That familiar feeling

We have asked some of our members to share stories with us about rides, races, or fun biking things they’ve done recently. Have a story or photos you’d like to share? Email us for more information! Our first story comes from Alex Wade. Thanks Alex!

Thank you to The Dirty Girlz and Island Mountain Rides for an awesome Cumberland Weekend!

I was the lucky winner of a night at Riding Fool Hostel and a 3 hour guided ride with Martin from Island Mountain Rides.  My husband and I took our nephew for a weekend of riding and adventure.  Having never stayed at a hostel before, we had no idea what to expect – if all hostels are like Riding Fool, I don’t need to stay in hotels anymore!  The atmosphere was relaxed, everything was clean, the kitchen was stocked with every utensil you could possibly need, there was information on anything you might want to do, crazy inexpensive, and it was easy to be there.

The ride. Two 40 somethings, one on a hardtail, one on her first ride of the season after a back injury, and a 14 year old with a new bike – I was wondering how he was going to put together a ride that would work for all three of us.   As soon as I got on my bike, the familiar feeling of ‘oh, I love my bike’ returned, and my fears and trepidation slid away.  Meeting Martin at 9:00 Sunday morning, I was a little nervous – what if I can’t keep up, will I remember to ease off on my brakes and let my bike flow on the downs?  His relaxed manner quickly put my fears at ease.    What a fabulous three hours of riding we had – after about 45 minutes of fireroad, we pretty much rode single track for the next two hours and fifteen minutes.

I’d only ridden Cumberland twice before during MOMAR, so I had only a vague notion of the trail network, although I did recognize some of the classic trails like Teapot and Crafty Butcher.  Martin was able to hookup trails that matched our riding styles, and kept us all moving at a pace that was perfect. I had no idea that having a guide would make such a difference to the ride – we got the low down on the trails before we rode them, a little history of the area and the trails, several viewscapes, and it was great not to have to stop and look at a map, or wonder if a trail suited our riding – all we did was ride and enjoy.  My nephew’s favourite part was when Martin said to him ‘follow me, jump when I jump and pull up when I pull up.’  Off they went bombing down the trail way faster than he usually rides when he’s with us – it was perfect!

I highly recommend Martin and Island Mountain Rides next time you’re thinking of riding Cumberland, Campbell River, Hornby Island or Forbidden Plateau.  Not only does he have land use permits for all the areas, he clearly knows the trails and terrain, and is able to match the ride to the rider.    Considering his past experience with helicopter mountain biking, I have no doubt that he would be able to create an amazing ride experience a group of hardcore riders.  For our next riding weekend away, we’re going to stay at the Riding Fool Hostel again, and hire Martin to show us the Campbell River trails.

Happy Riding!