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1 month remote working vacation

2326 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  slcpunk
Want to spend a month in BC living like a local. I'll be working remotely, riding in the afternoons, not really on vacation. Prefer to just pick a spot and do a few weekend trips. Nanaimo was at the top of my list - really looking for the most "out the door" XC/Trail riding from one location. The Mrs. will expect plenty of riding that doesn't entail technical features, which is why I wasn't leaning towards the north shore proper.

Where would you base yourself?

TIA
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Really depends on the when you are coming.

Honestly, no matter what the season, Nanaimo would be like my 50th choice of places to spend a month riding a bike.
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Top out door riding areas that have lots of XC riding.

1. Revelstoke
2. Fernie
3. Penticton
4. Kamloops
5. Squamish

Which one has the best combination of amazing weather and good riding. Penticton for sure.
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Top out door riding areas that have lots of XC riding.

1. Revelstoke
2. Fernie
3. Penticton
4. Kamloops
5. Squamish

Which one has the best combination of amazing weather and good riding. Penticton for sure.
Good list. Penticton has definitely come a long way. Only downside is it gets pretty hot and smokey in July/August.
Good list. Penticton has definitely come a long way. Only downside is it gets pretty hot and smokey in July/August.
Penticton has actually had really good riding for a long time. I lived there in 2004 and was absolutely blown away by the amount of quality single track. And my reference at the time was Squamish and Revelstoke.

The smoke the last couple of years in the interior has sucked big time.
If Vancouver Island is appealing - and it sounds like it is - Cumberland is fantastic. Small village where you can be on trails in five minutes from just about any house in town. The ocean is a few kilometres away, the ferry to Vancouver is only an hour away. Many other riding areas to explore on the Island. Lots of people here doing exactly what you describe (working remotely, here for the lifestyle)


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I'm going to interpret your 'out the door' riding, meaning that you can leave from your door, without requiring a vehicle or extensive pavement pedaling to access a nice, fairly extensive diversity of riding. If that is the case, my top 3, in no particular order would be Cumberland, Fernie and Rossland (in saying that however, I have no experience with Nanaimo).

A couple notes.
  • I'm from Rossland, so slightly biased, but our trail network really envelops the town and I can leave from my door, be on trails in under 5 minutes. It's a feature I really enjoy, as well as being a small, funky mountain town. We are also pretty well located for weekend trips. Don't tell anyone else however.....
  • As was mentioned, if you are thinking anywhere in the interior, you'll be gambling a little spending your month from mid/late July to mid September with smoke. Odds are it won't be horrible, but there is a chance it could be during that time. If getting some quality alpine riding was not a high priority for your month, I'd be looking at June.
  • If you want alpine riding, you'll need to be here in August and Revelstoke is your best bet.
  • I don't care what anyone else says, if you want the best riding possible, I'd be based out of Squamish. The sheer volume and quality of trails from North Van, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton is unmatched anywhere else. In general, it's definitely more focused on technical trail riding, but it has plenty for everyone. You won't even scratch the surface in a month. Downside, it's generally busy, expensive and lacks of the charm of a smaller BC town.
  • Hard to go wrong with any of the major BC mtb destinations for a month however, including all those listed above.
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thanks for much for the replies and info. i didn't mention it initally, but yes July/Aug is the time frame. I'll check out those other areas. I only picked Nanaimo because of what Trailforks shows - but maybe that's not as useful in Canada as it is in the US? Anyway, really appreciate the info/comments.
thanks for much for the replies and info. i didn't mention it initally, but yes July/Aug is the time frame. I'll check out those other areas. I only picked Nanaimo because of what Trailforks shows - but maybe that's not as useful in Canada as it is in the US? Anyway, really appreciate the info/comments.
Nanaimo does look good on Trailforks. And there is good riding there but a lot of the trails on Trailforks are not the best.
For what you're looking for, on the island, I would pretty much only consider Cumberland. The trails won't be the loamy goodness you often see in pics/vids by July/August, they get quite dry and loose, but tons of trails in town and a good central location to check out the rest of the island. Cumberland's trails are generally on the easier side too, not too overwhelming for someone looking for non-technical options.

As others have said though, the best riding is definitely not on the island.

Rossland, Penticton, Revelstoke, Kamloops would be my picks for the interior, which is where I'd go for a quieter area. Interior trails generally tend to be 'hard' due to speed rather than features like the coast, so if you just slow it down a lot of the trails are quite a bit less intimidating.

