article. Most of them were shot when I first moved to Kamloops in 2007, so they all fit in here perfectly.

Some older riding shots from my arrival in Kamloops in 2007. Allan Mcvicar Photos.

Affectionate memories of people aside, there was instantly something evident about the nature of Kamloops that made me feel at home here. At first glance I was certain this landscape of cheese wedge booters and high-speed trails would be the death of me. Learning to ride here and let the landscape shape my skill set was the scariest learning curve I've ever been through. But I wanted to be a part of these grassy green hillsides, tall red-dead trees and long dusty ribbons of trail. It wasn't long before massive gaps looked less like death traps and more like opportunities to fly sideways, before tall rolling hills seemed less like postcard pictures and more like places to play. Though they've claimed a few of my bones and a lot of my blood, I will always recall the Kamloops hills and trails as one of the biggest reasons to stay.

My life in the loops has seen some ups and downs but I would never change a thing. Allan Mcvicar Photos

Now after living here for five years I have been realizing what continues to keep me here. Above everything else that I have mentioned, it's the simple fact that everything is coming together. I'm able to ride my bike almost every day and experience things that were just daydreams only a few short years ago. To this day nearly every ride feels like an accomplishment and every time I throw my bike over my tailgate and burn off into the sunset I feel content. Through riding and living here I've found the perfect ways to express myself and just be me, and that's something people spend their whole lives trying to achieve.

Slashing through dust. Matt Miles Photo.

So in case you have ever wondered, that is the short and sweet story of how I ended up living in Kamloops. And for all of those reasons, I'll never be able to leave. I've spent a solid five years here in the dust, coughing it out of my lungs, rinsing it from my hair and wiping it from my smile. I never could have imagined that a bus ride from the Yukon in search of a week's worth of wandering would have turned into a lifetime of adventure, but I wouldn't have changed a thing along the way. I feel so fortunate to be here still, and I do everything I can to keep myself in this position. I'm really excited to have this column this year and share with everyone through words and photos, some deeper insight toward what makes things tick. I hope you are excited too, to follow along behind the scenes of my life in the loops.


To keep up with Dylan between columns, check him out on Twitter and on the Kona Cog.

Footer for my monthly column Life In The Loops
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52 Comments

  • + 19
 I usually to go to whistler every summer for two weeks to ride the mountain and surrounding areas. Last summer I reluctantly decided to go to kamloops first for a few nights and then drive to whistler. I wished I had just stayed my whole trip in kamloops. Between sun peaks, bike ranch, and some of the hidden trails scattered throughout the mountains I was blown away and I probably only scratched the surface. Had an absolute blast there.
  • + 15
 Kamloops is deffinatley a good time! I'd love to live there
  • + 14
 If I had the money I'd go and live there.
  • + 5
 Kamloops is the shit! Went there 2 years ago for only 2 days unfortunetly (I was on a BC roadtrip comin from Qu├ębec...) and its probebly the greatest place I've been riding so far. I rode the bike ranch for only an afternoon and went to sunpeaks for a day but the forcast was really bad which was cold crazy rain and almost snowy at the top so they decided to close the mountain so we only did like 2 runs... And this was in early July. Cant wait to go back there this summer hopefully with better conditions! So stoaked!!
  • + 3
 That reminds me... I was talking to these two bikers that are from Canada and I was telling them that the loops is one of the places I'd want to visit most. They looked at me like I was crazy and said, "why would you go there? It's just a desert there..."
  • + 4
 You guys who live in Canda dont know how lucky you are to live in such a amazing riding community and place ! i would do anything to live in Canada just to follow my dream
  • - 2
 cool story bro Wink
  • + 1
 We took a two-week road trip from California to hit SilverStar and Whistler this last summer. During the trip planning, we found Kamloops right between the two and decided to stop for a day and check out the riding. Well, this coming summer, we're cutting down our stay in Whistler to spend three or four more days in Kamloops and Sun Peaks. Shredhard speaks the truth. Kamloops will redefine what you enjoy about biking. We had such a blast riding KBR. Its a down-right awesome place and I can't wait to return. I only wish I could meet and dig with the trail builders to thank them and learn their trail-building wizardry.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: I dont know who those guys are cuz they might have smoked something really bad since its defently not only a desert... Facepalm
  • + 1
 ^ Hahahaha, that makes it even more amazing.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Keep doing what you are doing Dylan! I am glad and humbled I had an impact on your choice to move to Kamloops. You with many others represent what the core of riding should be in that place. Great article, gave me goosebumps and couldn't have summed up the magic of Kamloops any better!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 excellent read dylan, cant wait for the next one. Glad you found kamloops its an amazing city to live in. A lot of us born here take it for granted and its articles like this that make you really appreciate it.
  • + 10
 I have a lot of love for Kamloops, awesome trails, lots of variety, super nice friendly chill grounded people, easy to get around, amazing ski hill with sick trails and terrain, good times all round

I have my own "Days in the Loops" memories that will take a lot of beating..........best spring and fall riding I've ever experienced, some of the best times on the road, 9 consecutive weekends of shredding the Loops. You know who you are. Thank you.

