North Vancouver Triple Crown
Has anyone here done the full triple crown ride ie. Seymour, Grouse and Cypress in one day?
I'm wondering about the feasibility of going up and down Grouse on Mountain Hwy on a road bike. It's no big deal on a mountain bike, but I'm wondering how crazy it would be to ride the downhill on 23mm slicks. It's been a couple of years since I've been up there and I don't remember how loose and deep the gravel is.
These people did it, but took the gondola down:
In my google searches I found a lot of references to rides that "cheat" on Grouse by just going up to the base of the gondola. I think it would be a pretty cool challenge to do the whole thing.
I did a recon ride up Grouse yesterday, so I’m going to answer my own question in case anyone else is interested in this.
The lower section is good, mostly hard packed with some marble sized loose pebbles, and bigger rocks imbedded in the road in spots - easily doable on a road bike. The upper portion on the ski resort is worse, with bigger, looser rocks but I was always able to pick a decent line through the bad spots, and managed to do the whole climb without getting bogged down or even having to put a foot down.
The descent is doable but sucks, mostly because you can’t just let it rip. I lost my patience a few times and got a pinch flat which served as a good reminder that I was still on a road bike. A cyclocross bike would have been nice for the bigger tires and better brakes. Some MTB skills are definitely an asset, but if you’re careful and patient, it shouldn’t be a problem.
All in all, this ride is not very pleasant, but doable. I’m going to go for the full triple crown later this summer, but I can’t see myself ever doing Grouse just for fun.
I'm not sure what would be considered "the summit" for Grouse. For Seymour, it's the parking lot, of course. And for Cypress, it would be the downhill parking lot, although it gets flat at the turnoff to the cross-country parking lot, so the xc parking lot would be just as good (even more real climbing!). But for Grouse, do you just go to the top of the paved portion of Mountain Hwy? Or to the gondola parking lot at the top of Cap Rd? Or do you continue up Mtn Hwy on the gravel? And then do you stop at the top of the gondola? (Makes sense to me.)
Years ago, we'd ride up the gravel to the top of the gondola, then take the gondola down (it was free in the downward direction at the time).
In the context of riding a bike up there, I would consider the top of the gondola as the "summit" of Grouse.
For my little challenge, I'm planning to do go to the parking lot at Seymour, top of gondola on Grouse and downhill lot on Cypress. What I can't decide on is if it would be "cheating" to start from the base of Seymour and finish at the base of Cypress, or if I should do a full loop ie. start an finish at the same spot (maybe lonsdale as it is at sea level).
I also heard that they won't let you take your bike on the gondola any more so you have to ride it down.
A member of our club organized the Triple Crown for Heart for the past 3 years aiding BC Children's Hospital. I've done it the past two years. We finish at top of Seymour, end of paved section of Grouse, and finally, downhill parking at Cypress. Great ride.
Originally Posted by tomecki