Tonight was another one at the Woodlot in the pitch black of night. Tim stopped by at my place on the way and we chatted for a bit, I finished loading up my bike and we made our way to the parking area of the Woodlot. We have been having some really nice warm weather and tonight was no different. It was what some might term as warm.....at least for early March.
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.