Welcome to A Canadian Odyssey
Like any great quest, this one begins with a group of heroes tackling a momentous challenge; the SCOR Collective have embarked on a journey from their respective homelands in Europe to the epicenter of mountain biking. Forging their own path through British Columbia’s Sea to Sky corridor, this rag tag team of riders with disparate styles and skillsets gives you access to a world of a road trip gone both wrong and oh-so-right.
No quest is complete without the help of locals and intrepid travelers found along the way, as the crew links up with Squamish granite grip enthusiasts and Chilcotin chamois connoisseurs. From grisly rides to grizzly bears, this odyssey is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and some sweat to your palms.
Episode 1 – Mount Up
Fresh off the back of a harrowing 25-hour trans-Atlantic journey, the crew manages to co-ordinate a YVR pickup in their right-side drive van, affectionately dubbed “The Travel Mate.” Straight into the gnar, they brave the biggest rock roll the North Shore has to offer, which is apparently more akin to base jumping than mountain biking. The wildlife tour begins with a scabby racoon making eyes at Ludo, Thomas’ rear tire shows its true colors and Kasi soars above a road gap in the dying light.
The Shore presents a new challenge for each of these riders; Ludo’s technical style is at home on the steeps and skinnies as he proves himself in MTB’s coliseum of balance and control, Kasi refuses to shy away from anything but also claims to be uncomfortable with everything, and Thomas shines when the trail undulates and snakes between airtime opportunities. This mix of styles keeps everyone, including the camera team, on their toes.
Episode 2 – Not for the Squamish
As our crew winds their way north along the infamous Sea to Sky highway, full of views and rock rolls galore, they begin to develop a comfort with their steady transportation. Ludo opines on the peace he feels driving in the slow lane, we meet a new crew member (Squamish local and ice cream enthusiast Alex Hinkson), and the crew discovers their new favorite trail in the world.
After enjoying a sunset by the river, the Collective attempts to tame the holy grail of slabs, from “In n Out Burger” to “Gouranga.” While all may seem well on the bikes, the reality of an unrelenting heat wave begins to set in, and refuge is sought under a train track bridge where glacial melt steadily flows. Kasi reminds the crew he must be between 18-22 degrees at all times. The first mosquito of the trip is smacked, and bug repellent becomes a must-have item going forward.
Episode 3 – Chaos in the Park
Crankworx called, and the SCOR Collective answered. While the lift lines may be long, there are moments to be found on these trails that can be compared to nowhere else on earth. The Dirt Merchant bargains for Thomas’s soul, Kasi is convinced to try D1 and immediately crowns it his new favorite trail, and Ludo goes directly to Garbanzo to avoid anyone with rental bikes.
Meanwhile, Nick Wieghall is invited into the van by way of free candy; given his gregarious personality and, as Ludo calls it, his “testosterone moustache,” he figures what could go wrong. Hinkson links on Crabapple with Kasi and Thomas while Ludo and Nick sit back, then the crew gets a good old-fashioned A-Line party lap in before enjoying some of Whistler’s finest nightlife.
Episode 4 – The Great Escape
Opting out of the big pedal, Thomas stays in Whistler to pay off his debt to the Dirt Merchant, and his spot in the Travel Mate is taken up by Nick. As the crew heads down the Hurley FSR, the van has a senior moment requiring them to pedal up a steep gravel road to give the old girl a break. Rest assured; the Collective will stop at nothing to reach their final destination. The grizzly bear capital of Canada.
Sure enough, Ludo’s close encounter with the furry kind completes the trip and the alpine suffer fest that follows is just gravy on the cake (or something like that). With heatwaves being traded in for serious low pressure in the mountains, GoreTex becomes the new board shorts, and everyone wonders why they left their puffy jackets behind. Ludo improvises with plastic bag insulation, Nick demands more high 5s, and Kasi begins to wonder why he isn’t back in Whistler with Thomas. All in all, the Chilcotins deliver in a big way, leaving the crew in awe of what Canada has to offer.