Trailbuilders of the North Shore - Part 1 - Dean Reid

Nov 17, 2010
by Lee Lau  
As Fall approaches, trail work gets done. Most people who ride trails don't really think about trail work (some have joked that mysterious trail fairies come out at night to build coasters, bridges, do rock work and lovingly scatter pine needles over the forest floor). The reality on the North Shore is that most of the work has been and still is being done by volunteers. Trail grunts, you know who you are.

This is a shout out to some veteran builders who's work has given many riders and trail users lots of joy. First up, Dean Reid of 7th Secret Fame,
Fall is a great time to do trail work.  Hiking around in the woods with just tools and a bucket can give you a time out and a chance to appreciate the forest
Fall is a great time to do trail work. Hiking around in the woods with just tools and a bucket can give you a time out and a chance to appreciate the forest

Dean Reid - 7th Secret

Dean Reid
Dean Reid

Trail Description:
"Seventh" as it's often called is really a link up of several trails. Seventh Secret (built by Ross Kirkwood and the Secret Trails Society. The Leppard trail (not Leopard as it's often mis-spelled) built by Jim Leppard (now in Williams Lake and still building trails). All this links up with Crinkum Crankum, the Kirkford trail and the Cedar Trail. Seventh has been around since at least the early 1990s and was purpose-built for mountain-biking. It's one of the higher trails on Fromme Mountain and drops in off the 7th switchback.

Seventh saw some major work as mountain-biking activity in North Vancouver exploded in the early 2000's. Dean did the bulk of the recent work on Seventh. Notable help also has been contributed by Peter Morin (the next builder profiled) and the local trail association (NSMBA) over the course of many trail days.

It's a reflection of the work of Dean and many others that Seventh is not only the go-to trail for wet days, but also the test piece for countless riders to cut their North Vancouver riding teeth.

The author on a
The author on a "XC ride" on the Crinkum Crankum section

When did you start doing trail work?
1998. 2000 or so for Seventh.

Why did you start?
I was riding this trail a lot. I saw the trail needed some work and decided to do it.

14 year old bridge and rock work standing the test of time
14 year old bridge and rock work standing the test of time

Krinkum Krankum - the DNV redid the woodwork on this section
Krinkum Krankum - the DNV redid the woodwork on this section

How did you learn to do trail work?
Just picked up tools and started doing it. (Author's note: Dean pioneered the use of drainage grates made out of caged cedar, cedar-boxes to encase rocks & extensive use of grade-reversals - a fancy word for small uphills or flat constructed sections of trail that reverse water flow directing it off of a trail )

Optional log ride line on Seventh
Optional log ride line on Seventh

What is your favourite food?
Any meat. But in particular, BBQ'd meat is my fav!

What is your favourite drink?
Beer. Any beer works for me Lee!

Another optional line on Seventh
Another optional line on Seventh

Views: 14,064    Faves: 39    Comments: 7



Dean and many other volunteers out there take the time to make the trails that we all love and keep them in prime shape. Next week we'll introduce you to Peter Morin.

Posted In:
Interviews



54 Comments

  • 9 0
 downhilldomination you need to show respect to any builders that work on any trail they are the reason our sport has progressed the way it has. and who cares what is boring to you this guy has been building trails for over a decade..what have you done for the sport..Dean Reid thanks for your hard work keep it up!
  • 8 0
 I kind of wish that DD's comment hadn't been deleted so I could give some context. I'm guessing that its something about the riding in the video being slow? I know that DD is from Australia. I've ridden with Australians and you're almost always awesome riders at speed so I know where you're probably coming from - you want very fast action; lots of drifts and cutties and jumps in videos. That's great fun too but to be honest, those kind of trails are very rare on the Shore (I can count the number of Shore trails which i could put in video with that kind of action on one hand. To cut a long story short, Shore trails are relentlessly technical. I tried to give a sense of history and perhaps failed - these trails were first ridden in the early to mid 90s by guys with U-brakes, rigid bikes. Accordingly by modern day standards they'd considered not flowy in the sense that these trails don't lend themselves to balls-out speed - and are too windy, slow and very pedally (even the downhill trails require fitness!). I love that kind of riding but know not everyone's going to like these kinds of trails and that's OK.


All that aside, the video is not about the rider. It was meant to show the trail more than the riding so enjoy and appreciate all the rockwork, the woodwork, the dirtwork, and the countless thousands of unpaid hours of love and dedication that went into it
  • 3 1
 I see where you are coming from, and I will try to be a little constructive here.
What camera are you using, and how are your abilities with it aswell as with editing software?
The concept of the video itself was great, it achieved what you wanted it to perfectly, but it's not always going to satisfy everyone.
I think for a lot of those riding shots, you could've used some different angles, some for finer detail of the trail, others for the riding technicality. A lot of freehand on slow-ish riding like that can be a little tedious, well, for me to watch anyway.

I guess you could say, being from Australia, I'm just used to fast and flowy tracks. I still think there are ways to get around this and make the riding a lot more interesting, and considering you started the video with the riding, you want to have people's attention for the whole video, and if you're losing it in the first 30 seconds to a minute for some, then it's not going to be all too successful.

As I said, this is just all a bit of constructive criticism, practice makes perfect, and I might just be that one person of hundreds of thousands to speak up, give you a bit of negative feedback, and hopefuly you'll take some of it in and your videos may, or may not improve.

