<!– #BeginTemplate “/Templates/base_sub.dwt” –> <!– #BeginEditable “content” –>
Right after the Bike Expo at BC Place I bailed on Vancouver and headed off to Hawaii for a much needed rest. It still amazes me that you can get on an airplane where the weather is wet and cold and 5 hours later walk into sunshine, palm As I was driving up to the North Shore to check out the waves at Sunset and Pipeline I passed 2 guys on full DH rigs with BoXXXers. To say my interest was piqued would be an understatement and I made a note to myself to see if a free ride scene existed in Oahu.
|The surf was epic. There was a surf warning (most surfers there won’t go until there is a warning) had the waves at Sunset at 13′-15′, fun to watch but too kick ass for this Canuck. The next couple of days were mostly sitting back and watching the grass grow which was the whole idea of the trip but the image of those BoXXXers was sitting in the back of my head; a question that needed an answer.|
|I hooked up with a bike shop by accident. The coffee shop I had spied from the road was situated beside a very progressive bike shop called Raging Isle Surf and Bike. I grabbed a coffee and headed over to take a peak inside. What I saw was a small piece of North Shore heaven. They had a couple of built up Intense frames with Shivers, Marin Wildcats and a pile of other top end free ride bikes. The first person I ran into was a transplant from our own shores. Jordan lived in East Vancouver until a couple of years ago but now manages the bike portion of Raging Isle. Since he knew the trails on Seymour, Grouse and Cypress it was easy to compare notes on how Oahu faired. Because of the lack of useable wood (everything is either jungle or desert, often in the same ride) built up stuff is negligible but the terrain lends it self to big drops, exposed open single track (think Kamloops) and slippery fast and STEEP trails.|
|Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian island. It covers 594 square miles with 2 mountain ranges that rise to 4020′. This translates to a potentially great place to develop a full-blown mountain biking destination but there is trouble in paradise. A huge portion (hundreds of thousands of acres) of the island of Oahu is owned by a “trust” meaning the land has been set as side for a special purpose in this case to help educate Hawaiian children. Unfortunately through mismanagement and scandal (some directors of the trust were taking 6 and 7 figure salaries even though it was a non-profit organization) the current directors are leery of ANYONE making use of the land. So the land issue sits stagnant with no solution in sight. But even with the land issues there are approximately 200 hardcore riders. Guys and gals that would fit right in on Grouse or Seymour.|
Hawaii was a real eye opener for me as to how our North Shore in Vancouver is just one of many “shores” worldwide. We can lay claim to the place Flowriding originated but it is no longer our sole birthright but instead it is something Couch out.