Saturday, May 07, 2005

Pushing Trees

Today I arrived at the Woodlot a little later than normal.......12:30pm. I loaded up my stuff which included 2 long handled shovels and new rake all provide by Rob for use on our trail. I made my way up to the base of Snakes & Ladders in pretty good time riding my Bullit. In fact I got the funniest look from 2 guys pushing their bikes up the road when I passed them pedaling up the hill ladened down with tools.

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

New / Old Trail

Today was a ride up at my usual hill, The Woodlot with Rob. We decided today was a good day for an after work blast from the top of the mountain down. A little over a week ago I was told of another not so well know trail that existed on the mountain. I kind of knew there was a trail there, but never really bothered to find the beginning of the trail. Anyways I was told by a reliable source where the beginning of the trail was, so that was the destination for Rob and I.

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.