How's your MA (Mandatory Adventure)? EP. 2: Not Your Average Bikepacking Trip

Armed with bob trailers, proper mountain bikes (complete with coil shocks), and a loose plan we took off from Bellingham and headed north. The first goal was to make our way to Cumberland, BC, a small town a bit off the beaten path known for being the home of Forbidden Bikes and an extensive trail system.

Day 1: Riding into the unknown

Not sure where we'd end up with our 100lb rigs but we were psyched
7 frantic Canadian boarder patrol guards clued us in that we may have missed the "bike" boarding crossing
Another 20 miles to the ferry but the views weren't too shabby

 Waiting to load onto the ferry to bring us to Vancouver Island, we weren't the only big rigs boarding this ship
62 miles 1,550 ft
The 2-hour ferry brought us over to Nanaimo where we were able to find a great spot to bivy for the night before heading up the coast. Unfortunately, Vancouver Island's biggest industry, logging, was within earshot so we had the relaxing noises of a nearby sawmill to doze off to
Day 2 : Headed to the promise land
 Not the worst place to get your day going
Gettin' goin'! The bob's make all biking pretty exciting
A seemingly endless amount of coastline pedaling
We had a healthy amount of bike path which was sweet and decided we should probably roll up the sleeves and even out the tan lines...
 Nailed it...

Made it to Cumberland - first stop, Cumberland Brewery!

Within 5 minutes of walking in to the Cumberland Brewery, looking for food and cold beer, we had some friendly locals spark up a conversation wondering what we were doing pedaling those bikes with.. trailers? Pretty sure we still don't have the answer to that question, other than "we wanted to go mountain biking and wanted to get there by bike", a bike's a bike...right?

After a couple more at the brewery a local mountain bike guide and coach invited us back to their home and insisted that we stay with them for at least a couple days. Beat from the day and less than motivated to go find somewhere to set-up camp we graciously accepted and spent the evening talking trails and hearing about all that Cumberland had to offer.

81 miles 3,700 ft

 Day 3 - 7 : Trail riding, Gravity Nines

Initially we had intentions to make our way to a few other destinations on the Island and on the Sunshine Coast on the Powell River side but a vast trail system, friendly locals, and entertainment by Victoria's self-proclaimed "Kings of Toilet Metal" made it hard to leave.

We were turned on to a local challenge, called the Gravity Nines, by our gracious hosts which is a link-up of some of the best Gravity trails (DH only) in the main Cumberland system, thanks UROC! This ends up being ~8k of climbing and 40 or so miles on almost solely double blacks and some super fun trails! For those that are curious, we rode: 

  • Chunderbox
  • Prohibition
  • Cupcake
  • Bakers Dozen
  • Knuckers
  • DCDH
  • Bucket of Blood
  • Broadway
  • Off Broadway
Cumberlands Main trail system, definitely not the only trail system ;)
Morning from our base camp
Gettin prepped for a big day - luckily we brought plenty of wax lubewash + degreaser, and a chain brush to keep our rigs fresh and our drivetrains clean and smooth
Makin' moves from base camp
Everything looks flat; a taste of some of the fun stuff
Almost got away with no mechanicals but thanks to tire plugs we weren't down and out
Take the steep roots or the 10 footer on Chunderbox?
The trails are littered with fun features
Some more from the magical forests
A couple wrong turns but all smiles
An unlimited amount of good dirt
Day 8 : Back on the road, Sunshine Coast!
We opted to head over to Comox and pedal down the sunshine coast rather than head back the way we came, a good choice! That way we we able to link up some more ferry rides, break up the pedaling, and explore some more BC coastline. 
One last stop at probably our favorite place in town, the Cumberland bakery became a daily stop to at least pick up a pre-ride donut.
We may have underestimated how far the Comox - Powell River ferry was so it was a full sprint and fortunately 80% downhill to the terminal
Barely made it! Landing in Powell River
Plenty of time to head down the coast and catch the Saltery Bay Ferry 20 miles away
Gotta get your All-Dressed fix while in Canada
Saltery Bay to Earl's Cove was stunning - just taking off, spy the steeds?
Cheesiest dudes on the boat
Theme of the trip, this bar was actually pretty bad... sorry eat-more...
Made it to half moon bay just up the hill from Sechelt, home of Coast Gravity Bike Park that we didn't ride... just a big ole tease
Made it to Sechelt and Porpoise bay - Let's EAT!
103 miles 5,100 ft
Day 9 : Back to Vancouver
Another day waking up on the beach! Not in a huge rush to head back into the city
Taking the scenic route
Heading to Langdale to catch the last ferry over to Horseshoe Bay
Really not in a rush to get on the last ferry, so a stop at Persephone was warranted for a tasting before bombing the last hill to the ferry
Feelin' good and cruisin' down to the ferry
Another gorgeous ferry ride into Horshoe Bay
Adjusting back to city life and heading to the North Shore to crash and see what the birthplace of freeride was all about
55 miles 2,800 ft
Day 10: Northshore and Goodbyes
Our last day of the trip was filled with errands and logistics but we were able to fit in some laps on the Northshore!
Mt Fromme is exactly what we were looking for, on the climbing trail stoked for what's to come
Is this a shortcut?
Some skinny's and built up features all over the trail! FYI Fromme is ~ 1700 ft above town so it's a bit of a pedal up the hill to the trailhead.
Psyched we were able to sneak some laps in at Fromme we rode back into town to pack the bikes up with boxes that Steed Cycles had on hand!
Grabbed some dinner next to the bike shop; we definitely weren't traveling too far dragging our bikes around in boxes
The last leg, bikes on the bus from North Van
Crashing at the airport so we wouldn't miss our flight in the morning! Spoiler alert, we did... customs lines were excessive but fortunately there was one later in the day! One more curveball to close out the trip
Bellingham - Twassen - Nanaimo - Cumberland - Comox - Powell River - Sechelt - Vancouver 

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