We asked Olympian Catharine Pendrel where she likes to mountain bike. Her answer? Squamish, BC. This is why:
Who: World Champion, Olympian and multi-time Canadian champ, Catharine Pendrel is one of the most decorated mountain bikers in Canadian history. This year the Kamloops, BC, resident will attempt to defend her world champion jersey and perform on home soil at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Why: Leading up to the World Cup season, spring is prime-time training for Pendrel. “Lucky for me, that means lots of mountain biking,” she says. On a three-day visit to Squamish, BC, with her husband (her number-one training partner) she knocks off three- to four-hour rides daily and rarely hits the same section of trail twice.
What: A seasoned road-tripper, Pendrel parks her camperized van at Alice Lake Provincial Park campground, just north of Squamish and right on the trail network. (The forested setting is equally nice in a tent.) On the first day, she likes to head north up Wonderland Trail and then towards Cat Lake and the technical riding of Cheshire Cat and Kitten. From there, she hits The White Rabbit, swings by the campsite to refill waterbottles and then out to Section 57 to the start of Credit Line, a lung- and skill-testing challenge and a great way to end the day. For dinner, she’ll cruise across the highway to The Watershed Grill and wash it down with a pint from Howe Sound Brewery with friends. Day two is the JABR course, a 60-km loop of some of the best trails in the area, used for the Canadian Mountain Bike Marathon Championships. Pendrel’s faves include 50 Shades of Green, The Plunge, Angry Midget and Word of Mouth. She might recover with an all-day breakfast at Red Bench Diner and then dinner at the Shady Tree Pub. On the final day, she links together the classics that were missed in the first two days, including Rupert, Entrails, Hoods in the Woods, Crumpet Woods and the flowy brilliance of Half Nelson.
Alice Lake Provincial Park (from $21):
Squamish trail info:
Stop by one of several bike shops in town and buy a map
JABR course map:
The Watershed Grill: thewatershedgrill.com
Howe Sound Brewery: howesound.com
Shady Tree Pub: shadytreepub.com