Video & Photo Story: Emily Batty Showcases the Incredible Riding in Victoria, BC

Mar 26, 2021
by Canyon  


Words: Canyon

Victoria, BC has forged a name for itself as a training destination for endurance athletes over recent years. Thanks to its location on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, it offers a more temperate climate and stays drier than the mainland- perfect for making those big training blocks that little bit more bearable. Alongside the weather, the terrain and trail network create an ideal training ground. Whether its XC trails, gravel loops, or road rides- everything is on the doorstep.

With the winter months kicking in, it was an easy decision for XC World Cup Racer Emily Batty and team mate Laurie Arseneault on where to head to prepare themselves for the season ahead.

Having spent the majority of her adult life traveling around the world for racing, Emily has rarely spent so much of her time in Canada and has been enjoying reconnecting with her home.

bigquotesCanada as a country is so beautiful, we have some of the most diverse terrain and nature in the world! It's great for training on the mountain bikes and the gravel bikes and everyday is a bit of an adventure when you go out on the bike.Emily Batty

Rob Parkin and Sterling Lorence headed to Victoria to capture what makes the place so special. Safe to say- mission accomplished.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

bigquotesThe feeling of being home is what makes Canada so special for me. It’s really hard to describe, but when you’re home it’s a feeling like no other.Emily Batty

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Coffee stops are an integral part of an endurance athlete's training program

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.
Winter training could be worse. A lot worse.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault in Victoria British Columbia Canada. March 2021.

Photography by: Sterling Lorence

Video by: Rob Parkin and Nandoo Production

With support from: Canyon Bicycles

Featuring: Emily Batty and Laurie Arseneault riding for Canyon MTB Racing


56 Comments

  • 56 16
 "I'm home"
Emily Batty, who is 3000+km west of her home in Ontario, lol
  • 16 6
 Onterrible
  • 58 6
 "Canadian complains to fellow Canadian that the latter, a globe trotting elite cyclist and Olympian, isn't allowed to call parts of her country home."
lol
  • 7 3
 @mi-bike: that's like saying "I'm home" in Rio Grande when your actual home is in carnot lol
  • 6 1
 @mi-bike: Just laughing at how inane the idea is. She's currently further from her home base than she is in Tucson (2800ish km), where she would typically be this time of year. Just a silly observation by me.
  • 1 0
 Isn't Haley Smith from Victoria?
  • 1 0
 @femto505: I'm not certain where Smith is living and training now, but she's from Ontario just like Batty.
  • 44 13
 They really should have said Vancouver island and not victoria. Sooke isn't victoria, saanichton (the dump) isn't victoria and Duncan sure as hell isn't victoria.

