The Island - Part 1 - Victoria

Mar 21, 2011
by Margus Riga  
With the colder-than-usual El Nina hitting BC hard this winter, and the snow line creeping down to the water, I retreated to Vancouver Island with born-and-raised Islander, Andreas Hestler, and mainlander-soon-to-become-Islander, Jamie Biluk, to check out some classic trails near the Island's capital of Victoria.



  Two hours on a ferry from Vancouver and way too much money, will get you off the snow and on some of the most scenic and unique trail systems in BC.


  But you have to work for it.




  Leave the shuttle bikes at home, because life on the Island moves a little slower than on the mainland. Not really sure why that is, but it is.


  Whatever it is, it feels nice.


  Fog is good, and the Island has plenty of it.


  Open cliffs overlooking the ocean are also good, especially when it only takes a half-hour to get there.




  The Island is abundant with bushes and trees from other planets.




  Much of the high, open terrain is covered in a spongy, green moss that has a perfect ribbon of dirt carved in for your riding pleasure.


Jamie Biluk, going with the grain.


  Andreas Hestler, lost in the splendor.




  Thanks for the tour boys. Now let's hit it.




The area we rode is part of the Hartland trail system, which is massive. It would take you a week of all-day rides to scratch the surface, and the best part is that no matter which trails you take, you usually end up right back at your vehicle, or at the very least, a quick cool-down road ride from where you parked.


  Stay tuned for part two. James Doerfling takes us to Sooke, where the trails are pristine and numerous, and the people are few.




Posted In:
Stories



52 Comments

  • 12 1
 Arrgh, the secret is out!! There is tons to ride here on the Island (dh, freeride, all-mtn, DJ's & XC). One of the best DH trails in BC is in Port Alice on the Northern tip. There is nothing that even comes close to it around the South coast. Plus it not as crowded here, you don't have to wait for others to clear the trail before you ride. Also there is never any line-up's at Mt. Washington, unlike Whistler where you spend more time sitting and waiting than you do riding. Oh well I guess it was only a matter of time until the rest of you found out about our little beautiful island.
  • 2 1
 cumberland dh is better than port alice in my opinion
  • 3 0
 Rad Margus, just rad! I try to hit up the island twice a year on the AM bike, but have never made it south of Nanaimo to ride as all the mid island stuff is so great that I never want to leave it. Looking forward to part two.
  • 4 0
 let me guess.. darn ferry prices keep you from going more? went up again last week Frown
  • 3 0
 The best riding on this Island is Mt.Prevost in drunkin duncan
  • 3 0
 While ferry prices do suck, it's simply the fact of finding the time to come over for a 3 day weekend that I battle with the most. Love it there though.
  • 5 0
 Strong up-hiller make VERY strong downhiller....some pretty fast DH guys are fit because of this.
  • 5 0
 Before anyone notices its actually la nina right now not el nino!
  • 3 1
 ha.. good catch!
  • 2 0
 too bad it says el nina, not el nino
  • 5 0
 "Island's capital", are we our own province now?!? sweet
  • 2 1
 The Peoples Republic of Vancouver Island
  • 2 0
 It was great meeting you guys, I'm sorry I was so sick, would love to have joined you in the Sooke Hills. Greatly looking forward to the next installment. Margus, your 'dark look' is most excellent!
  • 1 0
 Awesome article and sweet shots!! I can't wait to abandon this lousy prairie winter and head for the island for the Cumberland DH and a weeks worth of riding around the Naniamo and Lake Cowichan area.

What are the definite, not to be missed trails? DH and AM.

Cheers
  • 4 0
 sweet, cool to see something in victoria
  • 12 0
 I would sell my Grandfather to move to the Island. But the government had other plans and made me move back to Australia. Waldon walks away cussing
  • 2 0
 These photos are amazing. It makes it look like a surreal place.
  • 3 0
 that's quite freaking beautiful.
  • 3 0
 So many potential pods here
  • 2 8
flag Unhallowed (Mar 21, 2011 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 Goddamn Island... soo much hiking. It's called roads, guys. Build some. Jokes. But holy crap there's a lot of hiking up.
  • 3 0
 I'd love to take a little time and xc it there. Heck, I'd pedal anywhere just to get out and ride right now.
  • 2 0
 ghaaa dont let the secret out Razz im super stoaked to see your guys part on duncan, make sure to hit up tzhoulhalem, some of the nicest FR around
  • 3 0
 pretty sure it was El Nina this year.
  • 3 0
 you guys have to come up to Duncan and ride Mt. Tzouhalem
  • 2 0
 Oh my god! Amazing photography, amazing landscape, trails look so great - and it's so far away from here...
  • 2 0
 yupp, exaxtly same problem here.... great photos, awesome ride... "cry"
  • 3 0
 Amazing photos. They makes the dump look epic.
  • 3 0
 These shots are so rich they mess with my mind
  • 2 0
 Margus, BRILIANT photos! My favourite is the 3rd one. --------------------------- www.obrench.com
  • 1 0
 Haha, if you live in Victoria finding good jumps is hard. No parks unless you build you own, which the city wrecks. Good trails though!
  • 2 0
 Great read, great pic's. Great Island!
  • 3 0
 i see a lot of PODs here
  • 3 3
 This is the proper Island - Part 1:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hszZmFRPqx8
  • 2 2
 dude that chic was hot in that video. song sucked ass
  • 2 0
 I agree.^^ But why not just post something from the B.C tourism board. At least their music is half decent.
  • 1 1
 Im more familiar with 'the island part 1' being a song by pendulum but definatly some sweet pictures there!
  • 1 0
 Sweet write up, all those pictures were perfect!
  • 1 0
 looks like some "bubble wrap" pictures in there from Hartland!!!
  • 1 0
 Deleted/double post
  • 1 0
 Stunning photos!
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