Video: Riding Bellingham's LEAST Popular Trails

Feb 18, 2022 at 15:52
by Pinkbike Originals  


It's Tom's first trip to Bellingham, and what better introduction to the zone is there than riding all of the least popular mountain bike trails in the area? Guided by the Trailforks popularity map, Tom and Christina set off on a mission to tackle the least trafficked trails that Bellingham has to offer.








94 Comments

  • 58 2
 Thank you for converting to freedom units, Tom. To show my appreciation, I’ll make sure to drive on the left side of the road the next time I am in New Zealand, this time.
  • 7 0
 HA!!! fair trade I'd say.
  • 18 1
 @PHX77 ha - the sheep coming the other way will appreciate it too.
  • 37 7
 Honestly these are by FAR the best trails in Bham. If you're gonna come you should ride these trails and these ones ONLY. All of the other trail building sucks and you should just go to the north shore instead. Basically don't come here.
  • 10 10
 My blood pressure spiked when I saw this title, I was expecting them to blow up some actual good spots. Yes, visitors, please stick to non-shuttle trails on Chuckanut.
  • 17 2
 @transam711: Says the guy from Portland. LMAO
  • 3 2
 Couldn't agree more! That Raiders of the Lost Ark section was the best as well
  • 9 1
 @jwdenver: I grew up in Bellingham (and have a lot of family there yet), I got priced out of the area. A city of 80k people doesn't have a lot of job options that can support 600k houses.
  • 26 0
 This is what most mountain biking was like in the past, minus the Trailforks and Strava. You found a trail, grown in logging/fire road, on a topo map, you checked it out. It can be a lot of work but, like hiking, can take you to some amazing places that stay that way because they are not "popular". I've shared some of my most amazing memories doing just this in kayaks, on skis and bikes with like minded friends who bitched and complained a good portion of every trip!
  • 7 0
 hahah I think we may be cut from the same cloth. It's about the journey right?? Not the destination LOL
  • 2 0
 This is how I discovered all of my local trails, which are all now well mapped and signed. It is an interesting thing to think how easy and accessible trails are now, but I'm thankful I had the opportunity to explore when it wasn't as easy.
  • 24 0
 I can hear Tom through the thumbnail
  • 2 0
 can confirm
  • 20 0
 @pisgahgnar my condolences to your ear holes.
  • 17 0
 SST and Uline are the best trails, you can show off your expensive pants and floral party shirts to so many locals at the tops of these trails.
  • 5 1
 Don't forget your fanny pack and *** or *** bike too!
  • 10 0
 Just be sure to wear your wet muddyass riding kit, including knee pads and riding shoes, out to the brewery afterwards so that everyone else there knows that you got rad earlier

Transition really needs to parody this glorious phenomenon at some point. Or include a pair of post-ride sweatpants and adidas slips with every bike…
  • 1 0
 Don’t forget Adog!
  • 10 1
 Trailforks is great, but its popularity rating is not at all accurate. Not everyone who rides local trails uses Trailforks, and not everyone who uses Trailforks records their rides, especially the locals who know how to get around. It's even worse in less frequented areas where a few people posting ride logs make a trail highly recommended, even if it's just a tiny connector that a couple people just happened to ride. If I'm riding a new region, I try to talk to actual people or at least look at the descriptions of the trails that seem interesting.
  • 21 0
 This do be true....but it's a good place to start! We intentionally picked the "least popular" and can confirm... didn't see another biker (did see 3 total hikers though) that day so I think we nailed it LOL
  • 15 4
 The trails here suck don’t come.
  • 7 3
 We're trying to spread that word for yall! haha not such a "small town" anymore
  • 7 10
 @christinachappetta: not trying to argue that we aren't moving away from being a "small town", but questioning why shining a light on the city helps our community. As a born and raised local I love having people come and visit our amazing community. I fear though, that with the rapid amount of "out of towners" buying fancy houses, bham will eventually lose what made it special in the first place. Great video, and great idea on your behalf, I bring this up mainly because I think it would make for an interesting story; how a "small town" now holds "some of the best bike trails in the world."
  • 6 1
 @mtb2233: Home to some of the most well-known bike manufacturers, companies and riders in the world. Maybe we head to Bentonville next?!
  • 7 6
 @mtb2233: I get your POV on wanting things to stay the way they were but I would imagine the local outdoors industry is quite keen on the growth. That means more jobs, more dollars, and more expansion on the things we love. Bc idk man, to me nothing remains in stasis forever and to hope for that is a losing proposition. As new locals as of 6 months ago, we certainly sympathize for the challenges that may bring to a community and bc of that we will certainly look to be good stewards of what makes Bham great. Ill just say that your new neighbors are pretty cool once you get to know them. You’ll find we have a lot in common Wink
  • 7 10
 @Deanosuar: yeah, screw all the people that can't afford to live there anymore, who helped make the community what it is/was.
  • 5 1
 @Trailfingers: whoa dude. I certainly never said that. We were priced out too which is why we came to Bham. Home prices have doubled nationally since ‘08 so it’s something we’re all feeling my guy.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: who are the riders?
  • 2 1
 @mtb2233: sounds like someone is upset for not having a BMX background
  • 1 1
 @ElDebarge: do you even bar bro?
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta:

