Friday, November 11, 2005
It had been more than a week since I rode because I spent the last week writing a paper for a course I am currently taking so I was really eager to make this a good ride. The planed route was Upper Oil Can, Pink Starfish and then Digger. Unfortunately Rob had to jet a little early and he was not able to make it up to the top of UOC and simply rode Pink Starfish and Digger and Boundary. Tim and I continued up to the top after Rob left us and that is when the snow really began to come down. About half way up the hill there was a little snow falling, but near the top the flakes were huge and it was starting to really stick on the open parts of the road. So once we were at UOC we geared up and began the ride down. UOC is one of those legendary trails that I just cannot get enough of. Lots of rock, roots, wood and flowy technical sections. Both Tim and I had a great time ripping down this trail in the dark mist of the morning.
After the Lobotinator (a plank ride across to a big flat rock face) and back onto the road we went up the road a few minutes to Pink Starfish. A few days earlier I had looked at some pictures online of the somewhat new work that had been done on the trail and I looked forward to riding the trail. After coming from UOC to Pink Starfish I quickly found out that they are two totally different trails. I am not going to start trail bashing, but I liked UOC however I did not like Pink Starfish. Half way down the trail I had to pause on a rock because I did not know what was on the other side. In doing so I had to walk down this rock and the ride went very wrong. I twisted my ankle really bad. I absolutely could not bear any weight on it without pain so we had to now find the most direct route down the hill.
Once we were at the bottom of Pink Starfish we went down Digger to the road and to our cars. It was not the best ride I have ever had but am not complaining as it was a ride in honour of our fallen troops. Once home at 11:11am I observed a moment of silence.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
At the end of the day I would say I pulled off my plan without a hitch.
I arrived at the Woodlot early in the morning to get a good start on the trail work before going for a spin with Rob and John.
I must say I was really happy with the work I did on that hole. It will never fill with water again and should run smooth for many years.
Almost as soon as I was finished fixing the hole, Rob and John showed up to go for a ride. After putting the tools away we started climbing up the road to Cabin trail. This was Johns first ride ever on his new bike so a nice blast down Cabin trail seemed appropriate. He rode quite well for a new guy so there were no worries about the trails we rode. From Cabin trail we made our way to Snakes and Ladders and rode the new dirt work that I just finished.
After Snakes it was over to Shotgun and a quick blast down that trail to the cars. Excellent ride and build day.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I was riding the Stiffee today and had just installed some new barend/grip lock ons and new pedals (last week I destroyed a pedal). As I approached the trailhead to Shotgun on the road up I could see 3 guys through the mist. The closer I got to them the more recognizable they were. It turned out to be Ewan, Jamie and Rich. In passing them I said hi and kept on pedaling to work on the trail. Once I reached the Snakes and Ladders trail head I parked my bike near the spot I was to be working on and made my way down to the tool stash. I came back with a bucket, shovel and a pick axe. My goal was to fix a muddy hole that had formed in front of a small log ride near the top of the trail.
I dug up all the black punky mud and dirt and tossed it to the side. I then filled it with 5 bucket of rocks, then 5 buckets of gold dirt. I then went back to the stash of tools and picked up the rake. Raking dirt into place is really important because it enables you to get ride of the rocks and stick that may be in the dirt used. While I was working on the trail 2 people came by that had never ridden The Woodlot before and were kind of asking for directions. I told them where they were on the mountain and how to get to different trails. They thanked me for working the trail and continued down Snakes and Ladders.
The completed dirt work for the log approach
Once I was finished 2 other guys showed up at the top of the trail on BIG bikes (an A-Line with Monsters and 8-Ball with Monsters). They turned out to be the first guys down the new dirt work (bastards!). I put on my helmet and armor and started down the trail. It wasn't long before I caught them on the trail. They let me pass at the rock drop and I was on my way ripping the trail. I hit the newer jump section quite well but a tad too hot blowing over a berm and having to jump off my bike. I also stopped at the other stash of tools on the trail to make sure they were all there. While stopping the 2 guys on big bikes passed me but I again caught up to them on the long log ride section and I just kept riding the trail all the way down flowing everything.
The ride to Hoots was nice an easy as normal and surprisingly I did not see anyone on their way up. I it Hoots at a reasonable pace and then pedaled up to the Shotgun trailhead. I must say that Hoots has taken a beating. Especially the section in the clear-cut. Months ago it was in really good shape but now there are spots that need a it of lovin.
Anyway on the way to the trail head of Shotgun I could see that there was a rider just ducking into the trail about 45 seconds ahead of me. Lately I have been trying to push myself on my rides to go faster and faster. I saw this as an opportunity to try and catch that rider so as soon as I was at the trail I put on the gas. Almost immediately I ran into some people that were eying up the jump just near the top of the trail. They let me pass at the berm and I pedaled up to the jump an tabled it bigger than I ever have. I then kept riding as fast as I could to catch the guy I had seen duck in ahead of me. By the time I reached the clear cut I saw him. He had just dismounted and it looked like he was looking for his friends. As I passed I told him that they were eying up the jump. The rest of Shotgun was flowing quite well and the usually super mucky sections have been re-worked to drain allot better. So out to the car it was and I packed up and I was on my way home. 3 hours of building and riding and I was exhausted.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Half way down Shotgun I knew there was something wrong with my pedal. I blew out all the bearings and the non-drive side pedal was TOAST.
Lots of work done and a great solo ride on the hardtail.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I cannot wait until next year.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
The first run was a little rough but after a couple runs my body softened up and I was in the groove flying down the mountain.
