It’s an unfulfilled mountain biker who has never heard of Vancouver’s North Shore.
The birthplace of a trail-blazing style of freeriding — on pathways strewn with fallen logs, granite boulders, bridges and other manmade wooden structures — these tracks may have spawned an eponymous trend for trail riding in other locales, but North Vancouver’s slopes remain at the heart of the sport.
Want to ride for yourself? Finding the right trail to match one’s time, interest and skill level can be a frustrating endeavour. That is, unless you saddle up with the team at Endless Biking, a North Vancouver-based company that offers tailor-made guided tours of the North Shore’s bounty of single-track.
They are one of the only full service mountain bike outlets in North America, open seven days a week. The company is owned and operated by professional mountain bikers Darren Butler and Kelli Sherbinin. Their philosophy is that they are committed to building a sustainable future for mountain biking and work hard to improve participation, access, awareness and performance in the sport. They believe cycling is a great activity for all ages and abilities. Rides range from two to six hours, and can focus on scenic, cross-country or downhill trails.
For adventurers with more time to travel, Endless Biking also puts the pedals in motion with multi-day tours of other regions of the province, plus day-long or multi-day skills camps to brush up on technical know-how. (To extend your stay, and take on the trails on your own, the Pinnacle Hotel’s North Shore Bike Package promises one luxurious overnight and a four-hour standard bike rental, courtesy of Endless Biking.)
Should you wish, instead, for a bit of mentoring, these outdoor specialists can offer a private lesson with mountain bike superstar Wade Simmons.
A bit of trail-blazing that may just inspire you to quit your day job. www.endlessbiking.com; www.pinnaclepierhotel.com.
The North Shore bills itself as the place “where nature lives.” While there, be sure to enjoy the long list of outdoorsy things to do like skiing, kayaking, golf, hiking and walking the suspension bridges. Then, when you are ready for a more relaxed pace, the area stretching from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove has great art galleries, shopping, museums and other cultural amenities. By bridge or catamaran ferry, it’s just minutes from downtown Vancouver.