Last Valentine's Day Paris Gore, Katrina Strand, Miranda Miller, Katie Holden, Geoff Gulevich, and I headed to the Sunshine Coast for weekend of luxury accommodations and riding. Love was in the air - or maybe it was just gas, whatever it was this crew of top nerds made for a most memorable weekend. Through a series of unfortunate incidents and painful scheduling conflicts this trip was a year in the making - but as much as the struggle was real, we couldn't turn down the amazing hospitality the Sunshine Coast communities of Powell River and Sechelt were extending to us. The lure of the coast wasn't just about the riding or the people, it was also about the solitude that comes from towns that have barriers to access. The lush and loamy trails that we were off to discover can only be accessed by ferries from the mainland and that distance puts a buffer between you and reality that makes a weekend trip feel like a week long vacation. It slows your reach for your cell phone, and invites more conversation amongst friends. We felt right at home with our welcoming and quirky local guides, the undulating single track, and lavish afternoon in the spa.

Valentine's Day can be an awkwardly navigated minefield of disappointment, but hating it is futile so it's best celebrated with friends and bikes.


Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Our first stop was Powell River - the upper Sunshine Coast. It takes two ferries from the mainland to get there, either through the lower coast or via Vancouver Island. Rainy ferry rides provide ample opportunity to look for whales, or if you are lucky enough to have a professional whale-caller like Miranda, to listen to endless high pitch mournful squealing sounds. We did not see any marine life on these crossings. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- The local brewery in Powell River; Townsite Brewing, is a fantastic place to wrap up a day of riding, or in our case, a day of travelling. Arriving to Powell River in the dark, we were thrilled warmup with some local hospitality from Scott and Andrea who offered us a tour and a tasting. We invested in some delicious growlers that lasted the rest of our weekend. After we checked in to our hotel accross the street we headed to Coast del Sol for dinner - the best Mexican food and margaritas you will find this far north. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Across the street from Townsite Brewing, The Old Courthouse Inn is a boutique hotel that is used to hosting mountain bikers - they sell out each year when the BC Bike Race passes through Powell River. JP, one of the owners, welcomed our motley crew and offered us secure storage for our bikes, comfortable accommodations in the heritage building, and served us a delicious breakfast at their onsite cafe in the morning. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Happy Valentine's Day! This crew of woodland nymphs spent the day exploring the insanely lush and green singletrack that winds its way through the Powell River forest. The community there has put in roughly 2500 hours annually to build trails that attract international attention and repeat visitors regardless of the effort it takes to get here. We rode the undulating terrain of Farside, Aloha Trail, Green Road, and Death Rattle. The local trails can be found on Avenza Maps. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Toasting to a solid day of riding with our local guides; Russell and Wayne Brewer and Natalie Jones, their generosity of time was only surpassed by their contagious enthusiasm for their backyard. Unlike some small towns, the community of Powell River is always thrilled to show 'outsiders' like us around. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Katie Holden

- Powell River is home an incredibly progressive bike park, unfortunately it wasn't quite open when we visited a year ago. We did however get some laps in on their concrete pumptrack - the first ever in North America! -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Katie Holden
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- The Painted Boat Resort, just 30 minutes outside of Sechelt, hosted us for our second night. Offering beautiful spacious villas we had plenty of room to lounge while we planned for our next day of riding. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Katie Holden
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.
Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Avoiding the popular hotbeds of Sunshine Coast riding as they have already been proven; Robert's Creek and The Coast Gravity Park, we opted for a locals tour that took us to ride BRAT, Easy Street, Desoto, Bypass Trail, Rock-a-Billy, Cheap n' Easy, VFR, Adanac, and Brake Check. Even though we were slowly making our way closer to the mainland and 'big city life' we still encounter locals who were beyond generous and incredible ambassadors for their community. Thank you to Warren Hansen, Kris Sneddon, and friends for making this stop so memorable for us. -

Sunshince Coast trip images by Danielle Baker and Paris Gore.

- Back at the Painted Boat Resort we made use of their spa to unwind and settled in for our last night in our bubble of solitude before heading back to the mainland. -

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69 Comments

  • + 55
 Eye popping pictures Danielle
  • + 24
 Thanks Lee, but actually @parisgore gets all the credit for the photos - we make a good team Wink
  • + 7
 It's -39*C here with the wind today. Did try out a fat bike for 30 mins on blue glare ice... damn you left coasters!
  • + 1
 Yes...very nice work with the pics!
  • + 34
 Are these 4 just trying to say they're single? Wink
  • + 21
 As I type this, it is -14°C here. My car wouldn't start (gelled diesel), and a growler I forgot I filled yesterday blew up in my back seat.......

