"Hello, I am Julien, the Marketing Intern of BC Bike Race, I come from France, Here you can find all my incredible adventures in British Columbia, the legendary Canadian place for Mountain Biking, Enjoy. "

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

British Columbia's winter flavors

British Columbia is a fantastic place for mountain bike lovers, but also a paradise for powder fanatics during the winter! Olympics Games in 2010, mountains along the ocean, city close from the resorts, winter sports are also a kind of religion in the BC culture. Winter climate is pretty unique; because of the wind from the Pacific Ocean, temperature remains pleasant in the city while it’s dumping in the mountains. And when I say dumping, I speak about tons of powder, for example the cumulative snowfall of Whistler since the beginning of the winter is 4,15meters!! The elevation of Whistler’s peak is only 2,200m, if you compare with a resort in the same elevation in the Alps; I think it's a very different...

Figures are figures, now let’s speak about the action, about the shred!

I have the chance to have my roommate, and also a banch of Canadian friends working in the local familial resort: Grouse Mountain (aka the peak of Vancouver). Thanks to those guys I begian my first snowboarding adventures in a nice environment with a fantastic view of the city, boat and ferry in the ocean, big mountains all around, wooow. Everything is super easy for me, bus stop for the mountains in my patio, resort closing at 10pm, a very convenient way to have fun all the time.

My first ride was in the middle of November, and the snow quality was incredibly good: super fresh and light!! Since this time I had more than 10 sessions with friends, collegues, or by myself. Expect once a time, snow was always powder quality, that I enjoyed as much as I can: jumping cliffs, spining in the park, shreding in the backcountry or simply carving on the runs. 

I also went in Whistler with a hitch hiking rideshare in a hippie van! If you forget the price of the lift ticket ($100/day) Whistler is a beautiful paradise for backcountry riding. Pillows and large powdy runs are the local specialities. I had chance to have awesome conditions, the day was one of the best ever. So much snow, I was feeling like a surfer on the wave in every corner!

The best distance/price/quality I found is Cypress Mountain. The biggest ski resort of the North Shore, is a perfect place for your weekly riding, the view is awesome, the size is enough for to diversify your ride all the day. Ski resorts of the North Shore are illuminated at night; it means you can enjoy your riding between 8am and 10pm, perfect for people who prefer staying at bed the morning...

 I just switched my mountain bike for my snowboard in the middle of November, but people are still riding the bike trails around the city, life is hard in BC, there is no break in your athletic schedule, tons of powder during the winter and best mountain bike trails of the world all the year...

Come back in France should be difficult
Happy BChristmas!



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BC Bike Race Christmas Party

Credit Photo: Danielle Baker - Andreas Hestler - Thomas Howard

special event BCBR beer glass

Last week, the BC Bike Race team was invited for the annual Christmas party, a great moment  to thanks friends & volunteers for the work accomplished in 2010, and think about 2011. Last year BCBR organized a cruising tandem ride around the city, this year it was a dinner at the sweet pub restaurant named the Brewing Company in the nice neighbourhood of Yaletown, Vancouver.

The word of the president                                                                       Funny Jeff 
 Mike Jacoby and me after a nice dinner

 Dean Payne, Thomas Howard and Dre

Party time by Danielle

After a nice speech of Dean Pean, President, we enjoyed a delicious meal, and had a few homemade beer in our sweet BC Bike Race Glass. As a great night, we finished late in the morning, I meet new people from the organization like the official designer Mike Jacoby, the base camp director John Crosby and lots of friendly people.

What a nice way to finish the year with BC Bike Race and celebrate life around the passion for Mountain Bike.

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

North Shore XC/All Mountain pilgrimage during the fall/winter season

Thanks to the Pacific Ocean the area of Vancouver has a unique temperate climate that permit people to ride Bikes almost all the year. It rains and snows like everywhere but the average temperature is the best of Canada. I am from the East of France, I know, the place where the rain is the more present in my country. To be honest I was positively surprised to ride my bike at the end of November in pretty good conditions. October and November were host of Mr Sun, perfect for me because I arrived just at the end of the summer. The only trouble I had to face is the time of the sunset for my sessions. Sometimes I had to finish my ride with my headlight

Every week end I used to ride with my buddy-rider and internship manager Andreas Hestler (when he is not travelling around the world). Andreas is an ex professional racer who rides bikes since 20 years around the world, I couldn’t find a better guide to discover the best of the north shore. I had the chance to ride with all the local friends of Dre and a big part of north shore bike family, like legendary freerider Wade Simmons, people from the Mountain Bike industry, Pete Vallance (Director of sponsorship/marketing @ Rocky Mountain Bikes) great photographer and pro road racer Chris Christie, I was also very glad to meet community legends, like Todd "digger" Fianger one of the most famous trail digger of BC.
During 3 months I have riding every day after work and every week ends a big part of the AM and XC trails around the North Shore and Squamish. Most of the time those rides were epic, 4 hours on the bike is a classic, I was very surprised to see that I can ride a long distance and enjoyed my ride from the beginning to the end. I think it’s the magic of BC trails. The strongest ride was definitely the Triple Crown for Thanksgiving Day. The figures speak well: 3 North Shore mountains, from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay. 2500m of positive climbing, 63 km, 8h00 on the bike, crazy descents, 21 dudes who began the ride, only 7 who finished it! Certainly one of the best definitions of the word "Epic"! 