The views were great and the trails were all dialed. I hope they continuing to develop the mountain for next year.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Surprisingly the climb up the road is not as steep as one might think so the use of a granny gear is not needed. I pedaled all the way to the top in 32 front and 24 in the rear for the gears. Along the first traverse I encountered my first of 2 other riders that were pedaling up the hill. He was a roadie on a nice light bike and such skinny tires. I asked him if we could trade bikes and he just laughed saying I was going to have allot more fun than him on the way down, which is quite true.
There really weren't allot of shuttlers early in my climb. Only one truck with 2 bikes went past me on the climb between the bottom and the Mushroom parking lot. It was after the Mushroom parking lot (about half way up) that the shuttlers started buzzing by. I guess there were about 5 more truck loads of bikes that I saw cruise on by. On the first traverse after the Mushroom parking lot some guy on a XC Giant Mtn bike with slicks passed me. But the dude was what I would call rude. Normally you turn your head to make eye contact and at least say hi. I was a beautiful day and it is normally correct social etiquette to at least say hello, but no, this guy passes me on the opposite side of the road (2 lanes over). I looked over to motion hello but he just stared straight ahead not even acknowledging my existence. Jerk.
Well at the switchback there is a outhouse and water fountain and guess who it there having a drink......the anti social rider. I just cruised on by and continued up the hill at a little higher pace knowing that he was going to try and pass me again so I dropped the hammer and put the hurt on.......dreaming of the Tour and winning the Alpe D'Huez stage. He passed me. Again.
Now this is where a good ride suddenly became a great ride that I will not soon forget. About a 100m from the trail head of CBC and the end of my climbing for the day I heard a car approaching coming up the hill. I could then hear it gradually slow down and come to a complete stop beside me on the road. I looked over and to my surprise were 2 very good looking ladies in their early 20's in a shinny silver Mini. My first thought is that these girls are lost and are just stopping to get directions but rather the passenger smiled and said to me, "You look a little tired, would you like a Red Bull?". I hesitated slightly before my response as I was confused and surprised until I looked at the side of the car these girls were driving in. It had the Red Bull logo plastered all over it. It turns out these girls drive all over town looking for active people and offer them Red Bull. I must say that their timing could not have been better. They gave me a can of ice cold Red Bull, I thanked them for it and they were on their way.
So up to the beginning of the trail I went and geared up for the ride down and drank my can of Red Bull. I did of course call the wife to check in and tell her of the Red Bull girls and she just laughed. CBC is one of the very legendary trails on the Shore and has recently seen allot of armour work and upgrades to keep up with the increasing traffic that the trail is encountering. I must say I really like that trail an on a hard tail bike it make line choice a very important thing. I passed a group of 3 people on bike full suspension bikes that were taking a break at one of the stunt areas but I really find that doing that trail non stop and riding smoothly with unbroken continuity
is so much more fun than that stopping and starting all the time. I role pretty much all the wood work without any issues today, I just avoided the drop and the few new launches that have recently been built.
Over the Corkscrew is was after the exit off CBC. At that point I say 2 more guys with dogs that I had seen shuttling. They were sidelined with a flat but were fixing it so I just cruised on past. Corkscrew is a fun trail that has quite a challenging skinny section near the top. One thing I find hard to believe is the last time I rode that section reasonably clean was during a wet night ride with Tim, Graham and Marco. It is hard enough in the dry in the daylight. I made my way down corkscrew to the new connector trail that I believe is called Salvation. It is a brand new hand cut and wood ladened trail that gives riders of most abilities nice well built trail to ride. The trial is about 70% complete with a few of the larger signature stunts yet to be completed. There is one particular z shaped teeter totter that will be really interesting to ride once it is completed.
After Salvation it was Pingu which is a flowing trail with solid woodwork and lots of roots to ride over. Then over to Pangor which is like an extension of Pingu but just not directly connected. The thing I really like about Seymour is that the trails are real Mountain Bike trail. I say Mountain Bike because so many trails nowadays are being smoothed to the point where they become like BMX tracks with jumps on the paths. Seymour mountain where real Mountain Bikes are needed to have a proper ride.
After riding Pangor I rode a short trail called Slash which I love because of its steepness and the exposed rock areas and overall technical aspect. From Slash it is a short climb over and up to Empress and the nice steep rock sections. Every time I ride Empress I see a new way down the rock faces but I always seem to go the same route whether I am on the hard tail or the full suspension. So after the rock sections it down the uber armored bermed corners and out to my car.
I had an absolutely faultless ride. The only thing that could have made it better was if I have a riding buddy with me to share the experience.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
The Gate wasn't bad especially for being wet. I cleaned all the skinnies and just rode around the gap jumps (I was on the Stiffee). Tsuga is buffed for the first 50-75M but then is it's same old self which is pretty damn good. The beginning of the trail is kind of too buff right now. It is so smooth that you could have rigid forks and it would feel like glass. I guess as time passes it will wear and the trail will form a rougher path and become a truer Mtn. Bike trail again.
Snakes and Ladders was nice. A few little soft spots that 10 minutes with a shovel would solve. I cleaned the whole jump section the best ever and then went back and did it again. Soooooooo much fun. One of the berms is too soft (the extended one I made) because the dirt has too much clay in it. I will just need to throw some different type of dirt on it and it will get solid again. There has been massive amounts of water through the trail and it is dry in many spots, but in others there were standing puddles due to poor drainage and flat spots in the trail (stuff to be fixed). I ripped the trail non stop to the bottom and continued out to the road.