Your Valentine's day is way better than mine.

Even my puppy wants to stay inside
  • + 10
 Jeesh you must be back east. Its 8 degrees here on the shore and the trails are tackySmile So glad I left Ontario so many years ago.. I feel for yaFrown
  • + 4
 I am back in onterrible. Granted I was riding last weekend, and no, not on a plus, not a fatty. But a regular old bike. I can't complain about this winter, just my dumbassity. I miss Colorado. But at least I can make a livable wage and own a house, and buy myself toys here
  • + 2
 I grew up in London Ontario moved here 22 years ago and got into the housing market before the boom thankfully .. Trails start 100 feet from my door. Although when i moved here it was for the epic whitewater rivers etc.
I dont see plus bikes or fatties out here much, though they look cool too much climbing here to be done. I do miss hanging out at grand bend in the summer though, oh the memoriesSmile
  • + 1
 I live in London right now and we just got a foot and a half of snow in a matter of 3 days.... To add insult to injury I was able to ride last weekend!
  • + 1
 Woodstock has less than 80mm of snow
  • + 1
 Would the pines be fine to ride with regular 2.35 tires?
  • + 2
 So I live in Western Australia, we've just had a record setting row of days over 40`c, seeing these pics make me long to be back in Canada, I don't care how cold it is!
  • + 1
 I love living in Canada, just not in Onterrible. I long for living on the coast!
  • + 11
 "The community there has put in roughly 2500 hours annually to build trails that attract international attention and repeat visitors regardless of the effort it takes to get here." Kudos to the locals that's impressive. Great read!
  • + 12
 I dunno I might actually prefer to spend Valentine's Day with my bike I know it will be cheaper
  • + 8
 You and me just connected on the highest level ....... Happy Valentine's Day cyclist and bro
  • + 4
 Powell River is hidden Jewel. I have been there a few times and ridden all the trails pictured here and many many others and of course been to townsite brewing the only only craft brewery in town. These pictures only scratch the surface of bazillion basically untouched trails there. In all the times I have ridden there i've almost never run into anybody else..Cant wait to go back again.
  • + 2
 That brings back some memories! I grew up in Powell River- before there was anything called Mtb, my buddies and I would ride the vast network of old logging roads In the hills back of PR on our 3 speed Sturmey Archer internal hub equipped clunkers. Our goal was trout fishing and not single track, as there wasn't much of that there in the 70's ( yeah I'm that much of a geezer Smile ), but it got me hooked into my love off off-road cycling which continues to this day.
Until a few years ago, I went back there most summers to visit family, but have only explored a few of the newer trails as the focus has been mainly on water based activities. Gotta do something about that!
While personally I would not base a whole holiday in PR around riding, if you also sea kayak, fish and just want to relax in an idyllic place- Powell River could fit the bill for an extended good time. Not really mtb- but taking your bike out to Savary island on the water taxi(a bit pricey but worth it) from Lund is a fun way to spend a relaxed day riding narrow dirt roads through a rustic island community, taking in some amazing beaches along the way. Heading back there this summer!
  • + 1
 PR is a fantastic town. Big ups to Saravie's dad Smile
  • + 1
 Before I went to PR I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away, it is a beautiful town in a beautiful setting. I thought it would dank dark wet and mouldy.. Could not have been more wrong. The riding is epic old school singlet track.
It is my new favourite coastal destination. Last time i was there we had freak storm pull in as I had brought a couple WW kayaks with me I got to do yak surfing in a spot that is usually glass flat. awesome. Good restaurants and now a craft brewery "townsite" I took the tour with a buddy , good times. I stay at a friends on Palm Beach road a really nice little burb on the water.
  • + 2
 It's unfortunate that Anthony Edwards was the only one to to have a successful acting career. Oh Jefferson Darcy was in it too but he didn't really do much after Married with Children.
  • + 5
 4th pic: Steve Smith girl version! ^^
  • + 4
 Oh Canada - will you be my Valentines?
  • + 3
 I love BC. It's almost triple seasonSmile skate, snowboard and bike all in one day!
  • + 4
 Looks like SO much fun having friends!!
  • + 1
 I was thinking the same thing after just spending a weekend failing to find a riding partner. Womp womp.
  • + 1
 Foot of snow still on the ground and the wind chill earlier was -30F. Can't wait until the trails clear up and I can get riding again!
  • + 4
 Brilliant pics!
  • + 4
 omg this forest
  • + 3
 Kid shredding on a pump track in the background, priceless.
  • + 2
 Got 4 days set aside for this trip in the summer with my sweetie . Smile
  • + 1
 Hey man- derek here in powell river- look me up if you want to ride with my wife and I when you come up- there are lots of new trails not on all the maps yet- ehgr6 at yahoo.ca
  • + 1
 Awesome write up!!! If that doesn't light fire under everyone's assess to get out there and have fun, then, well......
  • + 1
 Daaaayyyyyyuuuuuuuummmmmmm, looks like a bicycle trip and a half. Really nice photos!
  • + 1
 Also Powell River Park looks awesome.
  • + 1
 I had the pleasure of riding the Powell River trails last summer - great riding and trail building going on up there!
  • + 2
 Pictures are truly epic !
  • + 2
 Everyone has genuine smiles. I can feel the energy.
  • + 2
 Mountain bikes , hot chicks and beer =winning .
  • + 2
 That red Mattoc looks awesome, why did I get black??
  • + 2
 My mattocs red! My 1st ever fork was red the rst mozo comp just had to get another one!
  • + 2
 i wanna go
  • + 1
 wow...is that real? amazing!
  • + 1
 Fantastic article. Looks like so much fun. Great people. Happy Valentines.
  • + 1
 This is a photo epic Wink Great pictures Wink
  • - 1
 You say, "We did however get some laps in on their concrete pumptrack - the first ever in North America!"

