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.