I also really appreciated the ride in the deep Cypress Mountain when Wade Simmons show us some amazing secret trails, I don’t think lots of European people tried that kind of experience.

Seeing black bears around the trails or deers crossing the trails are also the kind of shivering but wonderful memories.

This experience in British Columbia is for me like a mountain bike pilgrimage, ride with legends in legendary places. Every day I am impressed riding a new descent or thrilled seeing a new spectacular view in the middle of nowhere. I enjoy the friendly times shared with riders smiling around a great dinner, satisfied after a perfect session. 

Mountain biking is definitely the best way to discover a new country/region, learn about the culture, enjoy the nature and meet local people. My immersion in the West Canadian would not have been the same without Mountain Bike.

Now snow is in the forest of BC, white landscapes are beautiful, new adventures are coming in, snowboarding, biking in the snow, snowshoeing and more for the next months...

Stay tuned

Walking is for those who haven’t discovered the wheel.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Portrait de BC Bike Race

– The Ultimate Singletrack Experience
2 Juillet au 9 Juillet 2011
( Crédit Photo : Dave Silver )

Bien plus qu’une course de VTT cross country, BC Bike Race est une aventure Canadienne de sept jours au cœur des forets légendaires de Colombie Britannique. Cette épreuve d’endurance prend source dans les mythiques sentiers North Shore de North Vancouver et se termine dans la station Olympique de Whistler après un passage emblématique dans les meilleurs sentiers de l’ile de Vancouver, de la Sunshine Coast et de Squamish.

Découvrez la vidéo de présentation de BC Bike Race produite par Shimano en cliquant ici

Avec 500 participants et 21 nationalités différentes pour l’édition 2010, BC Bike Race est fière d’être la plus grosse course par étapes d’Amérique du Nord. Soutenue entre autre par Redbull, Rocky Mountain, Dakine et Shimano, BC Bike Race joue dans la cour des grands.

La recette du succès:

Pendant que la plupart des courses du genre font rêver les participants avec des dénivelés épiques,  des paysages Alpins et des gros prize-money, ici on mise tout sur la qualité des sentiers. BC Bike Race « the ultimate singletrack experience » c’est avant tout  la plus grosse course singletrack du monde. Cadre idéal puisque la Colombie Britannique est très dense en singletracks. Sur une distance totale de 400km, la course comporte 70% de singletracks cela représente plus de 280km de plaisir à l’état pur. Les participants sont la avant tout par amour du singletrack.

Chaque journée-étape est dessinée par des communautés de vététistes locales. Des sentiers construits par des vetetistes pour des vetetistes pour offrir la crème de la crème des singletracks de la région.

"Tel un champ de poudreuse pour le skieur ou un tube pour le surfeur, le singletrack procure au rider des sensations suprêmes de glisse et de liberté..."

Du cote organisation, plus de 150 personnes travaillent d’arrache pied pendant une semaine pour offrir aux participants une véritable hospitalité Canadienne tout aussi fun que confortable. Les liaisons entre les étapes se font en ferry et en bus au milieu de paysages à couper le souffle.

Un camp de base avec tous les services imaginables se déplace à chaque étape avec les participants. Ces derniers se voient évoluer entre ciel, montagnes et océan pacifique tout au long de l’aventure. Ce n’est pas pour rien si des grands champions comme Alison Sydor, Goeff Kabush, Manuel Prado ou Andreas Hestler parlent de la meilleure semaine à vélo de leurs vies.

Chaque année BC Bike Race à le plaisir d'apporter des nouveautés dans son parcours et dans la richesse des options proposées. Vous pouvez participez a la course en solo, en équipe de 2,3 ou 4 vététistes. Désormais 2 formats de courses existent : un format epic (˜60km/jour) et un format challenge (˜30km/jour). 

Une course pour les enfants est disponible depuis l’an dernier, et enfin pour 2011 BC Bike Race va inaugurer une nouvelle étape dans les sentiers magiques de Campbell River.

