Words by: Brent Hillier Photos by: Brent Hillier and Justin Bryans
I recently celebrated 8 years of living on the west-coast of British Columbia. The move wasn't done alone, my good friend Justin and I hopped on a plane out of Hamilton, ON and flew into Abbotsford, BC back in 2006. We spent the first few days getting settled, finding a crummy rental unit on the dodgy end of town. By day four our bikes had arrived and it was time to explore. We introduced ourselves to the BC riding scene with a Fraser Valley gem known as Ledgeview.
McKee Peak, also known as Ledgeview, sits in the heart of Abbotsford. For many locals, it's quite literally in their backyard.
Since that first ride Justin and I have travelled around much of BC with our mountain bikes. To celebrate our 8 years here, we decided to get back to our humble beginnings and ride a local lap in Abby. As I made my pilgrimage to the Fraser Valley I took a quick detour to my favourite joint in Surrey, Central City Brewing. Their brewpub not only has a wide selection of Red Racer beer, but the food is fantastic. I left with two filled growlers, ready for a post ride celebration.
After rolling into Abbotsford to pick up Justin we loaded up the BrentoWagon with our mountain bikes and headed to Old Clayburn Village, the lowest possible starting point. From there we pedalled our way up the mountain, reminiscing about our first few rides on the West Coast.
Ledgeview was single handedly responsible for changing my riding style from it's XC Ontario roots to a more freeride / DH style. It's gap jumps like this that helped me embrace a new style of riding.
The trail marker for Spin Cycle, a trail we continue to refer to as Dirty Laundry. The three gap jumps were where I learned to get air, at first unsuccessfully. To this day the last jump is still one of my all-time favourites.
The theme of the day was about throwing it back and Justin threw it way back, with an always classy bar-hump.
The needle in the haystack, this section of the climb used to be a gruesome push. As riders re-embracing the XC, the section we call "The Tree Farm" is definitely the crux of the climb. On a hot day if you can make this, then you've cleaned the climb.
The top sits at about 500m, it's not the biggest climb, but it certainly packs a punch. It also offers more gap jumps then your average XC ride on the North Shore.
Welcome to Abbotsford: The City in the Country. Justin looking like a community ambassador and postcard perfect might I add! No ride is complete without a stop on the Ledge with a view.
We rode a little bit of everything, starting with my new favourite Mixed Bag. This gem starts with a bit of a steep entrance into a fun flowy, pedally trail that puts a smile on your face. Next we rode Bermanator to 1:41 and finished off with a must ride trail, The Lost Oakleys.
It was an amazing ride and it was time to celebrate with a BBQ and some delicious Imperial IPA!
If you haven't ridden the Fraser Valley I highly suggest it. What's your favourite zone?
Stories, Pictures and Video of all my adventures, on skis and bike.