Was this one not first: www.brooklynbikepark.org
  • + 8
 Nope...2 things Smile

1) Ours was open before the one in NY

2) Theirs is asphalt, not concrete. Theirs was the first asphalt one in North America.

Smile
  • + 0
 All you little dipsh*ts ought not to be neg propping me for asking for a clarification....

Yes, big difference between asphalt and concrete. How was the concrete formed? Usually it's too liquid to be shaped in any manner other than being contained by forms, but it seems that concrete wasn't shaped using wooden forms....
  • + 1
 @TomBasic Follow the link in the article, it explains how it is formed. It seems like a lot of work went into that one!
  • + 2
 Thanks Vinay. Wow. Lots of work. Doing the rebar, then shaping it by hand, wow. While this looks great is it really worth the extra effort? I've found that I can get decent pump and flow going around most skateparks, it's just that they're not optimized for it. Start with a flat surface and add humps and berms. No? I guess if you want constant radii and not a single straight line, then that's what's needed.... Is that the aim, not a single flat section in the direction of travel?
  • + 1
 You're welcome Tom. I love turns so yeah, straight lines feel like wasted time Wink . In terms of flow I don't think you ever want constant radii. In mathematical terms, for flow you want your path to be third order continuous. First order continuous is that your path (your path, not necessarily the trail, jumps and gaps are good) is connected. Second order continuous is that there are no kinks. You don't want to stop, turn 90 degrees and then continue the path. Third order continuous could best be described as that the radius doesn't jump. So you don't suddenly go from a constant radius of say 10m right to a straight line (theoretically infinite or minus infinite radius). I know a lot of wood kickers are made like that, but it is not the best way to do it. A halfpipe for a snowboard is shaped differently. If you drive a car, imagine going straight, then turn the steering wheel a for a turn and keep it fixed like that. When you exit the turn, let it jump straight again. I said imagine. If you want to perform this experiment, find a safe place like an empty parking lot and keep your speed low. Obviously as humans we can compensate for any lack of flow in the trail underneath us by simply moving around on the bike, so don't worry if you ever encounter a constant radius turn that exits in a straight line Wink .
  • + 1
 Fourth photo, who's from Squamish?
Gotta love the Sunshine Coast!
  • + 1
 they beat us to it @ldhbaker
  • + 1
 Aww yeah. Somewhere else to plan to go though!
  • + 2
 Looks like a good time.
  • + 2
 Amazing pictures !!
  • + 1
 Sorry, posted in the wrong place.
  • + 1
 beautiful girls, beautiful place, mtb, peace, calm... where do I sign?
  • + 2
 good article!
  • + 1
 Love Love! The photo epic. Felt like I was there. Thanks crew!
  • + 1
 are miranda miller and steve smith sibs?
  • + 1
 moss!
  • + 1
 Awesomeness
  • + 0
 If that's the sunshine coast, what does the miserable coast look like?
  • + 1
 miranda miller is a boss
  • + 1
 Epic!
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