Riding: Eric Lawrenuk
Director/cinematographer: Graeme Meiklejohn
Vancouver’s North Shore mountains are home to some of the world’s best mountain bike trails. Three riding areas: Seymour, Fromme, and Cypress, each deliver a unique take on the steep terrain offered up by the southern tip of the Coast Mountain Range. Each has a defined style of trails, brought to life by the builders and riders that call that terrain home. However, they all share the same steep, deep, and wet geographic landscape that culminates the essence of Vancouver’s North Shore. A distinct aroma rises from the decomposing cedar logs, duff, loam, and moss to create a damp, musty yet sweet smell. When this aroma hits your nostrils as you pedal to the top of a trail or get out of the shuttle truck, it triggers memories of rides past and invigorates your body before dropping into the next steep technical descent.
This smell is the EAU DE SHORE.
This three-part video series captures the essence of riding in each of these zones and is inspired in equal parts by the photographic styles of Sterling Lorence and the unique atmosphere surrounding each mountain.
“Lorny (Lawrenuk) and I grew up on The Shore riding bikes together, and one thing that is inherently linked, for us, to the look and feel of riding on the North Shore mountains is the photographs of Sterling Lorence. Those images are as connected to our version of The Shore as any of the trails on those mountains. So, it only felt right to try and shoot these pieces in a style inspired by those images and Sterling’s continued work on The Shore.”
The Fromme riding area is at the top of Mountain Highway. Many of the trails were built on Fromme over 30 years ago. With the age of these trails comes the riding style from that era. The speed on Fromme is significantly slower than both Seymour and Cypress. What it lacks in speed, it gains in jank and character. The tight trees and many rock gardens make finding flow challenging but rewarding when you do. Fromme’s many rock armored, paving stone-like trails with skinnies strategically placed throughout the forest is what many think of when the shore is a topic of discussion.
Trails to ride if you want a quintessential Fromme experience: start with a Bobsled lap, then pedal to Expresso if you are looking for a more flow-orientated ride. Suppose you are looking for a more technical adventure, pedal past Expresso, and up the seven switchbacks to 7th Secret. 7th Secret is a work of art in masonry and woodwork. The highly technical trail is nearly all paving stone rock work. The ride finishes at the top of Expresso, letting you decompress on a flow trail to finish your ride. Located a 5-minute roll down the hill is Lynn Valley’s subdivision, where there are tons of food options and restaurants for a post-ride meal.