The flat trail that Snakes and Ladders exits onto that leads to the bottom of Quick Hit had a few bushes that needed some pruning done to them. A few days ago I had bought a machete so that I could trim back the overgrown bushes that were taking over this section of trail. So I pulled my machete from my pack like a Forest Trail Ninja and hacked away at everything in site. One thing about machetes......they are dangerous. If I was not wearing my leg armour there is a very good chance I would have been visiting the emergency ward. A couple times I swung the blade and it cut through the bush a tad bit easier than expected and the blade continued towards my shin and glanced off my armour (thanks Roach). By the time I was done you could see a nice clear swath and when riding through you were no longer going to get attacked by wet prickly raspberry bushes.
It was then time to hit Quick Hit. I had been informed that Tim had been doing some building earlier this week and that I would be pleasantly surprised. As I did the short easy climb past the bottom of the trail I looked up and could see the 'new feature' he put on the trail.
So I pedaled up to the top of the trail, adjusted my gear and headed down the trail. It is such a fun and fast flowing trail that is over even before you realize you are having such a good time. I decided that it is in my best interest to scope out the new hit rather than taking a leap of faith. What this new hit consists of is a step-down jump that is a shortcut between two berms. So if you time it right and are racing down the trail close behind your buddies, you could theoretically pass him by jumping between the berms on this step-down jump. When Tim and Rob showed me their idea last week I was blown away at how perfect the section was set up for this new feature. I could not wait to build it and it seems that Tim could not wait either and just went ahead and built it himself. I did what most people do on a new jump/hit. I stood at the top of it on the lip with my invisible handlebars in hand lining up my approach line and landing. I then mounted my trusty steed and went back up the trail a ways to get a good run in to the new step-down. All went well.....my speed was good, the launch was good, but in the air I noticed I was slightly off line and heading towards the edge of the landing area and over the berm. Once I landed I tried correcting my line but my front wheel washed out and I hit the berm sideways going over the bars and landing on my back over the berm with my bike covering my lower body.
I chuckled to myself about how I ended up where I was and got up to try her one more time. I know how and where I messed up so I went up the trail to get another run in and hit it perfectly. I didn't really look at how high the step-down is, but I think it is somewhere around a 6'x6' for where you land. I then rode the rest of the trail and when I came out the road that leads back up the hill I saw 2 other guys that had just finished riding Snakes and Ladders. I have a feeling that I startled them as they did a triple take when I came up beside them. I said to them to have a good ride and took off down to Shotgun.
Lately I have been riding Shotgun faster and faster every time I ride it. This time was no exception. I absolutely ripped the upper section and crossed the newly widened bridge to the jump that was rebuilt about a month ago. Now in the past month or so this newly rebuilt jump had fallen apart because so many people hit it with so much speed that the lip had basically disappeared and the jump just was not what it should be. The other thing is that this high speed jump had no real transition and at times could be a bit of a hard landing. Well was I in for a very pleasant surprise. The jump had been recently (few hours ago) totally rebuilt even higher with all fresh dirt and a solid new lip. It was awesome. In the air I noticed as I was spotting my landing that low and behold a TRANNY (angelic voice Halleluiah!!!). This new tranny makes the landing so perfectly smooth. Many, many thanks to the one that built that tranny and re-did the jump.
I rode the rest of the trail hard and fast pedaling everywhere that I could. And then it was out the my car to head home. One funny thing was that there were a few guys down at their cars and when I came out from Shotgun I was shot a few odd looks and raised eyebrows....guess it was the big machete I had strapped to my back pack. I had a really good ride and I must say that the jump on Shotgun in now dialed regardless of the spill on Quick Hit I absolutely loved the new step-down that Tim built to cheat between the berms.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
When I arrived at the bottom of Snakes & Ladders there was group of about 8 people that had just been talking with Tim further up the trail. So I waited until they had passed and then walked up the hill with the tools. At the top I saw Cory for a brief moment and then proceeded over to where Tim was working on the trail. We talked for a bit then I went down the hill again to get my bike. On the way down to my bike Tim pointed out a log we had both seen before, but we each have different ideas about what we should or could do with it. Tim wants to make it a downhill log ride.....I think it is too steep unless we cover it with traction (shingles etc). I say we cut it up and use it as rung. I guess it will be a battle of wills to see what the log becomes. I guess we could try it as a log ride an if it works, it stays, BUT if it is too steep.....I get to cut it up.
So I hiked my bike to the area where we were working and we each cleared out some dead trees that were looming on the sides of the trails. These were the type of trees that you bash your bars on when you ride past. We each took turns PUSHING these dead trees down. It is amazing how easy it is to fall a tree that is 50 feet tall and dead. All it takes is a good push and TIMBER!!!! By removing these trees we not only made this section safer, but it made the section soooo much faster and added flow to a section of trail that has been neglected for many years. We then removed a bunch of roots, filled in a few holes and wet spots and called it a day. This section is not completely finished, but it will be after one more day of work.
So we both made our way a little further up the hill to get a good run at our newly buffed section and had an absolute hoot. The couple hours we spent on it made a world of difference. We then both made our way to Shotgun and played our unusual cat and mouse game down Shotgun. In the first section I am almost always the mouse and there is one corner where 9 times out of 10 I literally walk away from Tim because of the line I take. One day he will follow my line....but until then, I will win the cat and mouse on the top section of Shotgun. We then switched the positions and Tim lead the way. I was sooooo surprised by the dust in the new clear-cut section on Shotgun. In fact it was so dusty behind Tim that I wiped out on a corner because I could not see the trail. He always seems to get away from me on the bottom of Shotgun....bastard!
