Cumberland BC

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Cumberland BC

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:03 pm

Cumberland BC, on Vancouver Island, has been on the destination riding-radar for some time now - and a group of us finally made it happen this past, self-imposed, long-weekend.  Kudos to Glenn Perrin for organizing the trip and managing all of the details of same.  If you look up the word 'Organized' in the dictionary, you'll see Glenn's smiling face shining back at you :-)  His trail-map reading aint' too shabby either!

Pierre, Kwak, Damon and I in one truck - Richie, Glenn, Ryan in the other (tnx. Pierre and Richie for the steady-hand piloting).  It was really great to experience such a long ride in modern, roomy vehicles!  Traffic didn't follow the usual Murphy's Law, and we found ourselves ahead of time on every outing - which is somewhat of a miracle when one considers the Burnaby stretch of the trip / out and back.

The small community of Cumberland has followed the boom / bust cycle that has haunted so many other small communities around the world; this one fueled by mining and timber - neither of which are currently experiencing their best years of late...  Their solution was to fully embrace recreational trail infrastructure as a form of tourism - and it appears to be working; much like Rossland, at least a quarter of the vehicles driving through town had a mountain bike or three hanging off the back!

The community of Cumberland, including council and the Regional District, have embraced trails like few other communities that I've visited.  Many businesses in town also reflect the "bike everything" attitude - and the hostel is at the center of the proverbial Cumberland Bike Trail Universe in this respect.

Situated a short city-block from the main trailhead, The Riding Fool Hostel is built atop a bike shop and coffee shop, kitty-corner from two pubs, and across the street from the liquor store.  A mountain-bike engineering team couldn't have designed a better setup!

The Fool' is a great little hostel, with amazing staff, a large kitchen, common area with free pool-table, lots of private showers, bike-wash stand, bike lockup and selection of very affordable dormitory-style and private rooms.  Our visit happened to coincide with the Foggy Mountain Fall Fair, so the community was singing, dancing and drinking into the wee hours - a clamor which initially amazed us, given the diminutive size of the place.

But to the point of the trip; the trails...  Cumberland offers an amazing collection of intermediate to advanced all-mountain trails, each accessible via the most erosion-free / well-maintained wide-track that I've ever experienced (sorta' like the KVR surface, but rolling / on various gentle pitches).

The result is decent elevation-gain, without too much in the way of pain (much easier than accessing Whitetail in the Mice).  This finds riders gaining fairly grunt-free access to amazing upper trailheads, each of which thereafter allow for some of the most amazing vertical drop, "all-mountain" style terrain to be experienced in BC.

The trails range from flowy, semi-rooty singletrack that your siblings could ride, to absolutely "be on your game or you're going over the bars" wild-child speed-plunges through the forest!  Many of the trails feature sturdily-built hand-split cedar A-frame roll-overs, teeter-totters, skinnies, ramps, bridges and boardwalks galore.  I only witnessed two 'gap-jumps' in three days of riding the area, covering some 70-odd kilometers.  Everything else exemplified well-built technical trail features that the vast majority of experienced riders could conquer - even "old-guy" riders like myself :-)

This missive is becoming overly long, so I'll just let the pictures below do the talkin'.  I heartily recommend a trip to the Island for a few days of Cumberland riding.  Despite the dire warnings of rain from our friends, we didn't feel a single drop in the three days that we were in the area - through relative humidity dictates that you bring lots of well-ventilated clothing (the hostel staff will do laundry for you at $5 per large load).

My favorite trails of the visit?  "Bucket of Blood" and "Crafty Butcher"

Despite the fact that the trails are freely published on numerous sites online, do the right thing and purchase a trail-map from one of the many local retail shops (and a T-Shirt too!).  The United Riders of Cumberland are raising money to purchase and protect a whack of land near town in order to preserve it for nature and trails.

Damn strait that's a good cause!!!

Businesses to support while in Cumberland:

Area Trail Map:

The Riding Fool Hostel:

BC Ferries Schedule:

The Waverly Hotel:

Foggy Mt. Fall Fair:

PS: Please remember to ask Ryan about catching ferry rides home...  :-)

The Riding Fool Hostel - Our temporary Home, Sweet Home

The Road to Loamville

One of perhaps 50 wooden walkways that we rode over

Pretty | Weird | Stuff - Cladonia Cristatella (Red Pixie Cup)

Our New Friend Tom (one Hell of a Rider), not sure what was happening here... "Cumberland Trail Yoga"?

Fat|Skinny Log-Ride Nirvana!

Moss Haven - Top of the "Bucket of Blood" trail

Russula Emetica - Ya', I know; let the mushroom humor roll...

The Flyin' Frenchman, gettin' his SkinnyFixx

As mentioned above, all of the service roads up to the top trailheads featured immaculate surface conditions

Amazing Canyon-Side Trails!

Damon showing us a magic trick (stopping a Trek from creaking?)  :-)

Creative Signage 101

Boardwalks, boardwalks everywhere - winding left, right and centre through the loamage

So | Much | Moss - Everywhere - Beautiful! I was saying...

Pulling into Horseshoe Bay

Second Narrows Bridge (from below at 60mph)

One last look at the Lower Mainland as we head for the Nogan'


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