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Vancouvering

Metro explores the latest trends emerging on the West Coast of Canada.

Get revved up for scrambling outside the city

Vancouver trending: A next generation of riders is uncovering the joys of the open road and the hidden route.

A photo from the shooting of local filmmaker Mike Babiarz's Squatchers, about two Bigfoot hunters in the wild. Shot over three days at Stave Lake, motorcycle riders play a key role in the

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A photo from the shooting of local filmmaker Mike Babiarz's Squatchers, about two Bigfoot hunters in the wild. Shot over three days at Stave Lake, motorcycle riders play a key role in the "campy motor romp, culminating in a dirt- biking Sasquatch chase scene."

Tattooed and waxed-coated, today's moto-culture aficionados are attuned to classic fashion and maximum thrill-seeking.

Vancouver's proximity to top-notch riding areas, surrounded by mountains, lakes, and forested roads makes it a prime location for riders.

Mike Babiarz, a local filmmaker, photographer and enduro rider, is deep into the culture. His interest began five years ago when he started spending a lot of time on Vancouver 's Columbia block where his girlfriend was starting up Duchesse Vintage.

Next door was The Shop, a hub for motorcycle culture where riders came to meet up, drink coffee, and talk bikes.

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"That's what got me into it. I wanted to ride with the pack into the mountains and far away," he said. He'd soon bought himself a 1976 Yamaha XT500, and "from day one, I was hooked."

Submitted/J-Bone, Filth Mode crew

"Riding far away from the city to explore B.C.'s wilderness with your friends is as good as it gets."

Around town, The Shop is still a central gathering place for motorcycle fans. They also have an annual Spit N Shine where they raffle off a bike.

BCORMA offers several dirt bike school courses. The upcoming Classic Vintage Motorcycle Swap Meet and Show and Shine is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. This May, Vancouver Flat Track Club starts their race season at the Pemberton Valley Speedway. And the Dream Roll is a women-only motorcycle ride and camp trip.

Babiarz is part of Filthmode, a motorcycle club dedicated to "getting out in the woods with friends on old thumper motorcycles, specifically the XT500, " he said.

A classic three-day roll for the club starts at the Sasquatch Inn in Harrison Mills where they tuck into breakfast before heading north along forest service roads, then through the mountains, setting up hammock tents deep in the Stein Valley overnight. The rest of the roll involves lakes and hidden hot springs.

"There are always flat tires, good times and sore muscles. I can't wait to get out this year," he said.

The Filth Mode crew has inspired Babiarz's latest film, Squatchers, about two Bigfoot hunters in the wild. Shot over three days at Stave Lake, motorcycle riders play a key role in the "campy motor romp, culminating in a dirt- biking Sasquatch chase scene."

It was a team effort. With the help of several other people in the riding community, Babiarz worked with Cory Grandfield on direction and production, and entered the film in a contest "with a crazy prize of dream filmmaking gear." (Watch Squatchers and vote for it here).

Babiarz sums up the appeal of motorcycle culture: "Riding far away from the city to explore B.C.'s wilderness with your friends is as good as it gets."

Submitted/Peter Miles, Filth Mode adventures

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