Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Spring Pruning

Well being that it is early spring, the trees in the area were starting to bloom and most importantly from a building perspective (at least on the exit of our trail) some pruning needed to be done before things got too overgrown. I left work around the regular time of 4:30pm and decided that I would go up to the trail exit with my pruning shears and cut back the Poplars that were going to be invading our trail.

I rode up as quickly as I could as I knew that light was going to be an issue as I had left this a little late in the day. So I pruned away as fast as I could, all the time throwing the cut pieces as far off the trail as possible. In total I had about a 100 meters that needed to be pruned but due to the fading light, I decided that I would stop about half way and get off the hill before I lost all the daylight.

By the time I reached the bottom, I was riding in near darkness. I was definitely the last guy off the hill. I drove home knowing that I really needed to finish the job some time soon. I did however have allot of fun riding Shotgun in the fading early evening light.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Many Hands Make Light Work

Today was a Saturday morning ride up at the Woodlot with Rob and Brad. Our trail route consisted of Gold, Blood Donor then up to Tsuga to Snakes and Ladders then up to Quickhit and Shotgun.

The weather today was really good for riding as the ground was tacky but not sopping wet so it was nice and grippy. I was on my hardtail for this ride so trying to stay smooth was the flavor of the day. Gold was is okay shape and the skinny gods were somewhat in my favor so for once, I enjoyed Gold. Then we hit Blood Donor. The newer work on the trail has been very well accepted. The result of this is the vastly increased traffic the trail is now seeing and the top part of the trail is getting beaten to death. I guess this is a problem that all trails encounter. New work = more traffic = more work = more traffic...........

This was the first time in a long while that I was on my hardtail on this trail and I really enjoyed hitting both the first and larger second gap at the bottom of Blood Donor.

So up to Tsuga we went. I really like the simple natural flow of this trail. From time to time, it is a nice break from the stunts on most of the hill. We then made our way down to Snakes and Ladders where we decided work on a G-Out on that was making the approach to the Boa Bridge less than enjoyable. The three of us made quick work of the task at hand and did a really nice permanent fix of the problem. We then went a little further down the trial and fixed a mud hole that has been a problem for quite a while. Within about 45 minutes we were done and got back on our bikes to continue the ride.

It was then up to QuickHit and over to Shotgun. All in all a really constructive day of riding. I totally believe in the saying that many hands make light work and having 3 of us do the dirt work was great. And topping it off with a good ride was even better.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Solo Après Work

I decided to go for an after work ride so I did a quick spin up to Snakes and Ladders. I rode the log ride that we are building as best I could as it is not quite finished. The I rode to Shotgun, got in my car and went home. I am pretty sure that I was the last person down the hill today. I actually had allot of daylight for this ride, so it is looking promising now for after work rides and building.

I cannot wait to see how the year progresses.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Fix It Brothers

So today it was again Tim and I up at the Woodlot. We rode up to Snakes and ducked in off the road to save a little time and started work on getting more rung for the log ride. I really don’t know what it is, but we have had one hell of a time trying to get rung for this log. Some people came by having a look at what we were doing and wished us well (it’s nice to get encouragement from riders). Then Cory came by to tell us that there was a broken ramp at the top and a few other riders were with him tagging along for the ride. We finished what we were doing on the log ride and then hiked our bike and the saw with a few tools to the top of the trail to take care of the broken ramp. On the way up, we cut out some trees that were in the middle of the trail that took away from the flow of the trail. We did notice that somebody had already taken it upon themselves to cut a couple trees out with a chainsaw and just leave the trees on the edge of the trail. We have no idea who did it, but one day we hope to find out. The ramp in question was a small ramp that leads to a short skinny logride. We basically just cut out the ramp and will do a fix at a later date.

After building we decided to rip down Snakes and Ladder then we made our way over to Shotgun and back home in the cars. It was basically a cat and mouse race down Shotgun between Tim and I.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Tour Of Duty

Today was an early morning ride up at the Woodlot with Tim, Dave and a guy I had never met before, Frank.

We decided that we would hit the following trails in this order. Krazy Karpenter, Blood Donor, Giant Killer, Platinum, Snakes and Ladders then finally Shotgun.

This turned out to be a long day, but a very good ride.

It was raining on this day, so it was quite slippery on the wood of Karpenter. This trail needs a lot of work from top to bottom to match the quality of trails on the rest of the hill. From Karpenter we walked up the hill to hit Blood Donor which has in the past few months seen a tremendous amount of work and is a sweet trial to ride now. In the past Blood Donor in the wet was like risking your life, now it is a sweet ride and in the dry it is an absolute rip. I actually hit both of the gap jumps on the trail. The first which it seems everyone cases is not really a problem, but the 2nd one is a real eye opener. I will admit that I do not jump I am what I have termed Aeronautically Challenged. But seeing as all the other guys just flew over the gap I thought what the hell, I will give it a try. I made 2 key errors for a perfect jump. I brake checked (not needed on this jump) and I was way too far left (I was on the hairy edge of the trail upon landing). After a holy shit did you see that and what the hell were you thinking going so wide conversation we went down Giant Killer.

