After my last blog you know the basics and the differences between all types of mountain bikes. This next blog, will brief readers on the history and the future of mountain biking and where exactly one can go around the Tri-cities area to experience this exciting sport.
Mountain biking started off with people riding bikes off road and putting bigger tires on them, and it was started in late 19 century and used as a method of transportation by the Swiss military. But the modern mountain biking as we known today was started in the late 1980s.
The first purpose built mountain bike was built in 1978 by Joe Breeze and it was basically a road bike frame with wider forks and rear triangle for wider tires. In the early days, mountain bike designs borrowed heavily from BMX and didn’t have suspensions, front or rear.
Mountain biking became a main stream sports in early 2000, and developed a lot. Riders started to ride bikes on more extreme terrains- some of them hiked up Whistler and Backcomb mountains because of this, Whistler bike park came about in the early 2000’s.
Nowadays mountain biking is a main-stream sport, and cross country is even an Olympic sport. Bikes pack so much technology and innovation, designs are lighter, stronger and faster than ever. There are so many choices for riding areas and trails here in British Columbia. We have around 8000 mountain biking trails marked on the map, and around 300 trails within a 50km radius of the Tri-cities. The biggest and most famous bike park in the world is Whistler bike park, and it’s only 150km away; another world famous trail network is in Squamish, BC with 234 trails.
The best spot to start off around the Tri-cities is Burke Mountain in Coquitlam. Just enter the yellow gate by the shooting range on Harper road; most trails are unmarked or not official yet. Another good place to go is the SFU campus. You can take the 143 SFU bus up the mountain with your bike and ride down. Two of the oldest and famous mountain biking spots are Mountain Fromme and Seymour Mountain; they’re a bit further than Burke Mountain , but they’re worth the travel.
These are all the famous trails around BC and the Tri-cities, now go out and try it for yourself. You should download the Trailforks app on your phone it’s the biggest mountain biking trail map in the world with 70,000 trails. If you are serious about this sport you can join the SD43 mountain biking team, which starts after spring break in 2017.
Photo courtesy of pinkbike/Colin Meagher/Fabio Wibmer