Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sound of that snow falling outside?

You're dreaming. It's wintertime and snowing hard. Check out this Salomon Freeski TV piece with it's closeup shots and night-time time lapses...and start dreaming of moving down the mountains on snow...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forecast: rain. Think Costa Rica.

Fall is here. It's official. Here's the forecast for our home base, Vancouver: very moist.

Here's what it looks like:

We've got spots open on our two Pura Vida DH trips meeting in San Jose on Feb 18 and Feb 26. Make fall more bearable with a tropical mountain bike trip to look forward to...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mountain Biking Australia covers our BC trip

This summer we organized a private woman's-only media trip for Specialized Bicycles as they launched a new line of ladies mountain bikes. The group flew from Whistler to a remote lake where we camped, then the next day we rode to another lake where our gear was flown to and where we camped again and then rode out to civilization the next day. Many rivers were crossed, passes climbed and descended...forest fires dodged, a few mosquitos and a whole bunch of sweet singletrack was ridden. What a trip! Here's one of the stories that's hit the press. We even got the cover shot!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Want to ride what's beyond Whistler with us next summer? Come check out our Sea to Sky all-mountain trip.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is epic?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cheese, chocolate & singletrack...

Did you know that the Swiss make entire meals out of cheese & chocolate? It's true. Did you also know that Switzerland has over 60,000 km of singletrack? Hmmm, cheese, chocolate & singletrack...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ride of the long white cloud.

Did you know that the Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa which means land of the long white cloud? Me neither. One of my absolute favorite aspects of travel is the planning, researching and dreaming process. I eat it up, all of it - landscape, culture, statistics, weather, economy, name it, i want to know before the plane touches down. Today, i learnt a few neat things about NZ on Wiki: NZ is notable for its geographic isolation. It's situated about 2000 km south-east of Australia and it's closest neighbours are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation it developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals that they introduced. One such bird is the moa which was hunted to extinction by the Maori. The reason that the South Island is nearly treeless is that the Maori set the forest on fire to hunt the moa.

Hey enough about flightless birds...why don't you just come on down to NZ with us March 1, 2011 on our new 12-day Silver Fern trip? It's going to be fun...

Pretty crazy that this big 'ol bird roamed New Zealand not long ago.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dirty tales from Maroc

We just wrapped up another stellar private trip in Morocco's High Atlas mountains. These photos are courtesy of Stephane from Switzerland and are a good depiction of what to expect on our Dirt Merchant trip. Of all our trips, Morocco can cater to a wide range of riders and tastes - from intermediate to professional, XC to ALL-MTN to DH, ultra luxury to ultra adventurous - we can make it happen. If you and your riding crew are thinking of mixing up next spring's annual trip to the desert, you should get in touch with us and seriously consider Morocco.  Our scheduled dates are April 10-19, 2011 but we can always organize a private trip if you'd like. See you in Marrakech!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BM guide in Bike Magazine's BUZZ

Stephen Matthews, who co-guided our Swiss Alpenrock DH trips with Joe Schwartz and Wade Simmons this summer, is in the latest Bike Magazine. You'll see him railing a dreamy patch of long grass near Calgary, Alberta in the late afternoon sun. Congrats Stephen!
The Nov issue of Bike.
When im asked to go to a happy place where everything is perfect...i go to a place that looks like this.

Photo: Reuben Krabbe

Friday, October 08, 2010

Front lines report from Peru, Unforgettable Andes trip

Peruvian guide and partner Wayo just sent this email from Ollantaytambo, on our Unforgettable Andes trip: "Everything is going really well on this trip! Some serious characters in the group and they are having the best time on their bikes. Good riders too. Today the group is in Machu Picchu. Yesterday we went to Huchuy Cusco and it was an awesome day. The group is very happy and are starting to say, "best trip of my life." Every year this trip gets better, like wine!" Looking at these photos, it sure is drier than our spring departures. But look at the terrain...some of the trails are like a pump track, bmx track and A-line trail at the Whistler Bike Park - combined...and that go on for 50+ km. Seriously!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Downhill Wurbauerkogel circa 1992!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 features our African safari trip

