Mariana-Trip to Silver Star & Sun Peaks

Ripping the trails of Silver Star (near Vernon, BC) & Sun Peaks (Kamloops, BC) was our idea. But then we couldn’t resist jumping into every lake on our way to Vernon. There are so many wonderful lakes in BC! Silver Star’s bike park is great! Some trails are even way better than anything in Whistler. Ripping down World Cup DH, Double Dog, Flow, Pipe Dream (a real dream!), and Rockstar. Shitty weather but a whole lot of fun with Mariana!

Ripping the trails of Silver Star in shitty muddy weather…

Mariana & me at Shuswap Lake…

Whistler, Whistler, Whistler

Long time no post on this blog… I’m still in Whistler. A lot happened, I met a lot of nice people, was riding a lot of crazy trails, just had a lot of fun.

Right, I’m a lucky guy to be here. My arm doesn’t hurt anymore that bad and for over a week now I can ride the park again. And that’s what I am here for!

When I got back from Vancouver Island there was the big Pemberton Music Festival going on on Pemby’s airport area, an open-air event with over 40,000 people. I got up with Anne right before the concert of Tom Petty started and instead of watching the concert from somewhere up on the mountain we just sneaked in jumping over a tiny creek. It was a great concert! Free falling…!! With a lot of dust in the air but we survived that.

Once my arm got better I started to ride again on those Lost Lake trails like Peaches en Regalia, Dinah Moe Humm, Fountain of Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Dwarf Nebula, Zoot Alures, Toads of the short forest, Gee I like your pants, Son of Mr Green Genes, Jellyroll Gumdrop – nice names, huh? To round this trip up, get up on the hill above Alpine, ride all the way up and take one of those steep downhill trails which brings you down to “A River Runs Through It” – a wonderful trail with tons of ladder bridges and teeter-totters.

Every Wednesday night they play a movie at Lost Lake – you should definitely check this out! (see Lunafliks) It’s wonderful to sit under the starry sky. Just watch out when you get out there on the valley trail, don’t run into a bear. Last time I almost did, just suddenly saw something black right in front of me. And look at this lovely bear:

On August 1st I met some Swiss guys, Sascha & Aurelia which I knew from back home. It was nice meeting them but we missed each other in the evening and I couldn’t celebrate Swiss national day  with them, there were just Czechs and Solovaks (thanks to Petr) around me at Merlin’s.

Aug 2nd Lili invited us for dinner at her apartment in Emerald’s. She prepared wonderful fish food and we spent such a funny night…
Beware of Emerald’s hoodie gang!

Now I’m ripping the park as much as I can. A week ago I met Jean and Mariana and did some great top-to-bottom riding with them. They are great riders! Look at Mariana’s wonderful smile after some wonderful tables on Freight Train:

The week after Crankworx I will go with her to rip the trails in Kamloops & Silver Star. This is gonna be great!

Last Wednesday Petr, Dom & Pascale took me up on the peak of Whistler mountain and we did some great DH all the way down to Creekside. You can get up there by chairlift only if you’re together with a bike patrol, so thanks a lot Dom for taking us up there!

Let’s make the rest of this post short… it’s just a lot of fun over here. That’s my plans: riding the park this last week and watch at least Crankworx’s slopestyle event on Saturday. Then some days with Mariana in Kamloops & Silver Star – will be great riding our bike there. After that I’m going on a road trip in the US to Yellowstone national park together with Lili. This will be great, she’s such a wonderful girl and we’re going to take our tent and rent a car in Seattle. That’s her:

Gotta get to the park now, Crankworx is going on…

Tofino, Vancouver Island

My trip to Tofino… there’s not a lot to say about it, it was just wonderful!

I got over to Vancouver Island with the BC ferry from Horseshoe Bay. That’s where I started to realize what a huge island Vancouver Island actually is. If a ferry carries trucks and buses, two floors of cars, you can go jogging on the top deck, it got seven floors, an elevator takes you up there, pissoirs look like some five star hotel juvels, … If a ferry is that big, the island where it’s going to must be even bigger, I though.

I ended up on highway 19A hitchhiking over to Tofino. First I was holding a “Tofino” sign and after a while I gave up on that and just wrote “Parksville” on it. Parksville’s just around the corner I though and definitely somebody is going to pick me up. But there were still those other two hitchhikers in front of me not getting on a car either. Finally I made it over to Tofino. It took me a while but it was worth it, I met some pretty interesting people on that trip. I had four lifts to get over there. The first guy just drove me to the next shopping mall, the second lady drove me up to Parksville and it blew me almost off her jeep – I was glad to get off again. Then, a construction worker drove me all the way over to Port Alberni. There I was lucky. That 24-year-old guy headed right to Tofino. He was like “Hey man, grab that mojito behind your seat! Kill it!”. He drunk driving and told me he was already driving for over 12 hours and stopped at every pub on the way. Suddenly he pulled over, grabbed the CD sleeve and poured some coke on it. After that line of coke he was again ready to drive and put some gangsta rap music on. I was not afraid; he drove that car pretty good, I was just a bit worried about that kid.

