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Or have I just not noticed? I just read the feature on these areas in the new Bike and it looks like some awesome singletrack. Nice to see Bike doing stuff about the kind of riding I love.

Anyone here familiar with the trails mentioned?
 

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krob - the north shore gets all the hype. Those who know Kelowna and Penticton know to go there.

Craig - that Mountainbiking in BC book is beyond bad. Its inaccurate, the descriptions are dated and the maps are wrong. Even the paper is too scratchy to use for ass-wipe
 

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If you go here, http://www.rdos.bc.ca/d_ls_trails_search.htm There are tons of trails in the area around Penticton. Some are just hiking trails and some are Bike trails etc. But most of the local trails are listed on this site. The riding is nice in the sparse Ponderosa pine forests of the valley and when you climb into the higher elevations it gets a bit thicker. There are a few shuttle routes that drop approx 3000 feet which are really fun to ride. Lots of stunts are showing up on the trails to feed the need to go crazy.

I haven't checked out the magazine yet, but I hear the article is written by a local bike shop guy.
 

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Wasn't that a great article?

The writing and photos were vintage Bike, evoking the glory days of the magazine when it was all about the experience of riding singletrack in beautiful places with your friends.

I've been living and riding in the Okanagan for about 10 years and I really feel like it's an undiscovered gem for people who love trails. There are shuttle rides with jumps, stunts and drops, but they're outnumbered ten to one by great networks of singletrack.

You asked, "why no buzz?" There are probably lots of reasons, but here are a few:
  • I suspect that the riding scene itself isn't big enough to generate much publicity, and it's distributed up and down the valley with no real center
  • It's a different kind of riding than people associate with BC -- drier, less vertical, more cross-country oriented, mellower terrain, not well signed or mapped
  • People come here for wine, beaches, fruit, skiing, or to visit their retired relatives...and perhaps don't bring their bikes along because they aren't aware of the riding
  • Employment -- it's a tourism and retirement region that doesn't support much employment for young riders, so when they're done high school, they move to Vancouver for work or university
  • The forest fires in Kelowna pretty much wiped out the South Slopes, which had three or four distinct riding areas -- you can still ride there, but it's grim
  • It seems like there's been a major shift in the cycling scene here, where most of the older trail hounds switched to road bikes, and the younger kids use their "shore hardtails" and FS rigs mostly for jumping off curbs or getting shuttles to the few hardcore trails with stunts...which leaves fewer people around to maintain, develop and promote "regular" trails.
 

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The riding is awsome in the OK. The lack of hype also has to do with the lack of attitude, or lesser attitude. After moving to K-town from Van and Whistler I really noticed a huge diff in how riders acted, and interacted with eachother. Over the years a bit more of the goof factor and "Dude, you suck, I rule" crap has emerged but nowhere like the coast.

We have killer single track, sick, sick, built stuff, awsome laid back stuff, and several great ski resorts catering to gravity like Apex, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks, and of course 5 1/2 hours to Whistler for a once a year attitude fix!

Ya, a lot of burnt trails too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
headspacej said:
The writing and photos were vintage Bike, evoking the glory days of the magazine when it was all about the experience of riding singletrack in beautiful places with your friends.

I've been living and riding in the Okanagan for about 10 years and I really feel like it's an undiscovered gem for people who love trails. There are shuttle rides with jumps, stunts and drops, but they're outnumbered ten to one by great networks of singletrack.
Thanks for the report. The fact that it's less well known is OK (in fact, preferable) for me.

What's the riding season like? The article said it was warmer and dryer than most places in BC. When's the the best time to visit? It sounds like I'd need to hook up with locals to find some of the best stuff.
 

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Those stunts are amazing!

I ride a lot of technical trails & some DH resorts & I can't imagine hitting a gap like that. I crash some of my jumps & man is that 2nd jump make or break. How bad do some of your riders get injured up there? I would hate to come up short on that. Thanks for the pics.
 

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Decent riding season...

KRob said:
What's the riding season like? The article said it was warmer and dryer than most places in BC. When's the the best time to visit? It sounds like I'd need to hook up with locals to find some of the best stuff.
We were riding into late December last year (which is a bit later than usual), and that photo I posted above was from the end of February, so it's not usually a very long winter. Trails at higher elevations tend to lose their snow later in March or early April. It's hot and dry between July and mid-September, when many trails turn to powder dust and you want to be ending your ride in the lake. October and May are my personal favourites.

