Until May 2011, the North Shore
, the birthplace of free-riding, a network of trails contiguous to a metropolitan area of 1.5 million people had no guidebook. Sure there are websites with online maps, sites that aggregate GPS information and trail information and some maps (eg the Cove Production maps and the Seymour NSMBA map). But there is no one single resource that ties this all together.
One look though at online forums whether here on Pinkbike or on other venues and you will find many of the same questions again and again. Where do I ride? Where can I rent a bike? Where/how do I even start?
Wade Simmons and Sharon Bader have put together a guidebook that will go a long way to filling this knowledge gap.
Cover of the "Locals' Guide"
Not many other people could have put together such an undertaking. Wade needs no introduction. He can ride all these trails and then some and has been around almost as long as everyone. Sharon's been the tireless behind-the-scenes advocate for Shore biking. President of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association
for 5 years, she knows all the builders, all the trails and more importantly, knows what to put in and what to leave out of such a guide.
Sharon and Wade on "Upper Tall Cans" - Cypress. Didn't know there was such a trail? Buy the book!
The book is replete with an astounding amount of detail. The major trail areas of Cypress, Fromme
are described. Maps are abundant; there are general overview maps which are then expanded into detailed maps. GPS points are given to help navigate as are trail descriptions. Many locals take navigating the trail system for granted. Although there are signs, there are also many unsigned intersections and it's easy to get lost. This guidebook might just help you find the trails that you'll want to ride.
Sample trail descriptions describe the character of the trail. Didn't know there was a Greenland? Buy the book!
The "Locals' Guide"
also contains suggested ride descriptions ie. routes recommended as starting points for exploration by Wade and Sharon. Often you might not know that there are ways to link trails in the system so that they logically flow. Or you might not know that "Sticks and Stones"
rides more downhill one way and uphill another. Or you might not know that "Dirty Diapers"
is a nice variation to 'Neds"
. Or you might be a tourist who wants the one must-do shuttle run. Or even seasoned locals might not have heard of trails such as "Tall Cans"
or "Pull Tab"
. The Locals' Guide
won't give you every possible detail, but it will go a long way to letting you learn what is out there and start you on the baseline of exploring and finding out these gems for yourself.
The Richard Juryn trail is part of the xc trail system in the Seymour Demonstration Forest.
Sample suggested ride description shows a very popular Seymour XC/AM loop.
No article about Shore trails would be complete without a shout out to the tireless builders. From the Locals' Guide
foreword:A shout-out must also go to all the trail builders and volunteers who’ve
worked on North Shore trails. It’s impossible to thank everyone who has
ever built a trail or laid a shovel to dirt. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone
(you’ll know if you’re one of the doers and not just a talker). Thanks to
all the following in no particular order; Digger, Dean, Old Man Pete, PD,
Jeremy, theGiggler, BMB, SAB, Wilkez, Niggz, Dipper, dirty deeds, One
Eye, TSW, MuddBunnies, Knnn, Heckler, Ducati, Chris2, JW, the Family-
Guys, FOCM, bullit-kid, Karen, Knight-rider, Rat, MSG, Goat Legs, PH, SL, dawnchairy
Wilson & everyone who has ever come out to an NSMBA trailday.
Wade and Sharon on SGS - Cypress. Never heard of "SGS"? Buy the book!
It is with that sentiment that the Locals' Guide
" will be periodically donating to trailworkers. The first donation is a cash $100 donation to the "Aftertaste Crew" who brought "My Trail aka everyone-else-calls-it-Aftertaste-so-lets-just-go-with-the-flow" and many other trails into the world. Periodic donations will be made to local Shore builders/workers.
How to Buy the Book
Wade on some greasy Fromme rock.
The book is sold at almost all North Vancouver bike shops and at MEC. You can also buy it directly from Wade and Sharon via the website at www.mtbtrails.ca
. You can also buy it from the Pinkbike store
The "Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides"
costs $24.95. 83 trails are described in 83 pages. 21 rides are suggested along with GPS and elevation profiles. The guidebook is printed on high-quality paper. It contains pictures kindly provided by Sterling Lorence
Details concerning possible electronic maps, GPS apps and e-books are being worked out and will be announced.
Wade and Sharon on Empress - Seymour