Tracing Dirt: Discovery Islands

From Fault Line TV:

Quadra Island’s website states that the island residents are an extremely diverse and unique community of individuals, who share the passion of the island existence, but enjoy a variety of different professions. When we talk about individuality, a picture is painted of forging your own path and creating one’s own free existence. Sam Whittingham is very much so at the core of individuality. Sam created Naked Bicycles, a handmade bicycle manufacturer situated on Quadra Island, a cornerstone in the discovery islands.

Our first stop on Quadra was Naked Bicycles; to meet Sam, and thoroughly discuss the trail network he is responsible for creating. After an enlightening conversation about his workshop, and the interesting client base he has created, we were guided around the trails in the forest behind his house. This was a great introduction to the trail designs that trend across the island.

The trails that we were lucky enough to ride incorporated steep climbs, steep descents, and everything in between with one exception to the rule. Crikey Creek is the local shuttle trail, and is short, fast and best enjoyed on a trail bike. It includes, from what we’ve seen, the largest number of man-made jumps and turns of any trail on the island. Due to deforestation methods, Crikey Creek did not succumb to clear cutting. Because it is situated right alongside a stream, the area has been preserved. The lack of logging makes for an absolutely beautiful second growth, moss-covered understory, and the trail seems to be painted into the landscape.

When juxtaposed against the ridge trail Silk Stockings, which is composed primarily of rock, we start to get an idea of what Quadra’s trail network offers in its entirety. Though polar to Crikey Creek, Silk Stockings brings the same beauty through its wide-open views of the ocean and abundance of moss covered rock. It’s not as developed, and requires work to go fast, but the pain suffered on the climb is well worth the descent.

The Quadra trail network is incredible, but don’t stop there. With a large portion of the island being uninhabited, there is a chance to witness relatively undisturbed ecosystems. Make sure to bring your mountain bike on any adventure you wish to undertake.