31 Jan 2018

THE COLOR GREEN

WORDS & PHOTOS x Eskapee

It’s pretty much a truism that you don’t get the color green in nature without water – the greener it is generally the wetter it is. So, when we recently decided to visit Squamish in British Columbia, Canada, one of the greenest mountain bike destinations we’ve ever seen, in the winter, we expected a little moisture.

What we got was a solid week of rain. But, that really didn’t bother us as we learnt that it really didn’t make a difference to our experience, or the fun we had on the trails. In our short stay we also learned to work with the weather and ride like the locals by anticipating and spotting the best breaks in the weather to hit the trails.

“You just have to look at the weather and wait for a break to head out, so be prepared to go and ride with little notice”.

This is more something you’ll hear from a surfer but was in fact part of a conversation we had with Seb Kemp before we got to Squamish. And we like that. We’ve always liked the attitude surfers have as they truly are at the whims of the weather gods. As a surfer you have to learn to read and watch the weather but you also have to learn to be patient and at times accept that the weather just isn’t working for you, and there will be no surfing. A surfer learns to be thankful for every day they have on the water and to make the most of every opportunity.

We quickly adopted this same attitude in Squamish. We patiently waited and with the diligent use of technology and a little bit of knowledge about how the weather moves up the valley we were able to spot those “better” times and find the best times to ride. We also had times when the rain was just too much and decided not to ride, and that was ok too. It goes back to the same surfer attitude about accepting the good with the bad and making the most of every opportunity.

Understanding the weather is also about understanding the terrain and how it responds to the wet. There is going to be some places in the world where wet trails mean no riding but in Squamish we found that to be less of the case. As it rains a lot in Squamish nature has adapted over the zillions of years and the landscape and soil handles the wet pretty well with little to no mud or trails to avoid. Plus, the local trail builders know a thing or two about working with moisture so we actually found that we had way more grip and traction than some of the driest places we’ve ridden in the world.

We had immense fun on the trails of Squamish and found exactly what we were looking for. Killer trails, killer fun, and the most “green” we have ever seen. It’s not always wet in Squamish but if you’re heading to a trail destination as green as Squamish, come prepared for a little water and also come prepared with a little of that surfer attitude. Beautiful green forests and trails need water so don’t get bummed about the wet as it’s what makes places like Squamish so special. Instead, be happy, find those opportunities, respect and understand the weather and nature, and work with it and not against it.

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