Photo Story: Reece Wallace Flies His Plane Around BC to Ride

Aug 31, 2020 at 10:56
by Giant Bicycles  


Last year, Reece Wallace obtained his pilot's license and this changed the way he would ride forever. Reece took some time during COVID-19 pandemic to head into his own backyard and explore the trails close to his home of Nanaimo, British Columbia. Longing to avoid masses but still ride, Reece loaded up his little 1974 Cessna 150 with his Reign 27.5 in the back and explored what BC has to offer in a relatively unusual manner. All the locations include; Mt. Tzouhalem, Mt. Prevost, Mt. Benson [all on Vancouver Island], Ledgeview Mountain in Abbotsford and Squamish.

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo
Cessna 150 - Golf Whiskey Quebec Uniform ready for takeoff. Permission to buzz the tower?

Liam Wallace Photo
Cessna 150 - Golf Whiskey Quebec Uniform, you are clear for takeoff.


Liam Wallace Photo
First stop on the stay home tour, Vancouver Island

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo
Freeride still lives.


Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Staying close to home allowed Reece time to explore much of what Vancouver Island has to offer for trail riding from Mt. Prevost to Tzouhalem. The island has a large variety of riding from smooth, flowy single track to full on downhill style trails, jumps, tech and everything in-between

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Less cables = more bar turns.

About the rider.
Weight: 170lb
Height: 5'11"
Riding Style: Aggressive
Preference: Stiff
Reece runs his bike in a fairly specific manner to do specific things. He runs the suspension with less sag than most, 5% front and 15% rear, with loads of compression damping. In terms of bottom out resistance, he uses as many volume reducers in the front and rear as possible to keep it progressive and stiff without hitting the end of the stroke on large features. The wireless drivetrain and dropper allows less clutter in the cockpit and to spin the bars with more ease

Fork: DVO Onyx SC 170mm 95psi
Shock: DVO Topaz 3 190psi
Wheels: Industry Nine Enduro 305 w/ Hydra hubs, rainbow
Tires: Maxxis DHF front EXO+, 23 psi. Maxxis DHR 2 rear DH casing, 26 psi. Both tubeless
Stack: 30mm under stem
Frame Size: M
Cockpit: Chromag Fubar OSX cutdown to 765mm. 40mm Ranger stem. Palmskin grips
Saddle: Chromag Overture
Drivetrain: AXS
Brakes: Code RSC
Pedals: Chromag Scarab w/ washers removed
Inserts: Tannus Armour tubeless inserts

Liam Wallace Photo
The gold standard
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Just like a trail bike, a plane offers unrivalled ability to explore, visit and take advantage of locations that are not accessible by foot or automobile

Liam Wallace Photo

bigquotesBeing an aircraft owner has been a wonderful experience. It's full of fulfilling memories like maxing out your credit card, trouble shooting 46 year old electronics, and my personal favourite, saying 'you can't put a price on happiness'. I encourage everyone trying to make a small fortune to invest a large one in a plane. It's all worth it when you have the praise and admiration of your friends and family with kind words like, 'you shouldn't have bought that' or 'can you get your money back?' Or my personal favourite, 'Does your wife know?' - Reece

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Little island off the coast of Tofino, B.C. Not a bad lunch spot

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Off to the mainland

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo
Behind the scenes

bigquotesMy plane's little 100hp motor burns less fuel than my truck, so it's a slightly more environmentally conscious choice than taking the ferry and driving every time I need to leave the island. Obviously not great, but the motor burns less fuel per trip than my truck - Reece

Liam Wallace Photo
bigquotesToo close for missiles, switching to guns

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll look out the left side of the plane, you will see The Black Tusk at the top of Garibaldi Provincial Park"

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo
If you look closely, way in the back is Vancouver Island


Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Welcome to the Green Room

Liam Wallace Photo
So many slabs, so little time

Liam Wallace Photo
Squamish, B.C.

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Liam Wallace Photo
Till next time, Squamish!

Liam Wallace Photo
Liam Wallace Photo

Squamish is known in the aviation community as being a very difficult location to learn how to fly due to its proximity to the mountains, unpredictable weather and large winds. All those factors coupled with a small runway make it an interesting airport when conditions are tough. However, the views are almost certainly worth it.

