There and Back: 2 Days in Kamloops

Aug 17, 2011
by Matthew Mallory  
My bike season would not be complete without a trip to Kamloops. The riding is out of this world spectacular and the terrain and trails are so vastly different than what we have here in Whistler. It is the desert and the trails tend towards the fast and flowy with some fun steeps here and there. With what has passed for summer flying by it was starting to look like I might not get out there this year. My regular road trip partner Sean Nicol and I decided that a quick two and a half day jaunt needed to be made. A year without Kamloops dust in our lungs would make for a very disappointing season and we couldn't have that.

Leaving the Coast Mountain Range and looking for a change in scenery. Yee Haw Kamloops here we come!
Two important pieces for any road trip. Timmy's to keep the eyes open and a loaded Ipod. Everything from Metal to Punk to Country was blasting through the speakers.
Rolling hills, dust and a slightly browner tinge to the world. Oh yeah, I love Kamloops.
Sean loads the cooler with our final supplies before we head up the long road to Harper and Sun Peaks.
A good friend will help you fix your bike, a great friend will have a spare for you to borrow. The fork and brakes on my freeride rig decided to shit the bed right before we left. A huge thank you to Craig Wilson for lending me his spare Santa Cruz Driver 8. The bike helped make this the best riding I have had this year.
'nough said!
With only two days to ride we chose to hit Harper and Sun Peaks. Sean gases up his moto. The best (and most fun) shuttle retrieval vehicle you can get.
Jaime Hill (Sean's fiancee) joined us for some pinner laps. Jaime is one of the fastest racer chicks in B.C. and took 5th in the Elite Women's DH at Nationals this year in Panorama.
Sean keeps 'er loose and fast through the trees.
Rorschach inkblot courtesy of Pilsner and Ford.
Summer bike trips are perfect for camping and this is what we woke up to Saturday and Sunday morning.
The evenings left a few hours of daylight to kill. We were hitting this first on our mountain bikes and then Sean decided to try it out on his moto.
What you can't really see is that as soon as the tires touched down he had to slam on the brakes to keep from going into the drink.
Once darkness descended it was time for the campfire. Ours was hot enough to roast your wiener.
Saturday was all about the Sun Peaks Bike Park.
Sun Peaks is my favourite bike park. Anticipation ran high as we followed our bikes up the mountain.
Most year's Kamloops is brown by August, but with more moisture than normal and not quite the heat it was looking lush and green.
Sean Nicol airs it out on Barn Burner. Sun Peaks has done a great job of mixing speed and flow with airtime and we did our best to take advantage of it.
August would normally see a cloud of dust obscuring the sky behind Jaime. This year the dust was but a slight mist.
Sun Peaks isn't afraid of gap jumps and Sean Nicol isn't afraid of hitting them.
Sean takes the rough line instead of the smooth outside one. He never does things the easy way.
Jaime Hill likes to show off her Carboner in public.
Many people associate Kamloops with the desert-like conditions that consume the lower trails. The stuff on Rose Hill like Rio are wide open, cactus strewn, cow paddy covered rippers, but once you climb higher up the mountains there are trees (and the cow paddys). It is still different than the Coast Mountain trails though since it is a hardpacked soil instead of a carpet of roots.
With an injured ankle Jaime wasn't comfortable with the idea of racing on Mount Washington so she came along for some mellow freeride laps (she is still fast as hell when she is just cruising and taking it easy).
After two days of the best riding we have had this year sadly it was time to go. Bikes covered with dust and a little mud on the moto, we packed up the truck and headed home.


