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August 2, 2009

North Vancouver and Mt. Seymour

Filed under: BC 2009, MTB Travel — anotherheader @ 7:39 pm

The ferry dock at Discovery Bay on Vancouver Island

The ferry dock at Discovery Bay on Vancouver Island

On Thursday we packed up the trailers and drove the short distance to the ferry to the mainland.  The Discovery Bay to Horseshoe Bay ferry is a large, multiple deck affair.  With the trailers and bikes on the roof, we were squeezed into the lower deck alongside the big rigs and buses.

On the east side of the channel, we emerged into the ferry generated traffic plug that moved slowly through the work-a-day North Vancouver.  Soon enough, we were in place at Burnaby RV Park and making plans for riding the next day.

Every wonder how a trailer and bikes fits into a ferry?

Every wonder how a trailer and bikes fits into a ferry? (HDR)

The following day, with Becky and Josh arriving at the Vancouver Airport late, we figured that this was the time to try something new.  Sometimes we find good trails to add to our “List” when we do this.  This was not one of those days.  We headed to Mt. Seymour where we climbed Old Buck and Baden-Powell to Upper Dale’s.  The climb is a bit of a grunt, steep on Old Buck and rocky-loose on Baden-Powell.  On a warm day, laden with body armor and an awkward full-face helmet, life was not good.

When we reached Dale’s, we found an old school trail in a state of neglect.  The trail was fun and technically challenging, like all of Mt. Seymour trails.  But Dale’s did not have near the level of entertainment that nearby Ned’s Atomic Dustbin or Team Pangor offer.  At the bottom of Dale’s we push/climbed up Powerline to Baden-Powell.  Powerline, like trails of the same name in many places, follows the swath cleared for high-tension power lines.  This is rarely a recipe for a great trail.  The alternative to the slog up Powerline was an unappealing ride down Powerline to Bridal Path.  The lack of good loops is likely one of the reasons that Dale’s has fallen into a state of neglect.

Brian rolling a log drop on Severed Dick in Mt. Seymour

Brian rolling a log drop on Severed Dick in Mt. Seymour

Eventually we sweated our way to Baden-Powell where we took a right over to Severed Dick.  We enjoyed Severed the year before, but our goal was nearby C**t Buster.  We’re not certain how “**” is pronounced in Canadian, but any trail with two asterisks has to be good, doesn’t it?  From our map, it looked like C**t Buster was accessible from Severed but we never saw the intersection.  When it was clear that we weren’t going to find C**t Buster, we were too far down and too involved in Severed to head back.  So instead we continued on Severed to the bottom.  Severed Dick was fun, more rideable, and had better flow for us this time than it did on our first trip down last year.

On board the ferry to the mainland

On board the ferry to the mainland

At the bottom of Severed Dick, we turned left onto Bridal Path.  In the last year, many new, small-scale technical stunts have been installed along this already interesting connecting trail.  The stunts increase the fun, challenge the skills, and break up the commute back to the parking lot.  We ended with the heavily armored, bank-turned, ripping fast Empress Bypass that spit us out on the bottom parking lot.  A ride that started poorly, ended well.

Pictures:

http://picasaweb.google.com/AnotherHeader/NanaimoToVanForPicasa#

On the water

On the water

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