Sunday, October 23, 2005

Getting Dirty Again

Today's weather was what most would call wet and miserable but to me it was perfect riding and building conditions. My plan today was to head up to Snakes and Ladders and start buffing up the trail from the top all the way down addressing virtually every issue on every section of the trail.

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.