I made it to Tofino before the sunset and got right to Tonquin Park beach when the sky was glaring in a wonderful red. I was just going to settle down on Tonquin beach when Cut passed by and told me “Hey, better get over there to the next beach, they won’t check that one.” I ended up climbing through the rain forest to get down to the second beach. Down there was just like a huge hippie community – everybody sitting around the campfire, singing and Cut playing his guitar like a rock star. Later on in the night I took my stuff and found some nice quiet spot further down on the beach. Hell, was I sleeping well!

The next two nights I spent in the HI-Hostel, the Whalers on the Point guesthouse. Lucky as I am the hostel was full and they put me into the games room, sleeping right next to the pool table. The next day I checked out Long Beach. Again I was hitching down there. Just about the 5th car picked me up and guess who was in there – Cut again, he went fishing with his friend. Long Beach is a wonderful beach, a really long beach, guess you couldn’t give it a different name.

While hitching back to Tofino those nice girls picked me up and I showed them the way to Tonquin Park beach:

Wednesday I was on a whale-watching trip up to the Hot Springs. We saw Orcas (killer whales), otters and grey whales…

The Hot Springs were like really hot (over 50°C). This was really relaxing – especially the small pool where the warm water from the spring gets mixed by ocean water. I could have stayed there forever but we had to get back on the boat. That was a fun trip where I met you guys, Raphi & Renate.

My last night I preferred to sleep again on the beach. I went down to Cox Bay beach. It’s not as long as Long Beach, but also pretty huge. I was hanging on the beach the whole afternoon and then just stared for about 3 hours into the sun – This sunset was amazing! It was like the most wonderful sunset I have ever seen!

The beach was all mine. Most of the people already left it before that wonderful sunset. I settled down on a quiet spot and fell asleep while watching shooting stars that just didn’t want to stop.

Friday morning the Tofinobus just didn’t want to pick me up on Cox Bay, so I asked for a refund and ended up again hitchhiking. Lucky me! Adrian Dorst, a great photographer drove me down to Ucluelet. From there two crazy chicks drove me all the way over to Nanaimo. It was fun riding with them! Another two lifts from Nanaimo and I was back in Whistler, home sweet home.

recovering in Vancouver

Last Wednesday I hurt myself up on Freight Train. I fell right off the trail landing way too much on my front wheel after a huge jump. I fell right into those trees and lucky as I am a young flexible tree was holding me back. If I wouldn’t have worn my armor and my full-faced helmet, I would be gone by now. It was time to get down to Vancouver to relax a bit.

Vancouver’s a great city! Whole downtown is surrounded by parks & beaches, you can go anywhere in downtown by foot or with a rent bike and it’s just somehow a quiet city even though it looks really busy if you see all those huge skyscrapers. North of downtown you’ll find the huge Stanley Park, a wonderful place to hang out. There’s nice beaches, interesting wildlife, Beaver Lake, the Lost Lagoon, huge trees, and the gigantic Lions Gate Bridge.

My first day I did everything by foot, walked all around Stanley Park’s boardwalk. It was winding like crazy. I have never seen something like this before – blue sky with a stormy crazy wind that almost blows you away. I was wondering how those people can live like this and how everybody says Vancouver belongs to the world’s top first places to live. But then that guy on the beach told me: “This is very very special! We have never had a wind like this before. Tomorrow will be different, it’ll be all quiet again!”

Vancouver downtown view from the Lions Gate Bridge:

In Standley Park you can find a whole bunch of wild animals. Around the Lost Lagoon there are a lot of racoons. Suddenly there was a whole family standing in front of me staring at me:

Friday and Saturday I was renting a bike on Robson St at Arash’s bike store. Don’t forget to trade in the bike rental coupon which can be found on the 3D city map and you’ll get a full-day rental for $17 (instead of $26). I forgot but Arash gave me a good price the second day.

On my first day I was swimming in the ocean on Third Beach. Water temperature was like 18°C but the wind was terribly cold. The second day I got to the pool on Second Beach – a nice swimming pool right next to the ocean with water temperature of 26°C. Riding a bike in Vancouver is a great thing, there are so many nice bike trails and you’ll get around so fast. If you need some camping or bike equipment, check out Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) in South Vancouver on W. Broadway/Columbia, right accross the Cambie Bridge.

For the two nights I stayed in HI-Downtown Hostel. It’s a huge hostel with not really a lot of charm, just a typical HI styled hostel. The first night was just horrible, they didn’t let us sleep at all. The fire alarm got off 3 times, the whole building had to be evacuated 3 times! Well, fireman didn’t care too much as the next fire station is just around the corner.

I will definitely go down to Vancouver again. It’s a really nice city! I could imagine living here becoming one of those bike messengers…

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