Squamish is fantastic, the whole sea to sky is. I've never tried to put together 'XC' loops without technical trails there though so I can't really comment on how that would be, I'm sure its not too challenging though. Whenever I've spent time with 'newer' riders in the s2s who weren't initially as comfortable with the trails, they figured it out really quickly, ymmv
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Rossland, Penticton, Revelstoke, Kamloops would be my picks for the interior, which is where I'd go for a quieter area. Interior trails generally tend to be 'hard' due to speed rather than features like the coast, so if you just slow it down a lot of the trails are quite a bit less intimidating.
I would agree with your description of the interior trails. A blue interior trail isn't going to have any real features on it, other than perhaps some small jumps. Where as on the coast even the blues can have some rockrolls that challenge people unfamiliar with that style of trail.
Y'all have convinced me to look to the interior. just have to pray the fires aren't as bad again. ( which ... not sure is a very good bet these days .... )
thanks again for the input.
Y'all have convinced me to look to the interior. just have to pray the fires aren't as bad again. ( which ... not sure is a very good bet these days .... )
thanks again for the input.
July and August, go to Revelstoke. Temperatures are moderate, views are incredible and it is my favorite place in the world to ride an XC bike. And I have ridden all over the world.
thanks for much for the replies and info. i didn't mention it initally, but yes July/Aug is the time frame. I'll check out those other areas. I only picked Nanaimo because of what Trailforks shows - but maybe that's not as useful in Canada as it is in the US? Anyway, really appreciate the info/comments.
Trailforks is useful in the US?

Sounds like an amazing trip!!
My suggestion would be Fernie as there is lots of great riding from town.

revelstoke is nice as well, but you need to drive and in general the riding is a little more difficult
I live in the Comox Valley so I'd vote for Cumberland. Not only are those trails great, but there are 8 other trail networks close by to add some variety on days you don't mind driving for a bit. Plus due to the BC Ferry tax for a popular riding location you won't be swamped with tourists [damn them! :p].

That said the interior is great if the fire season/weather cooperates. I mean it would be really hard to find a place in BC that really sucked....well other than Nanaimo. Just say no! Ha! :ROFLMAO:

If you end up in Cumby drop me a line my GF and I would be happy to guide you and she can take your lady on some of the women's rides in the area.
I live in the Comox Valley so I'd vote for Cumberland. Not only are those trails great, but there are 8 other trail networks close by to add some variety on days you don't mind driving for a bit. Plus due to the BC Ferry tax for a popular riding location you won't be swamped with tourists [damn them! :p].

That said the interior is great if the fire season/weather cooperates. I mean it would be really hard to find a place in BC that really sucked....well other than Nanaimo. Just say no! Ha! :ROFLMAO:

If you end up in Cumby drop me a line my GF and I would be happy to guide you and she can take your lady on some of the women's rides in the area.
Hey Vic,

Thanks - I've read a bunch of your trip reports so your opinion is valued. Independently, I had already decided on the Cumby area. Found a nice spot on the water. We're going to split the difference and do 2 weeks there and two weeks closer to Penticon in the interior. ( and a few days in pemberton/whister in between to cover all the bases )

In the end, the only thing I'm giving up on is riding from Tyax ... just too far. but it looks sick.

Thanks again to everyone that chimed in.
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Thought I would reply back to my own thread with a debrief just in case someone else finds it useful. I think first its important to know what I was after as this would greatly affect where you might want to spend time in BC. Just quickly, as an example, I LOVED riding in Pemberton, and would have enjoyed spending more time around Whistler/Squamish - but that wasn't going to work for my wife who really wasn't a fan of the BC mountain biking ;( I was looking for places where I could ride with very little driving and ideally where my wife could ride too. That second part turned out to be impossible - "green" trails in BC are generally roads or just access to harder things. She's strong, but can't stand the least bit of technical/obstacle. Luckily, we had our road bikes and there proved to be plenty of that available too.

Anyway, we spent 2 weeks close to Cumberland and that was fantastic. The trail network there is great and it was central enough that I rode in Campbell River and Powell River (Civil Disobedience!) and on Hornby Island. The road riding around Courtenay was amazing and kept my wife happy - as well as access to hiking and the ocean and the lakes etc. It rained a bunch the first week and I got a taste of what I think of in terms of wet, rooty BC rainforest. Pretty seriously considering coming back next summer.

Then we took a few days of vacation to travel and stayed in Pemberton. Loved it - small town feel close to the mountains. I'd kill for another 4 pack of the Beer Farmer's Cover Crop ... damn that was good. I thought I was going to ride Lord of the Squirrels in Whistler, but didn't realize it was still totally under snow in mid July. Doh. Didn't matter - the Pemberton network was amazing too. The double blacks were over my head, but the rest of it was amazing. Also hiked to Joffre lakes, which is a touristy thing but ... so beautiful that it shouldn't be missed.

Finally, we moved to Vernon, which was the least known and riskiest choice ( in my view ). Turned out to be great. Kalamalka prov park had great riding. I did a day at Silver Star and a day in West Kelowna. The road riding turned out to be fantastic in that area which was a win. We also had a place on the water which made it especially luxurious. If we came back here, I might try Penticton. I didn't get any mtb there and Skaha lake had a cool vibe. Still within easy reach of a number of riding zones.

On the way back to the states we stopped in Rossland and i did the Seven Summits ride which was my makeup for missing out on LOTS. Thought it was amazing - that's my type of riding. Challenging high alpine singletrack. MMMMM Good!

Anyway, thanks again to everyone that posted - and thanks to Canada for being so awesome and so close and putting up with morons like me from the states. I guess I feel like we did our part: Spent our USD on Canadian goods and services and didn't do any lasting damage while we were there ;)
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