“Oh, God” I thought as I got into the car. “I hope that my legs havn’t gotten too weak”. I had bought Dave’s Qu-ax trials a few weeks before and had been riding the 20 inch rim constantly as the 24 inch muni sat around and gathered dust. It was time to bring the muni out again though. My family was taking a vacation to New Denver, British Columbia, a beutifull old mining town on the shore of Lake Slocan. There are lots of awesome mountain bike trails that follow along the old railroads that used to come and go from the old, now mostly abondoned mines, there.
Once we got going, I couldn’t wait! We climbed into the spectacular
mountains of lower B.C… I’ve been through here many times but the scenery never fails to amaze me. It didn’t take long untill we began winding down into the Slocan Valley, in the middle was Lake Slocan and New Denver!
After we set up our tent, me and my brother went across the park to check out the bike park. it’s really cool. Since freeriding here is what skateboarding is to the city, the city built a sweet little stunt park. We fooled around the park for about a half an hour and then decided to hit the trails.
The first trail would be a hike/ride. That is, I would ride my muni down the trail while my family would hike behind me. The trail follows a bit of the railbed of the, now defunked, Kaslo & Slocan Railway. It’s really cool cuz it goes by quite a few abondoned mines as well as having spectacular views of the mountains. When we got to the trailhead, I was ready to ride. I shouldered my bag, hopped onto my muni and after taking a few hops, getting used to the bigger wheel again, I was off.
My dad shot a pic of me crossing a bridge by a small waterfall right at the start of the trail but after that I was on my own and would take my own pictures.
I was pleased to see that it didn’t take long for my leg muscles to kick back in and I started to get some speed going. Knowing that during this season, mother bears were out with their cubs, I was carefull to make my presence known to any bears that might be in the area and began singing Pete Seeger songs. Before very long at all, I rode past the enterance to an old mine. The enterance was almost burried in a mountain of tailings and the office was all in shambles. There were trees starting to grow around the crumbling building. Nature was taking it all back.
After cruising down the old railbed for about a mile or so, the trail broke off from the railbed and went into a sweet curving singletrack with really fun ups and downs. every so often, a mountain stream waterfall would cross the trail. on the larger streams a small bridge was put up. You ride across the smaller ones.
Once in a while you would come into the railbed again and then break off again. Whenever you joined the railbed you would get grand views off the mountains and glaciers and you would ride by long pieces of rusted track, rotting tyes and other railroad and mine equipment.
When you got back on the singletrack, you would ride through a wonderful dense forrest. It was awesome! I couldn’t say how long it took but before long, I had to turn off to get to my “station”, the trailhead to another mountain trail. I turned off of the railbed onto yet another singletrack which turned out to have a fair amount of downhill as well as XC in it. It was constantly making steep, sharp switchbacks down the mountain, occasionaly going into a straight down descent and then coming back to more switchbacks. It was a blast! It spitted me out on the highway, a few hundred feet above the trailhead to the Galena Trail. Another Railroad trail. This trail is more devoloped but in no way less fun. After the rest of my family got to the trailhead (the lazy slackers ;p), they got on their bikes and we were off. I was feeling really good about my legs now and kept up with my family for the first two kilometers.
after the first two kilometers, in leu of a bridge, there’s a really cool cable-car that ferries you across Carpanter Creek. My dad went across first, and then me but my little brother couldn’t get his bike onto the rack so I had to come across and help him. It would be very unwise for two people to take the cable-car at the same time so he went across first, took off his
bike and then he and dad were off. I chilled out at the cable-car for a while.
It’s right below the mining boom ghost-town (spooky!) of Alamo. It’s a crazy total wreck now!
After that I crossed the creek, got on my muni and started riding again. It was peacefull and very relaxing. Riding in the shade of the forrest, listening to the sound of the creek to my side. After afew minutes I could see my family stopped on a bridge with their bikes. I was thinking “Why the hell would they be waiting for me??”
They weren’t. When they saw me they rode up to me and told me that when they were coming down a section of trail, they saw what they thought was a dog. When my dad put on his brakes, the “dog” heard it and turned around. It was a bear cub. Not knowing where the mother was, they backtracked a safe distance and waited for me while the mother and cub shipped out. We went through the section, making sure to let the bears know where we were.
“We’re sorry, Bears. We’re just a bunch of stupid Americans. You understand, don’t you?”
After this incident, nothing else happened. we flowed through the woods where decades ago trains hauled and silver and galena ore to smelters. there was an occasional bridge or boardwalk.
before long, we found ourselves back in New Denver. We went to chillax by the beatiful lake later in the evening.
I hope that you all enjoyed the write-up! it’s hard to put those trails to words.
here’s a little XC vid that we filmed on the first trail. hope you enjoy it!
I’ll catch you all later! Peace, Jackie