So at the cars we figured out the next time we would ride/build and headed home. I must say for such a brief ride I had and extraordinarily good time.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Onward and upward we went and with good directions we easily found this "New/Old" trail. In fact it was an old abandoned motorcycle trail that had not seen any motorized tracks in several years. To any of you that have never ridden a motorcycle trail, you are missing out. That is because if it isn't too rutted out, they are the flowiest trails that you can just pump through. Well we geared up and hit the trail with tonnes of speed. It is not what I would call a technical trail, it is what I simply call a fun blast. Not too fast, not too slow and if you aren't smiling when you ride it, then you are definitely in the wrong sport.
So after this reasonably short trail, Rob and I decided head up to Goldmine and extend our fun rip down the hill. On the way to Goldmine I saw my first pile of Bear poop of the year in the middle of the trail up the hill.....there were no berries in it yet, only grass, so I know he is hungry. We arrived at the top of Goldmine, lowered our seats to a more comfortable position, buckled up and literally flew down the hill. I have never hit that trail so fast. I used very little brake and pedaled in several spots that I usually coast on. The grins were ear to ear on our faces. We stopped a few times to make sure we stayed together and every thing was all good and then continued on ripping down to the power lines.
We then crossed the power lines and did the traverse down the trail to Snakes and Ladders and once again I used very little brake and ripped to the trail head of Snakes and Ladders. We then dropped in and ripped the trail all the way through to out newest jump section. I had the biggest grin on my face and we just had to go back and do it again. So up we went a little way and hit the new section again all the way to the rock face. I did the highly exposed left line down the rock face. With a great amount of encouragement Rob did the furthest right line down the rock. We then made our way to the roll down and sampled the handiwork that Tim had been up to lately. He has recently been buffing up a rather rough section of trail making it smooth again. Oh my was it ever fast, really fast and the ladder ramp to flat drop was removed and made into a berm. Both Rob and I were really stoke and pedaled quickly over to Shotgun for a blast down that. As we entered Shotgun there were 2 kids with their dog walking on the trail. We slowed to pass by and then hauled ass to hit the new and improved (larger) jump that had been recently worked on. I could hear the kids hooting and hollering after we hit that jump. And we flowed the rest of the upper part of the trail to the road. Then the lower part of Shotgun was nearly as much fun as the top. The trail was dry and tacky and most of the formerly wet spots were tacky so we were able to ride at full speed with no worries at all.
At the car I had a beer waiting for us and we had a few laughs about the ride. About the only thing that would have made this ride have been to eliminate the mosquitoes that were attacking us as we were drink our beer.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Anyways we made our way to the Krazy Karpenter trail head and started down the trail. Lately Cory has been riding his relatively light Giant AC1 with clipless DH pedals. I still ride exclusively on flats and will continue to unless my riding style changes dramatically. I rode all the logs and other woodwork on the trail however Cory just ripped right on by on the dirt trail. Needless to say he was quite a ways in front of me on this trail. I did unfortunately find out that I have a totally pooched rear hub. The pawls in my rear hub were slipping and therefore I was unable the safely pedal up any incline without the risk of the hub skipping so I had to coast down the hill for most of the ride.
We both ripped down Blood Donor and Cory aired the gap nicely on Blood Donor. Without the ability to safely pedal I decided to skip the jumps that require pedaling. On Giant Killer it was fun playing cat and mouse and at the bottom of Giant Killer we decided to part ways. Cory continued down the hill and I made my way over to Snakes and Ladders to do a little trail work and finish my ride.
At Snakes and Ladders I went to work extending a berm after our new jump section. I framed it in and put about 20 buckets of nice gold dirt (half of what is needed). I had been on the hill several hours by this time and I needed to get home so I cleaned up the area I was working in (to be finished the next time I am up there) and pushed up the trail a ways to hit the new section. WOW, the extension to the berm is exactly what was needed and you simply rip the section even faster than before. I rode the rest of Snakes and Ladders with the usual reckless abandon I have had lately and made my way over to Shotgun. Shotgun on the Bullit is an absolute blast, it is like the bike was made specifically for this type of trail and I was just loving it today. At the parking area there were a huge number of vehicles as it was later in the morning and the sun was shining on this glorious Saturday.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The game plan was to meet Rob and Tim at Snakes and Ladders where they were working on the newer jump section on the trail. I met up with Jamie in the parking lot area so we climbed the hill together and chatted about this and that. Once I made it to the vicinity of Rob and Tim I split off from Jamie and made my way down to my buddies.
Tim and Rob were working hard doing dirt work on the new section and man did it ever look good. Tim had recently spent allot of time on the trail and the two of them were really dialing the section in today. We all chatted for a minute or two then we hopped on our bike and headed up the hill for a ride. The route chosen today was Krazy Karpenter, Blood Donor, Snakes and Ladders and Shotgun. I finally hit the first drop at the top of Karpenter. It was a little harsh but it was one that I finally hit after riding past it for 2 years. We made our way over the Blood Donor where we sessioned the big gap several times. I have not yet mastered the hip but the 2 times I hit the gap I made the distance clean however hipping the line would make the exit much cleaner.
After Blood Donor it was over to Snakes and Ladders where the 3 of us ripped the trail from top to bottom. It is so much fun to ride a trail that you know really, really well. We then traversed over to Shotgun and races down that trail as well in near darkness. We all had a laugh at the bottom packed up and headed home.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
The weather on race day was most typical for an early spring day in Vancouver on The Shore: it was cold, wet and misty but then again if you are from these parts you are very used to these conditions. The day for Rob and I started off 7am, registration at a local school and then we both hopped on a shuttle up to the top of Fromme at the 7th switch back.
This is a picture of me helping set up the registration tent (I'm in red).