I was riding in the Three Blind Mice area near Penticton/Naramata this afternoon, one of the spots featured in the article -- it's beautiful in there, with rushing creeks, huge old-growth trees and a fantastic network of very sweet singletrack with mellow climbs and swooping descents. I'd definitely recommend it for singletrack fiends. Nothing hardcore for the freerider set, but there are fine places nearby for them too.

Lots of decent shops in the valley who don't seem to be stingy with trail advice -- Freedom Bikes and The Bike Barn in Penticton, Gerick's or Kelowna Cycle in Kelowna. They should be able to hook you up with the right locals for the type of riding you want to do. Westbank has a couple of awesome rides too -- haven't heard much about their shop, though.
 

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Disturbing...

That gap is disturbing. It looks like the margin for error is about zero.

That kind of riding is pretty much the opposite of the spirit of the Bike article...but blows my mind anyway -- thanks for posting. Is that in the Gillard area? The last time I was in there, I couldn't believe some of the built stuff -- one of the trails had concrete-reinforced hits.
 

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that stuff is from an area called powers creek in westbank. some guys have done an amazing job of building hq stuff up there. gillard is also an awsome playground with wild stunts but as stated by others earlier and myself we have everything. the only drawback is that it gets so freaken hot and dry in summer that the climbs can be hell. being a shuttle baby once in a while is ok because of the heat.

main thing to remember is that you can do the dumbass freeride stuff which is a blast but also xc stuff to test anybodys limits, or load up the back back with some vino and take your babe for a cruise along the mission creek trail or the high elevation KVR except where the trestle bridges burned in the big fire.

check out pinkbike.com for the best photo sets of our area. we are proud of it.
 

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I can't wait to hit the interior BC trails!!!

I've been meaning to get out there for 6 or 7 years, but Whistler, the shore and other areas of the continent have taken all my vaca, but we're finally making it happen in a few weeks!! I'm really stoked! 10 days of biking and camping in interior B.C. with my better half (Courtney) and our mt. bike dogggies (Shasta and Baker) is gonna rock.....

Our plan is to leave Seattle on Friday, June 10th, and head to Merritt and ride two days of singletrack/FR with Dawgprimo and a couple of others (telebiker, come join us, dude!!). From there, we'll head to the 'Loops and ride with Chuck Brennan at Kamloops Bike Camp along with the usual areas (Mt. Lolo, etc.) and then head to Kelowna and Penticton to shred the trails there.

This should be a graat roadtrip.........we're bringing both our XC and FR bikes and are looking forward to some truly epic riding!!! If anyone wants to throw out some camping/riding suggestions for these areas, I'd be most grateful. If you live in these areas and wouldn't mind showing some yanks around, shoot me a PM.

Cheers,
EB
 

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Powers Creek

rabidmole said:
that stuff is from an area called powers creek in westbank. some guys have done an amazing job of building hq stuff up there.
I've been meaning to hit Powers Creek for years, but have still never made it out there. I'm only about 20 minutes from Glenrosa Road, so I have no excuses now. Any advice on the best climb/descent routes in that area for non-shuttlers, maybe a loop of a couple of hours? I've heard there are some good old-school trails in there with swoopy singletrack, little kickers and mellow drops. Have they all been replaced by nasty stunts for the freeride huckers?
 

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Powers is built properly. if its too big you can take the easy way around. and nobody bags on you if you don't take the big stupids.The boys working on it are not hacks, its obvious they are passionate about riding and making sure all have fun. There is stuff for all and you won't find yourself standing there wondering what the hell am i gonna do now.

also, mcdougal rim is wicked oldschool climb and downhill.
 

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Brodiegrrl said:
riding in the kelowna sucks!

So does riding in Merrit.

Don't go there.
Yeah, from what I hear the riding around Merritt, Kelowna, Penticton and the Loops isn't good at all. Actually, we've decided to spend 10 days at home instead of riding those horrible, terrible trails! ;)

Cheers,
EB
 

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K rob......

What's up stranger? I am from the Okanagan (Summerland) and I always (albeit gladly) wondered the same thing. It's always been kind of off the radar of hotspots so to speak. There are so many cool trails in the hills West of Summerland that don't even have names that are just great to ride. The Action Quest was a great race that used to take place in Summerland, and the course is a beauty to ride. Maybe on a busy day you might see a guy on a horse out on the trail. I didn't know what user conflicts were until I came to Utah. Incidentally, I'm leaving to go up there on this Friday the 27th for a whole week. I haven't been in a year and a half and can't wait to check out some of the newer stuff. Gonna bring the Skinny-tired one as well as there's alot of great road riding there too. Hopefully I'll have alot of pics to post when I get back. Cheers, Scooter
 
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