If you ride gravel in the Vancouver area, it doesn’t take long until you start to think about heading up Highway 99 to the promised-land of local dirt: Squamish. It’s a totally different world up here compared to the city, with extended FSRs, punchy climbs, janky mountain bike connectors and a whole lot of local ‘chunder.’
If you’re not sure where to go, things can get dicey pretty quick on a gravel bike. That’s why we figured we’d consult with the experts. So we hit up our friends at Squamish Gravel Cycling Club
to bring you a few of the local delicacies. Last week, we met with Zach and Alex from SGCC, who graciously (and patiently) gave us a guided tour around the loop they call 'Powerhouse Mash’ - a quick hit of the local classics, with a few extra herbs and spices thrown in.
The route starts and ends at Locavore/Cloudburst (great for pre-ride coffee and post-ride beers), then winds along mellow trails through the estuary, before ascending some classic Squamish gravel climbs in Powerhouse and Mashiter. The climb is pitchy, but before long you’ll be descending back into town through a variety of paved roads, singletrack sections and a few last bits of chonk (for good measure).
I, a roadie with VERY questionable bike-handling ability, rode this route on 35mm tires. I stayed vertical, but I did get tossed around pretty good at times. If you can, go 38 or wider.
So head up to Squamish, and give this route a shot. It’s short enough to do after work (but maybe give it a couple weeks so there’s more light), and enjoyable enough to do as a day trip where you can go slow and really DRINK IN THE VIEWS.
And if you haven’t already, check out Squamish Gravel Cycling Club and all the rad things they are doing with the gravel community up there.
Love Machine & SGCC