In all seriousness thanks for coming down. Lots of cool funky stuff here. Plenty of room for everyone.
  • 2 0
 @mtb2233: Just look at Bend Or to see what may happen in Bellingham. We are now searching for someplace else to live and ride.
  • 1 0
 @mtb2233: it doesn't help the community there at all, likely hinders it with tourists wrecking the place even more
  • 2 0
 @Deanosuar: 6 months isn't going to give you the perspective you need... you felt the effects of being priced out, so you should understand why locals don't like people moving here, especially people that can afford Evil's with Push coils
  • 2 0
 @mtb2233: some of us with evils and push coils work multiple jobs and live cheaply to have nice bike stuff.
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: that is an angle I didn't quite consider, more power to you
  • 1 0
 @mtb2233: life is about priorities! Mine aren’t having kids and a house. Bikes, cars, adventures, memories.
  • 1 0
 @Trailfingers: I sent you some DMs. Check your pinkbike inbox. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: Yes the tourists as well as all the new comers who bring an attitude of entitlement. Was a great place, I always ran into someone I knew out on the trails or restaurants. Now the trails are overrun and the restaurants and brew pups you can even get into
  • 9 0
 With the order that videos have been published lately it makes it seem like Tom is rapidly going back and forth between hemispheres
  • 3 0
 @ABhardtail ha that would be a dream - can confirm very much up north right now!
  • 2 0
 hahaah too funny!!! I "think" we're nearly through Tom's archive of NZ footy
  • 7 1
 First time I was in Bellingham had the nicest locals take my friend and I on a tour. Amazing people and amazing trails!
  • 4 2
 You can't really go wrong there. Such a rad place and the folks are truly top notch.
  • 3 0
 It's not so much that those are unpopular mtb trails, they're really just hiking trails. That I guess bikes are allowed on? I lived in Bham for a long time and went to these trails a lot to hike with my mom or non-biking friends.
  • 2 0
 That's the best part! A trail is different to every rider/walker/person. Tom and I had a hoot, maybe won't do that again, but I've had a few messages from people saying that's their go-to lap on Chuckanut haha amazing! And a few that would recommend an e-bike next time.
  • 9 0
 Gotta be honest, with flowy/bermy trails becoming way more prevalent everywhere I definitely get the itch to ride some old school hiking jank from time to time. Will it suck? Will it be fun? Sometimes it's fun to feel like you're maybe not supposed to be there.
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta: Yeah, not saying it wouldn't be a fun ride, just that Pine and Cedar lakes is such a lovely hike it seems weird to to see it presented as an "unpopular ride", haha. I was in Fairhaven for a couple years and would literally walk out there on the Interurban Trail and right up the mountain. Just an amazing place.

