Vancouver

Biking the North Shore

Let's face it: mountain biking is in Vancouver's blood. Kids grow up in the sport because it's a legitimate  extracurricular school activity. The city breeds world champs and medal-winning Olympians who  probably eat dirt for breakfast. Plus, there's a camaraderie among Vancouver mountain bikers that's  pretty hard to find elsewhere. 

We also have the famous North Shore, where freestyle mountain biking was practically born. This is like  the Holy Land for mountain bikers. With Mount Fromme, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour as  major anchors, North Shore riding makes single-track look like kindergarten. Imagine the most difficult,  technical terrain you can find—fallen logs, boulders, huge ravines, combined with man-made obstacles  on fast-riding trails, most of which are well-maintained by Vancouver's active mountain biking  community. 

This isn't to scare you away. There are plenty of intro trails to get you started. Check out  www.trailpeak.com, a great resource for North Shore beginner trails, or try hooking up with the  Vancouver Mountain Biking Meetup. Another great resource for mountain biking enthusiasts is the  locally-produced NSMB.com, complete with forums full of locals to answer your questions. 

Below are a few North Shore trails to whet your appetite. 

Stupid Grouse Trail (Cypress Mountain) 

Rating: Easy to moderate  
Teaser: We like Stupid Grouse Trail only partly because of its name. But with dips and natural obstacles,  plus a couple of fast, flowing sections thrown in for good measure, this trail is best for beginners who  just want to get a taste of Vancouver mountain biking.  
Other recommended trails: BLT Trail (moderate), Family Guy (moderate) 

Pipeline (Mount Fromme) 

Rating: Moderate  
Teaser: If we had to pick one classic trail on Mount Fromme, we'd choose Pipeline. This is a popular and  constantly maintained trail with classic North Shore features: ladders, a few skinnies, and a teeter- totter. All this to say that although it's not an easy intro course to mountain biking, it is a great intro to  North Shore-style riding.  
Other recommended trails: Seventh Trail, Upper Oil Can 

Boogyman (Mount Seymour) 

Rating: Difficult  
Teaser: Best left to experienced riders, Boogyman delivers exactly what you'd expect from a challenging North Shore trail. Plenty of rock faces, ladders, hucks and A-frames provide a wide array of obstacles to  work up a sweat. If you can't jive with the last, super-steep section (meant only for advanced riders),  take the Pangor exit instead.  
Other recommended trails: Ned's Atomic Dust Bin, Bridal Path 

Air Supply (Mount Fromme) 

Rating: Extreme  
Teaser: For those with a death wish, Air Supply welcomes broken wrists, concussions and other  abrasions and is open for business. Just kidding (sort of). This strictly pro course features a series of gap  jumps, narrow ladders and a swivel teeter-totter. We're including it here because it's by far one of the  most impressive courses out there, and it represents the limits North Shore riders continually push year  after year.