The Climb

Feb 8, 2014 at 0:07
Feb 8, 2014
by Mark Wood  
 
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Ride the Shore

Lush Shore climbs are good for the heart, good for the soul.


"Be fit and ready for battle."

I read those words while travelling in Norway. They’re part of the Viking code. Further instruction include dying an honourable death in order to live in Valhalla for eternity. Although the latter may be a tad overzealous for my current lifestyle, the former could be paid heed. Not that I’ve ever stormed any ramparts, or pillaged any villages (well, there was that one time in Niseko), I have returned from many rides exhausted, often bruised & bloodied as though bested in battle. Any biker worth their salt, at some point, has bitten off more than we could chew. At times, our conditioning has failed us. Rather, we have failed our conditioning. In the worst case, leaving us crumpled up trailside like a spent kerchief. For anyone who’s ever run the tank empty, you’ve received the wake up call to get your sorry ass in shape. The best way to do that? “To become a stronger rider, ride more.” Andrew Shandro, Canada’s two time DH World Cup winner, offers up some of the simplest, yet possibly best advice. Ride hard - ride often. The code of the Rider wouldn’t look much different than that of the Viking: stay fit, stay strong, be battle ready. Minus the part about dying an honourable death I'd hope.

Ride the Shore

You want interval training? Outsider Stephen Mathews laps the Warden on Fromme.


The strongest riders are on the trails at every opportunity. They know the secret. Sure the kettle bell, lunges, squats and burpies (do people still do those?) are going to build your strength and temper your heart rate, but isn’t the best way to excel at something to do that something at maximum, every chance you get? “Your body doesn’t work that way,” Carl Moriarty, Arc'teryx Product Manager, obsessive adventurer and part time superhero, understands the science of metabolism. He explains slow burn training and interval pyramiding but it all sounds like ouija board black magic to my Cro-Magnon mind. His voice fades into the background as I drift into visions of mashing through boulders, shouldering trees aside, oiled calves flexing under the strain, heaving spandex…

Ride the Shore
Outdoor spin class. "I play sports, I'm not trying to be the best at exercise." - Kenny Powers

"Did you get all that? 4 days on, two days off, spin class twice a week, a run every Tuesday and Friday starting at 6 am..." This wasn't sounding fun at all. I'm not a racer or think I could ever become a good one, I like riding too much and "training" too little. I couldn't bear to bring myself to spin class again, especially when the weather's perfect for real riding. I tried it once. Besides being constantly yelled at for an entire hour by an overly enthusiastic gym rat who I wanted to throat punch, it was like a bukkake sweat orgy with a bunch of strangers. It was meager imitation, minus all the fun. Hardly the real thing, or nearly as inspiring. CrossFit however, seems to be all the rage these days. There's CrossFit socks, CrossFit shorts, CrossFit headbands...

Frankly, people are getting damned good at it. They can do more burpies than me. There's even CrossFit competitions. Way more burpies than me. But what was the original goal of CrossFit? To get good at CrossFit? Ask Bo. Bo knows.

All judgement aside, if you want to be good at gluten free stand up paddle board yoga then put that loaf of bread down, get your downward dog on, and start paddling! Do you want to be a Tough Mudder or a Tough Mutherf**ker? Fabrication is simply imitation. Be authentic.

Ride the Shore

CrossFit is not a sport. A healthy diet of roots gives you all the calories plus a bowl full of inspiration.


“My ride starts the moment I leave my front door.” Dean Payne, BCBR Founder, knows big rides keep you fit. The BC Bike Race courses are best described as singletrack epics, 50km routes on dirt for a week straight. This year the race returns to the Shore (its rightful home), with a route that will offer a taste of new style flow trails and a hint of that old Shore feel. Be prepared, North Shore kms are much akin to a Jamaican minute. Top finishers will favour the fit and the technically savvy. To endure will require big training rides and those rides need to incorporate lots of climbing. Lots. For those that fear the climb or give up mid stroke and push their bike, it may be more than just the physical challenge or lack of conditioning. Part of the climbing game is the mental fortitude it takes to make it to the top and push through the pain. Everyone suffers, even the fit. How many of us have been cursed out by our riding partner? “You never told me it was this steep/long/technical/difficult!” Seriously, I’m struggling too bud, but I’m telling myself I’m going to make it. Believe you will make it, and that may be the difference. Don't quit, don't be a softie. PMA.

"Why don't you try a mugaccino of harden the f*ck up?" - Chopper Read

Provided you’re not riding a bike park, our sport requires no more than the purchase of a bike as the entry fee.* The climb to the top may be our only price of admission. Besides, you appreciate more that which you’ve worked for. Some of the best rides are earned.

*on that note, support your local trail association and give back to the trails you ride.

