Roadtrip: Beautiful British Columbia

Mar 2, 2013 at 14:17
by befablogsen  
"The trip of a lifetime" is an apt description for the journey we had last summer. We (two German mountain bikers named Patrick Rasche and Constantin Fiene) flew over to British Columbia in order to travel and explore the country and ride some of the best locations you can find. We checked out the desert style landscapes around Kamloops, Williams Lake and the Cariboo area along with Nelson and the Kootenay Mountains. We lived the freeride lifestyle for almost two months with the best riding conditions you can ask for full of sick riding spots.


The Williams Lake and the Cariboo area with its riding, nature and people was a total blast. Within a few days the locals showed us their favourite spots and rides. The Cariboo is vast and and you'll find hills, gullies and rivers everywhere. The region's biggest business is logging, and in their spare time the folks like to be in the outdoors. Mountain biking has got a long history there and it doesn't matter whether it's building or riding, they do it on a freakin' high level. We were lucky enough to ride with some ballsy locals who showed us what Cariboo gravity mountain biking is all about. If you are planning to do a bike riding trip to BC, go to Williams Lake and the surrounding area. They do not have any chair lifts, but as long as you go to Red Shreds bike shop and get in touch with the locals, you can't go wrong.



If you are in Williams Lake you have to go to the Farwell Canyon. Bring your bikes and some time to check out the area and you can definitely find some gnarly and not-so-gnarly lines.


The key to riding the trails in this area is very simple. If you don't have a helicopter you either have to shuttle or hike up those hills. No hike, no ride!



Patrick Rasche and Williams Lake local Tyler Keep had an awesome day skidding down the Godsmack trail finishing next to the river. Tyler is a pretty rad guy. He guided us to many good locations around Williams Lake and was stoked to get some shredding done with the Germans. Thanks bud! Some European guys were wondering if it was the ocean on that picture. Maybe they can't imagine a river looking like this?



After a long day of riding and shooting we were hiking and scouting for new stuff to ride.


We spent a whole day hiking and scouting different zones which looked rideable from the distance. Unfortunately, big rain ruts were the result of a heavy rain last spring. After an exhausting day of hiking up and down chutes and hoodoos we noticed there there wasn't real much stuff to ride. Bummer for sure, but we're gonna check it out again next time.


Riding without rain ruts...


...could be so sweet and smooth.


We didn't bring two or three pickups, just a sweet 95 Jeep Cherokee with three bikes on it.


This Cherokee babe was our car, home, local shop and restaurant. Day and night.


If you are doing a multi-week roadtrip, sometimes you need a little break, so we checked out this epic place. The boat we found at this beautiful hidden volcano lake made our day.


We didn't have to buy anything for dinner this day, we got some trout!


Williams Lake is a crazy town for sure. At the Red Shreds bike shop we met up with local Cory Brunelle. He showed us the gnarliest and sketchiest trails around town and was pretty amused about the German road trip thing.


Traveling through BC we have been visiting lots of special places but this old church was one of our favourites.


You won't find any animals like this in Germany. That's crazy!



The trails in Williams Lake are fun.


A new official trail in Williams Lake called Snakes and Ladders was recently built. It is made for average riding so all the built stuff has ride arounds. But near the end of this long fun singletrack there is pretty good sized road gap. Cory knows how to kill it every day he is riding. Sweet table off that thing.

Just another sweet step down next to town.

We arrived in Kamloops at the nicest time of the year, early autumn. The best temperatures we could ask for and perfect light almost every day, combined with the best trail conditions and a lot of people to shred with. We checked out the valleys behind the famous Bike Ranch as well as some of the best trails we have ever ridden on the mountains around town.


6am. Waking up with the sun in your face and a big smile is one of the best things you can get on a road trip.


The Ranch is more like a bike park close to the city. Its a playground for every mountain bike rider who needs to get down with new sandy terrain or who wants to go big. We spent a couple of hours at the Ranch to check out some of the jumps and got many laps under our belts.


After riding at the Bike Ranch we tried to get some dusty riding pictures. It is so much fun to ride in those loose sandy conditions like this. You can easily try new crazy lines without high consequences.


Bring your bike up there if you want to go for a lap.


One day we've met Brad Stuart at The Ranch and helped him dig the jumps for the RockShox Game of Bike. He taught us how to build jumps out of dust, told us funny stories and shared his enthusiasm. A few days later he took us to his favourite trails north of Kamloops. Hanging out and riding with Brad was such a blast, this guy lives for that!


Our weapons of choice for the whole BC trip. It's so much fun if you bring just one bike and learn how to handle it on any kind of trail.


During summer puddles are rare. Finally we found one.


The dark side of traveling with abused cars. We didn't plan to buy new tires but we had to. Sh!t happens.


If this little tree keeps growing we'll have to build a bigger jump.


Trenton Zoobkoff is not only faster than most, he knows how to style it out. Thanks Trent!


Make art with love...

Doggy style?

