As the birthplace of freeride, the North Shore of Vancouver is steeped in mountain biking history. Long, winding cedar bridges, high, skinny features and steep lines full of rocks and roots are what most people associate with trails in North Vancouver. These trails are everywhere but many of them have fallen into disrepair. Some descents are completely eroded, wooden features are falling apart and there’s the whole issue of legality when trails are built without permission.

The Shore is changing. The North Shore Mountain Bike Association has experienced a revitalization of the club and they are doing the same with their trails. A productive relationship has been formed with the District of North Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and Mount Seymour Provincial Park. The NSMBA builders now work together to lead volunteer groups in their Trail Adoption Program which brought 4400 hours of work to Seymour last year alone. The DNV’s new Bobsled trail on Fromme sees a few thousand people a week in the summer. The most amazing thing is that they’re just getting started.

When a group of experienced builders collaborate on projects, the the best ideas from each person come together for amazing results. It turns out that IMBA and the North Shore are a great fit. Trails that are fun for advanced riders can also be legal and sustainable. Even Digger (a local who’s done a little bit of trail building over the years) gave us two thumbs up. That’s an opinion that carries a lot of weight.

Legitimate builders are the ones progressing our art form. Individuals who work on “secret” trails don’t receive constructive feedback and they often take shortcuts because they lack the manpower required for major projects. In fact, they hinder the progress of all other builders because of the damage they do to our land managers’ trust. We can’t say thank you enough to all of you on the Shore who have stepped up and taken the future of our beloved sport into your capable hands.

Check out the nsmb article on the visit.