Ride the Shore

The angle of the dangle. When it's steep enough for your testicles to be resting on your stem, it's a Shore training ride.


Dissent
A little dab'll do ya when things get tech'd out. "Hearin' the coach scream ain't my lifetime dream," - the Notorious B.I.G.

The best way to become a stronger climber is to climb. Back in the day, we never considered a shuttle to the top. Climbing was an integral part of every ride. Not by any means was our machismo getting in the way, it simply wasn’t part of our vocabulary. It probably had something to do with mitigating our losses. Truth was, we had bikes that could barely survive those descents back then. One inch head tubes, 72 degree head angles, canti brakes, pinner tires and narrow bars. Suspension was non-existent. We were destined for catastrophic failure. Those early bikes were never meant for our ill intentions, especially here on the Shore. Something would inevitably get destroyed on the way down, sometimes our bike, sometimes our body, in a worse case scenario, both. Climbing extended our saddle time. It prolonged our survival and postponed the inevitable carnage. “Do you enjoy the dessert as much if you savour each bite, or gobble it up?” Andreas Hestler loves a long and nasty climb. Dre knows. If you can make it past the tipping point and push through the pain, you just may break on through to the other side and find a little Dre deep down in your little cotton socks. Learn to love the climb. "To know it is to love it," Mountain Bike Mike.

Ride the Shore

They don't call it Cardiac for nothin'. Chunder abounds on the Shore - perfect training grounds.


Some people are saying that the recent enduro craze is simply a return to our roots. We’re abandoning our big bikes, leaving the chairlifts and shuttles behind, grinding up climbs and relishing the physical and technical challenges of the difficult ascents. Maybe even as much as the savoury downhill we know awaits. Just look at the amount of climbing trails popping up in the Sea to Sky corridor over the past few years. 50 shades & the Legacy in Squamish most recently, Yummy Numby, Piece of Cake/a la Mode in Whistler, and even climbing trails here on the Shore (stay tuned...). Our appetite for riding has only grown and instead of just the downhill dessert, we’re eating our meat and potatoes too. “Everyone’s calling it Enduro nowadays,” says Craig Sabourin, long time Shore rider, offering some perspective, “back then, we called it XC.” A return to our roots? Some will argue we’ve never left.

Ride the Shore

Stephen Mathews on a New Shore climbing turn. Better than spin class bukkake. Unless you're into that sort of thing...

Must Read This Week






80 Comments

  • + 53
 it's true what he says; the down hill is more fun after a hard slog up to the top first
  • + 11
 What goes up must come down :-)... it's what we've always done.
  • + 1
 You Nailed It!
  • + 1
 lol
  • + 3
 I am a park bitch. I prefer lift up. But i climb anyway for fromme.
  • + 3
 So true,i love to climb up on or next to the bike,then i can really appreciate down the trail!
  • + 1
 Bukake haha
  • - 1
 This is bs. Pedaling sucks.
  • + 2
 yup!
  • + 20
 "Do you want to be a tough mudder or a tough motherf***er?" So many quotable lines in this. And he referenced Biggie Smalls, the North Shore and spin class bukkake all in one article.Thanks for the motivation, I'm going to get on my big bike tomorrow and go chase down some xc guys on the climbs tomorrow!
  • + 4
 Just make sure you don't use the technic he's using in the 5th picture. Horrible way to climb, and a waste of energy...
  • + 0
 Heaving spandex!
  • + 10
 I'm a recovering shuttle pig. Full blown "adulthood" (Read: kids) makes earning my turns a waaaay better option. More saddle time = moar better.

Plus, when I DO actually get the chance to ride my DH bike, I'm stronger, and 8" of travel feel like an even bigger buffer between a fun run and going ass over tea kettle.

It's win win. And another win for good measure.

Plus, it's more enduro. I hear that's popular these days.
  • + 11
 frantically yelling at your mates to get of the track in front of you as you skip over the bumps is always good too.
  • + 13
 And shifting down just as you're passing them on the uphill. Only to show you had an easier gear left where they had to dismount and walk
  • + 10
 Also chatting to them as you pass and they're gasping for air Smile
  • + 2
 Or whistling, eating, general fooling around on the bike. The look on their faces is worth it, but watch out when you have an off-day. Wink
For the rest I'm quite a nice (riding)companion. Razz
  • + 7
 I love this article. Riding is no fun without a little bit of pain. It's hard to get to places no one else is riding if the lift goes there. The waffle stinger and lukewarm water taste so much better at the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere.
  • + 9
 Badass road rider and all around big ring hard man Eddy Merckx is famously quoted as saying, "don't buy upgrades, ride up grades. "
  • + 8
 I used to think the dh boys were the hard bastards in our sport, how wrong I was!
  • + 3
 Today i burned a guy on a mondraker kaiser earning my descent on a bandit 29er...damn i love that feel Wink
  • + 7
 Yeah know what ya mean, I sold my dh rigs and got a trail bike- it does everything, including going up lol, so much more fun
  • + 1
 He was all like "until lifts open up i keep """"training""""...blah blah blah" come on!
  • + 1
 Haha yeah man
  • + 5
 You are absolutely right about the comparison of "Enduro" with "XC" - it's just what we've always been accustomed to for NS riding. Best part of NS riding over the past 25 years has been that you take you and your bike to the limit - regardless of whether you were riding your Timberwolf, Blizzard, Hot, Hei Hei, Hummer, Element or whatever. It has been such an awesome ride.

