Shopping, Trials & Tribulations in Crumpit Woods, BC

© Cecile Gambin PhotographyI think I have a bag fetish. A camera bag fetish to be exact. In preparation for my first big trials off-road ride in BC I marked the event with a few new purchases shopping for both myself and my trials bike for the unknown ride in Crumpit Woods. And by unknown I mean just that. Riding new terrain, in a new province, in an area that my good friend Jon Mutiger had never been to.

To start off my new adventure I decided to purchase a Lowepro Flipside 15L Sport Backpack which came the day before my ride. I needed a camera bag that would allow me to bring one pro camera body with either 1-2 lens and an external flash. I also needed a bag where I could store a few non-camera essentials such as bike tools, spare spark plug, some food, my phone, a point & shoot camera and some water. Water proof capabilities, adjustable straps and easy access were also high on my list. The Lowepro did not disappoint. It rained throughout the entire ride and the inside of the bag remained dry thanks to it’s external rain cover. The beauty of the bag though, and ultimately what sold me on this model, was how easy it is getting my equipment. I was able to stay on the bike, swing the pack around and grab my camera through a unique rear panel. Genious!! My only complaint would be the zipper system, and the waist band. I would prefer seeing a more rugged and waterproof system to keep out dirt, and dust as well as a padded waist belt.

My second purchase was for my bike. No longer wishing to carry extra fuel in my back pack I purchased an Acerbis Auxillary Fuel Tank for my Gas Gas TXT 200 Pro. This also meant that my camera equipment would be that much safer as I never really liked packing pre-mix along side. A relatively inexpensive addition ($99 plus free shipping from MX1) the tank, despite it’s garish looks, functioned flawlessly, providing me with an extra 3L of fuel (bringing the total up to 6L for me to play around with). The idea behind the tank is rather simple as the gas is drawn from the auxillary tank first and once empty it would take from the OEM tank. I should note though that I lost my breather hose in one of my ‘few’ falls. Victim of the trails I suppose.

So, it became quite clear that my first off-road motorcycle ride in BC was going to be a wet one as the weather man correctly forecasted foul weather. No matter…I was pumped and a ‘little’ rain did not damper my spirits as my friend Jon and myself headed towards Crumpit Woods just outside Squamish. The main trail head is in a new subdivision. Various mountain bike groups were assembled and ready to ride when we pulled up with our two Gas Gas’s on the trailer. No questions were asked or eye brows raised.

After checking the map and being gleefully delighted at all the trails available we hopped on and began our trek into what became a maze of never-ending trails. Meandering across the forest, the terrain varied in elevation and continued to twist and turn across rock and root infested trails in one area, and smooth, flowy turns and straights in another area. As we gained elevation the paths led us up steep granite hills. I tempted a few, fell, and than happily watched Jon as he gracefully manoeuvered his bike up and over the slick rock. I won’t bore you with the details of my falls but will tell you that my ego was bruised and I need to replace my front fender, bracket and possibly handle bars after a few newbie moves!

I followed Jon as I clearly had no clue where I was going. We had a blast exploring and thought at one point he was going to run out of gas, or me having to drag my bike out of the woods due to a mangled front end – details not available 🙂 Click on this link to see our route as recorded by Jon’s phone: I’m not sure how long we rode for nor the distance. I did go through approximately 3.5 litres of gas riding at a slow to medium pace.

Despite the wet rock and terrain I was amazed at how well the trails held up and how little mud there was. Being my first ride in BC I cannot tell you if there is a better trail to ride on a rainy day but I can say with certainty that Crumpit Woodss is a great place to ride in the rain with great traction and no wear and tear on the trails. Our faces weren’t even mud speckled! I will be back to visit Crumpit Woods again.

Thanks to Jon for a spectacular day. It was great to ride with him again!! Next up is a ride on my big bike with Kellee Irwin. I do not know where she will take me but I do know I am in for another great day of riding 🙂

Look for the black dotted lines, the solid purple lines and the purple dotted lines. Now check out the legend below!!


