Ride Diary: Finding Awesome in Nelson, BC

  • Posted on
  • By SVRN with Leigh Blackburn
  • Posted in Ride Diary
Ride Diary: Finding Awesome in Nelson, BC

It's now October and you're either squeezing in one last bike trip, or planning for next season's two-wheeled adventures. If you have the Kootenays on the brain, you're not alone. In this Ride Diary Leigh and Russ head south for the challenging trails the area is famous for and end up finding awesome in Nelson, BC!


Finding Awesome, that’s the latest tagline for tourism in Nelson, BC. It conjures a sense of responsibility - it is up to you to get out and explore because awesome just might be around the next bend in the trail. Seemed odd for a place where awesome is literally everywhere. Nelson is beautiful: rolling tree-covered mountains, bluebird skies, a river that emulates a refreshing lake lined with inviting beaches, not to mention it has a strong arts community, fantastic food scene, and a welcoming vibe. So, it wasn’t until this trip that we realized, just how fitting that tagline could be.


Sovereign Cycle Ride Diary: Finding Awesome in Nelson, BC. Image by Leigh Blackburn on Upper Goldmember trail.


Powerslave. It’s a trail that’s been on our Trailforks wishlist for years, but for one reason or another has remained elusive. This was finally the day it would be marked ridden! We were on the epic, sweaty climb up when we learned that there was an active Grizzly who intended to foil our plans yet again. Somewhat bummed (and perhaps a little relieved not to have to continue the grunt on a 38 degree day) we were quickly reminded that there was loads of awesome to be had; we just needed to find it.


There’s so much awesome in fact, that we only scratched the surface. Day 1 included the well-known Placenta Descenta a blue trail that over the years has seen it’s share of wear and tear, making it a natural, rough, loose, and FUN descent, that resembles more of a black. If loam with a few roots and rolling wood structures is more your flavour, Bear’s Den definitely left a smile on our faces. Lowballer had some flowy goodness, and Mister Slave is a classic that should be on your list.




Day 2 had us searching for lesser-known treasures. There’s gold in them there hills and we certainly struck it rich on Upper Goldmember, Lucky Charms, and Gold Rush within the Gold Creek trail system (after a long fireroad climb of course). If you can crank out the pedal up, you will be rewarded with never-ending, brake-burning steeps, rock gnar, pockets of loam to keep you from whining, and outstanding views.


 Sovereign Cycle Ride Diary: Finding Awesome in Nelson, BC. Image by Leigh Blackburn at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.


By Day 3 we were looking for a little beach time so we could soak our aching wrists in glacial fed water. We started and ended our day at Nelson’s North Shore, home to the sandy beaches of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Rock rolls were the theme and boy, did this place deliver. Ledges was a great introduction to Nelson’s famous, somewhat intimidating, yet surprisingly grippy rock features. Then it was time for Morning Sickness, or should we say Morning SICKness! One after the next the slabs get longer and steeper, but a little commitment goes a long way, because there are always run-outs and catcher berms to keep mach speeds at bay. This trail is short and sweet, but perfectly built and so much fun that it will have you doing laps upon laps!


Powerslave may remain that all-elusive trail to us, but one thing is for sure we had no problem finding awesome without it. Thank you Nelson, we will be back!


 Looking for the right gear for your next trip? Check out our online store or stop by Sovereign Cycle in Westbank, BC.