Tuesday, February 26, 2008

JUST ANNOUNCED: Spring Training Camp with Andreas Hestler in Mexico's Copper Canyon

We're excited! We've teamed up with Andreas Hestler, one of North Americas most celebrated cross-country mountain bikers, on a spring training camp in Mexicos Copper Canyon region.
During the 7-day adventure participants will pedal with the 5-time Canadian National Champion and former Olympian, who will uncover his training and riding secrets.
This is an opportunity for endurance mountain bike competitors to prepare for the season. While the BC Bike Race from June 28 to July 4, 2008, will be the particular focus of this training camp, all epic, multi-day racers can benefit greatly from this training opportunity
"Spring training camps are one of the best ways to concentrate your efforts in that last push to start the season. All cyclists can benefit from experiencing a training camp that prepares you for your upcoming season. Like the pros, getting together to build base, discuss seasonal logistics and share knowledge, training camps should be worked into every ones program," says Hestler.
The riding in this region is perfect for training with an endless network of buffed singletrack in an arid Sedona Arizona-like landscape. While getting fit with Hestler, riders will explore a constantly changing landscape and jaw-dropping views that rival the Grand Canyon while cycling amongst the indigenous Tarahumara people, some of the most primitive in North America.
Further, Hestler will be joined by local guides and riding pioneers who have an intimate knowledge of the area and its people and who can truly unlock the magic of the region.

Trip dates: Saturday, May 3 to Friday, May 9, 2008
Cost: $1975 Canadian

To book, send us an email at info@ridebig.com or call us at 1.866.894.0220

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trail of the Year

Here is a trail that Bike Magazine voted as the trail of the year for 2007. It happens to be one of the trails on our classic BC Misty Mountain Hop all-mountain trip this upcoming September 12-21, 2008.


Trail of the Year
By Mitchell Scott, Bike Magazine, Dec 2007


Pleasure and pain. These are two of the most critical elements in a great ride, and not trail combines them better than the Seven Summits. The trail sacks riders with 4,500 feet of climbing and more than 7,000 feet of descending on some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in North America.
Seven Summits lies just outside the mountain hamlet of Rossland, British Columbia, and the 20 miles of point-to-point singletrack crests – you guessed it – seven mountain summits as it weaves and dips along the scenic ridges of the Rossland Range.
Conceived in 1999 as a way to increase the regions summer tourism, the trail was finally carved into earth by the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society in the summer of 2004 at a cost of $1000,000. Although technically a multi-use trails the Seven Summits was built entirely by mountain bikers, and has the flow to prove it. With astounding views, a railer of a final descent, and numerous bails-out options for those not prepared to tackle the whole ride- which can take anywhere from six to eight hours – the certified IMBA Epic is attracting riders from around the world. It is a mountain bike success story of the highest order.
“The success of the trail has far exceeded our expectations,” says Kim Dean, director of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society. “Businesses in town are definitely noticing an increase in mountain bike tourists to Rossland. It’s become the world-class amenity we originally envisioned.” But ultimately, it’s the ride – and that addictive combination of pleasure and pain – that keeps mountain bikers coming back for more.

[1] From a kiosk just off Highway 3B at the trails northern terminus, riders immediately dive into a 1.5-mile section of fresh singletrack completed this summer. For the next 5 miles, riders huff and puff through a pine and fit forest, grinding up technical switchbacks. After nearly 2000 feet, the trees thin, yielding stunning 360-degree views of Old Glory, the highest peak in the Rossland Range.

[2] From this prominent ridge top, the trail continues to climb. After 6.5 miles it reaches it’s highest point, 7230 feet. But the climbing is far from over. The next 1.5 miles are some of the most spectacular as the trail sweeps west of Mt. Plewman, overlooking the mighty Columbia River to the east. What follows is a short jaunt across one of the trails’s most expensive sections, a 200-yard-long stretch the crosses the steep east face of Unnecessary Peak and cost $8000 dollars to build. From there, riders can drop the Plewman trail if they wish, a 2,500-foot bomber descent back to the highway.

