At 20 years old you wouldn't think returning to your roots was possible, but with the progression of mountain biking being so fast for some it is possible. Nic Court is one those people and has had the great fortune of living and riding in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Mt. Tzouhalem is the most popular spot to ride in the valley and the lower trails of Mt. Tzouhalem are where a lot of young riders get their start. The old jumps get buffed out once and a while as the younger riders push their skills and other features just go right back to the earth they came from. As riders advance and move to higher trails and other mountains their roots slowly fade.
Nic thought it would be fun to park the downhill bike for a bit and go back to ride these trails on a modern trail bike. We found some old school flat corners, berms that seemed like they grew from the moss, old trails that have been made new again, some sweet little gap & hip jumps and a couple good old ladder drops to flat!
Foot off the flats would've been the call back when Nic was coming up, but now it is clipped in with driving knees and hips through the turns to keep the speed and flow at max!
Bigger and bigger wheels with wide bars make these gaps through the trees that much tighter and now the tree tap is a requirement to get the style on!
The old trails on Mt. Tzouhalem are so classic with the moss growing right up to the dirt take offs and landings. Clearly these trails still get used, but not like the full bermed up flow trails do. The beauty of these old trails can't be denied!
Good building stands the test of time. This flat ladder drop was mint...classic flat landing! The main difference today is the addition of the full steez factor and a big wheeled trail monster making that flat landing butter.
Throwing some dirt onto an old log and making a landing was plenty for some fun times. It is amazing how well some of these have held up over the years. Back then Nic would have started with a straight air to a thump of a landing, but today something like this gem calls for a knifing scrub at full speed with a silent landing thanks to years of suspension and frame tweaks.
Today it is the full speed scrubs
We felt bad about railing this berm and disturbing the blanket of moss that was doing it's best to grow right over. Nic kept it low and fast to make sure that no moss was harmed in the making of this photo.
The classic loamy trails of Mt. Tzouhalem are so much fun to ride and are a must to explore. The next time you head out to your local riding spot why not go up a different way and see if you can find some of those classic old trails that you used to ride. Get out there and discover!
Rider: Nic Court (Instagram @nic_court)
Words/Photos/Video : Mark Law (Instagram @marklaw_810photo)