It was the very kind and hospitable guys at Bush Pilot Guides (http://www.bushpilotbiking.com) drove us to the top of the hill all warm and dry with plenty of time before our leg of the race started. On the way up I called Paul to make sure that he and Sue were ready to race at the start line......standing around in the rain :-)
So once we were at the top is was a short pedal to the tag off area where our leg of the race started. Rob and I had plenty of time before the race, so we pedaled a little further up the hill to ride one of the lesser traveled trails (Squeaky Elbow) to keep warm. There were patches of snow here and there when we were pedaling up the road which shows just how cold it was today.
The really cool thing about riding on the Shore is that you get to ride with and in my case race against world famous pro riders that you see in magazines and in videos. Today I raced against Wade Simmons....well kind of. Wade Simmons is easily the nicest and most approachable professional rider that I have ever met. He would have every right to have an ego the size of a mountain, but in his case there isn't even the tiniest inkling of an ego. He is just a humble cool guy that rides a bike with more skill and style than most people could ever imagine.
Another 'Pro' that was in the downhill portion of the race was Jay Hoots. He is also a pretty cool guy and very sociable. He was riding a Norco Prototype 4X bike that is a rather interesting design for Norco. It is still a 4 bar Horst link type design, but reconfigured to have a conventional front triangle and a full seat post.
Here is a drawing of the type of design the Norco 4X bike that Jay Hoots had. This is only a drawing of the frame design that I observed on the day of the race.
So once the race started at the base of the hill people really started to get excited in the exchange zone we had about 25 minutes until the uphill guys reached us and we could then start the DH leg of the race. It was interesting listening to the conversations of people, "Yeah my guy is really fast, I'll be in the top 10", "Hey look at Wade Simmons, who is his partner?", "Man I gotta go pee" etc. The top 2 up hill riders had a little bit of a gap on the rest of the field and off went their downhill partners. Wades guy was a Rocky Mountain Factory XC Team member and sent Wade off in 2nd place (he ended up 2nd in the overall finish as well).
My XC leg shaving uphill rocket of a rider came up to the exchange zone through the mist in about 12th position. I yelled words of encouragement then took off for my leg of the race. We didn't simply start off at the trail head of 7th Secret, we were about a 100m from the trail head down the hill so we had to pedal up hill for a bit. I decided to have my seat post up so that I could sit and pedal an save my legs for further down the hill and I feel I made the right decision. Lowering my seat only took a couple seconds and off I was down the race course. 7th Secret was one of the original Mtn. Bike trails on Fromme/Grouse. It has evolved over they years and is what I would consider to be the absolute poster child of the North Shore, it is a durable flowing trail that has and will stand the tests of time and is an absolute blast to ride almost no matter what kind of bike you are riding.
As I said earlier, it was cold out today especially at the top. It was so cold that my braking fingers on both hands went numb and 7th is a trail that requires allot of well modulated braking. Due to a lack of focus on the trail (thinking of my fingers), I took a spill on a corner that I have ridden many times before with ease. Basically my pedal got hung up on a log on the inside of a switch back and I went FLYING at speed. After picking up my bike and remounting I noticed that there was another rider ahead of me that I had a very good chance of catching and passing. So with reckless abandon I pursued him down the trail and caught him after a short while. It is so much fun catching and passing people in a race.
Along the race course there were people filming and photographers snapping off photos in the cool spots on the trail and vultures hanging out in sections where there was sure to be some carnage.
Someone managed to catch me coming by and this picture below shows me racing down somewhere on 7th.
Now not all the DH leg of the race was downhill. There were many sections that were either up hill or traversed rolling along the mountain side. These are the sections that absolutely KILLED ME!. I was passed by 3 guys all in these sections which is really disheartening, but they got to have cool feeling I got when I passed that guy earlier in the race. I am not sure which trail I was on but there was a section where vultures were hanging out and there was a section of larger stair like step downs to a sharp corner or and easy line down the outside of this line. I took the faster line down the bigger step downs and passed a guy like he was standing still while he rode the easy line. It was awesome hearing the vultures say "holy crap!" as I ripped a that section.
So down the hill the trails went and the last portion of the race is the best place to catch and pass people if you still have the lungs. I didn't quite have the lungs to pass anyone, but I was able to make up allot of the gap they created on the uphill portion of the race. The finish line is up an embankment that you have to push your bike up in order to cross the line.
Paul and I placed 14th in our category and 15th overall which is not a bad result at all for the competition in the race. I was tuckered at the line, but I was glad to have raced. The finish line was absolutely buzzing with activity and cheering so I dumped my bike and joined in encouraging people at the finish line. It wasn't long before Sue and Paul showed up at the finish line where we waited for Rob to finish. Paul and Sue were absolutely FREEZING because not only was cold at the top, but they had just finished an all out effort uphill ride and then they turned around and coasted down a fast fire road to the bottom. They soon both found the free coffee but had trouble drinking it due to their violently shivering hands.
Rob finished the race with a big smile on his face. You know what is really crazy, this is Rob's first ever race and him and sue finished on the podium...they came in 3rd place in their category (coed) and 39th overall. So we all chatted for a few minutes but we all could tell that Paul and Sue were suffering from the cold so we said our congrats and headed to our cars.
Rob and I headed over to our vehicles, loaded our bikes, changed clothes and talked about the glory of the ripper.
Hopefully I will be participating in a few more of these Ripper Races this year.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Today it was an after work ride with Tim at the Woodlot. Our plan: work on the new section as much as possible. If time permitted frame in the gap jump over the trail.
