Digger Kneeds Knees

Photo by Pinkbike

Back in 1996 I was first introduced to Todd “Digger” Fiander on a bike ride on Mt. Fromme. At the time all the good trails were the secret ones and Todd rode them all. I was lucky enough to get the invite on a few of these rides and knew Todd was going to be a big part of the next revolution in mountain bike trail creation.

He was building trails and filming friends insane enough to ride his trails to make his famous North Shore Extreme Videos. Todd asking me to be in his first NSX video not only got my name into the video and out into the community but also gave publicity to my new bike shop – Steed Cycles. The timing was great and so was what Todd was up to.

The North Shore Trails are well known not only locally but by mountain bike enthusiast all over the world. This is all owed to the hard work and passion of one man – Digger. Because of Diggers work on and off the trails we were able to captialize on the growing mtb scene. People wanted bikes that would allow them to keep up with Todds work and to make sure that their bikes were North Shore worthy. This meant that bike manufacturers changed their suspension requirements, tire sizes and geometry to keep up with Todd’s trails.

Steed Cycles and myself personally owe a lot to Digger not only for his constant support of Steed but for making trails that I personally love to ride and get so much enjoyment from.

We have learned that Todd will be taking some time off from the trails later this Summer as he goes under the knife to replace both of his knees. He will potentially be taking 1 year off and the community has banded together to create a fundraising campaign for the man himself – Digger Kneeds Knees!

Please contribute what you can or share the story with those you feel could give back. We look forward to seeing Todd back on the trails in 2018 better than ever. The Shore wouldn’t be the incredible mountain biking haven it is without the passion and dedication of this man.

Thank you for everything Digger! Heal up!

2016 NSMBA Trail Day Report

With two trail days under our belt we are happy to report on some great work happening on Fromme Climbing Trail.


Big thanks to Santa Cruz for working with us this year! We love their dedication to local trail networks and support with the dig and keeping us powered by the amazing sandwich making of Seb Kemp. Check out the Santa Cruz trail report from our first trail day in March :

This past Sunday April 17th, members of the Steed MTB Team and customers came out to lend a hand on the trails and aid in making the climb a little smoother. We will be hosting the next NSMBA Trail Day on Sunday May 22nd 9am. Sign up HERE now if you would like to attend and give back to the Shore.

Please also consider becoming a NSMBA Member or to attend their Community Trail Days. Support where you ride!IMG_6387IMG_6393IMG_6385IMG_6382IMG_6389IMG_6395IMG_6408IMG_6374



NSMBA Trail Day Sunday May 24th

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This year Steed & Devinci are continuing their partnership to sponsor NSMBA TAP on Skull. Our next trail day is Sunday May 24th!
When: Sunday May 24th, 8am-1pm
Where: Park at the end of Quarry Court (off of Dempsey)
What to bring: Gloves and water. Snacks will be provided.
Why: Give back to the trails and work with the legendary DIGGER!
Shoot us an email ( or give us a call (604.987.2168)  if you want to come out and give back to the Shore.

Dig with Steed April 19th on Skull

TAP April 19th Poster (3)

This year Steed & Devinci are continuing their partnership to sponsor NSMBA TAP on Skull. Our first trail day of the year is April 19th!
When: Sunday April 19th, 8am-1pm
Where: Park at the end of Quarry Court (off of Dempsey)
What to bring: Gloves and water. Snacks will be provided.
Why: Give back to the trails and work with the legendary DIGGER!
Shoot us an email ( or give us a call (604.987.2168)  if you want to come out and give back to the Shore.

Volunteers Wanted! Mt Seymour Boogieman Trail Day June 23rd!

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June 12, 2013

Call for volunteers and trail builders!

On June 23rd, Steed Cycles and Devinci Bikes will be holding another North Shore Mountain Bike Association TAP trail day on the beloved Boogieman on Mt Seymour. Whether you have tons of experience trail building or this is your first time picking up a shovel, we would love to see you come out and lend a hand.

Lunch will be provided by Steed Cycles and Devinci Bikes. Please bring work gloves, water and a great attitude!!

To attend, please RSVP to

Thanks for your support and we look  forward to digging with you on the 23rd!