Vous pouvez également lire l'article paru dans velomag (magasine Québecois) en cliquant ici

Savourez  les nombreuses vidéos de la gallerie de BC Bike Race en cliquant ici

Seulement 500 Places sont disponibles, si vous êtes intéressés ou désirez plus d’information contactez moi par email : julien@bcbikerace.com et rendez vous sur www.bcbikerace.com

Offrir les plus beaux sentiers de la planète pendant une semaine de festivités, tel est l'esprit de BC Bike Race "the Ultimate Singletrack Experience"


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anual Dirt Bag week end

What about a week end of riding in a natural park, with a great band of riders, camping and friendly vibes around the fire?

Bike, gear and camping equipment are going to be dirty! you want a shower? forget that idea… we are here only for the love of trails. Let me introducing the Dirt Bag Week End.

The Dirt Bag week end is an annual event, which happened the first week end of October and use to change the location every year. At the beginning they were 4, now between 10 and 15 riders attend the event every years. This is not a race but just an epic riding week end with friends.

Friday: On the road

My landlord Dave Howells, media relation director of BC Bike Race, use to attend the event, so that was a great opportunity for me to be in the party. We prepared all the equipment and food supplies and left North Vancouver with Dave’s van on a sunny Friday afternoon. We grabbed our funny buddy Marc “Cooney” Campbell on the road and drove on the highway “TransCanada” (The highway which cross all the Canada) straight to the east southern of British Columbia. We saw the snow on the Mount Baker peak. Smile on our faces all the drive; everybody was super excited about the idea of this great week end.

We arrived with the sunset in a perfect natural environment: mountains, forest all around, deers, bears... that's here beside a quiet creek, our base camp in the middle of nowhere!

A couple of guys was already there and had prepared a huge fire for the night. I met Jeff Stromgren, the course control director of BCBR, but also Lance Fryling, Chris Stromgren, Bobby, all great experienced riders implicated in the BC Bike Race. We installed all our camping stuff with Dave and Marc, made a camping style dinner, Dave Silver, photographer from vancouver Island  joined us later with Chris Burch, We spent the night around the fire, listening local histories and drinking beers: perfect Canadian vibes! The next day would be long so we went bed pretty early. I saw Lance cooler with teeth bear marks on it:
Tip of the day "do not sleep with food if you don't want to have a hungry bear in your tent"

Saturday : Epic Alpine

Thanks to my 10 bucks Wallmart sleeping bag (I forget mine at home), I awake a little bit frozen. New tip of the day "Never buy a 10bucks sleeping bag at Wallmart to sleep in the canadians outdoors".

We started the day with a big breakfast made by my dirtbag father "dave", just the time to take on energy and prepare our bag pack, we left the base camp around 9am. The weather was just perfect, temperate, no clouds, and bright sun! woow.


The ride begin by a climbing, but if you think about climbing, it's not just climbing, its climbing and climbing again, 5 hours and only in singletracks. We made some breaks of course, during that kind of climbing food and water are welcomed. You need more than two eyes to enjoy the view, that was a natural theatre with a beautiful 360° alpine panoramic, impossible to see a human construction, only nature and a wide range of mountains. Woow

After that long climbing we rode along cliffs and ridges during two hours, we walked bikes in the strong rockies sections, and we could saw snow on the peaks around us, that was just an incredible feeling of freedom.

The most exciting moment of the day was the last two hours. Imagine 2 hours of super smooth narrow single-track descent to finish your ride, that was just an unlimited feeling of pleasure. The descent was beginning around a beautiful alpine lake and finished in a dark forest around the road.

We finished the ride super tired, but super satisfied, that was a real accomplishment. One of the longest day I have ever spend on my bike 9h45min, for 52km! let u imagine how big was the climbing!

That night was super cool, back in our base camp for a big dinner: take on energy, have a fresh beer, and think together about our cool epic day on the bike.  Great memories, we were super lucky because everything was perfect, the weather, the trails, and we had no problems during the ride (no mechanicals, no injuries).

Sunday: Pacific crest trail

I awake after another cool night, my legs still tired from the previous day, but the mind excited and motivated for another day of riding. Same program for the day: hit only singletracks but for a shorter ride! We headed another destination in the south of BC, objective: ride the pacific crest trail. That rugged trail is one of the longest North American trails. It begins in the south of Mexico and finishes here in BC close to the American border line. Sometimes super narrow and technic with walking sections, the trail can also be super smooth and flow. Very diversify and super cool to ride I really enjoyed that moment. We crossed several bridges and sometimes had to find solution to cross rivers by our own selves, very funny!



We finished that loop in 4 hours, Shorter than Saturday but also a big ride.

The week end was done, I smelled bad, had my legs in fire, bike and gear dirty, but I so happy for that accomplishment: 14h of pure feelings on the bike, I met new riders and had lots of fun.

Now I am a dirt bagger.