So we arrived near 5pm and headed up to Snakes and Ladders to put in some more time on the new jump section on Snakes. The long swooping berm that we built was to be used as the run up to a jump that we have wanted to put in since we started this new section. The whole section hinged around this jump. We hammered out the approach line and determined where the jump should go in order to gap over the trail and hit the transition on the other side. When we first started I only thought we were going to frame in the jump, but as we progressed I said to Tim, "There is no way we are going to get this finished tonight." He then said, "No problem, we will finish this, and hit it a couple times before we leave tonight."
So as a precaution I made sure that the easy line around the right of the jump was clear and we set to work on finishing this jump. We gathered rock and piled them in and then the dirt and tamped it down and more dirt and tamping and more dirt and tamping and before long we were done. The light by this time was almost gone, but we just had to hit it. I was first to hit it and man was she ever smooth. The berm leading into it is perfect. No effort at all. Tim was smart and brought a light with him....I think he knew that we were going to be late. He hit the jump a couple times and I managed to snap of a picture or two....not great quality but at least I got a picture.
We then headed down the rest of the trail, Tim at a good speed and me at a snails pace due to the lack of light. Over to Shotgun and down to the cars.
It turned out to be a really productive night with a great new little gap jump over the trail being built.
Friday, April 08, 2005
I left work a little early today in order to make it to Cypress for a shuttle ride up the hill with Rob, Mike and Rob's buddy Chris. The plan was to do 2 or 3 shuttles of the hill covering as many trails as we could.
Mike was the guide for this ride as he has ridden Cypress many more times than us other guys. So the first shuttle was up to the 3rd switchback and we parked in a gravel parking lot. This run included Firehose and Family Guy. I am not sure what other trails we did between or before these trails but some really lacked flow and were what I would say to be in disrepair, but Firehose and Family Guy are 2 trails that totally rocked. They were soooooo much fun. The long rock faces and natural features and drops on them were amazing. I had an absolute blast on these trails. Now I am not making fun at all, but I cannot say that Rob had as much fun as me. He stated that this may very well be his last trip to Cypress....ever.
The second shuttle was one of the regular lines down the Roaches (Roach Clip and Roach Hit) and Cherry Bomb. These trails are just a ton of fun.....technical with flow....steep rocks and tight descents with little to no built up stuff. I had by far my best run ever down these trails. That run simply could not have been any better.
I had to take off immediately after the ride so I said see ya to the guys and I was on my way. I missed out on a beer with the boys but that last run more than made up for it.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Tonight was I believe the first non night ride after work ride of the year. Tim, Rob and I managed to get up to Snakes and Ladders to do a little work and hike some tools up to the trail.
We arrived at the trail with good light, but I knew that we were going to be pushing it if we were going to build and ride at all. As it turns out, we basically just built and rode out Snakes and Ladders and then Shotgun. Rob and I widened the transition for the 2nd of the doubles that leads to the long flowing berm that Tim was worked on. However before this, the three of us moved this rather large rock out from the middle of our berm. It took the three of us about 15 minutes to get this thing out of a hole and well out of the way of the riding line. After it was moved you could not even tell where it first came from.
So with barely enough light to see our way down the trails, we packed up and headed down. I am really glad that we know these trails well because there is no way that we could have made our way down the hill in one piece with the sparse amount of light that we had. So after we finished Snakes and Ladders it was over to Shotgun. Tim and I played our cat and mouse game, but it turned out to be a little hazardous with the lack of light, so it turned into a nice cruise down the hill to the cars.
We actually accomplished allot tonight and I can see us hooking up like this after work on a regular basis after work now that there is lots of daylight at our disposal. I guess night riding is out for a while.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Today was another early day at the Woodlot building with Tim on the new berm jump section on Snakes and Ladders. Tim primarily worked on the lower long sweeping berm below the doubles and I worked on the upper berm before the doubles then I 'reworked' the gap.
The reworking of the upper berm I did worked out quite well. We are now able to rail the berm allot better than in the past. All it needs is a little more dirt and time to solidify. The section that Tim worked on came together really well. His portion simply flows perfectly.
I then I decided to 'rework' the first gap. My intention was to make the transition of a jump a little longer by making it steeper and the bottom between the two jumps deeper. After I had completed my 'rework', I tried the jump thinking that I had improved the existing jump.....well all I can say is that I wrecked a perfectly good jump. I must have hit that jump 10 times and every time I was sent flying one way or another because of the 'rework I did.
As it was on this day, I has to leave a little earlier than Tim so I took off with my tail between my legs on the hard tail and rode down the rest of the trail. Tim continued working on the lower berm and assured me that he would fix my 'rework' of the gap.
I think that my 'rework' gave me bad trail karma because I seemed to be getting hung up on things and wiping out on stuff that I had ridden a hundred times before. On my way down Shotgun I ran into the other builders at the Woodlot (Jamie, Ewan, Rich and Cory). I stopped to talk to Cory for several minutes to sort out some things and I was on my way. I really have to give those guys props for the absolutely beautiful work they have done in the past few weeks re-opening Shotgun.
It was then down to the car and home to the wife and baby.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
The route that we decided on was Krazy Karpenter, Blood Donor, Giant Killer, Snakes and Ladders and finally Shotgun. The climb up was at a very relaxed pace, stopping every now and then to adjust our packs or just to pause to chat a little more intensely about one thing or another. Once we were at the top of the hill and all geared up, we powered up our lights and headed off down the trails. The new bits of work that have recently been completed on Krazy Karpenter have really helped to make this trail fun to ride again. It is an old school trail with a bit of new school polishing which make for a really fun ride. It had rained a bit in the last few days and some of the woodwork was wet and slippery. On the log with the teeter totter on it I went for an unexpected ride as I was a tiny bit off line after the teeter and I had to jump off the log sans bike as my wheels were sliding off the edge of the big log. So about 3/4 of the way down Karpenter there is a short connector that takes you straight to the trail up to Blood Donor. This is the first time I had taken this connector and if you don't mind missing the last bit of Karpenter it cuts a substantial amount of time off the already short push up to Blood Donor.
