Biking with Trevor Linden

June 24, 2014

We’re pretty sure Trevor Linden is the first Canucks president who routinely reaches the top of Cypress Mountain under his own steam. He’s definitely the only one who then looks at Grouse and Seymour and says, “I think I’ll ride those, too.” That grit is the part that makes him the perfect guy to lead our hockey team. 

He’s perfect in other ways, too. Fit, but without the insanely chiselled V of some cross-fit fanatic. Sure, he looks like a guy who spends his fair share of time in the gym (no doubt due to the fact he just opened his fifth Club 16 Fitness location), but he also has the look of someone who just gets outside.

Growing up in Medicine Hat, “time in the saddle” didn’t meet mean putting on Lycra. Linden started road riding about 15 years ago when he was captain of the Canucks, notwithstanding the sports aren’t actually compatible. (“For hockey, you want fast-twitch conditioning, whereas road riding trains the slow-twitch muscles.”) He was hooked. In 2005, he joined Brian Hill’s TNA team; he’s been riding ever since. Retired, he graduated from occasional rider to full-fledged acolyte with frequent trips to test himself on Europe’s famed climbs: the Stelvio, the Passo di Gavia. But Vancouver is where he puts in the kilometres to turn those calves to iron.—Neal McLennan

 

 

Trevor Linden's Top 5 Cycling Routes:

1. Iona-Steveston-Richmond Loop

LENGTH: 100 km
ELEVATION: 140 m
DURATION: 3.5 hours

I think of this as the perfect standby. It's not too tough, so it's good in the winter or when the weather is marginal. And the protected flats near Iona are great for hard power intervals. When you just need some time in the saddle, this is an ideal quick escape.

2.West side-Horseshoe Bay

LENGTH: 70 km
ELEVATION: 400 m
DURATION: 2 hours

A classic: a jaunt through Stanley Park, the often-breathtaking Lions Gate Bridge, and killer views once you hit the surprisingly rolling hills of Marine Dr. If you reach Horseshoe Bay and still have fuel left, you can easily throw in a climb up Cypress, which adds an hour and a whole lot of elevation.

3. The Triple Crown

 LENGTH: 130 km
ELEVATION: 2.3 km
DURATION: 5.5 hours

I ride this only when I'm in training mode for some European death race. Up Seymour, up Grouse, up Cypress. You can do it in either direction, but there's no way to make this anything but a gruelling day. Any one of these climbs earns a measure of respect. But all three? You're the man.

4. Vancouver-Belcarra

LENGTH: 85 km
ELEVATION: 541 m
DURATION: 3.5 hours

Of all the big rides in Vancouver this one gets the least traffic, partly because you have some major kilometres on the not-too-exciting Barnet Highway. But once you loop into Belcarra, it's amazing: Deep Cove is so close you can almost touch it, and there are some nice, but not too crazy, hill climbs.

5. KVK (Kelowna-Vernon-Kelowna)

LENGTH: 175 km
ELEVATION: 3 km
DURATION: 6+ hours

I have a home in West Kelowna, and this big ride, circumnavigating Lake Okanagan, is my go-to. Ride through town, then it's a sweet climb up to Predator Ridge and some amazing views along Westside Road. This is our B.C. version of Europe's legendary LBL (Liège-Bastogne-Liège).

 

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