Well after this weekend I have completely realized that I am truly very lucky to live where I do. I live less than 15 minutes from The Woodlot which is in my mind easily one of the top places in the world to ride. I looked out the window of my house this morning a saw a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains and the skies were clear. So in the early afternoon I packed up the bike, drove to The Woodlot and wet for a ride.
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.