NSMBA Toonie Races | An Enduro Race Series

Toonie Race 2013-01

June 12, 2013

The NSMBA Toonie Enduro Series fires up this Thursday evening on Mt. Fromme. Races will be every Thursday night for the next 6 weeks straight. Racers will be timed using a RFID timing system with 3 timed stages per race night. Sign in will be at the 2nd gate on Fromme between 5:30pm and 6:30pm.

Courses are set out in a loop with the main climbs being untimed liaison sections; the special stages are the fun sections of trail we love. Special stages will be at least 80% descending.

NSMBA has invested in SportIdent RFID timing system. This takes the complication out of timing and will allow for a rolling start. Come sign in get your timing card then set off on your own pace. If you happen to leave work 5 minutes late or get stuck in traffic not need to stress about missing the mass start.

The first course will be on the north side of Mountain Highway:

Liaison Stage – Climb to 5th switchback, untimed
Special Stage – Crinkum, Kirkford, Cedar, timed
Liaison Stage – Cedar to Upper Griffin, untimed (this is really short)
Special Stage – Upper Griffin, Lower Griffin, King of the Shore (first two switchbacks very small climb), timed
Liaison Stage – King of the Shore, Mountain Hwy to Floppy Bunny, untimed
Special Stage – Floppy Bunny, timed

Races will run every Thursday night until July 18th.

For more information, please visit the NSMBA web site here. The Shore Lives!

April 8, 2013

If you’ve been following the turning of the wheels here on the Shore as of late, then you know there’s some good things happening. For those of us that live here, dig here and ride here, that’s definitely an understatement. What has been quietly building in momentum for the last three years is now exploding out of the gate like Stevie Smith at Mont Ste. Anne! What once was lost, now is found, and our future here looks brighter than ever.


You’ll never take the gnar outta the Shore. Simmons knows where the nugs are. Photo: Sterling Lorence

Not so long ago, the Shore gave birth to Freeride on the shoulders of some of the biggest names in the sport. Simmons, Super T, Gully, Vanderham & Shandro rode into the history books on outlandish creations borne from the hands of Digger & Dangerous Dan. It is a history every mountain biker knows well. Captured on celluloid in Digger’s NSX videos, it spurred the building of Shore style stunts round the world. Although the world seems to think the Shore is all about ladder bridges and log rides, take Shore local Thomas Vanderham’s words from Follow Me: “When I go out and ride I don’t ride skinnies and I rarely ride anything that’s built out of wood.” Despite the following segment showing Thomas no-handing a massive platform gap over a creek, the old stunts that riddled the Shore are dying a long, slow death.

bigquotes When I go out and ride I don’t ride skinnies and I rarely ride anything that’s built out of wood. – Thomas Vanderham


Rotted wood on Pink Starfish. Slicker than puppy shit on a hardwood floor and rotten as a witch’s tit.

We find ourselves in a new era. As the old stunts rot out, (presenting an entirely different challenge to the rider in the interim stages of decay) the capacity to replace every expired platform or skinny amassed over the past twenty years simply isn’t there. Nor, seemingly, is the appetite. The community is pulling together in a showing of arms to rebuild and revitalize our treasured trails, literally from the ground up. Hundreds are hard at work on the steep mountain faces, building bridges, diverting water and throwing dirt. But not everyone one is happy. As rotted stunts are removed, erosion undone and sustainability sought, a select few condemn the efforts as ‘dumbing down’ the Shore. But, with the amount of deferred maintenance bottle-necked in our 20+ year old network, neglect is no longer an option.

Those that truly know the Shore fear nothing. Thankfully, you can never take the gnar out of the Shore. For the vocal minority that seem unable to accept the change in our midst, Wade Simmons, now Director with the NSMBA, has a standing offer. “Anyone who thinks we’re ‘dumbing down the Shore’, I’ll be happy to take them for a ride.” I’d carefully consider that challenge before accepting. Many upper level challenges still lurk in the mist for those that want it, but now there’s something for everyone. Patching holes, fixing drainage, finding sustainable alignments, add in some flow, cohesive connections and shralpable corners, and it appears things are being smartened up rather than “dumbed down”. Fortunately, our pursuit of sustainability is not only harmonious with a positive ride experience, it’s strengthening relations with Land Managers & the broad based community, resulting in successful grant pursuits which in turn, fuels the trail work.


