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Filtering by Category: explore

Cyclocross on Hornby Island

Nicholas Kupiak

Island hopping is a big reason why Gradient ever began, and somehow this is my first post about doing just that. Within a two-hour drive from my house are more than ten different islands waiting to be explored by any means. Some of these land masses are better than others for riding, and Hornby in particular is where the mountain bikes go.

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Adventure Week

Nicholas Kupiak

When plans fell through for a road trip to Nationals, my adventure wheels started turning. The local race scene took a break on the same weekend in case any usual entrants might be making the trip to Winnipeg, so there was no need to prep for an impending race. Training intervals were stuffed into the black duffel that contains my race lycra, and baggier casual shorts were pulled out with a head full of anticipation. 

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Hurricane Ridge

Nicholas Kupiak

Sitting on the beach in Victoria it's not a strange sight to see the looming mountains of the Olympic National Park in the distance. From this vantage point the mountain range resembles something of a forested wall, visually creating a disconnect between two countries, as if America put their binder on its side in class to hide the contents of its school desk from neighboring eyes.

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Riding Fool Hostel

Nicholas Kupiak

After sitting down to plan a few spring adventure rides, I started to notice a resounding fact about each trip. They almost all involved taking a ferry to either the mainland, or one of the many surrounding islands. This got me thinking about how often cyclists must do the opposite of me and take the ferry to ride on Vancouver Island. With the next long weekend on it's way, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to set out on a route that could potentially inspire these sea-faring riders to new locations and roads.

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Tofino Brew Co. Gran Fondo

Nicholas Kupiak

Plans for this ride have been bouncing around in my head for a little over a year, but I realistically never thought it would take place. With Graeme living in Ucluelet, I had daydreamed of doing the trip on my bike every time I travelled west for a visit. To some, it's the distance that seems insurmountable, but to me it was the inherent dangers of the roadway itself that left hesitance in my mind. Then everything just kind of fell into place. In an attempt to reimburse me for a favour involving sixteen hours, four cities and two letter presses, Blair offered to drive my FJ Cruiser as a pseudo support vehicle to become the final piece to the puzzle.

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Mt. Arrowsmith

Nicholas Kupiak

The wind was howling through the bottom of my front door, and it acted as a better alarm clock than I could have hoped for. Waking up with a sense of doubt seems to render you far more aware than rising with a clear mind. For a moment I pretended that the blankets had me trapped, and every time the wind voiced itself, the blankets grasp would cinch a little tighter. Still wide awake, the second alarm went off and I've never noticed how irritating the sound is when you're entirely coherent. All right, I was up. Breakfast was quick, the coffee was made, and I was out the door.

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