Once at Blood Donor we decided that I was going to go first. I skipped the gap/hip due to the fact that I have not seen the thing in the daylight and hitting a bigger gap for the first time in the dark is not the smartest thing in the world. So I railed the manicured berms and hit the small step-up gap that is after the gap/hip. Tim decided on the way down that he would hit the gap but he didn't quite make the jump clean. It was not a big wipeout but as he described it, "I came up a tad short but still landed on the tranny".
It was then down the trail to the drop into the hole which was as smooth as ever. Dropping into a completely black hole is a very eerie feeling until the lights on your head and on the bike catch up to the angle of the drop. It was smooth flowing down the rest of the trail hitting every stunt and whatnot on the trail down to the entrance of Giant Killer.
Giant Killer is was simply a rip. Tonight this trail just worked for me. Nice and fast and smooth over all the stunts and for the first time in a while I rode the whole skinny section cleanly when it was wet. Then aired the gap at the bottom and rode out the rest of the trail to the road. Giant Killer is such a fun trail in the dark.
So over to Snakes and ladders we went. Just this past weekend Rob and I reworked a jump and hammered out a berm on Snakes and Ladders so this was going to be the first time Tim had seen it. So we ripped the trail down to the start of the run in to the jump section. I went first and just aired the first jump and popped off the second jump and railed the berm as best I could. This new revised section is going to be absolutely outstanding once we get it all dialed. From that point on down the trail Tim and I just ripped not stopping for anything tearing down the trail.
So we now headed over to Shotgun. It has been a long time since Shotgun was open due to some logging that started in the early fall of 2004. Normally Tim and I play a cat and mouse game down Shotgun taking turns at who leads and who chases. Tonight was no different. Tim was the mouse but that didn't last very long as he made a wrong turn at the very start of the trail and I passed him really quickly. So we then bombed down the top portion of Shotgun to the road and the clear-cut. So as I said earlier it had been several months since the clear cut section of Shotgun had been open to ride. The other builders have been busy lately clearing the old existing line and doing groundwork to make the trail rideable for the masses that now flock to the Woodlot. One new feature that was added was a super long bridge/ladder that goes over a wet area of the trail. This bridge/ladder rocks and really adds to the trail. The remainder of the trail appeared to be the same as before and had not changed since the logging took place.
So to the cars it was, we loaded up and headed home. I can sum this up as another sweet night ride at The Woodlot.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
We then went to work on a berm that will lead into a cool jump section that we plan on making. We each took turns filling the bucket with dirt and throwing it on the berm. When it is done this new bermed corner will work out really well for this section of trail. We were able to completely fill the berm with dirt and rock and after a few weeks of settling we should be able to shape it perfectly so that we can rail it to the jump we plan on making.
After working all morning we decided that we would push back up the trail and ride Snakes and Ladders then Hoots and upper Shotgun.
We got allot of work done today and were bagged when we got down to the cars.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The riders tonight were Tim, Graham, Marco and me. The route: 1) Corkscrew, Pingu, Boogieman and Empress. 2) Corkscrew, Pingu, Pangor, Slash, Empress.
The weather conditions: WET, really WET and slippy.
The ride was wicked. All I can say is wicked. One really funny thing that happened on the ride was that Tim forgot his cell phone on the roof of his car on the first shuttle and we were sure we had lost it. On the way up the hill on the second shuttle we could see it on the side of the road glowing on one of the hairpin corners. It turns out that his phone stays illuminated when it is flipped open, so lucky for him we recovered it on the way up.
Overall a long and really good ride.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
I arrived at the Old Buck parking lot at about 7:45am and I was the first one to hit the hill. Onward I went up the hill. Not all that many cars passed me while riding up and by the time I reached the top of Corkscrew there wasn't a rider in sight. I had the hill to myself.
I geared up and headed down Corkscrew to the skinnies. I cleaned pretty much all the skinny section but decided to hop off at the end. I continued down Corkscrew to the new connector trail that goes from Corkscrew to Pingu. It has yet to be named and I only walked part of this trail to see what all the talk was about and from what I saw it will be a really fun trail.
I then made my way to Pingu and then Pangor. These trails rock! So then over it was to Empress. I passed a couple guys that were walking down the first rock face and as I rode by I could hear them murmur something under their breath but I could not quite make out what they were saying. (It's satisfying cleaning a section when there are witnesses). So on to the Empress berms and out to my car. A little over 2 hours and my ride was done.
I must say it was nice riding up Seymour for once rather than shuttling. I really hope to do this a few more times this year.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Another fabulous ride.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Beers at the cars and a few laughs before we all headed home.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Upon arriving at The Woodlot I counted 30+ cars in the parking area (for this time of year that is unheard of) so I knew it was going to be a busy day on the hills. I saw many cars that I recognized so I knew that there was good chance that I would not be riding alone if I hustled my way up the hill. So onward an upward I went and on the way up I met up with 3 guys that I have never ridden with before. I had planned on riding my regular solo route (Gold, Blood Donor, Giant Killer, Snakes, Hoots), but they said they were on their way to Platinum...mmmmmmmm Platinum. I hadn't ridden that trail for quite some time so I asked if I could join them. We all got into the regular trail small talk and they told me that The Woodlot is kind of their regular (local) hill........but they live in Aldergrove and Cloverdale and it takes an hour and a half to get to the hill. That was when I realized that I am really, really lucky.