The next part of our photo recap is all about the Kootenay Mountains in the western part of BC. Big mountains, cedar trees and old mining sides from the silver rush in the 19th century are significant features of this area. We stayed around Nelson, the Kootenay capital, for a few days. After that we've checked out an area somewhere in the mountains and stayed at a snowmobile cabin between old mining features. The whole area is impressive but the photos speak for themselves...




What could be better than days full of mountain bike riding and dinner afterwards at this wonderful place?


These mines have been abandoned since the Silver Rush.


More than a hundred years later mountain bikers make use of their beauty.


After an awesome photo shoot Patrick was totally in for a quick pool session in one of the small creeks.


Scenery. Those memories are one reason why we can't wait for next summer!


Back in the day it was a busy there, now it is nature again and only a few mountain bikers trying to scare themselves



We hope you enjoyed our Canada trip recap. With all the nice people we met, the spots we rode and all the stories to remember it was definitely the trip of a lifetime!

Constantin Fiene
Patrick Rasche


78 Comments

  • + 77
 Amazing pics, killer story. Looks like a ton of fun! Really cool to see the "euro roadtrip" idea in reverse...
  • + 18
 Yes, really great write-up and photos! And they didn't just zip straight over to Whistler, I would love to do this trip myself
  • + 51
 I like how the euro people on pb have better english than the north american and brits
  • + 9
 Canada for you 3 Love that Country, produced one of the finest astronaut also !
  • + 24
 ^A fine example, norris.
  • + 7
 Well done guys! Nice photos and really good write up. Lived in B.C my whole life and never been to Williams lake... I guess there no time like the present.
  • - 1
 You've got to head up there! Take Highway 1 then go north up the Highway 97 and enjoy the beautiful drive. It's lovely. Once you do the drive enough, you learn where you can start cutting corners and where you can pass people and where you can speed and where you need to go slow. It's such an awesome cruise.
  • + 4
 Interesting how the section shot in the Kootenay Mountains is all on Retallack tenure. Did you guys go to the lodge?
  • + 3
 Articles like this make me wonder, what the hell am I still in Ontario?
  • + 2
 Same here m-boltz!!! I want that elevation!! I have the Niagara escarpment in my back yard, but the descent last about 2min and then its over like a two pump chump!! Long Live The North Shore!!!!
  • + 1
 @trozei, made me lol, but c'mon, what am I supposed to do when I'm on pb on my phone in class? Razz Still, it says something about the school systems in Europe vs. North America when Germans, Austrians, French, and people of pretty much every EU nation can speak our first language better than we can.
  • + 1
 In North America, all you really need to know is English, with the possibility of Spanish or French. In Europe, there are so many different countries with so many different languages. It's inevitable that Europeans will have better language skills. It's almost a necessity. I knew a kid from Luxembourg who fluently spoke 8 languages without an accent.
  • + 1
 So the redneck movement has taken over and crossed all borders. I see rednecks in europe, canada, we are everywhere. Keep on trucking.
  • + 1
 nope not at the lodge, stayed at a cabin in one of the valleys
  • + 20
 Stunning photos, and great write up! Glad you guys got to explore so many amazing spots around BC.
  • + 3
 I love BC! I go up there a couple weeks a year for vacation to ride my bike or the snow. Beautiful area.
  • + 7
 Having this crew stay with us, both in Nelson and Kamloops was a real pleasure. Seeing their enthusiasm on the trails, and eagerness to explore, brought a unique perspective to the "backyard" we sometimes take for granted. Not always is the grass greener on the other side. Thanks for the great times Patrick and Fransen. Hopefully see you guys soon!
  • + 3
 Hey Trent!! Got to ride Awakener with you a few years back.....Hope all is well.....!!!
  • + 7
 Welcome to BC. I was born and raised there, its my home. And everytime i see articles about the place,makes me think, I ( we) live in the best place on earth. The diversity from Desert, to rain forest, coastal, mountains. WE HAVE IT ALL!

You can literaly ride from the top of a snow covered mountain, threw a forest and end up in the desert.
  • - 3
 Sounds like here in Las Vegas, except we don't have an ocean :-/
  • + 8
 you must not have been to BC yet. nothing like vegas, no offence.
  • + 2
 Funny enough LV has a very diverse ecosystem (Mt Charleston/Red Rock Canyon, etc- far more than "the strip").....BUT, I'd rather Travel/MTB in BC anyday......(no offense Bootleg Canyon- you're gnarly and all.....)

