Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mountain Biking by Bus

We have recently discovered mountain biking - the kind of mountain biking where you zip through the forest on what used to be called "hiking paths".

This past summer, we rented bikes and biked up and down the forest trails at Lost Lake in Whistler, and had a great time.

Now it turns out that there is excellent single-track riding practically in our back yard! There is a whole system of trails on Burnaby Mountain, which is completely transit-accessible. Just take your bike on the SkyTrain and get off at Production Way. Buy yourself a daypass for $9 (student/senior $7) - this is your "lift pass" (of course, if you have a monthly or yearly pass, you won't need to do this!). Bus 145 will ferry you up to SFU, your bike goes on the front, on the rack (note: the bus driver won't help you put your bike on; it's not part of their job). If there's more than two of you, you'll have to split up because the buses only take 2 bikes. Take the bus all the way to the top, to the transit loop at SFU. The trails you'll want are the ones that head back downhill from University Dr. E; this is the ring road around SFU.

[Youngest Son screamin' down the trail]

Mom and Dad stick to the blue trails, but Younger Son is game for the black diamonds. Gear Jammer is fun, Mels Trail has got up and down bits. Most of the trails dump you on Gagliardi Way, which you ride down to Lougheed and then to Production Way station, from where you get the bus back up. Careful at the intersection of Gagliardi and Broadway, this is a busy intersection!

Alternatively, for a good workout, you can bike back up the hill on the Pipeline and Powerline trails.

The runs take about 30 mins and it takes 10-12 mins to the top, with buses every 15 mins. You do need a decent mountain bike with front suspension and good brakes (preferably disc brakes), and obviously, a helmet. Pads not required unless you're doing the black runs.

Ladies, there are no "facilities". Gents have got the bushes.

1 comment:

  1. You know, alternately, you could ride you bike up the hill as well. Those bikes have gears and pedals for a reason. You know, for exercise and fun?

    I remember the good old days when Nicoles was a little thin trail throughthe woods with some shockingly steep rideable sections. Then someone put shocks on mountain bikes, and Nicoles didn't seem so steep, and the trail started to get wider and more beat up as more guys started going faster down the trail. Shuttle bunnies on busses don't help the situation.

    But I'm an old school retro-grouch.