Liam Wallace Photo

bigquotesWe are currently at a cruising altitude of uuuuuuhhhhhhh 9500', the local time at our destination of Nanaimo Airport is uuhh 9:00pm, temperature is uuuhh, 26 degrees. We know you don't have a choice in tiny airplane airlines, so see you next time sucker


Keep your eyes on Pinkbike on September 15th for the full video of Reece's trip

Pilot & Rider: Reece Wallace
Photography & Words: Liam Wallace

Giant Bicycles
#RideUnleashed


95 Comments

  • 125 1
 This is the coolest thing I have seen on Pinkbike lately!
  • 26 1
 Well, in all fairness, every other article today is about the Trek Slash. Wink
  • 10 0
 I was going to say the same. Hands down the coolest article I have seen in years. Wish Reece would throw out some numbers though, if you see this Reece, give the people what they want to hear! How much was the required flying lessons, the plane itself, costs to fix/maintain it. Genuinely curious, fly safe though mate.
  • 20 0
 @bcroots: Hey man, cheers! Glad you liked the photos & article. I won't disclose too much because my wife may read this, but one example I can give you is first day of ownership I got a flat tire and had to replace it with essentially an $8 wheelbarrow tube, but since it's for an airplane it was $250. Similar to owning a BOAT—Bring Over Another Thousand. Worth every penny imo.
  • 1 0
 The pictures are amazing but the commentary is pure gold. Watch out Taj
  • 2 0
 @reecewallace: hahahah your wife is a champ. Surely she thinks you are pretty cool in your plane until she checks the credit card statements.
  • 1 0
 @reecewallace: Maybe you need some bush landing gear/wheels, but to think of, now all make sense BOAT, improvements never ends.
Great article!!!
  • 59 0
 I imagine it's quite hard to find parking at the trail head.
  • 28 1
 They should put a warning. For illustration purposes only: Do not install bike rack on top of your plane. Some people might actually try it. Haha.
  • 5 2
 seriously. My dad flew a small plane. That bike would be a rudder in and of itself.
  • 3 0
 I can’t imagine a pilot actually trying it, unless they wanted to lose their rudder, their license, or their life. Getting FAA approval for equipment is a pain in the ass
  • 4 0
 @onlyDH: Any pilot would know better.. but there is a legal way to mount them under the wings but not in North America.
  • 1 0
 @parisgore: even if I had approval from the FAA, I wouldn’t want to beat the cost. I have a mount for a gimbal/sensor under a wing and the mount itself is $15k because of regulations and tolerances
  • 5 0
 I think the better question is how he fit a bike inside of a Cessna 150!
  • 2 0
 @shinook: you just gotta believe. I used to fly with a dh and trail bike in my velocity. No rear or passenger seats and a whole lot of tetris
  • 3 0
 @shinook: serious tetris.
  • 4 1
 @reecewallace: right on dude. Be safe out there! Always check your fuel quantity/math, stay proficient, learn to fly instruments, and don’t f*ck with the weather.
  • 1 0
 I don't know anything about FAA regulations or airplane aerodynamics, but these guys did it. Not on top of the plane, but very cool. Shuttling in style. Looks like a Mondraker Foxy and Ibis Ripmo to me. Lol.

www.instagram.com/p/CE1yeuKnFdt/?igshid=1s5dx8xmobrs9
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: yea that dude is in Iceland. It would give you some more drag for sure but it’s legal to do there. Just not in the USA and maybe Canada since regulations of what you can do and modify are different which is very annoying.
  • 13 0
 His instagram is worth a follow. One of the coolest things he's posted are the "private islands" that litter the BC coast where people just have a freaking mansion, dock, and runway on some island in the middle of nowhere.

Must be nice.
  • 15 0
 Canada ftw
  • 5 0
 Those suspension settings.... I mean I know he rides hard, but it kinda says that the reign simply wasn't designed to smash trails in this fashion. It is an admirably light bike for its intended purpose... but it is time that giant make a true long travel trail bike that can handle enduro and freeride exploits.
  • 1 2
 Seriously, 5% sag and full volume spacers up front is beyond stiff, holy shit. I can't imagine that thing is any fun to ride on rougher terrain, there's just no compliance there at all.
  • 3 0
 It may be super stiff, but that's also the 27.5 reign which is 160/170. Pretty sure that still counts as "long travel," unlike the new 29er reign.