We're elated that The Huffington Post, a well-respected and progressive American news website covered our Rhythm of Africa mountain bike safari yesterday. "Big Mountain Bike Adventures guides you on this incredible mountain bike journey through some of Africa’s top wild game parks. Combining easy-to-moderate biking with exceptional game viewing and beautiful wilderness camps offers a very unique take on the traditional African safari. This trip will combine park access in both South Africa and Botswana." Thanks Huffington Post. Indeed, this trip is a must do for all mountain bikers. What to know more...get in touch with us and we can give you the scoop.

Monday, October 04, 2010

this afternoon in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Oh how i wish i was in Morocco right now. It's sunny and warm and the trails are oh-so-super-fun. And then there's the clash of unique cultures, the epic accommodation, great food and very cool atmosphere. We'll have next year's Dirt Merchant XC trip details posted very soon. We do know that the next trip is April 10-19, 2011.

I travelled up this road, and I travelled down that,
What have I to show for it? Nothing flat.
All I brought were slippers which I took off and left by the door.
A silly calf ate them, soles and all.
Moroccan saying                                                                                             

Moroccan traffic jam: encountering a Berber on his way home with supplies.
Nancy mid-climb. Check out that singletrack on the left...sweet!

honey, can i go riding?

 I think that we've all had glimpses of this conversation...except perhaps "how about you take your bike and go f*ck that." ahh, life and get out and ride!!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Earlier today near Lima, Peru...

Word just came in from our Peruvian partner and guide extraordinaire Wayo on day one of our Unforgettable Andes trip: "Hola Chris, Nat. First day of riding and the group's minds are blown away already. Was a good day, cought traffic to get out of Lima because the elections but we went on time. Finished our ride on the "playground" making some jumps. Group is doing very well! Tomorrow Olleros..."
Reading this I cannot help but reminice of my last time riding with Wayo in the Andes, a trip that i won't forget. I remember the first day on the bike on this trip - you've arrived in Lima the night before, a little tired, a little scattered in a big South American metropolis. The next day you drive out of the city in crazy traffic for the first ride, not really sure of what you're getting into. Then you get rolling on creamy singletrack in a surreal arid landscape followed by cold beers and laughs with new friends. Little do you know that this is just a slice of what's to come...the riding on this trip ramps up...and by day two you realize that you've never ridden such great trails, ever! Then each one trumps the other until your in a drunken daze of best rides ever...

Unloading the van for the first ride.
"Sun's setting quick, we'd better keep riding..."
Fuel for a big day ahead. The cuisine in Peru was surprisingly tasty.

Good wine & great singletrack

We mountain bikers are known to enjoy our post ride ales. In certain circles quality beer at the end of the ride is just as important as the singletrack ridden and it seems that everyone I meet is a burgeoning beer sommelier. I like beer too, but can a mountain biker drink wine and still be cool? Our Swiss all-mountain Cloudraker and downhill Alpenrock DH trips take place in the canton of Valais, which happens to be one of Switzerland's main wine producers. It's a spectacular region with sweeping vineyards that go from the shores of Lake Geneva up the mountainsides, and from the Rhone Valley up the steep slopes of the Alps. I can't think of another place in the world where you can descend 6000 feet of blissfull singletrack or ride 50 kms of unreal all-mountain trails that end in vineyards.
Last summer on a private trip, after a day of downhilling at the Crans Montana bike park we rolled down the long last descent of the day and stopped off at wine producers' "cave" for a tour of their production and a wine tasting, and then continued the last bit of riding down to Sierre and our hotel in the setting sun. What a great way to wrap up a day of riding. Ah, the good life...
Want to drink wine and ride your mountain bike in the Swiss Alps too? Get in touch with us and we'll make it happen.
Hmmmm, wine.
Descending down to the Rhone Valley post wine tasting. Eyes on the trail. Focus...

Photos: Taylor Holland. Thanks to the Holland family for a great trip!