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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 120 > UNCHARTED BRITISH COLUMBIA

UNCHARTED BRITISH COLUMBIA

A week of riding timeless, un-timed singletrack through unknown British Columbia with the BC Bike Race crew.

A few of us are sitting together at the edge of the water at the historical Cassiar Cannery near Prince Rupert, a small island town on the north-west coast of Canada, a stone’s throw from the Alaskan border. We’re really out there…

The inaugural BC Bike Ride North – a six-day, allinclusive guided mountain bike tour through northern British Columbia – has come to an end. We’ve spent the last week riding pockets of hand-built singletrack across a vast distance of over 700 kilometres. Each town we’ve pulled into has been unassuming – mostly residential, with single-storey industrial buildings that sprawl along rivers or are centred around sawmills. But as we left each one, the uniqueness of the experience – the riding, the people, the vistas, and even the food – left imprints on us to last a lifetime. Now we’re relaxing and watching the ocean ripple through the reThection of the brightly coloured cabins that dot the shoreline as we process our memories of the last week and share our stories.

INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE

A week ago, we all gathered in North Vancouver – nearly 1,500km from where we now sit – to register and ‘warm up’.

Some may have found the location a bit ambitious as a starter lap, but Olympian Adam Craig thought it was a great way to begin:“Welcome to Canada, this is mountain biking here!” Being my backyard, I was thrilled to share what we have with our visitors. Guides toured us around the famous technical riding – the steeps, tight switchbacks, roots, and woodwork of the North Shore. “I’ve got a soft spot for riding on the shore, it’s awesome there,” says Adam. “Any biking road trip around British Columbia should start there in my opinion.

That’s kind of the port of entry and that’s where some of the best riding in the world is, so it would be rude not to!”

The team that organises BC Bike Ride North also runs the renowned BC Bike Race that takes racers from their registration – also in North Vancouver – over to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and back to the Sea-to-Sky corridor over seven days. These two events, while benefitting from the same skilled logistics and organisational team, are quite diTherent. One is a multi-day timed stage race, while the new expansion is more of a ‘choose your own adventure’ tour that takes participants north to a rather unexplored section of the province and immerses them deeply, not only in the riding, but also in the culture. The pace is much more relaxed and allows riders to choose from a daily smorgasbord of options to suit their specific wants and interests.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Chipps is in an upbeat mood and thinks that things have never been better. UK Adventure: Land of the Midnight Sun: Pete Scullion heads to the northern tip of Scotland in search of midnight sunlight and spectacular trails. Column: Don't Call It A Heatwave, Just Call It Summer: Fearing the weather will turn, Chipps is worn out from riding day after day after… International Adventure: Uncharted British Columbia: e organisers of the BC Bike Race lay on this increasingly spicy taster menu of Canada’s finest trails. Classic Ride: North York Moors: Where better place to start a ride than Fryup? Olly Townsend takes us on a tour of technical trails that he can’t quite believe are legal. Bike Test: Beyonduro: To infinity and beyond… well, maybe just 170mm. Dean Hersey tests out three huge travel bikes from Nukeproof, Santa Cruz and Whyte that are not just for riding downhill. Trail Hunter: Quantock Hills: James Vincent revisits old friends on new trails in the Quantocks and remembers how much fun it is to ride without having to carry your bike. International Adventure: Trans Angeles: Hans Rey, Missy Giove, and Timmy C. from Rage Against e Machine go on an all-star ride across Los Angeles, from the mountains to the ocean. UK Adventure: Tyke Packing: Barney defeats the lightweight, solitary, point of bikepacking by taking his young children with him. We’ll let you decide if this is a how-to guide, or a list of reasons not to. UK Adventure: Back to the Future Sanny goes on a trip down memory lane, and his body reminds him why modern bikes are a good thing. Last Word: The Same Sort of Different. Hannah thinks that the world can be a more interesting place if you ride a bike. We Just Work Here: Who we are, what we do and who we would trust to build us a bike from scratch.