By LeRae Haynes –
Barking Spider Mountain Bike offers a range of mountain bikes, paddleboards, and skis, along with gear and clothing designed for any adventure. Owner Scott Gordon goes above and beyond with advice, suggestions, encouragement, and inspiration.
Every category of mountain biking requires a bike built for specific conditions, and Gordon has been helping get people on the right bike for 18 years.
Whether it’s downhill, cross-country, enduro, road riding, or anything in between, Barking Spider can put you on the right bike that takes you where you want to go.
Gordon said he’s seen changes and improvements in bike technology over the years, noting that bikes change very rapidly—from basic construction to component technology.
“Years ago, bikes were made of steel, followed by aluminum, and now carbon fibre,” he said. “Another change is in tire sizes. A mountain bike used to have 26” tires—now they come in 27.5” and 29”.
“A bigger wheel rolls faster and means a smoother ride, better braking, and better traction.”
For people who don’t want to miss a bike ride because it’s winter, a unique way to enjoy the Cariboo outdoors in the colder months is on a fat tire bike from Barking Spider.
“It distributes the load over a wider area, uses low air pressure, and you can also get the tires studded,” he said, adding that fat tire bikes are huge in places like Kamloops and Prince George, where they have groups of 20-50 people building trails and riding all winter.
He said they’re working on getting fat tire bike riding set up at Bull Mountain. “If the snow conditions aren’t great for skiing, you can ride a bike,” he said.
Getting people on the right bike is a high priority for Gordon, who said sometimes people come into the store to buy a bike and they’re not exactly sure what kind they need. He takes the time to make sure they do.
“We’ll get you on the right bike,” he said. “If the bike on the floor is wrong for you, I won’t sell it to you. You have to have the right bike that will work for what you want to do.
“I ask them what kind of riding do they want to do, do they want to carry stuff on their bikes, where they want to ride, and, if they’re joining friends, what bikes do they use?”
No matter the activity, Gordon is confident he can find the right bike for each customer. “I can get you on a commuter bike, a gravel bike, a racing bike, or endurance bike: whatever will work best for you,” he said.
Gordon recently helped a customer with a fresh hip replacement get set up with a stationary bike rack to get into some training while he heals.
Barking Spider has three weekly local rides, hosted the Peddle by the Puddle, and has been a prize sponsor and participant for Tour de Cariboo.
“In 2016 I did the Tour de North Cops for Cancer ride. I was the mechanic and rode the whole trip from Prince George to Prince Rupert,” he said. “It was fantastic.”
He also participates in biking events around the province, including the BC Bike Race and Single Track 6.
When it comes to the love of mountain biking, he added that preserving the environment is second nature and that you can’t ride if you lose the wilderness.
He said he prefers trail riding – both uphill and downhill peddling – to leave a smaller carbon footprint and for the health and fitness of it. “I love outdoor activities that are people-powered: without a motor,” he said.
“Mountain biking such a great family sport; it’s great to get kids out riding once you know the lay of the land and good trails to start kids on. Fox Mountain trails are well-established, and you can choose hilly or flat, choose your distance—a great place for beginners of all ages to get a good start.
“Who doesn’t like to ride a bike? It’s good for you and you can go places and see more.
“Look where we live,” he said. “You can be outdoors in every season enjoying the wilderness. You can’t get better than this.”
For more information about Barking Spider Mountain Bike, visit 1024 Broadway Avenue S, phone (250) 392-5177, visit www.barkingspidermountainbike.com and find the shop on Facebook. 1024 Broadway Ave S
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of music with kids.