Riding Whistler in the Offseason

My first ride

My first Sunday after arriving was time-to-get-on-the-bike day. It was a bit of a late start, but after downloading and setting up Trailforks (a biking phone app), I had a plan of where to go. With my legs aching from the previous days squats and hike and the last of my cycling gear unpacked I was ready to go.

I started off with an overgrown 'A River Runs Through It', shortly rejoined the road and, as seems to be a habit for me, the plan I'd previously made went out the window. I then proceeded to do one of the most challenging climbs of my life; almost 300m of straight elevation gain up Twenty-One Mile Creek Access Road and then Rainbow-Sproatt Flank. From the top I decided that was enough pain for now, and finally go to ride down my first proper trail so far, a Double Black Diamond - the Korova Milk Bar.

After some rather sketchy moments and a vertical rock roll I had to sidestep, it rejoined the fire road I'd climbed up. I almost immediately left it ag…

This is Whistler in the Offseason... (plus tips)

The morning of Thursday 26th was hectic. I had to repack my bike and suitcase ready for the journey to Whistler as well as doing a myriad of other small jobs like replenishing Alana's stock of vegan food that I'd consumed. I then headed down to see a snowboarding manufacturer just down the road called Wired Snowboards. The owner, Rob, was really friendly and gave me a small tour, hinting at some of the special new things they were going to be bringing to the table very soon to make them unique. A power walk home and it was time to head to the bus station to meet Candace (a soon-to-be-housemate), from there we were traveling with Epic Rides upto Whistler. At $24 one way or $35 for a round trip, they were the cheapest company we could find who wouldn't complain at my excessive luggage.

The journey, despite being only one bus across town, wasn't exactly easy with a bike, board bag, suitcase and rucksack. The sun had decided to show itself again and it was a stunning but v…

My journey to Whistler; exploring Vancouver

Sunday 22nd came round incredibly fast; time to fly! Soon enough I found myself in Gatwick South with a very laden trolley; a bike bag, snowboard bag, suitcase and hand luggage. After waving goodbye to the parents I set off in search of the well-hidden Transat check-in desks. While all the other operators are upstairs, open, signposted and easy to find, Transat are tucked away downstairs in an airport version of Harry Potters cupboard bedroom.

Check-in sorted, things became very normal and routine for an airport and I was soon on the other side of security trying to find Owain and Alice; 2 of my future housemates. We'd only been talking for 3 days, but coincidentally we were getting the same flight to Vancouver. Upon meeting up I discovered my 5 hours of sleep the previous night had been a luxury - they were both functioning on 2 hours each after spending all night packing and moving the last of their accumulated items out of their flat!

With a 2 hour delay thanks to a landing ge…

Bike packing! It's an art form...

It was Sunday 15th - it's just one week before I fly out to Canada and I figured that I should try to pack my bike. Top tips lay ahead!

First off, assuming you're not using a big-ass box, you need a bike bag. I bought my Chain Reaction Cycles one before I went to Turkey last summer, at the time it was roughly £90. At the time of writing it is actually only £68. There're lots of options out there though, ranging from the bottom of the range CRC offerings upto Polaris' hard-box type bag at £400+ and a whole host inbetween. As per usual I was on a budget, and so have the cheapest option. Last year I was riding a 16.5" (medium) Trek Superfly 29er XC bike, which is relatively small, light and compact and a nice starting point on my bike-bag packing experience. The only problem at the time was fitting the wheels into the wheel bags, that was tight, but doable.*

*Quick review - I have used the bag to and from Turkey with it weighing upto 35kg's on the return journey…