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Feature - From the bar to the car to the gnar’

One day’s epic mountain bike ride in the Sea to Sky corridor



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8:30 a.m. Grouse Mountain

No parking nearby means a warm up of pushing the bikes up hill. If that’s not enough to get your blood pumping, dropping more than 14 vertical feet into The Crater should do the trick. After that it’s time for more up hill walking to the start of Ladies Only, a veritable "Grouse Mountain classic." However ‘Ladies’ isn’t kind to the group, with one crashing and Tempany losing a bolt and walking out. We head to the nearest bike shop. Apparently this is typical stuff.

"My bike has cost around $7,000 to put together and usually something breaks when you ride," says LeDuke.

"I couldn’t afford this sport without the help from my mum and dad, and the local bike shop," adds Ritchie, while Penrose nods in agreement.

March puts it into perspective.

"Mountain biking is an addictive sport. You want to get your wheel redone, get new tires and better brakes and that stuff keeps coming slowly," he explains. "So yeah it’s expensive but if you love it you just make it work."

March knows about getting young people involved in mountain biking, having started up a business of training camps and clinics across the US and Canada. His high-end business, Mad March Racing, also occasionally takes groups on adventure rides to Jamaica and Hawaii. And that’s in addition to clocking up more than 78,000 km each year in his van participating in the NORBA and World Cup downhill racing circuits. He says the downside is spending only four months a year with his wife, who is also busy training.

"We have a ridiculous phone plan but when we get old we can slow down. We’re just too busy right now," he laughs.

Ted’s bike is fixed and we are on our way again.

11 a.m. Cypress Mountain

The next trail on our hit list is Sex Boy, complete with a six-foot boulder drop and rocks scattered about below. Sadly no one knows the story behind this trail name and no one wants to go first. Peer pressure takes over and one by one they disappear over the drop. Penrose slides out at the bottom.

"That was wicked!"

We assume the huge "Danger: bears in area" warning sign marking the entrance to the trail has been there for a while. Still, it’s a fast ride to the bottom.