Ollie & Sallys Honeymoon, Vancouver & North Shore Trails

19 06 2011

After all the excitement of the actual wedding day we finally got ready to depart on our honeymoon to Canada – the real reason we wanted to get married!

After a 2.30am wakeup call we managed to get ourselves and all our appropriate clothing, gear, and of course the bikes, to the airport for our 7.45 flight to Vancouver. We flew with Canadian Affair, who provided very reasonable rates at just under £1k for the two of us return. However, as we wanted to fly on a Tuesday we did have to stop at Edmonton which made for a very long flight, finally arriving at Vancouver about 11am local time. Ollie was pleased as it meant he ended up having 5 meals in one day!

We then had a couple of days in Vancouver city to be ‘tourists.’ However, being mountain bikers we couldn’t resist the urge to get out on the bikes, so on the Wednesday we built the bikes on the balcony and decided to ‘pop up the hill’ to the world famous ‘North Shore’ trails. After visiting the local bike shop via the Seabus to pick up a trail map and some words of wisdom, we headed up onto Mt Fromme to try a couple of the ‘blue trails.’

Vancouver Seabus

We started out on Bobsled, a ‘blue’ graded trail. Now, blue trails in Canada are about the same as ‘black’ in the UK, so this was quite a daunting start! However, this was a lovely trail, smooth and flowy, and one you would be able to get a lot of speed on once you got to know it. This spat us out at the bottom of the hill, and so, after a ride back up to the top we decided to try the next trail ‘Fluffy Bunny.’ This is also a blue graded trail according to the trail map, although the sign post was still marked as black so I assume this was recently down rated. This was a bit more technical, with some decent drop off’s (that I couldn’t ride!) and a bit more wood work.

Riding Bobsled

After a longer climb this time, we thought we would try our luck on one of the North Shore signature trails, Pipeline. Again, according to the map this trail was blue graded, although the trail head sign still said it was a black trail. This trail was beyond my ability level – lots of technical drop offs and narrower woodwork – although I think if I had time to try and crack the various sections it would all be pretty rideable. Ollie managed to ride the vast majority of it, although wimped out at the see-saws saying he didn’t have armour on! Excuses!

Riding Pipeline

We only rode a couple of trails on one part of the mountain. There really is a vast amount or riding here – which would warrant months of riding by themselves. At least we can say we have ridden some of the ‘real’ North Shore trails now though!

By the time we had ridden back to our hotel we must have done about 30km, so we were quite tired and decided to eat in the hotel. That evening was the final of the Stanley cup, between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. Ice hockey is pretty much the national sport of Canada, and so this was a big game for everyone concerned. Unfortunately the Canucks lost, and riots followed in downtown Vancouver, just a couple of blocks from our hotel. Whilst we didn’t see any of the riot itself, we did see black smoke in the sky from our balcony from a car that had been set on fire. In the following days, all the ‘Vancouverites’ that we spoke to were very apologetic about the shenanigans, and generally seemed really embarrassed about what had happened. Unfortunately it was just a small number of people who had set out to make trouble, and is not a true reflection on the people of Vancouver.

In the following days we went whale watching from Steveston Bay for the day where we saw a number of Orca whales, followed by a ‘relaxing’ ride around Stanley park on a hired Tandem (as you can imagine it wasn’t actually very relaxing at all with us bickering the whole way round!), followed by a relaxing meal at the 5 star restaurant at the top of Grouse mountain, whilst overlooking the city of Vancouver as it started to light up for the evening…thanks for the recommendation Bob 

Vancouver from Grouse Mountain

It was then back to the hotel for our final night before hitting the trails of Whistler where the holiday was really going to start…

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6 responses

19 06 2011
hobbz

jealous

19 06 2011
Ming The Merciless

VERY Jealous, enjoy.

19 06 2011
Rich_f

wow! Great to hear from you both – glad its all going well 🙂 do give us some more updates if you find the time (when not out riding Whistlers lovely trails )

R D C

19 06 2011
Darth

Great to hear from you congeatulations

( in touch with my feme side ) can we see the Dress!!!

20 06 2011
Jo (Glimmer)

I am SHREK with envy. ENJOY the rest of the trip – for yourselves foremost of course, but also for the armchair travellers back here too.

Darth: the dress was a stunner, as was the bride. Groom not so bad either! 😉

Jo

27 06 2011
Gez

Amazing!

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