Not your usual gravel ride. But if you like techy climbs and descents, you came to the right place.
For a slightly more intermediate level route version, click here.
Over here at Love Machine, we’ve got some fun stuff in the works with the good folks at HMPL
. So to kick it all off, we came up with a route that highlights some of their go-to “gravel,” and some of our favourite local shortcuts.
Now, “gravel” might be a bit misleading, as in true HMPL fashion the main events of this route are a couple of classic North Shore mountain bike trails in Ned’s and Bobsled. Modern gravel bikes are just 90’s mountain bikes, right?
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that this route descends some expert level mtb trails. So be cautious, and walk anything you’re not sure about. I’ve got some real questionable bike handling skills at the best of times, so I walked down pretty much all of Ned’s. There’s NOTHING COOLER than knowing your limits.
If you’re like me, and a little less comfortable descending tech, we’ve included the alternate Chill Seeker
version: a secondary route that’s more of an intermediate level, swapping Ned’s for Powerline Trail (although that’s still a pretty tricky descent).
Okay, now that the disclaimers are out of the way; the routes starts and ends at HMPL’s shop in Chinatown. Once you reach the shore, the first half of the route features some spicy climbing and descending, before mellowing out in the second half - meandering down smoother gravel back to the Second Narrows.
Alternating between long stretches of pavement, pea gravel and black diamond trails, the mixed-surface-spectrum is pretty wide on this one. But we’d still recommend a minimum of 50mm tires,
just so you can have something a little more plush on the sketchier portions (of which there are a few).
As always, take it easy, be respectful to other trail users, and have fun. And keep your eyes peeled for a group ride on this route sometime soon.
Love Machine & HMPL