Digger leading the charge on Expresso. Photo: Jerry Willows


Bench cut?! On the Shore?! Photo: Norma Ibarra

“The Shore has never been running better!” Digger has a big smile on his face, happy to be ‘throwing dirt in the noon day sun!’ The original founder of the NSMBA, it’s only fitting he has returned to the Directorship this year. “The trails were never like this in the beginning, we’re just bringing them back to where they began!” He’s busy filling in deep trenches on the Baden Powell, one of the most heavily used arteries on Fromme, beaten down from hikers, dog walkers and bikers since its creation in 1970. The NSMBA has stepped up to restore this community treasure, for the betterment of all, further establishing a position of leadership and proving our worth to the budget strained Land Managers.

bigquotes The Shore has never been running better! The trails were never like this in the beginning, we’re just bringing them back to where they began! – Digger

Our new found expertise is taking form in reroutes and water management, grade reversals and outslope, banked corners and flow. Water dispersion is paramount in a climate that sees over 2000mm of rain per year (that’s 6 feet, or 72 inches for our brethren south of the border), yet little drainage was implemented in the original builds. Sustainability was an unknown term in the era when the Shore first rose up so long ago. Combine the lethal combination of our waterlogged climate, inherited fall line trails and heavy, year round ridership, many of the trails have eroded down to the bones. We’ve been busy retrofitting the worst sections, integrating a new school flow while keeping those heavy tech sections that we love so much. After all, the Godfather is an integral part of our tactical approach. Chunky technical and flowy goodness is proving a combination that incorporates the best of both worlds, inviting new riders into the fray while keeping the ‘ol timers’ happy retaining progressive lines. At least some of us.


Still having problems finding the gnar gnar? Maybe ask Arthur “Gnar Gnar” Gaillot. Arthur on the Skull. Photo: Mark Wood

While steep & deep still abounds, the sport is opening to other skill levels with the building of flowy XC trails like the Salamander, Gnomer and Defibrillator. “Lower Seymour has never been better!” Kevin Calhoun, pro rider for Rocky Mountain Bikes, has long been riding Shore circuits that would kill a goat. “It’s not a select group of riders out here anymore, the sport has exploded and the trail network needs to expand to accommodate.” Its enlightening to see this benevolence in vision, especially from a long time core rider who holds innumerable podium finishes.

bigquotes Lower Seymour has never been better! It’s not a select group of riders out here anymore, the sport has exploded and the trail network needs to expand to accommodate. – Kevin Calhoun


Mathew Bond, the NSMBA’s youngest and longest serving President, rallies the troops in the early morning on Seymour Mountain. Photo: Norma Ibarra


Fashionable detritus on Boogieman. Did I mention puppies & witches?

To tackle this monumental task, our solution had to come from within. Our first priority was to build capacity by empowering the community. Knowledge is power and therefore education key. With initiatives like the North Shore Builders Academy, the knowledge base has grown exponentially, and continues to grow. 187 graduates from 2012 have now become our elite forces: the Shore Corps. As evidenced in our first trail day of 2013, held this March, we have become a formidable machine capable of high quality work in short order. Combine this with the North Shore Trail Adoption Plan, what first seemed insurmountable is now within our grasp. We are literally rebuilding the Shore, making up for lost decades. TAP has taken on a life of its own, thanks to the Adopters who care enough to give back. Last year TAP tallied 70 trail days alone, with 100 optimistically projected for 2013. With the recent pilot project gifting the TAP framework to our brotherhood in the valley, the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association is helping to strengthen efforts through partnerships and knowledge sharing while at the same time fulfilling the mission of the NSMBA: Trails for all, trails forever.


The Shore Corps: Ready, willing & able. Our latest trail day this March, hosted by MEC. “The world is run by those who show up.”


Support those who support the Shore.

The corporate support has been the gas in the tank and is allowing us to tackle projects once thought beyond our scope. With thanks to some solid backing from some big names in the sport, we are tapping into greater opportunities to keep the machine moving forward. Our list of donors and sponsors is strong and deep, ranging from local industry to national and international supporters. Although Arc’teryx doesn’t even make bike gear, they live and play here on the Shore and are giving back as title sponsors of the Builders Academy while at the same time reinventing Dreamweaver on Fromme as part of TAP. MEC have been working tirelessly transforming Expresso under the watchful eye of Digger and have also granted the NSMBA $15 000 torevitalize the Bridle Path. While lead builder Matt Preston leads his crew on the Bridle, Digger and his team of builders are tackling the restoration of the Baden Powell trail (built by the boyscouts in 1970, of which Little Digger was one) thanks to grant monies from the CP Loewen Foundation. Beyond these two projects, each massive on their own, TAP is tackling another 25 mtb and multi use trails in 2013. The NSMBA is working on trails that benefit not just the riders, but the greater community, giving us a broader respect that is echoing in some exciting opportunities on the near horizon. We are proving to the Land Managers and the non endemic community that we are responsible, capable and a valuable ally.


