Sunday, April 10, 2005

Merritt Mountain Biking

bikebuds
Angelo discovered the Merritt Mountain Biking Association last week. We've always kind of lamented that there wasn't any riding area halfway between the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland where we could meet for a ride and a few beers. Merritt just isn't the kind of place that makes you think of vacations and recreational pursuits. When David told me earlier this year that he was coming out from Scotland to do a workshop there, I told him that it had sort of a poor reputation as a mill town with no real assets.

Well, I was wrong. I can admit it. We decided to give it a shot, meeting at Mandolin's Cafe in Merritt to pick up a trail map and some calories yesterday morning. The town is way more interesting when you get off the highway and main drag, and it's less than two hours for both of us to drive there. We wondered why we hadn't done it sooner.

We took the excellent advice of MMBA president Darren Coates and rode a big loop in the Coutlee Plateau area. Tons of old-school cross-country trails with serpentine singeltrack through beautiful forest, up and down with some great technical sections! Ziggy is probably the most fun trail I've ever ridden -- a sort of natural half-pipe with berms and little jumps. Angelo broke in his sweet Santa Cruz Heckler and we whooped our way through section after section of well-built trails.

Some photos, including a couple of rare shots of me actually riding:

8 comments:

Cyn said...

We're getting snow today, so there goes my dreams of hitting the trails next weekend.
Great photos Jeremy. I love the angle log photo.
Ride on!

Anonymous said...

I'm more than a bit jealous Jer! Looks amazing!!! It's still quite a drive though.

j

Jeremy said...

Hey Cyn, that seems unseasonably late for snow, isn't it? I just checked your forecast and it's looking like HEAVY snowfall...there's something messed up with the climate.

Jeremy said...

J, it was really sweet. I was realizing that in Manitoba, we used to drive an hour and half for riding in the Whiteshell or Pembina Hills without thinking that it was far or difficult. Not that I'd go to Merritt all the time, but it was a great way to hook up with Angelo.

Only an hour and fifteen minutes on the way home, but that was because of a general disdain for the speed limit, fuelled by pretzels and a huge Slurpee.

Cyn said...

IN the Maritimes we can snow in May.
Mind you, it only last one day before it melts, but its a hassle.

Anonymous said...

The burden of my mountain biking adiction wells up in me as I read this post.

pat s.

Jeremy said...

You must be coming out this summer or fall, eh Pat? We'll definitely have to hook up for a ride. Your trails must be just about good to go by now, too...

Anonymous said...

Summer probably not but fall maybe. So you don't feel too sorry for me, I've got a race this sunday at Ski Birch. One of my all time favorites.

pat s.