Victoria isn't a riding destination.
  • 15 2
 Splitting hairs, I think. If you're coming to ride in the area, you're probably staying in Victoria and doing short drives to the trails.
  • 8 1
 Don't get me wrong. I loved living there and miss it. The pubs, the views, the partying, the pubs, the pubs, the restaurants, etc.
  • 6 1
 @jayacheess: nah better to stay in cumberland for that. Way more trail systems nearby plus tofino is just over the hump and around the corner.
  • 11 1
 This is a dumb comment. She's based herself in Victoria, and the dump is the Victoria riding spot, whether you want to call it Sannich or not.
  • 3 2
 @makripper: Right, but this is about the trails around Victoria.
  • 14 1
 You should have started this statement off by adjusting your glasses and saying "Well actually...."
  • 6 1
 @jayacheess: By the same token Vancouver is a riding destination although I would not say that.
  • 18 0
 Greater Victoria area...is that better?
Anyways, riding here sucks, and the ferry is expensive. Everybody, just stay on the mainland.
  • 3 0
 @jayacheess: staying in victoria and spending 30min in traffic to go 15km*
  • 3 1
 @Benjamin97: I used to live on quadra by the crystal pool and it would take 45 min to an hour to get to the dump for after work rides Frown
  • 3 1
 ...and the dump isn't Saanichton, either...
  • 1 0
 @BMDN: According to crd saanichton doesn't technically exist anymore but it's still visible on google maps. So.. ok it's in Saanich lmao
  • 2 0
 It was in the 80's–Mill hill, Mt Doug, Hartland area and the most popular: Skirt Mtn.
  • 19 1
 Excellent. Please keep publicizing the lower section of the island. After extensive research I've found that north of Victoria is a waste of time. Hit Vic then back to the mainland please...
  • 2 0
 Sure. lol
  • 15 2
 I'd like to see riders and brands taking advantage of the best climate in Canada say thank you for the opportunity of saving their training season, and fluffing sponsors by donating to the local trail association they've reaped the benefits of. Surely a clean tax write-off for them.
  • 17 1
 looks a lovely place do they do fish n chips
  • 3 0
 It's legendary!
  • 12 1
 Red Fish Blue Fish. Right on the water, best in town!
  • 1 0
 So very good. Look forward to being able to visit again.
  • 2 0
 @micahaalders3: fish on 5th is great too
  • 13 2
 Beautiful footage of athletes in their home country of Canada. We are all Canadians and should be proud of the country we live work play in. It doesn't matter whether you grew up in Nunavut and now reside in PEI etc. I think Emily did a great job of sharing our country and her location whether or not she grew up there. I hope the cycling community here can start to focus on being Canadian and not specifically from one spot on the map. From the guy in Canmore who moved from Montreal here in 91. Hope that's ok Wink
  • 1 1
 Thank you for that Aydin!
  • 12 1
 Only in Canada would me spend more energy bitching about the details than celebrating our home-grown talent; regardless of what territory they might be from and where they like to ride.
  • 8 0
 I was in Victoria last week looking to retire there. Went looking for the Dump ( Heartland Land Fill) but struggled to find it. As I was retracing my steps driving back I saw a mountain biker on the road. Turned the car around to ask for directions and pulled up beside the rider, it was Emily. She was super helpful and extremely nice to speak to. I hope her and the new team kill it this year, best of luck EB.
  • 5 0
 I have friends in Victoria and hear great things about the city but haven't been able to get out to visit. Was always going to take a bike with me, whenever the visit happens. Want to poke around the island in general.
  • 8 0
 somebody show this to the CRD and tell them to stop ruining our trails
  • 9 2
 Canyon is really coming along in terms of sponsoring the right people
  • 3 0
 Their current prices agree.
  • 5 0
 Yes, everybody go to Victoria. The rest of the island has no good riding. Don't even bother to look.
  • 1 0
 I first started riding mountain bikes in Victoria in the mid 80's, and hardly anyone was biking on the local trails then. Mt Doug was a favourite destination that was within riding distance, and it's shown here @ :22

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, would love to get back home one day.
  • 1 0
 Victoria is a fantastic place. If you’ve never been, I recommend spending some time there if you can. Also, the people there are super friendly.

I lived in Victoria for 6 years of the nineties, finishing high school at St Michael’s (Steve Nash was a classmate of mine), and then later going to UVic. At the time, mountain biking in Victoria was thriving... lots of great shops and local races going on too. Word was that many of the Canadian Olympic team members trained there... I believe Andreas Hestler did, and a few others. The weather was pretty good for riding year round (except for the blizzard of 96, and even then I tried my best to ride).

The terrain was different from the mainland. Lots of craggy rocks and boulders, and lovely arbutus trees. Not much of a North Shore freeride thing going on at the time though, so I was in for a huge shock when I moved to Vancouver and hit the trails here.

Got out of biking for a long time, and now just getting back into it. Looking forward to heading back to the island when Covid settles down a bit, catching up with friends, and revisiting some of the riding spots I recall enjoying. My guess is that like everything else in this sport, they’ll have changed a fair bit too.
  • 4 0
 dats some nice arbutus right there
  • 2 1
 I can't wait for the border to open. Victoria is such a great place to visit, and I haven't yet had the pleasure of taking a bike with me to the island.
  • 3 0
 Again, what you’ve heard is dead wrong. Island Schmisland.
  • 1 0
 Looks like an incredible riding area... i've always wondered why so many people have these rad glasses but never wear them while riding!
  • 4 4
 I think their eye lashes are too long to wear glasses....
  • 3 0
 Great to see you back at it Emily! Good luck this season.
  • 2 0
 Those team colours still create cognitive dissonance
  • 1 0
 'that pulls you in and screams performance' ... cue card...
  • 2 0
 I don't miss BC at all.
  • 1 0
 Great photos! And those new team colors look great!
  • 1 0
 what's with the second cross bar on the gravel bikes?
  • 2 4
 They showcased the worst riding spots in Greater Vic...sweet
  • 6 0
 Mt Doug's not even a riding spot, but has good views from the top.
  • 3 0
 @njcbps: not open to bikes any more i take it? used to be my daily loop when i was going to uvic back in the 90's. fun little slabby trails off the backside.
  • 3 0
 @xy9ine: I visited last year on my MTB to revisit my glory days. Lots of No Cycling signs now.

Fun place.
  • 4 0
 @njcbps: I can't tell if there's an omitted eyeroll or wink emoji at the end of this

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