The weather today was kind of weird. It was partly cloudy, but there big patches of blue sky. It was cool in the shade but nice and warm in the sun, but every now and then there were a few flakes of snow that fell from the sky.
Anyways, once we got to the trail head we started our rip down Platinum which is arguably the best groomed trail IN THE WORLD!!!. I have always skipped the first gap as it is a little trick to maintain speed in the approach. However one of the guys I was with hit it............literally. I could tell he didn't have enough speed, in fact I thought he was just going to hammer on the brakes and stop at the lip.......but he didn't. This gap is one that has a bit of a kick to it an so he went up but not very far forward......fortunately he got his front wheel over the lip of the trannie but not the rear and cased it as hard as I have ever seen a rear wheel case job but he still rode away with things intact.
We then made our way down the trail hitting every stunt/Drop/Gap and logride that the trail had to offer. On the way, we met up with a group of guys that were all riding top of the line Rock Mountain Bikes so one of our group asked if they were sponsored and as it turns out they were all Rocky employees of some sort, some were R&D and one guy who was super fast and super smooth on an RMX with Dorodos was a factory racer. It was interesting riding with them along this trail.
I cannot say that my ride was without incident though. On the up and over jump where you jump over a log ride, I when up and came down SUPER nose heavy with a huge crowd watching (8 guys)......now I did not crash but I did a HUGE nose wheelie down the trannie and managed to bring that ass end back down without wrecking, but it really frazzled the nerves. So I went back and did the jump again landing it solidly. Then it was down the trail to the BIG gap where you have to pedal into it. I managed to clean that nicely and then I went into the 6 pack. Jump 1 was good then I went into jump 2 sideways and then had to hammer on the brakes before ghost riding my bike into the 3rd jump. So back I went to do it again. This time jump 1 was clean but on the 2nd jump I landed with my nose up and then had to again come to a screeching powerslide stop. So again back up the hill to try it again.....this time 1 was smooth but I entered 2 too slow and rear wheel cased it. (this was suppose to be my last try but I really wanted to clean this section as I have done it several times before). So back I went to do the 6 pack. Jump one was perfect, jump two was good (a little sideways) and jump three was big, a little left, but I landed smooooooth and had a grin on my face.
So I ended the ride down Platinum on the coaster drop which is a nice drop, but the root in the landing area is really starting to stick up allot but I landed past it and rode on. By this time the 3 guys I had met up with and rode with down the trail were fixing one guys flat tire and I did not have time to wait to fix it, so I told them how to exit the trail and I rode on to Giant Killer via Stovetop.
Giant killer is in good shape and I rode it at a pretty good pace. The gap at the bottom has seen a little new work (extra dirt) and was as smooth as ever. I then rode Hoots and man has there ever been allot of ground work done on that trail. I now runs twice as fast as before and even though one feature was 'dummied down' a little too much for my liking, I really appreciated the new work done on the trail. There was a jump that was rebuilt on the trail that really allows allot of air time if you hit it at speed. Even the exit section has had work on it.
So it was down to the cars via the access trail which is actually starting to show signs of wear due to the increased traffic of people riding down the trail. At the parking area I saw at least a dozen people I have ridden with in the past as. I had a chat with a few of them, packed up and drove home. All that in about two and a half hours. As I said in the beginning, I am truly very lucky to live where I do and at no time to I take it for granted. I had a sweet ride and hope to have many, many more in the months and years to come.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The ride was not bad but I have had better rides for sure.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Blood Donor rocked today. Giant Killer was good as well as Hoots. I finished my ride with the quick blast down the road to my car.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
The reason I titled this entry 'Riding with the Devil' is that Pete has this really cool setup on his helment that consisted of some devil horns that light up when he turns on his lights. It looked really cool.
I was on the Hardtail and due to some issues with my pedal inserts, I rode with clipless pedals. The ride up sucked for me for some reason. I just did not have legs that wanted to spin. However at the top I was ready to rock the descent.
We rode Mels and Nicole's. I must say riding Nicoles Pole clipped in was a little scary in the dark, but I cleaned it.
At the bottom Tim and I got shuttled back to the top for a 2nd run down by Pete. Tim and I rode Mels and a trail that I had not ridden in over 10 years. Snake. I remember it from back in the days of rigid forks and cantilever brakes. With 5" forks and 8" disk brakes the ride down was allot easier that what I remember it was like back in the day.
Overall it was a great ride.
Monday, January 03, 2005
This first picture shows where we are building the jump and all the rock and wood used in its constriction. You are looking back up at the jump.
This picture shows the jump half built from the approach. The void in the framing will be packed with rock and dirt. The ride around is on the right of the jump.
This picture shows the front of the jump and how we used rung to box it in and keep it looking sanitary. The tree that we notched into is 3/4's dead so don't worry, we are not harming a live tree.
This picture shows the jump completed and ready to be hit. The dirt packed really nice and I anticipate that we will only have to throw a bucket or two more on in the future after this settles.
This photo shows the side of the jump and our signature curvy wood work. It looks even cooler in person.
This photo is taken from the approach of the first 'Snakes Jump' and you can see the new jump that we just built in center of the picture (darker dirt). One jump just leads to the other.
It was kind of funny when we finished building this jump because almost as soon as we were done we had a visitor. Graham showed up with his dog Jasper. Graham had just put some new forks on his bike ('03 Super T's) and was taking them for a shake down run. He was all smiles and simply loved his new forks. So we all hit the new section and ripped down the rest of the trail and then up over to Hoots and down to the cars. A very productive day and a great ride.