Make the most of biking season

BikingSun Peaks is fast becoming a mountain biking mecca. It’s consistently rated as one of North America’s top mountain biking destinations, thanks to our lift accessed bike park. It’s also the regular host of the Canadian National Downhill Championships (returning to Sun Peaks from July 10 to 12), and the rise of Sun Peaks Recreational Trail Association (SPRTA) means cross-country biking in the area is also getting a boost.

Whether you’re just getting started, looking for some scenic cross-country (XC) rides, or wanting to up your skills in the downhill (DH) park, SPIN caught up with three local riders to share their tips on getting the most out of the biking season in Sun Peaks —Jase Petersen, acting president of SPRTA; Meghan Kolodka, SPRTA member; and Aidan Kelly, directory of sales and marketing for Sun Peaks Resort LLP.

Petersen has plenty of experience on the trails around Sun Peaks, and said he likes to mix things up between DH and XC. He recommends newer riders give both styles a try.

“Try as many different bikes as you can before you buy one. If you’re able to demo some bikes, you’ll get a good feel of what best suits your style of riding. I like to ride Rocky Mountain bikes personally, but everyone has a personal preference,” Petersen said.

Kolodka said biking made for a great form of transportation around Sun Peaks, and was an “excellent way to make the most of the beautiful summer weather.”

While Kolodka has been biking since she could walk, she said there was no need to find it intimidating, with Sun Peaks catering to all experience levels.

“Don’t like the idea of ripping down the downhill trails? Get a cruiser and head down the Valley Trail. Want to push yourself? Get a hard tail bike and head out on the McGillivray Lake Trail. If you want a bit more of a thrill, there are also lift accessed XC rides like Big Rock Ride to try out before you give the downhill bike park a try.”

Kelly said the Sun Peaks Bike Park offered a “little bit of everything,” and there had been a renewed focus this year on developing the beginner trails.

Just like skiing or snowboarding, bike trails are also categorized as green, blue, black, and double black, though many of the trickier features on the blue or black trails, such as jumps or steep drops, have “ride-around” paths.

Kelly suggested checking out Sun Peaks Resort’s DH intro package, which includes a two hour coaching lesson, a lift pass, and gear.

“There’s no better way to get started than with a local coach who can show you the best trails for your style and ability level.”

Kelly said Sun Peaks was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of biking in Interior B.C.

“All of B.C. is a biking mecca. You’ll find no shortage of trails wherever you turn. Kamloops has the shuttle accessed Harper Mountain and the Kamloops Bike Ranch. Most communities in B.C. have excellent DH trails.”

Check out the latest updates to the Sun Peaks Bike Park online.