Norco Bikes showed off its new line of 2010 bikes to its top 50 dealers and members of the media this week in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 2010 Olympic city was an ideal venue for the launch with its famous North Shore freeride trails located a half-hour outside the city, as well as all mountain trails in nearby Burnaby and urban bike paths just outside the hotel in downtown Vancouver.
The first day of riding took place on Mt. Seymour where we tested out Norco's new line of downhill bikes on the white knuckle (for me, anyway) bridges, logs and ladders of the Shore trails. I rode the women's Vixa, which hasn't changed much from its inaugural year in 2009, but has a snazzy new paint scheme this year.
The next day, we set out on the streets of Vancouver to test Norco's new urban bikes, including the Spade singlespeed, the XFR series and a few people even rocked the new Slipstream electric bike. The ride let us along the False Creek seawall to Granville Island and back over the Burrard Street Bridge on a sunny, blue-sky day in the city.
Next it was off to the all-mountain trails in Burnaby with fast flowing descents and much tamer stunts than the Shore. The event finished with a barbecue at the Burnaby Bike Park, where Norco's team riders wowed the crowd on the dirt jumps.
Here are some pictures from the week:
Norco trials rider Ryan Leech opened the event with a demo outside the Sheraton Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver. He used the plexiglass on top of the light pole as an impromptu prop, which led to a few hand-to-mouth reactions from the audience as the plexiglass wobbled under the weight of his bike.
The media group chats outside the hotel before setting off an the urban ride.
Norco rider Dylan Korba used the city as his playground
So did Ryan Leech, who hops off a bench against Vancouver's picturesque backdrop along False Creek.
The group descends from the Burrard Street Bridge. The bridge is a point of contention currently, as the city opted to block off one lane of traffic solely for use by bike commuters. The new lane opened on Monday and has elicited backlash from some drivers who say the lane should be kept for cars. Seems a bit strange in what seems to be an otherwise bike friendly city.
The Burnaby Bike Park, which was designed by Norco rider Jay Hoots. The parks offers dirt jumps, bridges and a massive wall ride.
Feasting at the bike park.
Norco chief executive officer Jim Harman recently announced his retirement after 32 years with the company (he'll stay on the company's board of directors). Norco employees organized a suprise good-bye to Harman after Tuesday's dinner, feting him with a slideshow documenting his long career with Norco and speeches from co-workers and retailers. Good luck on the links, Jim!