Quick Life Update:
So yeah, I’m sitting here at the Square Nine Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. Will be here for a couple more weeks. It’s really grown on me. Nice people. Tall people. Fantastic veggies and salads, so-so beer, lots of MEAT and fantastic ice cream. Such a beautiful city, culture, and construction and rebuilding everywhere… bombed out carcasses are still prevalent and a constant reminder of the sad war-torn communist history of Yugoslavia. They are very happy to have Seal Team filming here, and we’re happy to be here. Anyhoo…
My whirlwind family roadtrip vacation from May – July feels like ages ago… Since then, it’s been crazy times. I even shaved my homeless man beard. We’re already a month into Seal Team Season 3 – so here I am… a moment to breathe and reminisce about riding bikes in Squamish and Whistler over a month ago. So much EPIC.
Do yourself a favor. If you’re lucky enough to ever be on your way to Whistler, don’t overlook Squamish. With the mecca of lift-accessed gravity riding only 1/2 hour away, it’s easy to get overshadowed… but Squamish has mtb trails to suit all-comers, and the town is super low-key, and much better bang-for-the-buck than resort-chic Whistler. Save money on food and lodging and stay longer and ride more!!
First up – Valleycliffe / Crumpit Woods area. If you’re into a Lord of the Rings / Frodo-style environment, this is for you. Super easy to lose your inner compass, and get lost and confused. You 100% should have the Trailforks App or you will 100% will wind up scratching your head and wondering how you wound up wherever you’re not supposed to be.
No freebies here… you’ve gotta pay the piper with steep/techy climbs for every sweet rooty, rocky, chunky, bridge-laden descent you conquer. So good for slow speed bike handling and skill building. Hands down, some of the most original/maybe not so PC trail names I’ve ever come across. Here are a few of my favorites: Endo, The Graduate, 3 Virgins, Sweeter Than Barry, Spencer’s Gay Ride, 7 Stitches, Hairy Bomber, etc –
My favorite trail in the network was Meet Yer Maker.. sketch balls in a couple sections, I had to walk a bit… but challenging and rewarding… maybe one day I’ll clean it all!
Next up: Alice Lake
Very similar trail character to Crumpet Woods. The main difference was I went on a Saturday and it was much more crowded. Still super fun and had a blast. I rode Credit Line, Jacks Trail, Mike’s Loop, Mashiter, 50 Shades of Green, Tracks from Hell, etc. Lots of roots and lots of tech on Credit Line. You really can feel your skills boosting after a few days of BC riding.
Other notables in Squamish – Lucy lost a tooth. Saw my buddy Robert Taylor (plays Longmire) on tv at the hotel… this old movie Vertical Limit was on… hilarious! The indoor waterslide at the hotel was also a blast, as were the Dr. Ho informercials… Alice and Brohm Ice Cream was the Bomb!!
Again, when people speak of “Whistler”, mind-blowing, lift-accessed gravity trails come to mind. But there are actually FREE local xc trails that are super fun and definitely worth getting into. No body armor required. The Zappa Trails – all named for Frank Zappa songs… (aka Lost Lake Trails) have all kinds of options and Lost Lake is fantastic for a post-ride dip and beer and people watching.
Some highlights – Toads of the Short Forest, The Torture Never Stops, Fountain of Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Molly Hogan, Grand Wazoo, Dwarf Nebula, etc.
Whether you ride the resort, or the local singletrack – it’s definitely worth hanging out in the Olympic Village (the Whistler Village puts Mammoth to shame… so beautiful and clean and the European vibe is super fun) and chillin with the polly wogs. Also peep out the Passivehaus and ride Fitzsimmons along the aptly named Fitzsimmons Creek. Lots of well-planned trails and paths everywhere, so you don’t really need to drive once you’re parked. On this visit, only 25% of the resort was open, so I chose to hit the local freebie stuff and will come back for a bike park specific trip.
After BC – we slipped back in to the US – Bellingham, WA is up next (then lots of Idaho goodness)… not sure when I’ll get a chance to update the journal… hopefully soon!!