Date: December 6, 2019
Location: Sunshine Coast
Distance: ~65 km (about 25 km of single track), ~1300 meters climbed
With the dreaded shoulder season dragging on and on, Brittany and I rented a house in Sechelt for the weekend with friends. To make it more interesting, we took Friday off work and rode the mountain bike trail network from the ferry landing in Langdale until Davis Bay.
We left our house just before sunrise and got soaked as we crossed downtown on our way to the Lions Gate Bridge. North of the bridge the weather was clearer and we arrived in Horseshoe Bay with plenty of time to spare before the 9:45 ferry to the Sunshine Coast. The electronic gate at the ferry terminal was broken so we brought our big bikes up the escalator to the pedestrian walkway over to the ferry berth.
With our wet clothes, the ferry ride was a bit chilly but we landed on the other side and began riding by 10:30. It gets dark around 4:00 and the weather was dreary so we wasted no time climbing up to Wharf Road and joining the trail network just 2 km from the ferry landing. For the next four or five hours we wended our way across the network from Sprockids park in Langdale to the Sechelt Wilson FSR/Field Road that spit us out on the highway just before Davis Bay.
We have both ridden this route before for the Swift Summer Solstice Campout that has been organized at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park just north of Sechelt. This was my third time generally following the route on bikepacking.com but always getting at least a little bit lost in the forest.
Neither of us had mountain biked since before our year-long sabbatical and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Climbing technical sections over roots and wet rock, shifting your body weight and keeping momentum. The skills didn’t seem as rusty as I expected and the descents, with suspension forks reinstalled, were fast and smooth.
At 3:00 pm the forest started getting very dark as the rain restarted. We picked up the pace and sped down the last forest road descent to the highway in the fading light. With our bike lights on, we pedalled the dirty shoulder with coursing rainwater next to the busy road. We got into Sechelt a little after 4:00 pm and picked up some beer and cans of soup. In the liquor store I was given priority in the line as I dripped a puddle on the floor.
By 5:15 we were installed in the rental house with our one set of clothing in the wash. While we waited for the dryer cycle, we took a dip in the hot tub and ate our soup. Soon our friends arrived by car on an evening ferry and we started the second stage of the weekend: celebrating Brittany’s forthcoming 30th birthday with pie, spaetzle, more mountain biking in West Sechelt, and board games.