"The trip of a lifetime" is an apt description for the journey we had last summer. We (two German mountain bikers named Patrick Rasche and Constantin Fiene) flew over to British Columbia in order to travel and explore the country and ride some of the best locations you can find. We checked out the desert style landscapes around Kamloops, Williams Lake and the Cariboo area along with Nelson and the Kootenay Mountains. We lived the freeride lifestyle for almost two months with the best riding conditions you can ask for full of sick riding spots.
The Williams Lake and the Cariboo area with its riding, nature and people was a total blast. Within a few days the locals showed us their favourite spots and rides. The Cariboo is vast and and you'll find hills, gullies and rivers everywhere. The region's biggest business is logging, and in their spare time the folks like to be in the outdoors. Mountain biking has got a long history there and it doesn't matter whether it's building or riding, they do it on a freakin' high level. We were lucky enough to ride with some ballsy locals who showed us what Cariboo gravity mountain biking is all about. If you are planning to do a bike riding trip to BC, go to Williams Lake and the surrounding area. They do not have any chair lifts, but as long as you go to Red Shreds bike shop and get in touch with the locals, you can't go wrong.
If you are in Williams Lake you have to go to the Farwell Canyon. Bring your bikes and some time to check out the area and you can definitely find some gnarly and not-so-gnarly lines.
The key to riding the trails in this area is very simple. If you don't have a helicopter you either have to shuttle or hike up those hills. No hike, no ride!
Patrick Rasche and Williams Lake local Tyler Keep had an awesome day skidding down the Godsmack trail finishing next to the river. Tyler is a pretty rad guy. He guided us to many good locations around Williams Lake and was stoked to get some shredding done with the Germans. Thanks bud! Some European guys were wondering if it was the ocean on that picture. Maybe they can't imagine a river looking like this?
After a long day of riding and shooting we were hiking and scouting for new stuff to ride.
We spent a whole day hiking and scouting different zones which looked rideable from the distance. Unfortunately, big rain ruts were the result of a heavy rain last spring. After an exhausting day of hiking up and down chutes and hoodoos we noticed there there wasn't real much stuff to ride. Bummer for sure, but we're gonna check it out again next time.
Riding without rain ruts...
...could be so sweet and smooth.
We didn't bring two or three pickups, just a sweet 95 Jeep Cherokee with three bikes on it.
This Cherokee babe was our car, home, local shop and restaurant. Day and night.
If you are doing a multi-week roadtrip, sometimes you need a little break, so we checked out this epic place. The boat we found at this beautiful hidden volcano lake made our day.
We didn't have to buy anything for dinner this day, we got some trout!
Williams Lake is a crazy town for sure. At the Red Shreds bike shop we met up with local Cory Brunelle. He showed us the gnarliest and sketchiest trails around town and was pretty amused about the German road trip thing.
Traveling through BC we have been visiting lots of special places but this old church was one of our favourites.
You won't find any animals like this in Germany. That's crazy!
The trails in Williams Lake are fun.
A new official trail in Williams Lake called Snakes and Ladders was recently built. It is made for average riding so all the built stuff has ride arounds. But near the end of this long fun singletrack there is pretty good sized road gap. Cory knows how to kill it every day he is riding. Sweet table off that thing.
Just another sweet step down next to town.
We arrived in Kamloops at the nicest time of the year, early autumn. The best temperatures we could ask for and perfect light almost every day, combined with the best trail conditions and a lot of people to shred with. We checked out the valleys behind the famous Bike Ranch as well as some of the best trails we have ever ridden on the mountains around town.
6am. Waking up with the sun in your face and a big smile is one of the best things you can get on a road trip.
The Ranch is more like a bike park close to the city. Its a playground for every mountain bike rider who needs to get down with new sandy terrain or who wants to go big. We spent a couple of hours at the Ranch to check out some of the jumps and got many laps under our belts.
After riding at the Bike Ranch we tried to get some dusty riding pictures. It is so much fun to ride in those loose sandy conditions like this. You can easily try new crazy lines without high consequences.
Bring your bike up there if you want to go for a lap.
One day we've met Brad Stuart at The Ranch and helped him dig the jumps for the RockShox Game of Bike
. He taught us how to build jumps out of dust, told us funny stories and shared his enthusiasm. A few days later he took us to his favourite trails north of Kamloops. Hanging out and riding with Brad was such a blast, this guy lives for that!
Our weapons of choice for the whole BC trip. It's so much fun if you bring just one bike and learn how to handle it on any kind of trail.
During summer puddles are rare. Finally we found one.
The dark side of traveling with abused cars. We didn't plan to buy new tires but we had to. Sh!t happens.
If this little tree keeps growing we'll have to build a bigger jump.
Trenton Zoobkoff is not only faster than most, he knows how to style it out. Thanks Trent!
Make art with love...
The next part of our photo recap is all about the Kootenay Mountains in the western part of BC. Big mountains, cedar trees and old mining sides from the silver rush in the 19th century are significant features of this area. We stayed around Nelson, the Kootenay capital, for a few days. After that we've checked out an area somewhere in the mountains and stayed at a snowmobile cabin between old mining features. The whole area is impressive but the photos speak for themselves...
What could be better than days full of mountain bike riding and dinner afterwards at this wonderful place?
These mines have been abandoned since the Silver Rush.
More than a hundred years later mountain bikers make use of their beauty.
After an awesome photo shoot Patrick was totally in for a quick pool session in one of the small creeks.
Scenery. Those memories are one reason why we can't wait for next summer!
Back in the day it was a busy there, now it is nature again and only a few mountain bikers trying to scare themselves
We hope you enjoyed our Canada trip recap. With all the nice people we met, the spots we rode and all the stories to remember it was definitely the trip of a lifetime!