Rocky on the Island: Part Two

Aug 6, 2013
by Margus Riga  
 
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The second part of the Rocky Mountain Bikes team trip had us traveling from Canada's surf capital of Tofino, to mid-island, for a couple of days in a sleeper of a bike town, and the Island's best kept secret...Cumberland. After Cumberland, we travelled to the Island's Eastern coast, and blue collar working town of Campbell River, to languish in its textbook-perfect single track. Then we headed north and got weird with the locals in the fishing and forestry town of Port McNeill. Lastly, to finish off the trip in the true spirit of adventure and exploration, we took a water taxi to the tiny, remote Island of Alert Bay, to discover whatever happened to be there. The team would also dwindle down as the days went on. We lost Brett Tippie to a speaking engagement after Cumberland, and Thomas Vanderham to a movie, after Campbell River. Leaving Geoff Gullevich, the uber-talented slopestyle rockstar, and Andreas Hestler, the ex-Olympian turned Enduro slayer, to ride out the last two legs of the trip.

Gully getting in a quick lap in Tofino.
  Gully, getting in a quick lap under perpetually greybird skies in Tofino.

Tofino life.
  Tofino life.

In Tofino surfing is a way of life. Aftanas Surf Designs...locally made locally ridden.
  In Tofino surfing IS the way of life. Aftanas Surf Designs...locally made, locally ridden.

Big timber...Port Alberni.
  Big timber...Port Alberni (in between Tofino and Cumberland).

Gully. Cumberland.
  Gully. Cumberland.

Gully.
  Gully.

Doing my favourite trick...left and right turns. How many MTB coaches instructors does it take to screw in a lightbulb Three...one to screw it in and two others to say Nice turns .
  For Tippie's photos from a one-on-one evening session in Cumberland, we thought it would be an insult not to let Tippie do his own captions. Take it away Tippie!...Doing my favourite trick...left and right turns. How many MTB coaches/instructors does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three...one to screw it in and two others to say, "Nice turns".

This trail was such a blast Sorry couldn t help it Oh you need a magazine clip that holds a dozen rounds Is that in case the deer starts shooting back
  This trail was such a blast!(Sorry, couldn't help it!)"Oh, you need a magazine clip that holds a dozen rounds? Is that in case the deer starts shooting back?"

May the forest be with you.
  May the forest be with you.

Small hills and cheap thrills where the wood is good.
  Small hills and cheap thrills where the wood is good.

The early bird gets the BERM.
  The early bird gets the BERM.

Shooting late day sunset golden light with Margus on strange trails in strange lands on roadtrips can be risky. Getting lost is very real when it starts to get dark. I always think of comedian Mitch Hedburg s famous line If you get lost in the woods say screw it...build a house...I was lost but now I live here. I have seriously improved my predicament
  Shooting late day sunset golden light with Margus on strange trails in strange lands on roadtrips can be risky. Getting lost is very real when it starts to get dark. I always think of comedian Mitch Hedburg's famous line, "If you get lost in the woods, say screw it...build a house...I was lost, but now I live here. I have seriously improved my predicament!"

What color does a Smurf turn when you choke it
  What color does a Smurf turn when you choke it?

In-n-out in Cumberland.
  In-n-out in Cumberland.

Cumberland nightlife. The Waverly Pub hosts some pretty bad-ass bands on a regular basis.
  Cumberland nightlife. The Waverly Pub, hosts some pretty bad-ass bands on a regular basis.

Moon over Riding Fool Hostel. Cumberland.
  Moon over Riding Fool Hostel. Cumberland.

In Cumberland the rides start out the front door.
  In Cumberland, the rides start out the front door.

And here we go...Cumberland.
Meticulously manicured clearcut in Cumberland. Gully testing the gap.
  Meticulously manicured clearcut in Cumberland. Gully, testing the gap.

Top of the Bear Buns trail in Cumberland. Vanderham and Gully dropping in.
  Top of the Bear Buns trail in Cumberland. Vanderham and Gully, dropping in.

Wipe that smirk off yer face Andreas having more fun than you in Cumberland.
  Wipe that smirk off yer face! Hestler, having more fun than you in Cumberland.

Bear Buns trail. Gully and Vanderham.
  Bear Buns trail. Gully and Vanderham.

Gullevich and Vanderham sneaking in some turns through the trees in Cumberland.
  Gully and Vanderham, sneaking in some turns through the trees in Cumberland.

Bear Buns trail in Cumberland. Tippie and Hestler.
  Bear Buns trail in Cumberland. Tippie and Hestler.

Vanderham and Ross Measures making magic in Cumberland.
  Vanderham and Ross Measures, making magic in Cumberland.