Awesome place, if anyone's looking for a recommendation for a great place to live and ride, check it out
  • + 6
 Loved it. A great Valentine's day read for my one true love. Happy Valentine's Day, shredders of gnar. Now get out there and have an orgy with your bike and local trails cuz Lord know we lust for that shit more than pussy... Unless it's Mila Kunis's
  • + 3
 LOL! Think my girlfriend will get pissed if tell her that?
  • + 1
 probably.....but go for it anyways
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Beautifully written Dylan! Smile
Kamloops always seemed to be a perfect place for my riding style - open spaces with a great dirt to build huge jumps and fast trails look like dream... I wish I will have an opportunity to go there and ride sometime.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Yeah Dylan, your riding style totally inspires me and is one of the many reasons why I freaking LOVE the Loops!!! I'm always so challenged while I am out there and continually come away a better rider after every visit. SO STOKED to get back out there and shred this summer!!! Now we just need Steve to learn how to jump... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
  • + 1
 are you coming back in 2012 ?
  • + 1
 Not sure if we are doing another month long trip to BC, or just a week or two in the interior, but YES we'll be around at some point this summer!!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 oh ya! summer is coming!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Keep living the life my friend. Great read.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Is there XC/AM riding around Kamloops? Is it super dusty everywhere around there? I've seen lots of video of the area and it looks amazing, but the freeride stuff looks waaaaaaaaaaaaay over my skill level. As for the dust, I am just a wimp and like more loamy-ness (like sea-to-sky). I have the chance to go to the island or the loops in mid-may-->mid-June and cant decide. Lately I've been getting my lycra on... sad I know, but yeah, wondering if there are more pedally and loamy bits around too or if it is all big dusty lines. cheers!
  • + 1
 Yes, there is any type of riding you can imagine here in the loops.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 All of the shots on this page are POD material!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Last summer 5 friends and me were on a road trip form Calgary to Vancouver. We hit kicking horse, silverstrar, kamloops, sun peaks and whistler. It was amazing. In kamloops we met with Dylan at the bicycle cafe. He was kind enough to tell us were to go. The temperature was freakin hot but when riding rio and the bike ranch we had the best time while the sweat was dripping underneath our protection. Thumbs up for kamloops an Dylan, thanks dude!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Yeah Bro! Congrats on getting a regular column.
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  • + 3
 I can't wait until I can take a trip there I'm looking into maybe going to college in Vancouver B.C.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Articles like this are why I check pinkbike. Thank you guys for putting up stories about the ridding scene, and not just fluffy advertising.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 went only once last summer, hoping to hit it more often this coming season. stoked on the trails, the builders and the riders out there. kamloops gets a solid nod from me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i duns like it when dylan drinks and makes funny faaaaaces, and when he goes upside dun. keep rockin out with your cock out dylan!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Home town, born & raised riding bikes here and boarding at the Peaks, gotta love this place
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Born and raised in kamloops, so lucky to live here. It's like having your whole backyard full of trails and more!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 shred hard, sherrard
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  • + 1
 i would love to live in kamloops
[Reply]
  • + 1
 he deserved a weekly column
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  • + 1
 Soon guys , soon the dust will be coming Can't wait to ditch all this snow
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  • + 1
 cant wait to live here its all i think about Smile
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  • + 1
 Now that is a classic biking story
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  • + 1
 Surely this is the dream for anyone Big Grin
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  • + 1
 Your a lucky guy! Kamloops is on my places i need to ride list
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  • + 1
 Just soo stoked! Nuthin else too say!
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  • + 1
 Sry my i pad lagged and posted it 4 times. SORRY
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  • + 1
 if there is one place i wish i could live at its kamloops
[Reply]
  • + 1
 brb, just getting my degree. see you in a couple of years.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 awesome shredhards one of my favriote riders! such a nice guy!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Kamloops is fucking amazing love riding there
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