BTW - if you want to be a tough MF you keep pace with Flex. Even Dre steps half a wheel back.
  • + 1
 Who is Flex? I haven't been around the local scene enough to know all the nicknames.
  • + 1
 Mr D Horn
  • + 1
 Back then, we called it "mountain biking".....
  • + 6
 Same trails, same big bikes, nothing's change here. XC, DH, Freeriding, we keep to our roots. It's all the same pleasure, we call it Mt.Biking.
  • + 6
 "gluten free stand up paddle board yoga" Pretty much sums up everything I hate in this world.
  • + 3
 everyone should read the rules.
www.velominati.com/the-rules

Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
As this famous quote by Greg LeMan tells us, training, climbing, and racing is hard. It stays hard. To put it another way, per Greg Henderson: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • + 1
 Nothing makes you pine for some asphalt like velominati.com, still read some of their articles from time to time.
  • + 1
 Yessssssssssss. I love The Rules. Scuse me while I go hit the rollers.
  • + 1
 Five and Dime bitches!
  • + 5
 Awesome article, this is what I've been trying to tell everyone! Harden the fuck up, get out on your bike and don't be afraid to do some pedalling!
  • + 6
 How bout a mugachino of harden the f up! Classic
  • + 1
 The best reference in an article stuffed with them, agreed.
  • + 7
 Thank you for this.
  • + 1
 climbs are nice, i realy enjoy them, when climbing a steeph rocky and rooty sections u get allot of balance skill, and yea psihical strainght, stronger heart and soul... my main goal of the ride is always to conqer the mountain or hill... and then comes the reward Smile
  • + 1
 I just moved to the Shore and I am so glad to hear that the climbs are hard core! I thought I was just being a total pussy (although apparently I am, because I am still pushing up the techy shit, blaming my bike for being too heavy/not climbing efficient and simultaneously my own out-of-shape ass. I live in Lynn Valley and have been riding over to Seymour from my house and wanted to kill myself as soon as I hit the climb up from the river. Every time. It sucks. Hopefully I'll "harden the f*** up" as you say, one of these days. I'll just keep doing it.

When did a "bukkake sweat orgy with a bunch of strangers" turn out to be a bad thing, btw?? hahaha
  • + 1
 I read this article earlier and finally conquered a climb which I take up a steep road in order to get to my trails. I have never done it without stopping at least once but I read here somewhere: it never stops hurting, we just go faster. Or words to that effect.