Great write-up and pics!! Cory is a total shredder- got to ride with him and Gustav for a few weeks in WL. Brad is also another legend to ride with......you certainly made the rounds!!
  • + 2
 absolutely nothing else in the world compares to B.C. im so proud i get to live in the best place on earth. i dont think ill ever leave. LONG LIVE B.C. Big Grin
  • + 1
 Wow everyone totally misinterpreted that, the fact that you can ride in snow then in the desert. Clearly I'm not saying Las Vegas is better, how could I?
  • + 1
 everything on PB is so carefuly scrutinized.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately, yes. If we could get a lift access bike park here, skies the limit, minimal closure do to weather each year and nearly 12,000 vertical feet to play with...
  • + 7
 Quality photo's and a fantastic write up. Anyone want to go road-trippin?
  • + 7
 Nice pics!
  • + 1
 Next time u dudes come to Vancouver to ride give me a call and I will show you the best of the best the lower main land has to offer.Bring your pads cause this shit is gnarly. Been riding for 25 years in these woods and have seen all the transformations of trail building since the beginning of freeriding. I can also loge the 2 of you. For free! Keep pinning it, Olly
  • + 5
 Unbelievable trip/story and photos guys!
  • + 1
 When we go to Europe the locals (Germans, Swiss, Italians) are super nice to us and very hospitable. Whenever I meet Europeans it is not difficult to remember the kindness shown to us and reciprocate. I wish you two a very good return to B.C. and if you manage to get around to the coast you can find someone to show you around.

Dankeschoen for showing us this beautiful country through other peoples eyes.
  • + 1
 Often the best descriptions and adventures had anywhere are from people visiting who bring fresh energy and excitement. This is no exception. If you guys make it out to the Van Isle, come calling, we've got some choice rides as well! The pics in this article are wicked!
  • + 1
 Hi Patrick and Constantin, great story, amazing photos! Looking forward to your visit this year. Wish you could be here this weekend, Peel Out Race and party-time at Shreddie's. See you soon!
  • + 2
 I will travel to BC, for severeal mounth in september, and this article give me lot of ideas of location to ride !!thanks pinkbike !And see you there guys !
  • + 2
 Is the old church with all the bikes and mottos some ones home, a shop, a hostel, or something else? Looks like an amazing road trip!
  • + 1
 This is an impressive travelog with epic pictures and heaps of love for our sport! Makes you forget your current location, work or weather and beams you right into a BC dream. Thanks guys!
  • + 0
 What a photo epic! Nice job and glad you enjoyed your time in this beautiful country we call Canada. I have to get my ass out there [BC] one of these days.

I like how your written English is better than most from the English speaking countries!
  • + 2
 Great jobs guys and always nice to have gorgeous documentation of trips like this. It reminds us all that jobs and money aren't important. Living is what's important.
  • + 1
 Ahhh a dream trip!! someone is using my favorite shorts from Oakley, on the picture with Brad, sadly i can't find it in any store now.
  • + 4
 Ganz feines Ding!
  • + 1
 For the blue and black one, it's a HERB 204 from Last Bike.

www.last-bikes.com
www.vitalmtb.com/community/bretzelprod,19994/setup,19625
  • + 4
 Epic photos!
  • + 3
 And I am just sitting here and getting jealous Frown
  • + 3
 I rode with you guys ! ! !
  • + 1
 Is it any wonder why the best mountain bikes on the planet come from British Columbia??
  • + 1
 click, ad to favourites. click, ad to favourites. Repeat for the remainder of the pictures.
  • + 1
 I lived each stories, lines and photos of it just by reading it. Great trip, in my opinion, you made history.
  • + 2
 Such a good article, would love to do this one day.
  • + 1
 Want to spend my gap year out in BC, but need to get some money and a sponsor Wink
  • + 1
 the picture holding the fish cracked me up !

what are you guys doing?? ah just jerkin it.
  • + 2
 so good, great photos guys
  • + 1
 that looks amazing, we have fun in Scotland but that just looks epic, gotta get over there!!!
  • + 1
 articles like these just make me realise how lucky I am to live in bc!
  • + 2
 fun
  • + 1
 Rad photos. That table over the road gap... TWEAK.
  • + 1
 you guys should hit this place in chilliwack its a narlly trail
  • + 1
 i am jealous Smile looking forward to be in BC in 2014
  • + 1
 No shore or Squamish? You missed those. Rest was awesome though.
  • + 1
 Wish there was a video to go with this
  • + 1
 Sooooo jealous! Good job on the article!
  • + 1
 summer of 2011 Whistler !
  • + 1
 This is why I moved out here. Good job guys, living the dream.
  • + 1
 Merida ,the blur one? Looks great
  • + 1
 So many sick pics, thanks for sharing!
  • + 1
 Don't show me these articles features whilst I'm in work!
  • + 1
 Meanwhile, in rainy Britain.....
  • + 1
 That looks awesome. First place on visiting list if parents allow.....Smile
  • + 1
 is that a Fox 34 ? if it is it should the 34 flamers Wink
Super nice pics!
  • + 2
 Where the trail ends!
  • + 1
 love it! great photos boys!
  • + 1
 Bloody good show chaps... I wanna go now!
  • + 1
 Rad
  • + 1
 ah, amazing place!
  • + 1
 epic trip
  • + 1
 Thats mega rad
  • + 0
 *gold rush
  • + 1
 Nope, Nelson was a silver rush boom town
  • - 3
 ali is sexy

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