I think I am missing Leith Hill…

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  • I think I am missing Leith Hill…
  • adrianp7

    I relocated to Vancouver 6 months ago for work and thought I would be in cycling heaven. But it turns out the roads are full of Ford F150’s and the trails seem to be designed for families pootling along dead flat dyke tops or 10 foot drop mentalists riding 8 inch travel, 40lb rigs on Fromme.

    Anyone know of some singletrack – the nearest I have come across is Burnaby Mountain which I live next to, but it is a bit limited. I really miss 30 mile bridleway rides across the North and South Downs – bizarre I know given all the hype about the ‘shore’… Anyone been to the Okanagan?

    I am a Dorking boy, lived in Vancouver (at the bottom of Fromme) for a year, there is loads of easier stuff on Fromme like Pipeline etc, Seymour has stuff like the Bridlepath. Admittedly its harder than UK XC but saying you miss Leith Hill is ridiculous!! Just open your mind to the more tech stuff, you are living in the best biking spot in the world! Also why were you riding 30 miles of Bridleways here, the Surrey Hills have more singletrack than anywhere….


    I too am missing Leith Hill/NDowns 🙁

    We should set up a facebook for fellow-suffers!

    True, I have the rocktastic-Lakes and Peaks within 30min-1hr of me. However its just soo cheeky and lovely singletrack on the Downs 🙁

    I’m all here with you on this one.. I moved to Hobart, Tasmania 6 months ago and used to have the North Downs and Leith Hill nearby as my weekly playground. I was really excited, however, about the mountain biking prospects of moving to Tasmania – having a 5,000 ft mountain next to Hobart with a 22km downhill run from the top down to the city and a ‘world class MTB park’ in the suburbs. …what’s not to like about that?

    Unfortunately, I now find I really miss the freedom, beauty and wonder of UK trails. Being able to mix it all up on a variety of routes and at different technial levels, linking them all up with a huge network of bridleways (and cheeky footpaths), and watching horses champing in the medows below Holmbury, while the sun sets over the Southdowns… That sort of stuff.

    The reality of Tasmanian riding is that there are a short handful of truly world-class trails. But that is it. There’s nothing to link them up and once you’ve ridden – all 3 of them – you can ride them all again, if you like. And the ‘MTB park’ turns out to be a dusty wasteground with a very badly signed, and mostly very badly washed out ‘XC loop’. Frustratingly again, there’s a short 1km section of this which is absolutley brilliant, but then again – it goes absolutely nowhere.

    In short I guess the phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ comes to mind.

    …and to think, I was actually considering moving to ‘North Shore’ Vancover as a future option. Don’t think I will now.. 🙁

    no_eyed_dear – I love the Surrey Hills, and yes its underated and sneered at by Northerners who have probably never even visited..But the Northshore does have incredible riding, it does take a while to get your head around it though as it really is a step up mentally and technically and often really hard to make it flow..but once it starts coming together really very satisfying.

    Nig E5

    I had one of the best rides on Winterfold and Holmbury hill last night for many years.
    Nice warm evening sun slanting through the fresh spring green trees, dry flowing single track, birds singing.
    Stunning views of the south downs from Holmbury.

    I moved North, not too far from the Peak District but I still miss the Surrey Hills (used to live in Headley).

    ‘Deer Trail’ on Holmbury is still probably one of my all-time favorite pieces of singletrack to ride anywhere in the world.


    Yeah, I miss them too. Lived in Sheffield and Bristol, but still hanker after dusty summer rides, darting along any trail that takes your fancy, flying along looong stretches of woody singletrack…

    However, I am struggling to sympathise with someone who lives in Vancouver!


    I think what you have found is that we only have off road cycling here in england but in BC they do actually have mountain biking which it sounds like probably isnt for you. Maybe you should get into Ice Hockey.

    Seriously there are trails of all ability in Lower mainland, for mellow stuff try Lower Seymouour Demonstration Forest or down by UBC there are singletrack trails. Have you tried asking in one of the local bike shops?

    Also have you checked out Squamish, probably a lot more technical xc then you are use to but there are tons and tons of singletrack trails there. I would swap with you in a second to be back there.

    Ice hockey, now that is a proper mans sport.

    Go Wings!


    I also moved to Vancouver last year and can relate to what you’re saying. My wife especially has lost her motivation for riding since she found that most of the local riding here is generally harder and less scenic than the UK. And by less scenic, I mean you don’t have much of a view in the middle of a forest.

    As others have said, Bridal Path on Seymour and Lynn Valley/Lower Seymour forest are good trails on the North Shore and Burnaby/SFU is fun too. Squamish has miles of green/blue trails and the view is pretty good if you’re at the top of Mashiter.

    My wife’s favourites by far are the Sunshine Coast (we’ve ridden the Gibsons/Roberts Creek area) and Galbraith, just over the border in Washington. In both places, the trails are generally a bit less techy and the areas are huge, so plenty of distance available. Galbraith is also very open at the top of the mountain, reminded us very strongly of Afan and Welsh trail centres.


    Forgot to say, email is in profile if you want any more info. Some photos from last year:
    Galbraith, WA
    IMGP4606 Stitch

    and Squamish here and here



    Dude, you’ve got Whistler 2hrs up the road..

    Fromme, Seymour and Galbraith on your doorstep…

    These are legendary riding spots. What are you complaining about?

    I’d trade you my weekly pootle around Leith, Holmbury, Pitch and Winterfold anyday.

    To me this sounds like a “I now live in Kitzbühel in the Alps and I miss the Tamworth snow dome” type of thread.


    So let’s get this straight – Croydon > Vancouver?

    No, you’re right 😯

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