From previous conversations with some of the other builders up there, we knew that there would be some new stuff on the trial towards the bottom, so we ripped our way down and to our pleasant surprise we found a pretty big and buff gap jump. Tim, Frank and Dave all hit it. I did not see Frank hit it, but I from what I can remember he did it flawlessly, Tim I believe did it the same. When Dave hit I hear a bit of a scream, it was him after landing it and yelling Holy Crap or something to that extent. He landed a little nose heavy and did a nose wheelie until the berm below and then smoothly rolled out. In other words a really nice save. Tim was the only one that went back up to try it again. As he flew by in the air all you could hear was the hiss of a disk brake and his freewheel. As for me, I just rode by it saying not today, maybe in a few months. I need to PROGRESS to a gap that size. I know my limits and right now that is way beyond them.

So then we hit Platinum, but in order to save time, we hiked up from the bottom. Now we had started our ride today at 7:30am so we were still the first guys on the hill so there was a small chance that we would meet someone coming down the trail. So we huffed our way up the trail and all I can say is that those guys that say riding Freeride/DH style trails is for lazy guys have never packed a 40-50lb bike straight up a hill. It was hard work but we made it to the top without seeing anyone until the very top. At the first jump we saw Rich and Taylor that were just starting their ride. So we all geared back up and hit the trail. Now Frank was the only one to hit the first gap and man that guy can sail. Sweet is all I can say. The rest of the guys can hit everything on the trail so I just cruised the trail hitting all the logs and skinnies and being Luke Stuntwalker on the rest of the stuff. At the final 6 pack, Frank was running into problems, he was either too hot or too cold going into the second gap. Tim hit them with big air and style and Dave after a few tries finally hit them in succession and totally flew on the last one, landing about 20 feet down the transition. HUGE AIR. We then hit the last part of the trail and rode out to the bottom of Giant Killer.

Tim had to leave a little early but Franks and Dave wanted to ride a little more, so we said farewell to Tim and continued back up the hill to Snakes and Ladders. Dave had not ridden the trail in a while and was looking forward to the new work we had done. It has mostly been bridges and one jump but nice work so far nonetheless. After Snakes we hit Shotgun and out to the cars. That is when the heavens opened up and it started to rain as hard as I have ever seen it rain. We ducked into Franks car, had a beer and called it a day.

Friday, March 12, 2004

2 Years

Today has a great amount of significance to me and anyone that knows me well. It is the anniversary of the death of my youngest brother, Nick. Today I went on a long XC type ride to do some thinking and get back to what I really love….riding. I went to the Woodlot and equipped my bike for some XC style riding by putting on XC tires and clipless pedals. So upwards I went up past Goldmine all way up and over the mountain.

At a large junction in the road I went right and I had a good idea of where the road came out and I was correct in my guess that it came out at Stave Lake. So I then had to turn around and climb all the way back up the hill. The ride was quite a workout, and there was a fair amount of snow on the road, but I had a good time riding and it allowed me to really clear my mind and think about life in general. I then rode down Goldmine then Snakes and Ladders then out on Shotgun. Not a bad ride overall.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I Found Martin's

I went for another ride from my house to find some trials but this time I was armed with a satellite photo of the area and I made my way to where it looked like there was a trail and behold, there it was right before my eyes, an old horse trail that looked like it had not been used in years. So I followed it along the back yards of some peoples house and along the edge of a rock quarry. From the rock quarry it was up a switch backed horse trail and suddenly you are plopped in the back yard of some rather high end house with some very nice views of the whole Fraser Valley.

I had another look at my map and found a very well established trail that I had no idea existed. Martin Trail, is a smooth flat trail that heads into the forest and has the coolest mossy covering all over the trees that I have ever seen. I had a blast ripping on the trail until I realized it was getting pretty dark and I had to make it home soon. So I turned around with the intention of coming back as soon as I can to see where the trail goes. A quick ride home and my day was done.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Scoping My Turf

I got home from work at a reasonable hour and decided that I would go for a quick spin on my bike to try and find some trails near my house. So I headed East. Once I made it to the abandoned PVI building , I noticed a few horse trails that I need to have a look at in the future but I just continued east to 256th and then found a small trail that follows the road and then goes up into one of the local rock quarries. On the way home I had a really good look around to see where some older trails were that I used to ride. So I just went home and had a look on the internet and found some interesting satellite photos of the area.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Our Log Ride Begins

Well today we (Rob and Tim and I) decided that we would start the big log ride that we have had our eyes on for some time now. It is a cool set of logs that cross a creek twice and then drops back in on the trail where we have built another bridge that crosses the creek one more time. It is kind of cool the way it all links together so that you go back and forth across the creek on either bridges or an elevated log. We started the day with a ride down the trail to where we were going to be building for the day and then we went for a walk in the woods to find some good wood for rung.

So it was my job to split the rung and Rob and Tim were back at the log ride framing in the approach, exit and the turn where the logs meet. It was a hard day of building and we were able to get quite a bit of the log done. But there is still tones to complete. As it turns out, one of the logs is too rotten to ride on and we cannot nail into it, so we will likely be putting a teeter totter on it to get the rider up and over the trouble section or something to that effect.

While I was splitting rung, this kid (maybe 17yrs old) walks out of the woods with a shovel and a rain jacket on. Now I am in the middle of the bush with an axe, and a hammer and some dude just walks up on me, so I am thinking WTF is he doing here. As it turns out, he came up to the Woodlot today to build a road gap, but he heard us building and just followed the sound. I was glad he found us because the last thing we need is a road gap built up here. I set him straight on the building issues and he offered to help us for the remainder of the day. I must say, he worked his ass off and his effort was very much welcomed.

I took off home a little before Rob and Tim and just jetted down the hill to Shotgun and then home. It was a pretty good day as it was nice to finally get this log ride started.