One flew over the Riga s nest.
  One flew over the Riga's nest.

Gully road gap. Cumberland.
  Gully, road gap. Cumberland.

The Waverly Pub Cambell River.
  The Waverly Pub, Cumberland.

Hostel life...Tippie Cumberland BC.
  Hostel life...Tippie, Cumberland.

Andreas I got a pair of deuces. Whatchu got Margus Two queens and a Tippie. Andreas I fold.
  Andreas: "I got a pair of deuces. Whatchu got?" Margus: " Two queens and a Tippie." Andreas: "I fold."

Cumberland trailside lookout.
  Cumberland trailside lookout.

Murked out in Cumberland.
  Murked out in Cumberland.

Vanderham cutting his way clear in the clearcut. Cumberland.
  Vanderham, cutting his way clear in the clearcut. Cumberland.

Cumberland s trail crews have made good use of the numerous clearcuts that keep popping up all over the place. Forestry is still king in BC.
  Cumberland's trail crews have made good use of the numerous clearcuts that keep popping up all over the place. Forestry is still king in BC.

Gully blowing up this corner in Cumberland.
  Gully, blowing up this corner in Cumberland.

Last light. Last shot in Cumberland. Vanderham.
  Last light. Last shot in Cumberland. Vanderham.

Cambell River s Swicked Cycles. Go here.
  Campbell River's Swicked Cycles. Go here.

Vanderham getting his last fix of Island singletrack.
  Vanderham getting his last fix of Island singletrack.

Campbell River. Hestler and Vanderam.
  Campbell River. Hestler and Vanderham.

Campbell River has some of the smoothest sexiest singletrack on the Island. Hestler and Vanderham enjoying the good life.
  Campbell River has some of the smoothest, sexiest singletrack on the Island. Hestler and Vanderham enjoying the good life.

Gully Campbell River.
  Gully, Campbell River.

Vanderham Campbell River.
  Vanderham, Campbell River.

Hestler and Gully getting into it in Port McNeill.
  Hestler and Gully getting into it in Port McNeill.

Hestler. Port McNeill.
  Hestler. Port McNeill.

Port McNeill Friday rush hour.
  Port McNeill Friday rush hour.

Getting down to business in Port McNeill. Mid-ride snacks...fresh prawns and a whole lotta weirdness.
  Getting down to business in Port McNeill. Mid-ride snacks...fresh prawns and a whole lotta' weirdness.

Port McNeill glory whole.
  Port McNeill glory hole.

Port McNeill takes its riding very un-seriously.
  Port McNeill takes its riding very un-seriously.

Gully and Hestler exploring the deep dark dank woods in Port McNeill.
  Gully and Hestler, exploring the deep, dark, dank woods in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill seaside ambiance a la Gully.
  Port McNeill seaside ambiance a la Gully.

Sneaking one more shot in before the evening rolls in. Gully and Hestler. Port McNeill.
  Sneaking one more shot in before the evening rolls in. Gully and Hestler. Port McNeill.

Just when you though it couldn t get any more weird in Port McNeill...it does. Gully putting out the fire the right way.
  Just when you though it couldn't get any more crazy in Port McNeill...it does. Gully, putting out the fire the right way.

Water taxi from Port McNeill to Alert Bay. Gully taking in the morning light.
  Water taxi from Port McNeill to Alert Bay. Gully, taking in the morning light.

Port McNeill.
  Port McNeill.

Approaching Alert Bay.
  Approaching Alert Bay.

Alert Bay wildlife.
  Alert Bay wildlife.

Our guide while visiting Port McNeill and Alert Bay was Derek Koel who runs The Bike Shed and who also happens to have the largest collection of old classic and not-so-classic bikes I have ever seen.
  Our guide while visiting Port McNeill and Alert Bay was Derek Koel. He runs the local bike shop...The Bike Shed, and he also happens to have the largest collection of old classic and not-so-classic bikes I have ever seen.

Derek is definitely a character and a great host. Who says you can t have beers on a ride Check out the background...Rocky Mountain RM7 circa 2003 ...I believe.
  Derek is definitely a character, and the best ride guide ever. 'Who says you can't have beers on a ride?" Check out the bike in the background...Rocky Mountain RM7 in perfect running order, circa 2003...I believe.

Totem pole alley Alert Bay.
  Totem pole alley, Alert Bay.

The totems on Alert Bay are the real deal. Carved from real wood by real natives a long time ago.
  The totems on Alert Bay are the real deal. Carved from real wood, by real natives, a long time ago.

Totem plate 1. Alert Bay.
  Totem plate #1. Alert Bay.

