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.
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.