Local's Report - May 2, 2012

Spring has sprung in full force the last few weeks, and riding has begun to take shape. When the wet weather hit hard, I had to be creative to get my rides in (I am definitely learning the pros and cons of a mid-May race) and as some of you may know, I am not a fan of roads. Even double track sends me for a loop, so I've been on the hunt for dry singletrack.

First up was Cranbrook. I've heard a lot about their trails and have contemplated entering their popular 6 in the Stix Enduro race. After riding here, I wish I had. Mostly because the trails aren't well marked and it's difficult to figure out where to go, but also because it would be a super fast and fun event.
One very large tree, on the Big Tree Trail.

Here is a link to information on the Community Forest trail network. We learned that there are also trails near the SPCA when you first enter town, and that there are group rides for ladies on Tuesday evenings.

Next we headed to Invermere. Fortunately they recently published a trail guide, available at the two bike shops in town, and also have maps available online for download for the Along the Johnson and Swansea trails. Swansea is a shuttle-based trail network, so we opted for Along the Johnson and loved this loop! Very flowy, technical in areas, and beautiful vistas.
Along the Johnson viewpoint.

We also discovered the High Roller trail off of the Juniper Heights subdivision (just a couple of minute drive out of Invermere on your way to Radium - right side of the road) and loved this trail as well - cross country, flowy goodness.

The following week I was able to explore in Fernie a bit more and was delighted to find trails becoming uncovered - new additions from last week's rides include Buck Up and Coal Discovery - you hit snow once the slope becomes north facing, but definitely worth the effort.

Then, the rain fell. And fell and fell. Even South Country was getting hammered. I got a tip that it hadn't been raining in the Pass and also remembered that they had received funding to build numerous trails last year. I found a map online, and decided to head in that direction. Fortunately I met up with some friends, as these trails are difficult to find and not marked as of yet. We started off with climbing some roads and single track, and then hitting trails like Rumhead and Whistling Post. We then crossed town (Coleman) and headed to another fun loop (I forget its name...) before heading to the new trails at Pass Powderkeg.
Crowsnest Coffee setting me up with an espresso before heading out.

It's been a fun spring, exploring different communities and their trail networks. Having mainly ridden in Fernie, it has opened my eyes to the multitude of biking opportunities out there, and to the excitement of discovering a new trail. But while I look forward to more bike trips this summer and fall, I'm also looking forward to riding at home... as this exploration has also made me realize how awesome Fernie has it. Amazing trails, right out our doorstep!

Happy riding.