He's also 5'11 and on a med, small wheeled, stiff bike set up for tricks. He's definitely not setting that thing up for max comfort up and down.
  • 1 1
 @parkourfan: my Reign 2012 is very linear and requires extra pressure on the shock to avoid bottoming on even not so big stuff, proporcionally, probably 10% of what he rides hahaha!!
  • 4 0
 I was going to make a "funny" comment along the lines of "I wonder if Yakima has a rack for planes".........I guess they do!! All joking aside this is super rad and livin' life to the fullest.
  • 5 0
 There is actually an STC to mount bikes underneath the wings on planes but I think it's only in Europe, NZ, AUS. Not sure you can legally do it in North America.
  • 1 0
 @parisgore: If you could find a DER to sign off on an STC...
  • 6 0
 Damn Reece, save some WAP for the rest of us.
  • 5 0
 now this is the content i come on PB for!! thanks for sharing
  • 2 1
 Funny how many people downvote people who speak of the high enviromental cost. I've come to realize that most recreational road and mountain cyclist have no to very little actually concern for the enviroment. If people actually gave a shit they'd just find joy and peace in riding locally from their homes and not be such consumers.
  • 3 0
 Still trying to figure out how you photoshopped or staged the fake shot of the roof rack
  • 8 1
 Using photoshop, duh
  • 3 0
 Wait until reece discover bush planes (with shortest take off and can land anywhere)
  • 1 0
 That´s the lifestyle (and place) I am looking for (not my wife)
Off to the Lottery...oh shit, no entrance for Euros in Canada....maybe I should bring more money..
  • 2 1
 Very rad. Very expensive. Very lonely. In the words of the late Johnny Cash...

"But little they know
That it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind"
  • 3 0
 The couple people I know with small private planes are not rich but average middle class people who decided to make big sacrifices towards a different goal. Their minds appear pretty satisfied to me. Maybe because they almost always use it to share interesting trips and experiences with family or friends. Far from lonely! One of the problems of wealth is that something like buying a plane can be "easy", and it can be hard to be satisfied with things you didn't have to sacrifice and work hard for.

Given that Reece is a professional mountain biker, he is almost certainly not rich!
  • 3 0
 Flying doesn't have to be expensive, almost everyone I've flown with makes average incomes, especially in an airplane like the Cessna 150. Sure, I flew with people that owned airplanes that burned $450 of fuel per hour and cost $400k+, but they were in the minority.

An airplane like the 150 doesn't cost much to own and operate, they burn relatively little fuel and regular inspections aren't overly expensive. It's also not fast, doesn't carry a large load, and isn't particularly stable for instrument flight, but it works.
  • 2 0
 “Pleign.”
(Russell Peters when asked about his dads mode of transport).
  • 1 0
 He must have some great friends to pick him up. None of the airports mentioned are anywhere near riding trails. Especially Abbotsford LOL.
  • 2 0
 Matt Hunter shuttles with house boats, Reece Wallace shuttles with an airplane, what next?!
  • 1 0
 Richie Rude shuttling Acidalia Planitia with an Ares III...
  • 1 0
 Last photo has his bike on the roof though? That's the pic I always see around. Is that just for show because none of the other pics have it on the roof.
  • 1 0
 Genuinely curious as I'm a flight instructor and interested to know how that effects the flight characteristics
  • 1 0
 There is helidrops, then there is owning your own plane to ride where the hell you want!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Glorious. BC is incredible.
  • 1 0
 How come there's zilch Giant branding in the pics, but it's a Giant article?
  • 3 0
 Life: Completed 100%
  • 2 0
 Forget the bike what kind of avionics package is in that plane!?
  • 2 0
 hey @reecewallace places u can easily ride from the airport....kaslo bc
  • 1 0
 How is the riding in Kaslo? Always wanted to make the trip. Looks beautiful
  • 1 0
 I'll put it on my list, cheers!
  • 2 0
 It's pretty clear to me now that I've made poor life choices.
  • 2 0
 As a fan of aviation and bikes, this is really cool!
  • 1 0
 How did he get permission to land on a beach in Tofino? On a sunny day, they are packed.
  • 5 0
 I just yelled 'MOOVE!' on approach to landing. Beach isn't in Tofino though, small island off the coast.
  • 1 0
 @reecewallace: I like the "Mooove" answer better. Smile
  • 1 0
 Wow, thanks for this. Really great photography, and this dude seems to have it all figured out.
  • 1 0
 No one complaining about his carbon footprint in the comments, good to see mountain bikers still appreciate quality content.
  • 2 2
 Pinkbike editors will someday discover spell check. "Kind works" Plane is sick tho, looks mad with the bike on top.
  • 12 0
 One day, but at least we have you in the meantime Wink Corrected, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: I'm here for you guys Smile
  • 2 0
 Amazing pictures!!
  • 2 1
 Hahahahaha this was the funniest thing I've read in a long time! Hahahaha
  • 1 0
 Luckily no one is clapping once landed
  • 1 0
 Love this. Genuinely rad.
  • 1 0
 As a pilot and a mountain biker, this man is living the Dream..
  • 1 0
 god’s country....

amazing photos
  • 1 0
 No pontoons?
  • 1 0
 Looks like Ahous Bay
  • 1 0
 sure beats the BC Ferry.
  • 1 0
 Unreal ????????????
  • 1 1
 Didn't know Reese Wallace was also a dentist!
  • 1 0
 yes my life sucks
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