dave norona photo
Mountain biking can be a hard sport to master with giant rocks, slick roots and crazy descents making it difficult to discover British Columbia’s epic mountain bike trail systems.
Years ago, if you wanted to tackle off-road trails you had to go out and purchase a bike and then be at the mercy of your friends who would take you to the hardest trail just to see you cry.
Well, times have changed! There are now several companies offering lessons and excursions to new riders. Most bike shops have also stepped up and now offer inexpensive camps and clinics.
John Henry Bikes is one of the most recognized in the Lower Mainland. It offers fun clinics and camps for any type of cycling. In the spring, you can join its Pedals And Pints road bike or mountain bike rides to get your body in shape for the upcoming season. Check out all the camps and clinics at www.johnhenrybikes.com.
The Dirt Series also offers great clinics. They are coached by women who are top-notch racers and passionate about helping other women get dialed on their bikes. During the weekend, riders undergo extensive skills sessions, instructional rides, and bike fit and maintenance seminars. The Dirt Series also offers co-ed camps led by the Godfather of Freeriding, Wade Simmons. Check them out at www.dirtseries.com.
Endless Biking owners Kelli Sherbinin and Darren Butler operate camps clinics, teach private lessons and run amazing tours throughout the North Shore Mountains and beyond. Endless Biking has top-notch certified instructors to teach beginners in a progressive way. Find out more at www.endlessbiking.com.
Bionicon Edison Bike
Description: Bionicon’s Edison delivers the widest range of performance of any mountain bike. It’s light, nimble and the upright position tackles epic climbs with ease. With the push of a button the Edison becomes a downhill machine with plush suspension. It’s the ultimate trail weapon! Price range: $3,500 Where to find it: www.bionicon.com
Sombrio Women’s Lush Jacket
Description: No need to avoid the trails on those rainy days. Sombrio’s lightweight, two-way stretch nylon Lush jacket is perfect for cold and wet trail rides. Vented armpit panels, off-angle rear stow pocket, and packable construction allows for easy stowing. Price range: $140 Where to find it: www.sombriocartel.com
Camelbak Chaos Hydration Pack
Description: Chaos is the perfect pack for any mountain biker. It has room for a jacket, energy bars and other essentials, plus two litres worth of liquid refreshment. A new strap system provides a great fit and keeps loose webbing secure. Price range: $90 Where to find it: www.camelbak.com
Shimano MP66L Shoes
Description: Rip up the trails with these super comfortable and protective mountain biking shoes from Shimano. Armored lace shield, mid-high ankle protection, and SPD or platform pedal compatible. Price range: $129.99 Where to find it: www.shimano.com