Needing to Go
Standing in the middle of the forest on Haida Gwaii is like being the stationary figurine inside a souvenir snow globe. The moist air swirls around you, whipping raindrops and pine needles sideways and up, while the ocean, crested with foaming whitecaps, maintains a barrier to the rest of the world. There is a stillness that grounds you, and a peacefulness that this isolation in space creates. It is no wonder we were drawn here.
Claire Buchar, Dylan Sherrard and I found our way here together – each motivated purely by a visceral feeling that we needed to go. Haida Gwaii is not known as a mountain bike destination and as Claire noted, for our little group of avid mountain bikers “it was refreshing to bring bikes on a trip that wasn’t all about bikes and how rad we were going to get on them or any result we were aiming for. The focus was on exploring a beautiful place, its culture and community, and seeing how our bikes fit into that. It totally happened organically. Our bikes were a part of the whole process; transportation, exploration, and meeting new people.”
Claire remembered learning about the Haida people as a young child in school and instantly feeling a connection to and appreciation for their culture. We had all heard of this mystical Northern place and its people at various times during our lives, and we were all drawn to making the journey and experiencing this vast wilderness for ourselves. So with our bikes, our enthusiasm and only a vague idea of what we would be getting ourselves into we set off for new territory and to finally scratch an itch that had been present for a while.