As an avid cyclist, blogger and Olympic athlete for men’s mountain bike racing, Andreas “Dre” Hestler has seen his fair share of trails, both in Vancouver and around the world. Aside from winning numerous awards and races, including the Canadian National Championship, TransRockies, Canada Cup, World Cup Prologue and Whistler Super D — among others — Hestler also helped create and develop the BC Bike Race, a seven-day mountain bike stage race throughout British Columbia, for which he is now the Director of Marketing.
Here, Hestler shares some of Vancouver’s best mountain bike trails and city routes, but you can always find out about his latest two-wheeled adventures on his blog, Singletrack Thoughts.
Q: Why is Vancouver such a great place to ride bikes?
Andreas Hestler: Vancouver is a great place to ride bikes—mountain, road and urban—because of the variety of terrain available. And let’s not forget the views, the waterfront access and the temperate year-round riding conditions.
Q: If someone wanted a recommendation for a great mountain biking trail, what would you suggest?
AH: Trail recommendations for the Vancouver area would really depend on the individual’s skill level; I would recommend beginners take a cruise around the trails at UBC, intermediates can try Bridle Path on Cypress Mountain or Nicole's Loop at Burnaby Mountain, while the advanced crew can take a run at the newly renovated Executioner on Mount Fromme (the back side of Grouse Mountain).
Q: What about a great city trail?
AH: I am fond of taking city cruises on the seawall and the Trans Canada Trail that heads east towards Burnaby Mountain. Sticking close to the waterfront on easy days really favors the people-watching and the great views.
Q: Why should cyclists take part in the BC Bike Race?
AH: BC Bike Race is a great lifetime achievement award, and it has two distinct routes: Epic and Challenge. These courses will cater to those with a lot of training and those who simply want to stretch their legs. BC Bike Race is a celebration of British Columbia, which is regarded as one of the best places in the world to ride mountain bikes.
Q: What are some other must-attend biking events in Vancouver?
AH: Some of the other must-attend cycling events in Vancouver are the North Shore BikeFest, the Triple Crown Road Ride, Wade's Excellent Adventure, the MOMAR, the Yaletown Criterium and the RBC GranFondo Whistler. And, if you have a cruiser bike, why not drop in for one of the summer’s regularly organized cruiser bike rides?