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.