Boxing Day Ride on Hornby

28 Dec 2009 by mtnbikinggirl, 2 Comments »

Hornby Island

After another 3 week hiatus thanks to winter weather, my bike finally saw dirt again… This time we decided to check out some new trails and hit up Hornby Island. We had been thinking of doing some riding over there for a while so we headed over on Boxing Day, taking our friends Jessica and Ryan with us. Two short ferry rides later, we finally arrived at the trailhead.

Our route took us along trails with names like “4 Dead Aliens” and my favourite “Pergatory” (more on that in a bit).

The crew at the lookout

The trails weren’t quite what I was expecting though. The trails I ride in Cumberland typical fall under the “what goes up must come down” category and the route we chose on Hornby seemed to be all uphill… We started on Middle Bench Trail to Outer Ridge up Summit left to Inner Ridge to the viewpoint then over to Pergatory followed by Far Side and Slalom which turned into Cliff Trail and back to Outer Ridge and down Middle Bench Trail. Fine if you’re in good riding shape, but after only hitting the trails a handful of times in the past few months, I was anything but! So needless to say, I was starting to think I was in Hell when we came across the “Pergatory” trail sign, which was close enough to Hell for me… However, the trails are nice and flowy with some great downhill sections, just be prepared to climb again after the descents if you follow our route.

Cliff Trail

Unfortunately our view at the lookout was fogged in so we weren’t able to see much, however Jessica managed to get some great shots of her and Ryan in the fog! A bit disappointing that we weren’t able to see more but another reason for us to go back for another visit. The ride along Cliff Trail, which is literally along a tree lined cliff, was probably the highlight of my ride. By then the fog had started to lift and we were able to get some fantastic glimpses of the ocean through the trees.

After 4 hours of what seemed like a continuous uphill ride with an elevation gain of over 1500 feet, we finally made it back to the car. Note to self: must ride more…

Hornby is a great place to ride, but my recommendation if you decide to ride here is to talk to someone with knowledge of the trails first. I recommend Jeremy at Hornby Outdoors. We had exchanged a couple of emails with him but then deviated from the routes he had given us which made our ride considerably harder. He also has trail maps available, which are always handy to have.

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  1. mtnbikinggirl says:

    This post was recently featured on Specialized’s Stumpjumper Trail Crew’s website. Thank you Matt Hardinge (aka @mattunderground) for the honour!

    To see what the Crew has been up to, you can find their website here:

  2. mtnbikinggirl says:

    I found a video of the trails on Hornby taken last summer.

    Awesome vid and it showcases the area well

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