[3] For the next 5 miles the trail follows a broad ridgeline busting with alpine flowers. A long, fast, technical descent ends with a lengthy, steep, side-hill climb to a saddle between Mt. Kirkup and Grey Mountain before continuing up to the southwest shoulder of Grey. Now comes the first spoonful of pleasure, seven ripping switchbacks descending to Red Mountain Resort.

[4] Pain quickly returns. Twelve miles in, the granny gear comes calling as the trail climbs Red Mountain’s Lone Squaw ski run. Red Mountain’s mangers played a crucial role in developing the Seven Summits by helping the trails society work through its environmental-impact assessment, as well as allowing the trails to travel through the resort itself.

[5] After leaving the resort, the trail spirals up White Wolf Ridge, testing riders with 12 steep switchbacks. It continues through steep alpine ridges, working toward Record Notch, elevation 6,460 feet. From there, two rocky switchbacks lead to the seventh and final summit. At 15 miles in, it’s a good point to take a break, soak in the incredible views and fuel the furnace. There’s still a long way to go.

[6] Finally, a hard-earned, long-awaited descent. Tight switchbacks roar down the west side of Record Ridge, leading to a long traverse through open trees and clearings. Speed increases as the trail rips through vast meadows and drops back into forest. A few short, technical climbs remain, but the trail really begins to flow here. A few more switchbacks dive through grassy meadows guarded by old-growth pines before the trail transitions onto patches of bedrock – these are the smoothest sections of the entire ride. Twenty miles from the start, riders reach the finish line at Old Cascade Highway. But, for those who left some gas in the tank, there’s on final kicker.

[7] The Seven Summits conveniently ends where another Rossland classic, the Dewdney trail, begins. The 100-year-old route offers 3 miles of wide-open descending and has been adopted by Rosslands’s downhill set. It is perfect end to a day of pleasure and pain hammering over seven summits.

Monday, February 18, 2008

7000 feet

Just up the road from Whistler lies this big daunting wall of a mountain called Mount Currie and every few years the weather and conditions come together and we get a helicopter to drop us on the top of it. Well, this was one of those weekends and let me tell you it was over the top. The crew was all-time with PK, Smitty, Will, JD, Gray and myself and the snow was knee-deep to the valley floor 7000 feet from turn 1. Does it get any better?

Watch the line from PK's point of view...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Dirt Merchant: Morocco

People often ask me what my favorite Big Mountain destination is. This is a tough question to answer as each place has it's features; ridiculous buffed singletrack (Switzerland), unforgettable sights and sounds (Southern Africa) or sweet tropical air (Costa Rica). These are just a few examples. One trip that does stand out in my mind is mountain biking in Morocco. It's one of the most memorable mountain bike trips I've ever been on. Why? Adventure: roll into remote Berber towns that are only accessable by 2-day walk and feel like you are living the pages of National Geographic. Great riding: the Atlas Mountains are true all-mountain with great climbs and equal descents. Morocco is a world like no other and the word on the street is that it's changing quickly and becoming Westernized at a fast pace. We are running a trip out of Marrakech next November, why don't you gather a few friends and join us?

The Dirt Merchant: Moroccan Mountain Biking Trip - Sunday, November 2 to Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Check out this video that we did a few years ago...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A few spots left: Copper Canyon MEX, March 1-9

Dreaming about somewhere hot and dry these days? Dreaming about riding your bike and getting a little head start on the riding season? Come to Copper Canyon Mexico with us from March 1-9. You will not be disappointed!

Not convinced? Read Mike Levy from Pinkbike.com's take on our trip there in November 2007.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Living in Vancouver is pretty cool if you're into riding your bike and skiing. A few weeks ago I went a on killer Shore ride with Andreas and Wade and three days later I was railing 2000-foot lines not far away on my skis. Talk about good times! The ride was ridiculously fun - we started at Wade's in Lynn Valley then traversed on linked trails over to Seymour and rode a tech XC/all-mountain loop. I was so pumped to be out! The skiing was a little more ridiculous as we hopped into a heli in downtown Van and flew up to a remote lodge and helied with our friends at TLH for three days. The skiing was incredible.