As the seasons change and sunny days become the norm, the thoughts of many in Sun Peaks begin to stray from spring skiing sessions to the mountain bike trails emerging from underneath the snow. While eagerly awaiting those first glorious singletrack laps of the summer, here’s five ways to ensure you’re ready to go as soon as the trails are rideable.
Tune your ride
After a winter spent in hibernation it’s time to dig out your trusty steed and give it some attention.
Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your bike rides well and continues to do so for a long time, but during the summer it can be hard to sneak in the downtime needed to perform some of the bigger tuning tasks. Pre-season is a great time to tackle more involved maintenance jobs like fork services, brake bleeds, and servicing frame bearings and pivots, all of which will have your bike feeling great right from the start of summer. It’s also a good time to check any wearable parts like brake pads or tires and replace them as needed.
If you’re lacking the tools or aren’t confident in your bike mechanic skills to take on some of the larger tuning jobs swing by Fall Line Tuning and Repair Centre in the village to drop off your ride for a pre-season tune.
Inspect your gear
Having your bike running smoothly is important, but when you hit the ground after getting a bit too zesty on a tricky patch of trail it’s your protective gear you’ll be thankful for. Take the time in spring to check over your helmet, gloves, knee pads, and other safety gear to make sure none of it’s worn out or broken. Be sure to repair or replace anything that needs it before you hit the trails for the first time.
Pre-season is also a good opportunity to organize your other riding gear. Restock your riding pack, clean your hydration bladder, and dig out your shoes so that you’re ready to go as soon as the trails are.
Prepare your body
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve spent all winter crushing big days in the backcountry then you’ve probably lost some riding fitness from last summer. All those après beers and Bottoms nachos don’t help either. The more fitness work you do leading up to bike season the more you’ll enjoy your first few rides, so hit the gym, jump on a bike trainer, or head out for a run to start getting some miles back in your lungs. At the very least do a bit of stretching before that first pedal to get warmed up, your body will thank you.
Remember to take things easy on your first couple of rides to get used to being in the saddle again, as well as regain your balance and bike handling skills. There’ll be plenty of days later in the summer to tackle epic distances and harder trails.
Purchase your trail membership and season pass
It’s hard to enjoy a fantastic summer of riding without the trails that make it all possible. Behind every awesome trail network in B.C. is an equally awesome group of passionate community volunteers advocating for access, planning new trails, and spending hours on maintenance to keep things in good shape. Purchasing a membership to support your local trail association, whether it’s SPRTA or the KBRA (or both!), is a great way to give some love back to the trails you ride regularly and ensure they stay in good shape for the season ahead.
For all you Sun Peaks Bike Park fans out there, season passes usually go on sale a few weeks after ski season ends in mid-April. Make sure you snag your pass to lock in another epic summer of shredding.
We’re all eager to get out on two wheels as early as possible when winter ends but, as always, Mother Nature has the final say. While many of the trails in Kamloops will probably be good to go by the time you read this, trails in Sun Peaks are likely to still be a few weeks away from acceptable riding condition.
Riding trails before they’ve had a chance to fully dry out causes ruts that take a lot of work for builders to fix, while riding around puddles and muddy sections widens trails and reduces the amount of precious singletrack available to all of us. To avoid these issues, refrain from riding trails too early in the season and walk your bike around any wet patches you encounter on your ride. Local trail associations, bike shops, and TrailForks.com are all good resources to find out more about the conditions of your local trails and when they are ready to go.
With a bit of preparation and a touch of patience you’ll be well on your way to another awesome summer of biking this year!