Words by: Brent Hillier Photos by: Brent Hillier & Tim Schmidt
After a busy spring on the North Shore, it was time for a change. The coast will always be my favourite place to ride, but one of it's appeals is that a short drive East will get you to an entirely different environment. And so it was off to the desert for a weekend in Kamloops, BC.
I meet up with Tim for a bike ride in his backyard. Earlier this year we had rode in North Vancouver for a couple of days. It was his turn to lead the way and it was a great chance to follow a local, something I hadn't done in a long time.
We pedalled from Tim's house and dropped into the middle section of Rio Escondio Grande. From there we took a right and pedalled up Burn the Berms.
Burn the Berms is intended to be a descending trail, but after climbing it I wouldn't have guessed it. It's the perfect up track, and it leads to the top of Rio.
Rio has been a trail on my wishlist for a number of years, and it certainly lived up the expectations. As you approach the bottom, the trail transitions from a tight gully into a classic desert landscape complete with cactus and hoodoos.
We started climbing once again, heading up for another lap. Our up track was a dirt road n the open and I was grateful the weather was cooler then normal for Kamloops.
Our next piece of singletrack was a classic high-speed section of Kamloops gold. The Listen Trail was just fast! It featured three gullies, each with a bigger a G-Out then the last.
The last DH trail of our ride was by far my favourite. Razor Back featured a narrow spine that finished with a steep roll-down, another picturesque Kamloops feature.
The last trail of the day was a climb through the Bike Ranch on the new XC Climb back to Tim's house. Over the years I've learn to love climbing trails and as a trail builder I now appreciate how difficult is to build the perfect climbing switchback; these were some of the best.
We finished the day with a couple of beers and lunch with his family. It was a great ride and for me, a chance to be guided around somewhere new. Hopefully I can do it again soon and explore more of what Kamloops has to offer. I'd like to give Tim and his wife Nancy, a huge thank you for being so welcoming to myself and my partner, Jen. Your hospitality was much appreciated!
Stories, Pictures and Video of all my adventures, on skis and bike.