Something I didn't appreciate about Bham until having lived several other places is how the trails are basically right in town. Which isn't special compared to Squamish, but definitely compared to most places.
  • 1 1
 @christinachappetta: I've ridden a variation of that route and yeah, once is fine. The people that ride it as a regular route are masochistic old men on early Pivot Mach 5.7s, Talas fully engaged and still believe in front derailleurs.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: I love old school hiking jank. We still have a lot of it out here in Virginia. I weirdly enjoy riding uphill on trails that were clearly not made with bikes in mind.
  • 2 0
 Stoked for more ideas from both of you! This video really shows the experience I had of searching for trails in a new home after I moved just before shutdown. Glad to be at a point where I can connect with riders and get toured around. Although I can't wait to get up to BHAM to ride, I think I'll skip that climb.
  • 3 1
 My sister and husband live in Bellingham. In visiting them early December last year from Michigan we rode the same trail. By far better trail rides then here in SE Michigan. Great fun and will be going out again. Video was great!!
  • 5 0
 I just want to know how they found an empty parking lot at the trailhead.
  • 1 0
 And for lunch did you keep the theme alive and choose a one star dining experience? Or did you search for something tried and true?

Also, I just brought my kids to Raptor Ridge and according to at least one of them - even after all the pushing - it was the best trail they’d ever ridden in Bellingham.
  • 3 1
 Climing Pine and Cedars.. yewww!! This is a solid loop... hahaha! As a local I fully support this. If you need anymore suggestions HMU
  • 3 0
 hahaha only if they are dumb suggestions! I have a new found appreciation for 25+% grade trails
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: come climb Ashland, Oregon. Lithia park trails. Consistent 15-30% grade. I just dry my tears at the top cause the downhill is so worth it!
  • 3 0
 0:56 is how im saying "frequented" from now on. Clearly my 'Merican vernacular was not doing the word justice.
  • 2 0
 @GorgesIthacan adding an Italian hand gesture to any word over two syllables increases one's vernacular exponentially
  • 3 0
 Linking in middle ridge trail would really up the ante.
  • 1 0
 I think we could make a few videos in this zone. Need to get back and ride the others that were left out for being "too popular"
  • 1 1
 I really want to know if someone a-la kendalweed or macaskill could ride that without dabbing...
  • 1 0
 @jefe: nice!

I had the poor sense to try it on a cross bike during one of my first exploratory rides after I moved here, couldn't ride the ups or the downs
  • 1 0
 I 'rode' middle ridge by accident a few years ago. Type 2 fun for sure, lol
  • 2 0
 I've ridden most of the popular stuff in Bham in the past, but not these. Might need to investigate next time I am in town!
  • 1 0
 Kudos to you guys for doing something different! It reminds me of how you used to find the good trails. Explorer caps and all!
  • 2 0
 Great ride with the Dynamic Duo.
  • 2 4
 @Straight6Rocks hohohohohohoohohoohh exactly oohohhoohoh
  • 4 2
 Word on the street is that these trails have a BMX background.
  • 2 0
 This is like the Mike Bear of trail rides. Sure, you can do it but, why?
  • 1 0
 Crazy thing is, in about 40 of the 50 U.S. states, these would be the best trails in the state.
  • 1 0
 I've done this exact loop once.
  • 2 2
 hahah once is all you need. However, I hear it's a good spot for e-bikers!
  • 4 1
 @christinachappetta: I have done this area a handful of times over the last several years. The road up is better, but not a lot haha. Hardtail fun for sure. Hush hush up there is a good one. But yeah....there are a lot of easier ways to have fun. Smile
  • 1 0
 @Fifeandflow: We did consider the road as well bc we love road climbing here in BC, but we wanted to keep it true to the trails. And we got to see that nice hiker!
  • 3 2
 Bellingham is garbage. California has much better riding.
  • 1 0
 Can anyone tell me the make of the bike rack on the back of the truck ?
  • 1 0
 North Shore Racks, made here in BC
  • 2 4
 Here comes all the pinkbike sycophants ready to cut hush-hush roots out to it's death over a boring video with overhyped acting.
  • 1 0
 Nice
  • 2 3
 Go away
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