  • 8 0
 if anyone sees a 2009 a line park edition or a 2010 norco team dh or a norco shore 3 in kamloops and you think it might be stolen let me know cus me and my my budys bikes got stolen in kamloops on the way to whistler and i miss her
  • 3 0
 if you dont have a shuttle and are in the loops hit up Mostly Mental you can find him on PB and on facebook. he runs a sweet little shuttle company and is a cool dude as well. he can guide if you need to be shown around, he has shown me alot of great rides from downhill to xc.
  • 1 0
 ya jimmies!
  • 6 5
 most people think that a dirt bike will rip a trail apart i'm glad i'm not the only one who knows as long as your not an idiot you can ride your dirt bike without leaving the littlest mark on the trail .
  • 3 0
 true. just dont let the rear wheel become lose and slid
  • 23 0
 You guys are wrong... If your on a moist singletrack with a 250 you will tear it up even if you baby the gas... Maybe not as much as completely ripping it up but you will for sure leave an annoying rut. This is coming from a moto and a mtb'er so i know haha
  • 3 0
An annoying rut? No, but noticeable, yes. I've raced enduro's and motocross my entire life as well, and have rode any form a bicycle since I could balance one. I agree with traildigger92, if you aren't and idiot and don't crank the throttle all the time to look cool, it isn't as harmful as it's made out to be. Engine or no engine, keep riding.
  • 7 1
 exactly ..............but no engine is funner though haha
  • 4 0
 But who rides their dirt bike gingerly through the forest, softly as to not cause any damage? Most of the people I see out there are ripping through it as fast as they can, pulling wheelies everywhere. I'm not saying that there are not respectful dirt bikers out there, but they are not the norm!
  • 2 0
 yea its not the norm but if i wanted to take my dirtbike down my local trail i would take it slow and try not to wreck it then when im on a logging road or in a dirtbike area ill rip it up.
  • 4 0
 Just to be clear at no point did we ride the moto on trail it was strictly for retrievals and some rips on the logging roads in the area.
  • 2 0
 @alee891, by saying annoying i mean once the rut dries out it is annoying as a mtb'er
  • 1 0
It's cool man, no beef intended. And take into consideration where you're riding. If you're on the coast in the nice primo dirt, it's going to tear the shit out of it. I ride the RMEC, which is mainly Midwest and down to texas, where for the most part, the dirt in the summer is hard as shit unless it rains.
  • 1 0
 Why didn't I ever think of a shuttle chaser, even a pw-50 would do the trick, maybe even better because loading it is a breeze. Then no one has to be the shuttle driver.
  • 1 0
 We had some pit bikes that we used for retrievals and they are the best yet, Fast and easy to load. Unfortunately ours blew up.
  • 1 0
 That is a very good idea man!
  • 1 0
 can someone explain how you use the dirtbike to avoid having someone driving shuttle? I'd love to use mine that way.
  • 1 0
 Lock the dirt bike at the bottom with a stout chain to a stout tree. Drive truck, bikes and riders to the top. Everyone rides down, one person rides moto up and gets the truck. Works great cause one guy can load the bike. Saves gas money and wear and tear on the trucks. Only works in areas that you are allowed to ride motos though. The cops probably won't appreciate taking the dirt bike up the highway on Seymour.
  • 1 0
 but now ur moto is at the top of the hill. unless the one guy rides the moto up and loads it back on the truck and drives it back down? Seems like a lot of work for the one guy unless its a small pitbike.
  • 1 0
 One guy can load the bike easily. It's not really a lot of work for the guy who rides the moto up and as a bonus he gets to take a rip up on the moto which is a lot of fun in itself.
  • 1 0
 ahhh Barnburner to of my all time faves. I miss riding with you guys!
  • 1 0
 soon love soon!!! You comin riding for the stagette? I know ya can't get all liquored up, but you deffinitely have to come for some laps in Whis!
  • 1 0
 i love gnargnartours!!!!! if anyone is down in AZ, hit 'em up.... great bunch of guys!
  • 1 0
 this is like a dream. kamloops + dusts + friends? yes please.
  • 2 0
 love the 'loops longtime
  • 2 0
 That ipod is an antique!
  • 1 0
 mx bikes on mt bike trails...... is that what you want?
  • 1 0
 i love kamloops too!
  • 1 0
 Yeah Jamie!!!
  • 1 0
 Love the Photography!!!
  • 1 0

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