If I remember correctly, I started mountain biking in 1985. I worked all summer in West Vancouver landscaping to save enough money to get my first bike — a blue and white Gary Fisher Montare.
From the get go I was hooked, I mostly used my bike to get my skinny 15 year old legs stronger for ice hockey try outs in the fall, and ski season in the winter. By the summer of 1986, I started racing my mountain bike and had instant dreams of becoming the next John Tomac. Only a handful of people had mountain bikes at my high school in North Vancouver, which eventually became the place they call the North Shore — the birth place of free-ride mountain biking. One thing I remember most about riding back then was that you could get lost for hours and never run into a soul. Now, there is a constant flow of mountain bikers from all parts of the world.
But something happened along the way amongst this mass of free riders. My brother and his friend Dean Mason noticed something. While the masses were riding the busy popular trails on their monster bikes, you could slip away for hours on your cross-country mountain bike on trails that were ridden years ago, and barely see a tread mark.
To me their vision and rediscovery opened my eyes to what has been there right in front of me all along. For that I am thankful. It felt good to be taken back on memory lane to a ride and journey amongst a place I already know.
PHOTOS Mike Traslin /Andy Traslin
For information on trails check out the North Shore Mountain Bike Association‘s website.