Bike Magazine ‘My Trail’

The July issue of Bike Magazine is out and has a short piece about Will Craig that I wrote in it. Will Craig isn’t your average mountain biker. He rides with a prosthetic arm. More so, he rides perhaps some of the most technical and demanding trails in the world. Hence why he was an ideal candidate for My Trail.

Will Craig
By Seb Kemp

The rider
Will Craig has been riding for 23 years. Sure, no big deal but 25 years ago he was in a car crash and suffered catastrophic crush injury to his right arm. He now rides with a prosthetic arm.
Always an adventurous person who has a great love for the outdoors he has tried a wide variety of sports – rock climbing, road biking, skiing, mountaineering, kayaking and paragliding – but finds mountain biking is the best way to get out and enjoy the forests and mountains. More so, he relishes the danger and challenge of the mountains on the north shore of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The trail
“It would have to be a loop that I regularly do on Cypress: Pre-Reaper to Reaper to Sex Girl/S.O.B. to S&M because it represents everything that makes Cypress such an exciting place to ride, and illustrates the whole evolution of Shore riding.  While the big stunts at the start like the Reaper Bridge were long ago removed by West Vancouver District Council, there are still lots of big, ugly slab drops and steeps, especially in the wet or snow. It is a short climb up the highway to the sketchy chute into Sex Girl – which put me out of commission for 6 weeks last year – after which a series of rooty, irregular slab drops lead into a much more new school section of big gaps and drops, some I can’t see ever doing, finishing off with S.O.B. that packs in more cool moves than any other trail I can think of that length.  I then like to finish it off with the unrelenting tight switchbacks of S&M.”

The scene
“There really is nowhere else in the world where we have this amount of trails this accessible. I have a couple hundred trails just fifteen minutes from my door.”
Vancouver is a unique place where the ocean, mountains and a vibrant metropolis meet. The backdrop to the city is the North Shore mountains – Cypress, Fromme, and Seymour – whose heavy rainforest jacket cascades into the urban environment. The terrain is steep, cluttered, and wet. Roots like a weightlifters veins lace the thick mattress of duffy loam and granite pierces it all with toothy protrusions or giant molar rounds. The trails are hideously technical. They are awkward, square, perilous; both physically and mentally taxing. Not for the uncommitted.”

You may remember Will Craig from an episode of Hey Neighbour that I produced earlier this year.

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