Got wood? Sure, we got wood. Digger craftsmanship on Lower Ladies.


Regardless, when we are gone, the forest will take it all back in the ongoing cycle of ruin & renewal.


Two gargantuan projects, led by the NSMBA for the betterment of the greater community.

Perhaps not as sexy as building big drops and sick gaps, we’re taking on much needed work, long overdue. Thankfully, we seem to be catching up, and doing it in double time. At the same time, we’re learning how to work with the Land Managers, in a place marred by a history of strained relations. We now seem to be pulling on the rope in the same direction at a serendipitous time when our capacity snowballs. Hundreds of people are making it happen, pledging their allegiance to the cause. A fellow builder put it to me best “you’ve got to bake the cake before you put the icing on.” Using this analogy, right now, our cake’s in the oven. Our next phase is sure to be an exciting one as we get ready to put the icing on the cake. In the meantime, make no mistake, the Shore is open for business.


Business time. Irish Pete, Digger and Podo working on the Baden in torrential downpours for weeks on end.

Big thanks to for the great article. Read more here:

NSMBA Annual General Meeting Nov 29th

November 27, 2012

This coming Thursday evening, the North Shore Mountain Bike Association is holding their 2012 Annual General Meeting at Jaycee House in North Vancouver. In addition to the AGM, the NSMBA will be hosting a season ender party to usher in a new season and sing out the old.  This is your opportunitiy to get involved in the future of mountain biking on the North Shore.

2013 looks to be full of promise. We hope to see you there.

For more information, please check out

NSMBA Trail Day Update: Expresso on Mt. Fromme

November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 18th marked the last TAP trail day of the 2012 season for the NSMB crew supported by RockShox. Over the season, we double-TAPped Expresso, laying down a total of 12 trail days with MEC doing their own share on the new alignment.

Digger’s vision led the way for Expresso’s new alignment, a more sustainable take on a classic line down Fromme. Even with two solid crews working on Expresso, however, Digger has spent countless hours working on the trail on his own time, making sure every last rock is perfectly placed and covered in solid gold.

Under Digger and Jerry Willows’ guidance, we regularly headed up the hill with 25-30 willing workers for our TAP days, and completed huge sections in a short time. It’s amazing what a focused crew can accomplish, and we really would like to thank each and every one of you who came out to one of our trail days this year.

Thanks for joining us on the ride – here’s to another great year in 2013.

Read more: 

Donate to the Trails Forever Fund – Keep the North Shore Alive

November 18, 2012

The North Shore of Vancouver is renowned among mountain bikers for its network of challenging, technical trails. Home to classics like Ladies Only, Expresso and Boogie Man, the Shore is considered by many to be the birthplace of freeriding. But these rock and root filled trails didn’t build themselves – a dedicated group of volunteers have invested countless hours of labor into building the North Shore into the world class destination it is today. But although the labor might be free, it still costs money to buy the tools and supplies necessary for trail building and maintenance. It’s for this reason the North Shore Mountain Biking Association (NSMBA) is seeking donations to its Trails Forever Fund.

The Trails Forever Fund was created to help ensure the North Shore’s trails can be enjoyed for years to come. The NSMBA knows that many mountain bikers are passionate about the Shore and want to give back, but are unable to attend build days due to their busy schedules. Donating to the Trails Forever Fund lets those who can’t donate their time donate their money; all funds raised go towards building and maintaining trails. As an added incentive to support this worthy cause, a local citizen has offered to match all donations up to $15,000. This means that even if you can only donate twenty dollars, forty dollars will end up in the Fund.

Even for those who’ve never made the pilgrimage to the North Shore, a donation today helps make sure the trails will be there when you finally get to visit the place where it all began. To donate or learn more, visit

Read more: 

Posted by Chris B