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Repurposed: Finding new direction riding the logging roads of BC

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From Chris Hatton: There’s something about the gravel scene here in British Columbia that seems exceptionally rad. Having moved here just over two and a half years ago, I’ve come across some unreal people and places that have given me nothing short of some amazing life experiences, and the goal of this project was just to show some level of tribute to that. From perfect gravel roads to gravel hotels, bike festivals, stacked local groups rides and everything in between, from my perspective, this place is a mecca for gravel, and it deserves some level of recognition for the amazing things happening here.     

Having lived on the coast, the island, the city, and a couple places in the interior, I’ve still only scratched the surface of the gravel scene around here, and it genuinely seems endless the number of adventures that you can get up to. Every region has its own look and feel to it, adding this level of diversity and type of access to riding that I’ve found extremely special. Dusty rolling hills around places in the interior, contrasted by shaly, wall-like climbs in the Sea to Sky, to coastline riding on the island and Sunshine Coast – even after exploring it for the last few years this place still seems crazy to me.

At the heart of it all is this network of over 650,000+ forest service roads that span across the province, originally intended for logging, but now being repurposed for things far different than this. For gravel riders, we’re able to use these roads for adventure and exploration, linking together single day routes and bikepacking trips alike, leading to some pretty epic days out. 

With gravel being just one of the ways that this infrastructure is being used for something other than forestry, this seems to be creating another layer of value for this network that wasn’t there before, and there seems to be something profound about that to me. We’re able to access these wild places on bikes because of this extensive forest road network, and I think that’s partially why BC is such a unique place for this kind of riding. 

So, for what it’s worth, I genuinely wanted to give a weird thank you to the forest roads that we ride on, the viewpoints we’re able to see from, the painful climbs we suffer up, descents we enjoy, and all the people involved in the gravel scene here doing what they’re doing. Not only do we have this insane network of roads to explore at our fingertips, but we have this rad community of people doing some pretty cool things with it. Events seem to be exploding left and right, new routes popping up around all corners of the province, FKT’s are being attempted, group rides getting bigger, places are being explored, and I’m just stoked to have been introduced to it all. 

To everyone in the gravel scene here, and for BC for being the place that it is for all this, big thanks to you – looking forward to seeing where it all goes from here. 

We acknowledge that we work and play on unceded traditional territory of the Squamish Nation where this project was filmed.

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