Monday, October 11, 2004

Riding Bud

Today is the Monday of the long weekend (Thanksgiving) and what better thing to do than go for a ride on your favorite hill. Tim and I decided that we would meet at the Woodlot at 7am and head up the hill to do a trail that neither of us had ridden in many months. Platinum. In fact we both last rode Platinum on March 14 of this year, a 7 month hiatus. So onward and upward we went up the hill in near darkness. By the time we were near the powerlines, we in full daylight and the conditions were pretty good. It had been raining recently so the ground was wet/damp, but it was not raining at the time. We really took our time getting to the top as we both had a bit of time for the ride and we were going to enjoy ourselves.

We decided that we would gear up where you duck into the trail on the gravel powerline road. Just as we were about to put our helmets on, we heard some voices of other riders that had Platinum on their schedule as well. We decided to just begin our ride rather than stick around and see who was behind us.

The flowy trail that leads to the start of Platinum was really quite mucky and there were many BIG puddles, but it was a nice warm-up for what we were about to ride. So seeing as Tim is much more experienced in jumping and big drops, I let him go first and I would follow in order to see the speed needed to make the gaps and drop to the trannies. All I can say is that I owe most of this ride to Tim. I would not be doing this trail were it not for him. I just watched and learned and hit every gap and every drop on the trail. One of the cooler gaps goes over a logdrop. That was sweet. The big gap near the bottom was one big eye opener though. Several berms to a short straight section where you have to be pedaling really hard in order t make a rather substantial gap. I cleared it first attempt, but I was not happy with how I landed, so up the trail I went to give it a second try. On my second attempt, I just skyed over the gap, it was sweet.

The final big test was the 6 pack to the roller coaster drop. I made sure to follow Tim's instructions explicitly for this section........'make sure you just cleanly make the first gap, do not over shoot it at all............if the first gap it cleared cleanly, just let go of the brakes and hang on for the ride...........'. So that is what I did. One gap......TWO gap.....THREE GAPs...........whooo hooooo. Holy crap was that sweet. Then I just rode the rest of the line to the roller coaster to the nice big drop off the ladder. Butter my friends, butter. In fact it was so butter that I ran myself back up the trail and did it again.

We both paused for a few minutes then and then pressed on up the connector (Stovetop) to Giant Killer. At the top of Giant Killer we met up with the two guys that Rob and I met the week earlier. (Lance and Jordan). So they hooked up with us for the rest of the ride down Giant Killer. I will say that my new tires (Kenda Blue Groove and Nevegal 2.5" tubeless setup) worked really well on the wet woodwork. At the bottom gap Rich, Ewan and Jamie were working on the berm of the last gap with a guy filming them. In talking with Rich, it turned out that Joan Jones from The West Coast School of Mountain Biking ( ) was with them filming for a video on trial maintenance.

We then headed over to Snakes and Ladders for a all out blast down the trail. That is what the trail has basically become, and all out blast. Most crappy spots are now fixed and it was ripping really well today. I even did the drop to flat at the bottom again into a big puddle.

We then made our way over to Shotgun where we played cat and mouse again down the trail to the cars. Lots of fun ripping that trail again. Tim and I talked for a bit about stuff and made our way home. I did make a point of telling him how thankful I was for guiding me on how to clean Platinum. So with the help from a friend and several trips to Whistler in the summer, I went from avoiding a trail because it was over my head to eagerly waiting for the next time I can hit the trail hard.