A couple of weeks ago I was planning on a work trip to Vancouver and figured I’d head out a day early to ride some of the North Shore Trails. I wanted to take my Norco Torrent so the day before I spent an hour dismantling and figuring out how to pack my PLUS frame/wheels into a bike bag meant for road/26″ MTBs.
Prior to the trip I researched my options on Trailforks. The ‘North Shore’ is apparently 3 different mountain networks (Cypress, Fromme, Seymour) each with a slightly different flavor. I noticed one trail on Fromme had similar content to the Norco Promotional video, specifically Expresso, so that was a planned visit.
I decided to start with Seymour as it showed more Green/Blue options to ease myself into ‘Shore. Overall the experience on Seymour was actually disappointing. There was a ton of erosion – specifically on Bridal Path which is a collector trail for many of the trails. I also crossed Severed D which looked more like an old creek bed than a trail… Academy and Good Sir Martin were fun technical trails to climb.
I also rode John Deer which was a fairly fast but quite new and not bedded in, Baden Powell which is not categorized but had some damn steep black’ish sections, and finally Forever After which was fun but not epic or anything.
I was beginning to wonder if the ‘Shore was just hype and the riding really wasn’t what I was hoping for. I think part of the issue is that you can shuttle on Seymour so there’s a pile of local traffic bombing down on equipment which is probably too DH-specific to climb back up. An excess of DH bikes means that DH-like trails can be sought.
Prior to riding Fromme, I rode Seymour trails and met a local (Erik) who has a 7.1 Torrent himself. Erik was kind enough to offer a tour of Fromme. A couple of days later we connected and rode some really sweet trails.
Here’s a cool shot of the ‘siblings’ racked up for a ride.
We started by riding up Lower/Middle/Upper Griffen then up the closed-to-traffic Mountain Highway which had a perfect easy gradient as it switch backed up Fromme. We rode down Crinkum Crankum and then Kirkford. Really nice flowing trails with ample armour and wooden structures.
We climbed back up Mountain Highway and then hit Expresso.
Upon reaching ‘Big Smooth’ roll-out on Expresso, I took the time to study it and build up the nerve to roll it out. It’s far steeper/higher than what appears in the Norco Promo video (37-44 seconds). I figure 8-10 feet long and close to 70 degrees. Here’s a capture of the Norco video and me riding the same feature.
Overall Fromme was a really positive experience and I will definitely try and ride it again. I think that the lack of shuttling reduces traffic and therefore the types of bikes that are introduced.
We finished off a great ride at the popular ‘Black Bear’ restaurant for some well earned beer and grub.