VOC Babies Go Mountain Biking (intro to mountain biking)

Instructors: Melissa Bernstein, Adam Steele, Mitchel Seiler

Students: Jill Finnegan, Ivan Fediaev, Niloofar Khoshsiyar, David A Brooks, Calista Abaun, Sidhant Vaidyanathan, Kushi Nilesh Patil, David Barkemeyer, Derek Stanyer

On Sunday, May 28th, three studious instructors took on nine eager students ready to learn all they could about mountain biking on a half-day rental. The plan was to meet at Dialed In Cycling at 8:45am to pick up our mountain bikes and sort ourselves out into groups.

Behold! Our glorious rentals.

Student briefing. 


Adam Steele (orange helmet), prepared to teach. 


After a bit of faff (there were also two Davids in our group which happened to also have to same first letter of their last name “B” which added extra faff to labeling the bikes) getting our bikes and listening how to treat them with care and respect, we were off to the races. We got acquainted to the bikes by cruising around the parking lot playing around with the gears, brakes, and seat adjuster (which worked so much better than I expected it to) and then we got to warming up in the slightly more complex terrain in the mini forested terrain park area while the instructors gave tips and pointers to the students as we rode. When we all felt warmed up, we regrouped and set on out.


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Departure from the bike shop onto Wonderland.


We cruised for a bit until we split into two groups:

Melissa’s and Adam’s sharp students: Jill, Niloofar, Calista, Kushi, and Derek.

Mitchel’s diligent students: Ivan, David Brooks, Sidhant, and David Barkemeyer.

Mitchel’s group would go up Alice Lake Road to try out Leave of Absence. The route up the road was straightforward: suffer and sweat all the way up. Once we got up Alice Lake road, it was a pretty chill cruise on Cliff’s Corner getting to Leave of Absence until we got to when we needed to hike up Tracks from Hell which indeed were from hell. It was steep and rocky enough that we had to get off our bikes and hike it up until we could get back on our bikes to get to the start of LOA.

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Route from the bike shop to LOA.

We started down LOA and slowly but surely made it down. There were really cool features like this bridge that dipped steeply and steep rocks that Sidhant and David Barkemeyer were brave enough to try out. I asked Mitchel if I could get a video of him dropping down on one of the drops but he understandably said no since that’s when always stuff seems to go wrong. I pulled some pictures from trailforks.com which show some of the features that were on the trail.

BC High School Provincials


BC High School Provincials


Exhilarated, satisfied, and running low on time to return our bikes, we started our trek back to the bike shop. On the way back, Mitchel hit a teeter totter feature (pictured below) which was on the pathway back and David Barkemeyer was courageous enough to hit a black run with Mitchel to end the day!

Galen Murray riding the mtb teeter totter in Sechler Park


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Mitchel and David Barkemeyer end with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

We got back to the bike shop right before 1pm, returned our bikes, and started chatting among ourselves about our mountain biking experience. I think we all learned a thing or two about mountain biking and ourselves. Afterwards, we went to Locavore for apres, chilled and had a good time.

Melissa’s and Adam’s group enjoying Alice lake.


Kushi on the boardwalk.


Who let the dogs out? 


Group photo. 


Ending the day at Locavore. 

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