Riding some of the legendary mountain bike trails in and around Vancouver has been one of my dreams for a while. So when I was at Moab Munifest last March, and my fellow team member Ryan Kremsater invited me and the other riders of our little camp to come to his hometown after Unicon 17, I responded with an immediate yes.
Five month later here we were, eight people from all around the globe, with bulky unicycle luggage, tired but happy after Unicon, now looking forward to even more adventures. And Ryan was prepared. First thing he did after we arrived, was to show us the wood structures he had build to ride in his backyard.
Naturally, we were intimidated. Ryan ensured us that we’d be fine, and took us to one of his favorite riding spots: Woodlot. While we climbed the logging road to the trail head, the sun started sinking.
We descended on Blood Donor and Shot Gun, impressed by the woodwork that was almost impossible to ride because it had been raining earlier. Though that didn’t stop Ryan from showing us off a little.
The next day, Ryan took us on Wild Cherry and Wades Trail on Cypress mountain. We were so focused on keeping mosquitos from our sweaty bodies, that we completely forgot to take photos. But we did start to get accustomed to the terrain and wood structures.
While all of us were working hard on our riding skills, Ryan made sure to give us a proper education in mountain bike history. On our third riding day, we were planning to ride Upper Oil Can, Espresso and Boundary on Mount Fromme.
At one secret spot on the trails, Ryan told us to leave our unicycles and walked off into the woods. There weren’t any trails we could follow, as we walked behind him and made our way deeper into the foggy woods. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, we were surrounded by tall, skinny woodworks. They once were part of Circus, one of the most extreme trails ever built. Nowadays, the trail is closed and slowly falling apart.
After that, everything else seemed small and rideable all of a sudden.
After three days of riding in Vancouver we were excited for a day of riding with Kris Holm in Squamish. Three days of Ryan’s boot camp had prepared us well and we felt especially strong.
(In the background is the infamous Burrard Bridge over whose sidewall Kris Holm was riding in One Tired Guy back in the day.)
We immediately fell in love with the trails around Squamish. For the first time, it hadn’t rained and we were able to take the challenges all the steep granite slabs, roots and and lush mossy forests offered.
What a beautiful day! For the record, we rode Mashiter, Tracks from Hell, 50 Shades, Entrails, Boney Elbows, and Hueso.
Our legs had earned themselves a rest day, which we spent in Vancouver…
…and in Ryan’s family’s heavenly backyard.
There was one more day left of riding with the king of the woodworks, aka Ryan. We decided to hit the trails of Woodlot again to see the progress we had made. And indeed, we had gotten better. All of us did some lines, we hadn’t been able to do the first time. I felt much more confident on skinnies and very steep descends and found it to be my best riding day of the week.
Gerald was riding so good, he almost turned into the tail.
It wasn’t easy, but in the end, we could convince him to come back to Ryan’s house to enjoy one last of the delicious meals Ryan’s mom had been spoiling us with all week.
Ryan, Laurie and Terry – we feel extremely lucky to have spent such a wonderful time at your beautiful home. Thank you. So much. You know we’ll be back.