Canada – possible holiday later this year – bike hire and places to ride?

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  • Canada – possible holiday later this year – bike hire and places to ride?
  • Premier Icon dawson

    I am in the lucky position that we may be going to Canada on holiday later this year – I may be able to get a day or so riding!

    Has anybody got any pointers on bike hire, places to go etc. I’m more of a cross country rider so the A-line at Whistler is probably not for me.

    Whistler and the surrounding area has miles, maybe hundreds of miles of amazing riding of all sorts. Even the bike park has “XC” trails. However, you will most likely find out pretty quickly that in BC (assuming that’s where you’re going) even “XC” can be mighty technical. Also, the landscape is so vast, not to mention populated with animals that can eat you it pays to hire a guide, or stick to established trail networks. Which are everywhere.

    My advice would be to hire a 150-160mm bike or similar. This will allow you to get out into the back country, put the miles in, but also enjoy the terrain without getting too beaten up should you stray on to rougher trails. It’ll also allow you to go to the bike park (whistler or others) which you really should do. A-line, for example is actually one of the less technical trails. Given the chance, if you’re in the vacinity you’d be a fool not to check it out.

    EDIT: Having just re- read your post, you mention a day’s riding maybe. So I would strongly recommend a bike park or guided ride to maximise your day or two.

    Cumberland would be a great day’s riding, you can get a reasonably priced guide (Martin) at Island Mountain Rides, and the trails are probably the best I’ve ridden in Canada (coming from an XC background myself, I love the trails on the north shore but found I could actually ride the trails at Cumberland a bit better, probably because they’re less steep). Riding Fool hostel was great and I think they do private rooms if you’re travelling in company.

    I’m planning my trip back there already.

    Premier Icon sweaman2

    Canada is a big place…Rockies, BC or somewhere else….


    Definitely get a guide to make the most of your time.
    Where are you heading to on your trip?


    If you’re going to Whistler you should ride all the Lost Lake trails and as many of the valley ones as you can find, they’re really good – even the green routes over there are better than any reds and probably even blacks over here 🙂 would definitely suggest a guide for the valley trails though – I just went armed with a book and a map and whilst still really good and a fun way of doing it, I’m sure I missed a lot of what they have to offer. Pretty sure things could be linked together better than I managed to!


    There is some great riding to be had outside of the better known areas in Canada. I rode some fantastic trails around the Niagra escarpment area when I went a few years ago. I was lucky in that my Canadian mate led out so I’d also say aim for getting a guide.


    You’ll probably go through Squamish to get to whistler. Stop at Alice lake, there’s loads there.

    Premier Icon dawson

    thanks for the suggestions – very much at early stages, so it will give me something to go on.


    As said before, Canada is a big place! If you’re heading west, then in BC you’ve got the East and West Kootenay’s which include places like Fernie, Kimberley, Nelson, Rossland. Just across the Rockies you have God’s own country which is Kananaskis – you can head out from Canmore, Bragg Creek.

    You could literally spend a lifetime in any one of those areas and still not ride all they have to offer!

    Even Saskatchewan in the mid/north parts of the province offer some incredible riding/back country.

    To the East, in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick and there’s plenty to ride. If you’re wanting to make the most of any time you have, as has been suggested, arrange a guide, the locals are friendly!


    Tyax lodge float plane biking.

    One of the best and fun days riding I’ve had. 40km of single track in a wild place.

    Very much an xc ride. And some of the trails were in the collective film.

    Premier Icon martymac

    lol @ all the comments about canada being big, its not.
    its **** huge, ontario alone is almost 4.5 times the size of the uk, with a population of about 13 million.
    +1 for getting a guide.
    and a gopro type camera too.


    Yeah, if the OP only has a day or so riding, it’ll take days to get to any particular riding spot! Need to narrow down the location a bit!


    Some great xc around Jasper 10 years ago!

    Supersessions, I’ve maybe just put my Cumberland plans on hold! That Tyax stuff looks amazing.

    When you say ‘very much an XC ride’ would it still be good on a bigger bike like a Specialized Pitch? I’m totally at home climbing on the bike, just not sure I’d fancy long flat sections on a bouncy bike with a 32 tooth max chainring…


    If you go to Whistler, head up to the ski jump area at the Olympic park. The road is pretty disused nowadays and not many people head there. It’s really off road but its good.

    Beware though, you will encounter bears and some pretty big ones. A tip to remember for bears is they love dandylions and even if you think one isn’t in the area, there probably will be one somewhere.

    Personally I wouln’t hang around any longer in Jasper as it takes to drink a coffee.


    ‘very much an XC ride’

    We’re building a 4 day 3 night package for the chilcotins along with Tyax air. Fly in, hut to hut riding with wilderness riding.. but.. having to think hard how to classify teh experience.

    In reality, its a ‘bike adventure’. The riding is very XC in the Canadian sense, however, on a daily basis, you can expect up to an hour of hike a bike along with a mix of actual riding.

    Some steep ascents, some wicked fun steep descents. some stunning flow rolling descents (collective footage) and some rocky and horse trodden chunder. Tons of creek crossings… everything!

    We’ve done both ride in and fly in.. both with their own benefits.. and stunning stunning natural beauty!

    I’d take my 120mm Spark, 650b Genius at a push but its been done on all manner of bikes.

    With just a day available.. Chilcotins is a non started IMO.
    There are much more accessible areas on more of a ‘beaten tourist path’ that will blow your mind.

    Get in touch if you’re headed our way (Whistler)


    We stopped off in Jasper for a few days when travelling on the train from Toronto to Vancouver and hired a couple of hard tails to explore the nearby trails. Watch out for bears and angry moose.


    Hey, you’re best off picking a province/territory and taking it from there. Its such a massive place, some good areas for trails are a 20 hour drive apart or more. I spent a year there and did lots of mtb in the summer so I could maybe help a bit.

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