You can't please everyone...
  • 1 0
 Thanks DD - I tried to reply in the Amateur videographers group
  • 1 0
 No problem, will check there now.
  • 8 0
 sweet story! good pictures too. Rock on trail fairies
  • 1 0
 Awesome write up lee, what bike are you riding?
  • 1 0
 i love seeing trails worked on and new ones emerging, if everyone could pick up some tools and go build a trail imagine what mountain biking could turn into? i know i've started my trail in cumberland
  • 4 0
 well it would turn into a political disaster here on the shore... they would probably go as far as making the class "trail nazi's 101" to ensure that we can't create any new trails.
  • 1 0
 For those that would like to see 7th from the top to bottom.
www.pinkbike.com/video/35160
  • 1 0
 Mr Reid is a Hero and others like him, the sport needs more people like them.
  • 1 0
 is he riding 29 inch wheels i carnt tell cuz they just dont look 26
  • 1 0
 it looks like a 29er
  • 3 0
 Nice video, loved riding the North Shore when I was over. I love the fact that the North Shore XC is way more technical than UK DH. We need to sit up and pay attention over here and start building trails like around the North Shore, just a shame most UK XC riders are beginners by Vancouver standards.
  • 2 0
 lee....thanks for the memories and the recognition. not just for all the work that dean clearly has put into preserving this trail but finally recognizing the origin of the trail. i have never heard or seen my name associated with this trail since moving to the caribou shortly after building the majority of it 17-18 years ago. i put in a line from upper oilcan to the kirkford that was almost finished when ross and his buddies found it. they put in the entrance up the road for a bit more elevation whereas i liked the tough entrance via the root and rock fest of oilcan. they won out. oddly i have not ridden it since then, so the video was very cool . yeah it was ridden slow but i got it...cudos lee. cant say that it looks much as it did then, but the rockwork has kept it in place. ross and i were putting it in even then. thanks dean, you do fine work....
  • 1 0
 What I like about the article is that it features work done to improve existing, well established trails. Working as the IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew and riding trail across the country has shown me one thing above all else: quality of trail is more important to a riding community than quantity.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the awesome story paying respect to the pioneers of dig. Looking foward to the next installment.. in the meantime out to get my dig on !
  • 2 0
 Huge props to all the builders, you have helped progress the sport far beyond what anyone thought possible. Can't wait to sample some trails this summer.
  • 1 0
 7th Secret is one of my favorite trails on Fromme. We always do a warm up lap down and then go back up for a run down UOC. Kudos to Dean for his hard work....7th is a work of art!
  • 1 0
 nice video ! What's the name of that song?
  • 1 0
 Great trail and such beautiful scenery and landscape for an XC ride, just throw up your seat and tear through 'em, no need to drop your seat for it. Seat up, go fast!
  • 2 0
 kudo's if you ride this trail at speed with your seat up! only the xc racers I know bother to do that!
  • 1 0
 Thanks! I just love to go fast, it's why I race too, probably because of the ADD Razz . Which is funny because I've hurt myself more XC riding than Free-riding or DJin'
  • 3 0
 Cross Country isn't always about SPEED you ADD n00bies.
  • 1 0
 yeah i agree with dion500 he has worked alot on the trails and who cares if hes slow hes still out there riding and having fun on a bike!!!
  • 2 0
 what funky red frames that
  • 1 0
 What fork is he running on that lenz?
  • 1 0
 Icculus - its a White Brothers 150
  • 1 1
 i feel bad for him
  • 1 0
 And they took really no little time on it, this is sick! i desire a mountain like this to build near my area :S
  • 2 0
 We 3 trail builders. Designated appreciation beer dropoff spot?
  • 1 0
 If you drop off beer at OnTop Bike Shop on upper Lonsdale it will find its way to Dean!
  • 1 0
 kickass
  • 1 0
 Thank you for these trails. Super fun and way harder than they look for those who havent been there.
  • 2 0
 is that a 29?
  • 1 0
 May the trails roll on for ever champ. Much to be learned from such legends.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing... Lenz 29er?
  • 1 0
 I think it is 29er ! Look at the hight of steering head, it's pretty low. BTW nice trail !
  • 1 0
 It's a Lenz Lunchbox 29er lent to me by Mike Curiak (good eye wa2wider). His website - www.lacemine29.com. Their site - www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=5. I'd tried other 29ers on the Shore but wanted to see how something with more travel (this was 150 in front, 150 rear) and setup slacker would do. IMO definitely a step in the right direction
  • 1 0
 id love to see someone hit these pinnin it on a Downhill XD
  • 1 0
 we had a dh race on 7th secret as part of our ripper series.

www.nsmb.com/community/ripperwrap1_05_06.php

The fastest descent time was ~20 minutes. We didn't record the times.

The guys on the DH Bikes weren't much faster then the good xc riders or guys on AM bikes.

This trail doesn't lend itself to speed...
  • 1 0
 It is a hard climb to get up there but it is totally worthed Smile
  • 1 0
 Excellent video. I feel worked!
  • 1 0
 nice work there that the spirit
  • 1 0
 verry nice trail
  • 1 0
 Mad Props!
  • 2 0
 Thanks to all of the builders. It is great to get some history on the trails and the people that created them.
  • 1 0
 cool track Wink
  • 1 0
 good work, looks fun!
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to go there!
  • 7 0
 Digger should be next.
  • 1 0
 Peter Morin next - then Digger - best for last!
  • 1 0
 It says above that Pete Morin will be next. I'm guessing they'll talk abut UOC - if that's the case.

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