Having sampled just a fraction of Fromme (you could seriously spend a week just there and never hit every trail, let alone tire of them) I met up with Lee and Sharon again for a couple of shuttle runs on Mt. Seymour….. but first we were treated to a killer meat, potatoes and eggs feast by Andrew Knowles at the Lynn Valley Bed and Breakfast where we were staying. If you ever get a chance to ride the North Shore, you must consider staying here. It is literally right at the start of the Mt. Fromme trails at the top of Mt. Highway and Andrew and Vanessa are the most welcoming, generous hosts we have ever encountered at a B&B. It’s like coming home for thanksgiving but instead of your own family who may annoy you, you’ve got a disarmingly jovial, quick-to-kid British fellow and his charming wife to cater to your every need. Nice, nice people. Great place to stay.
The description from Wade Simmons’ and Sharon Bader’s “Locals’ Guide to North Shore Rides” for Mt. Seymour sums up what this peak’s rides entail. “Mount Seymour is the hard working, blue collar brother, able to accommodate heavily travelled cross-country, freeride, and downhill trails. Being the furthest east, its dark wet forests offer a variety of trails to explore. The intense trailbuilding efforts of NSMBA and other groups ensure that the trails on Seymour are well drained and able to handle high levels of traffic, no matter how heinous the weather.”
Weather for us was very uncharacteristically dry for this late in the year, with blue bird skies and moderate temps the whole week. This dry-lander appreciated the lack of slick mud and snotty roots even though this may have deprived me of the classic North Shore experience. Although Lee and Sharon kept apologizing for the lack of tackiness to the soil I still found it to be much more grippy and loamy than anything I ride in Nevada.
The bike for the day was the Knolly Chilcotin in size medium with RP23 shock, standard north shore Minion DHF tire up front with an Ardent out back, a nice parts mix, and pink grips (to make me faster :thumbsup:), generously loaned to me by Sharon. The climb up Seymour was done mostly by truck thanks to Lee who then hiked down and met us at various locations for photo ops so I didn’t get in any long fire road climbing to compare it to the Slayer but in the little seated climbing I did do I was pleasantly surprised at how well the medium frame fit me. Even with a relatively short stem, it did not feel as cramped in the top tube as the Slayer. As soon as I stood up the sizing felt just fine for this type of technical riding.
I think the trails we did included TNT, Dales’s and a bunch of others that I can’t remember (or shouldn’t mention) but I do know they were fun, deeper in the dense mossy green woods, and a bit loamier than Fromme. Lots of ladders and bridges, rock rollers, log skinnies, and more berms.
Maybe all girls ride well up here in BC, but I was impressed with Sharon’s skills.
I really liked how the Chilcotin handled sketchy tech sections where wheel placement is crucial. Very sharp and accurate handling.
Manualling up onto rock lips and powering up the many short rooty, rocky climbs also proved to be a Chilcotin strong suit. The rear wheel tracked the ground and found traction as long as I had the legs to keep the cranks moving.
I left the shock in the steep setting all day and didn’t have any problems with pedal strikes nor did it seem to shirk or get sketched on steep rollers and chutes. If we had ventured onto some of the double black trails I’m sure the slacker HA would’ve been appreciated.