© Cecile Gambin Photography
First time I have ever seen the words ‘Trials Motorbike Trail’ on a legend. Uber cool!!
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Jon Mutiger with his Gas Gas TXT 280 and my Gas Gas TXT 200 with an Acerbis long range fuel tank.

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Photoshoot at Trail Tours

I love the Ganaraska Forest, or as it’s affectionately called the Ganny. It has the best sweet, fast-flowing singletrack and tons of it to boot!! The only drawback from the Ganny is all the poison ivy. And, everytime I go there to ride I take some home with me. This time though not only was I riding I was also taking pictures. So you can imagine the poison ivy patch that I have growing on the back side of my legs. Serves me right for getting off the beaten path to get that perfect picture. I’m sure I was standing right in it. There are so many 3-leaved plants out there I still can’t identify poison ivy. Ahhh…the perils of a photographer!

This past weekend I drove to the Ganny, under assignment, to visit my friend Steve from Trail Tours. My goal was to take some killer shots showcasing his business, and to get some images so he can use on his websites: and and other promotional material. I was also there because I will be writing a future article on Trail Tours for so wanted to get some decent pictures.

It was a beautiful clear sunny day. PERFECT for riding, and perfect for showcasing blue skies. Difficult, however, in the forest for photographers! The shadows mid-morning were so harsh. It didn’t make it any easier that the trail that the instructors were using was a pine tree forest which let in lots of light and also blocked out lots of light. So the result was a very patchy lightshow. At least the clouds weren’t rolling in and out creating a whole different lightscene every few seconds. So I decided to skip taking trail pictures for a while and would go back later on in the afternoon when the sun lengthened its shadows and the light wasn’t as harsh.

I walked over to the open field where several groups all working hard were scattered about the 3 loops. I was having fun taking pictures making sure the peaks of their helmets didn’t create too much shade and create a faceless head and enjoyed wathcing them master their newly found skills. I used a variety of lenses – wide angle, telephoto to my beautiful Nikon 105mm prime lens. I also, finally, had a chance to use my Pocket Wizards (PW) and SU-800 units which I got for my birthday this year (thanks David!!). The PW worked flawlessly with the SU-800. Set up was so fast and easy. I can’t believe I was working without these two gems before. I was definetly not limited to what I could do – shooting from far, around trees, in direct sunlight. It handled them all!!

After a while of taking beginner pictures I called in the heavy machinery and Craig, Dylan, Jonathan and Yoshi (Trail Tour instructors) came out to play and give me some good poses. Now I was having fun!!! These guys railed the bermless berm, rode the same line over and over till I said ‘ok…let’s move on’, and jumped, wheelied, kicked up some dust (but there wasn’t much as it had rained a few days earlier) and just had fun! Their fun was infectious.

By the time mid-afternoon rolled around, I grabbed my KTM, while the guys were on Hondas. Loaded with a heavy back pack full of camera gear and tripods we rode some sweet single track until I found a suitable place for action pictures. I set up shop in a decidous area of the forest where the ambient light was perfect! Some sun filtered through and shadows were long but not harsh. The greens of the foliage were colourful and the trail was pristine as the path snaked it’s way through the forest.

Craig and Dylan eagerly rode the chosen line over and over again as I adjusted my flashes, changed my lens etc. I must comment at how super smooth they are in corners. Not only was I taking pictures of them I was also secretly looking at their body language so I could learn to keep up the speed like they did.

We moved to a few different locations after that and shot till late afternoon. By the time I packed up I had lost all ambient light and I was going to be really late for dinner with my family back home. I told my husband I was going to be back before dinner! I had lots of fun riding and taking pictures but must admit that it would have been more fun riding if it wasn’t for a heavy bag throwing me off balance and having my tripods whack me in the back of the helmet everytime I jumped some whoops! My Lowepro backpack did wonders staying on my back and I really appreciated the waterproofness of the bag. I didn’t have water to deal with but I did have lots of sand and dust!! All my gear was nice and clean at the end of the day 🙂

Overall a great day except for the poison ivy!!