Vancouver is a massive natural adventure playground!
Hello Fleetscene sorry for the radio silence. The only downside of all these active weekends is that it leaves no time for general life admin and Fleetscene posts. Today I have man flu so here we are.
Anyway, here is an overview of some of the treats on offer in British Columbia:
I always thought winter was about just surviving and just getting through it. Here it something to celebrate and rain in the city leads to eager anticipation for 'pow' days at Whistler and even local mountains. Weird to say this in June but I'm already kind of looking forward to getting back on the snowboard next winter.
(I'm the one right at the end in Green jacket)
Terrible video but this year I learnt jumps. Key difference from my previous efforts jumping is that now I ACTUALLY LAND IT! Goal for next year is to find a jump with soft powder landing and send a 360...
Mountain biking the North Shore...on a hardtail
The mountain bike technology you see on all the top-end bikes was made for the North Shore. It's the only place where I've seen bikes properly pushed to the limit and it can get gnarly fast, especially in the wet.
Unfortunately I have disregarded this fact and still haven't got round to upgrading, to full suspension, so you will be proud to know that I am representing BMX by riding my On-One hardtail on double black diamond runs. Same point applies to skiing - the sign system lies! Blue runs here are like Black in Europe. Double black diamond on The 'Shore translates to "hike with your bike" on certain sections, brown trousers and descending via ewok village style wood constructions. With trail names like 'Severed Dick' it's not for the faint hearted but pretty bloody amazing and terrifying at the same time.
Couple of videos, again terrible quality. The log section is particularly annoying as I swear this was a good 6ft off the ground in reality:
This rock goes straight to flat with a nice skinny wet log leading up to it to make your line choice a bit easier!! We skipped it that day but I'm eyeing it up for a dry visit next time
Terrible iPhone photo but this rock section was gnarly in the wet. On some trails I've got fully sideways mid run and I've taken to wearing hiking shoes in the wet for better grip while dabbing! I still have no idea how downhillers wear SPDs these days
Still do-able but a bit of a drive away.
Oregon coast (6-8 hour drive - a cruise down to the shops by North American standards):
This is me pre-duck dive. I've forgotten how tiring 5mm winter wetsuits are!
Tricky water entry - these rocks were slippy as f-k. A friendly local also warned me against paddling out to the outer reef (locals spot only) with tales of a 16ft Great White spotted there a month ago. Such low odds of an attack, but murky water and a big tuna jumping out of the water was enough for me to call it a day. Got the fear in my head and was totally psyched out.
This is how it's done. Local ripper on the biggest day:
Tofino (Vancouver Island - 1.5 hour ferry from Vancouver then 3 hour drive)
Amazing place and great beginner spots
Ginan took to surfing like a duck to water and stood up on her first wave, catching the white water with ease. Cue her wanting to catch a green (unbroken) wave, me taking her out back, then her dropping in on someone, boards flying everywhere, Ginan getting dunked underwater then crying on the shore. I saw this a good lesson in surfing that everyone goes through at least once. She was in shoulder-high water and always going to be fine so I stayed out for another 3 hours on a borrowed longboard and caught more waves in a single session than I think I've every caught. Must've been over 30. Epic. Ginan saw this as insensitive and a direct pass to one week in the doghouse. Lesson learned - doing adventure hobbies together is tough!
Local guy. Multiply this by 30, add in a few turns and long rides and this was me. I left the water feeling high with stoke and arms destroyed with zero gas left in the tank. Thank god for massive barbecues and being a carnivore!
Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
My newest addition to our storage room full of toys. My board is 14ft long, inflatable and fits in a backpack when de-inflated. Great technology, brilliant for fitness and source of multiple 'nature boners' - I've seen otters, seals and best yet, dolphins, all within 10 minutes of our apartment paddling round the harbor and inland. 4 of them even swam under my board...was nuts!
Inland spot called Deep Cove. This was the day me and a local crazy fitness guy attempted a 30km paddle as part of training for a challenge to paddle ~70km from Vancouver to Vancouver Island. It's not happening this summer now (I got distracted mountain biking and didn't want to spend all day paddling when I could ride), but on the cards for next summer. Look out for fundraising requests and more info next year.
Watch this space...
I use my bike for getting around town on bike rides with Ginan but yet to hit up any of the skateparks etc yet. However, just found a good BMX track and the Jay Miron snake runs from the Macneil DVD and will be riding it more often in preparation for hitting the bigger Vancouver jumps and filming for the Fleet DVD.
All for now. Hope everyone is good in the UK. Miss riding with you guys and really miss proper pubs and Timothy Taylor landlord ale!
P.S. Don't mean to be one of these Facebook "Look at how great my life is!!" douches with all the photos. In reality it's taken a while to settle, we've saved zero money being out here with all the distractions and work is average. But overall me in 10 years time definitely won't regret making the move and playing in this adult adventure playground.