Totem plate 2. Alert Bay.
  Totem plate #2. Alert Bay.

Gully and Heslter exploring Alert Bay s main drag.
  Gully and Hestler, exploring Alert Bay's main drag.

Alert Bay where double-decker buses come to die.
  Alert Bay, where double-decker buses come to die.

Alert Bay boardwalk creeping.
  Alert Bay boardwalk creeping.

Alert Bay homestead.
  Alert Bay homestead.

Gully Please tell me that s not a Rocky . It wasn t.
  Gully: "Please tell me that's not a Rocky". It wasn't.

Ship-wrecked in Alert Bay.
  Ship-wrecked in Alert Bay.

Fancy a mid-ride hammock session No problem in Alert Bay.
  Fancy a mid-ride hammock session? No problem, in Alert Bay.

Hestler. Alert Bay.
  Hestler. Alert Bay.

The shrubbery enshrouding parts of Alert Bay are so thick you could cut a trail through it. Hestler playing peek-a-boo I see you.
  The shrubbery enshrouding parts of Alert Bay are so thick, you could cut a trail through it. Hestler, playing peek-a-boo I see you.

All trails end at the Ocean in Alert Bay.
  All trails end at the Ocean in Alert Bay.

Gully tunnel vision in Alert Bay.
  Gully, tunnel vision in Alert Bay.

Hestler and Gully in a world of their own in Alert Bay.
  Hestler and Gully, in a world of their own in Alert Bay.

Gully enjoying the Alert Bay loam.
  Gully, enjoying the Alert Bay loam.

Alert Bay.
  Alert Bay.

Hestler and Gully scanning the seawall for Killer Whales.
  Hestler and Gully, scanning the seawall for Killer Whales.

Ravens. Alert Bay.
  Ravens. Alert Bay.

Alert Bay.
  Alert Bay.

Water taxi. Alert Bay.
  Water taxi. Alert Bay.

Hestler and Gully enjoying the water taxi back to Port McNeill from Alert Bay.
  Hestler and Gully, enjoying the water taxi back to Port McNeill from Alert Bay.

Ross Measures getting the shot.
  Ross Measures, getting the shot.

See from sea to sky in Port McNeill.
  See from sea to sky in Port McNeill.

Er magod. What a trip.
  Er magod. What a trip.

36 Comments

  • + 29
 This almost felt like 'reading' a playboy magazine, it was all about the pictures! some beautiful shots - kudos to the photographer and riders involved!
  • + 2
 Margus is a Rockstar behind the lens! Always enjoy seeing his photo epics.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Awesome! Been waiting for Part Two!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 This is realy epic! Vancouver Island is a place like heaven and in a few years i will be back there with my familiy!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Beautiful pics, well done! Loved it that Tippie got to comment on his shots - always a laugh! Would have loved to see some pics of Derek's bike collection too!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 If you scroll fast enough your can make a movie
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Alert bay. Wink
But in all seriousness that sounds epic. I don't know if its possible but the west coast trail would be an absolutely epic ride. Hopefully you guys tried that out but there's always next time!
  • + 4
 There are some trails that can't really be ridden, and West Coast Trail is one of them. Not to mention its in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, so it's illegal. And bring your surfboard to Tofino, not your bike....because the photo op is about the extent of the riding there.
  • + 1
 Your best with Cumberland, Duncan, Campbell River and Hornby as your trip
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Glad to see you guys stopped to see our big wood in Port Alberni! Next time stay and ride!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Margus you've done it again. Great shots!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Awesome as usual and so great to see that RM7 hanging in there!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Did anybody notice that the 790MSLs are running a Marzocchi and not a Fox CTD?
  • + 3
 Three of the team riders ride for Marzocchi.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 wow, great riding, scenery Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks like where adventure meets the spirit world. Amazing!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A nice reminder that living on the Island is awesome....sometimes I take it for granted
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Too bad the road gap in cumberland is gone
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love it! That is my Island! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 best shoot ever since my life!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 man, this photos are sweeeet... incredible shots Margus!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So many great shots in one article.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How much cost the hostel?
  • + 2
 From $25-$60 a night depending on dorm accommodation or private room. Awesome people there and great trail maps available at the desk.
www.ridingfool.com
  • + 1
 thanks dude
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This shots are epic!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 margus the magician
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great journal, amazing shots. Youre really living the dream!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 all this EPIC shoot and a road bike for POD today.... i don't want to live on this planet anymore !!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The writer of this article was so punny!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I love Tippie, but I'm voting to stop him from doing his own captions..
[Reply]
  • - 1
 You Canadians are tough! Full jackets in summer with beanies! Brrrrrrr!
[Reply]
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