Biking single-track on the greenbelt.

Mountain biking: Exploring local trails with the pedal and pint crew

Every week Brent Strand leads the Pedal and Pint ride around Revelstoke. Often, he’ll take you on trails you never knew existed

“Hey Brent! Where are we going today?”

“The town tour!”

And off we set into Centennial Park – 26 riders strong – through easy, flowy trails along the Greenbelt; across the Illecillewaet Bridge, past the Selkirk Saddle Club, up a steep climb to Arrow Heights, across Airport Way, into a network of trails in the woods around Williamson’s Lake. We stopped at the beach for a breather, and then ducked back into the woods, up to Camozzi Road to some trails that took us down to the Illecillewaet River, then over to maze of trails on CPR Hill where we put our headlamps on, and finally to the River City Pub, where beer and nachos awaited.

It was a mix of rolling single track, easy double-track; steep technical downhill sections and only a little bit of pavement – all within the city boundaries. It was Thursday – the night of the weekly Pedal and Pint ride, when upwards of 30 people meet up every week to explore Revelstoke’s single-track network – both the official and unofficial trails.

The first pedal and pint ride was eight years ago when Brent Strand decided to start up a group ride. Since then, the rides have gone every Thursday, rain, snow or shine. He’s been stood up twice, but he still went for a ride and stopped off at the River City Pub afterwards. He still leads the rides, choosing the routes and keeping everyone together. He’s loud and enthusiastic, and a passionate mountain biker. He knows every trail in the area, and more.

A typical pedal and pint ride involves goes 20-25 kilometres, and involves two to three hours of riding. The rides all start outside the community centre and branch out from there. The rides have a reputation of being tough, and to say otherwise would be lying. Still, while the pace can be fast, stops are frequent and no one is left behind. That’s the first rule of pedal and pint (the second and third are to pay for what you eat and drink, and tip the waitress well).

Some rides go up to the 5K loop in Mount Revelstoke National Park, with some laps of the CPR Hill trails thrown in for good measure. Others times, it’s off to Mt Macpherson to hit up the great trail network there. Once we biked through the Big Eddy to an old dirt bike trail that connected us to the Boulder Mountain downhill trails and a couple of fast descents.

Then there was Relentless, which more than lived up to its name. We biked out south of town along Airport Way turning off onto what looked like an old logging road that gradually faded into grown over single track. The narrower it got, the steeper it was until finally it plateaued and we had a nice, flowy descent that linked up with the Mt. Cartier trail. We biked to the viewpoint overlooking the Upper Arrow Lake, turned around and ripped back down to the road. It was a trail that isn’t for the faint of hard, but is part of the beauty of the rides – they’re a chance to explore new trails, or see old ones in a new light, and a chance to push yourself

The most people to show up for a ride is 37. Last summer, about 30 people showed up to bike the epic Sale Mountain downhill trail. By the time the shuttles delivered everyone to the top, it had started raining. Still, down everyone went.

In a thunder storm.

In the dark.

Afterwards, while waiting for the stragglers to arrive, everyone hung around Martha Creek Provincial Park drinking beers next to an illuminated red mountain bike. It was the closest thing to a fire available on that cold night. Two visitors from Canmore said we were nuts. They were probably right.

Last year the crew set a new record by pedaling for 37 weeks straight. The final ride was in December with snow on the ground. Still, a few hardy souls showed up, pedaled from one end of CPR Hill to the other and then went to the bar.

Pedal and Pint rides leave from outside the community centre every Thursday at 6 p.m. Bring a headlamp, because you migh be biking until it’s dark.

 

Just Posted

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Revelstoke Grizzlies celebrate the end of their regular season with awards

Their last game is on Saturday and the playoffs start next week

MP Stetski calls for more funding for rural internet

Stetski says there is a growing digital divide between rural and urban communities

Revelstoke Search and Rescue calls Feb. 11-17

Revelstoke Search and Rescue reports their activities to Emergency Management BC who… Continue reading

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Shuswap athletes help Team BC to podium at Canada Winter Games

Speed-skater wins bronze, ringette player contributes to playoff victory

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Bursaries available for trades students at Okanagan College

“With this bursary, we want women to know that there is a place for you in this industry and a place for you to excel.”

A mother’s warning: Man follows Peachland teen to her home from Kelowna

The teen’s mother is warning others about the incident

Kelowna RCMP urge hit and run driver to turn themselves in

An alleged hit and run occured late Feb. 18

Most Read