I always figured when I got fitter it would stop hurting so much. I run a 1x10 and the climb is a slut. But today just decided no matter how much the legs hurt I was gonna keep going. Felt good to do it in one Smile
  • + 1
 Finally some sense here... This sport, it's mountain bike riding, right? XCE, XCO, enduro, whatever, they are all mountain bike riding. Now, the clue as to what mountain bike riding involves is the title: we ride bikes up, down, over and along mountains.Easy, right? So, right now go look at your bike, and tell me what do you see? Pedals! What are they for? Pedaling! Get off the chairlifts and start pedaling, stop seeing how fast you can roll down a hill and get ON your bike and PEDAL the f*ckg thing! Up it, down it, along it even right over it, but pedal your bike on the mountain, don't send it up on a ride while you sit your ass down on a chair to get up the mountain, I mean jeez, what's that sport called? Mountain chair up-riding?
  • + 4
 I dunno, I love lift assisted riding! A decent pedal has its merits too though.
  • + 1
 You know, DH is fun as hell too but have you ever tried to pedal up one of those thing? What I really like to do is mixing up; going on a ride with a lot of climbs in the morning, relax a bit, switch bike and just laps the park. I mean, you cannot say one is better than the other, it's still mountain biking. Bike park is also a great way to develop skills, so the next time you pedal to your trail, you probably can enjoy the decent a lot more.
  • + 1
 Yeah, some of those lifts are stupidly high, I wouldn't want to pedal to the top of too many of them. Lift assisted XC is where it's at I reckon. Get a lift or two to the top and ride some long trails and have a serious day out, plenty of pedalling to be done, rather than just park laps. Full on downhill is fun too, though.
  • + 1
 agree. as a mid-west mountain biker, i travel far to get lift access. and man do i love it. The rest of the time I have to earn what I burn. I believe that the painful, exhausting, boring climb up makes me better on the back side. I do feel pride and a sense of victory when I sweep a long uphill stretch but thats not why I do it, I do it for the down. I ride one of two bikes, a nomad and a free. One for home and one for the rode. It is nice to know that Ive been enduro this whole time but truth be told I love to downhill. The back side is where the joy is. If this sport was uphill only I dont think there would be that many of us.
  • + 1
 Hitting my cheepo stationary bike in the living room to keep the legs in shape. Seems every spring I hit the trails filled with enthusiasm only to find I can not go as hard as the year before. It is not working as I hoped though as the stationary bike is boring as hell. Even while watching hockey. Looking forward to see where I am at out there soon. Work has been all in compassing lately. Looking forward to a ride vacation in my front yard trails. Gotta love BC living! Love the article. It lit a fire under my ass.
  • + 1
 Hey man, I do the same thing. I actually got a pair of rollers for my roadie so I could spin over the winter and still work on balance and stability. In my experience, if you mix in some really hard interval workouts on the stationary bike you'll see a much bigger payoff when it comes time to hit the trails. The intervals make the stationary bike a lot less dull, and you won't have to be on it as long to get the effect. I can't really talk too much though; I've been super on-and-off when it comes to the rollers this winter. Hang in there and it'll pay off bigtime in the spring!
  • + 3
 I just cancelled my gym membership after reading this article. Such a valid point made - why over complicate things? Just get out there and ride!
  • + 3
 being clipped in up a techy climb and really cranking and shifting your weight is one of the best feelings.
  • + 2
 Finishing such a climb by a hair, your heartrate well in the red, squeezing just a bit more from your legs, trying not to spin out or stall, looking for the best line, nose on the stem, such a glorious moment.
  • + 1
 Hell yes. Really pulling up on that back pedal for that extra burst over a rock, all while panting and seeing spots BUT THE TOP IS JUST... A LITTLE.... FURTHER!!
  • + 3
 Beautiful day here on Vancouver Island and I'm heading out for a big rideSmile
  • + 1
 The guys not a building machine, what a f,n joke. He gets gromits to do all the work, but certainly loves to take the credit. Charlatan for sure, this is his way to get credentials
  • + 3
 "Hearin' the coach scream ain't my lifetime dream," - the Notorious B.I.G.

Like the quotes. Good article
  • + 2
 Nailed the philosophy and how to get better. "You keep what you kill." Kill the climb, keep the strength gains.
Not that I can do it, but it is good incentive.
  • + 1
 Great article, Mark. I'm still trying to learn how to "love" the climb. But I seem to be driving to the trail head much less these days. See you out there bro!
  • + 3
 ALWAYS GONNA BE ANOTHER MOUNTAIN
  • + 2
 Just the one who climbs the mountain earns the right to go down its hills
  • + 1
 just spent the day trying to keep up to this mad man...only thing i learned is I need to ride moar
  • + 2
 Suck on that shuttle bitches
  • + 1
 Great article Mark! I've been looking forward to it since you mentioned it at Dizzy.
  • + 1
 Thanks for using that Kenny Powers quote! Even though you butchered it a little bit.
  • + 2
 this article was just laced with gold from start to finish
  • + 1
 Like Marks trails!!! The mans a building Machine, keep up the good work, excited to get out on a few trail days with u this year.
  • + 1
 Great Article, makes me wanna get out and climb.. Does pushing a DH bike up the hill count? ha, that's a ton of work too.
  • + 1
 good article Mark...but today it's too damn cold. We're shuttlin' and thats that!
  • + 1
 "A good climb is good for your hart and your soul! and then dessert!"
  • + 1
 Let's back up to the Kenny Powers quote
  • + 1
 haha "bukake sweat orgy with a bunch of strangers" = the gym
  • + 1
 many thanks for this great article! really enjoyed reading it.
  • + 1
 Amen. Still gospel words - vimeo.com/26810156
  • + 0
 #realtalk. This was a good read. I love riding with people who make me harden the f*ck up.
  • + 1
 Great article.. Thanks!
  • + 1
 Hell yeah! Ride to ride!
  • - 1
 Toughen up?... ditch the front mech and I'm all ears Wink
  • - 2
 a little to dark photos?
  • + 3
 That's how it really is. Do we need to over light sand supersaturate every situation? Doing that is like airbrushing the ass off some model.
  • + 4
 On Fromme, that's the best light you're gonna get this time of year
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