Bear Mountain’s mountain bike course designer Jordie Lunn pauses for a photo on Bike Park Avenue

High adventure on two wheels in Langford

Tackling Bear Mountain with mountain bike pro Jordie Lunn

Stand up, bend your knees and keep your feet level.”

Mountain bike expert Jordie Lunn balances effortlessly as he demonstrates technique.

As a first-time mountain biker, I listen intently as the course designer for Bear Mountain Resort offers up the basics while I look over my dress pants and dress shoes. I throw a hoody over my dress shirt – perhaps I’m not as prepared as I could have been – but there is no turning back. I have been looking forward to this for weeks.

Lunn gives my bike a last look, turning a dial on my shocks before we head out.

“It’s just an adjustment,” he says. “It’ll make it a little stiffer for you.” That may be a polite way of saying my 270 lbs. is a little heavy for the bike’s current shock settings, but I don’t say anything as we pedal into Bike Park Avenue for my first taste of the course.

Heading into the first turn, the first thing I notice is the view from the top of the mountain, down the trail and into Bear Mountain’s Valley course. I’ve been here before, but seeing the winding paths whisk underneath my wheels, while the mountains and trees edged ever so slowly by us, strikes me as unique.

Despite taking the corners gingerly, I’m forced to stop on my way down after taking a turn too straight. Lunn doesn’t have that problem, as his bike weaves through the course, his wheels almost glued to the trail even as he navigates almost sideways along the walls of the steeper embankments.

“(Sharper turns) are a commitment thing … and trusting your bike,” he says. “Your tires are going to hook up, but that all comes with time and experience right?”

He points at one of my knees: one is completely rigid, with most of my weight on that side of the bike – just like he told me not to do. I’m also sitting on the seat as we decline, without realizing it. I’m zero for three as we cross a golf cart passage and make our way down a grassy hill and underneath a canopy of trees. We are now on the single-track portion of the trail, where even the smell is beautiful.

Here the riding is slightly more challenging, with uphills to accompany the downs and roots and foliage providing natural obstacles. The final incline takes us to a clearing, where the buzz of a generator cuts through the silence and a giant airbag languishes just beyond a 6.5-foot high ramp.

“With the air bag, anybody can hit it, it just takes a bit of guts to hit the first time,” Lunn says.

Climbing to the top of the hill that declines into the ramp, I accept that this is happening. The 17-year mountain bike professional’s voice is in my ear as I bear down on the handlebars. “You got this,” he says.

Against my better judgment I line myself up at the top of the embankment as Lunn reminds me not to let go of the bike, and to “pre-load,” or press down on the handle bars as I glide into the ramp.

Slowly I step off the ground onto the pedals, pushing off into the descent that launches me further from the earth than I have ever been without being on my feet. One second I’m on top of the hill, the next I’m preloading my bike, a moment later I am airborne. Today I’m wondering how to tell me wife I want to buy a mountain bike.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Did you know?

  • The Family Flow Trail is one of many mountain bike features at Bear Mountain Resort. The beginner-oriented trail is growing, with a full 5-km loop set for completion in March.
  • All trails on the mountain are open to the public. Use your own bike or rent one at The Hub in the North Langford Adventure Centre. Cyclists are encouraged to check in at The Hub to learn about the trails before heading out.
  • The bike park, featuring big jumps and an airbag, is the only membership-required area. Participants must sign a waiver and can only use the park when it is open and a safety attendant is on site.

Just Posted

Crews respond after Langford brush fire jumps to shed

No injuries reported, cause of fire unknown

Truck of Metchosin suspicious death victim found in Oak Bay

Martin Payne, 60, was found deceased in his Metchosin home after being reported missing

PHOTOS: Hundreds of models on display at Saanichton car show

39th annual Fords and Friends Car Show and Shine a success

Vehicle driven into North Saanich sewage pump station

Crews advising some North Saanich residents to avoid flushing toilets

West Shore RCMP bike unit patrols led to 65 arrest warrants, 77 criminal charges in one year

There are currently four members on the year-round bike patrol unit

VIDEO: Using scrap materials, man build workout equipment at B.C. tent city

Made of reused wood, ropes and metal, the machine could be Shane Knight’s ticket to competitions

Canadian officials flagged 900 food items from China with ‘problems’ over 2 years

The scrutiny of agricultural goods has been central to a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China

Gasoline companies to speak at public inquiry into B.C. pump prices

Premier John Horgan ordered the inquiry in May when prices at the pump reached $1.70 a litre

B.C. woman jailed for child pornography after sharing photos of grandchildren online

Grandma sentenced to 14 months behind bars for concerning and explicit online chats with stranger

Loved ones of Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh mourn after terrorist attack

She moved back to Somalia last year in an effort to tell positive stories of her home country

Marathon votes, high stress work is going to kill someone, say some MPs

Some resort to wearing diapers to help get them through all-night votes

Concerns mount over ‘criminalization’ of detained migrants in Canada

The agency decided all officers working in these centres must be outfitted in protective and defensive equipment

Trudeau stresses balancing economy, environment during brief Stampede visit

The prime minister took aim at his conservative opponents in his remarks

Another Canadian citizen has been detained in China, Global Affairs confirms

Xuzhou city police told The Associated Press three Chinese people were also detained in the alleged drug arrests

Most Read