Sunday, July 23, 2006

2006 Lift Extravaganza - Day 3: Silverstar

Well after last nights drinkfest at Sunpeaks we were down 3 men. Mike, Steve and Wilby couldn't get up early enough for the next leg of our travels after the drinking we did last night. Those light weights had to drive home with their tails between their legs.....well not really. Mike and Wilby golfed last night after riding and rose out of bed late today to stay and ride Sunpeaks again today rather than driving to Silverstar.

By 8am Rob, Tim and I were packed up and on our way to Silverstar and arrived by mid morning. Tim was feeling a little rough, Rob was...okay but I felt great. None of us had ridden Silverstar before but we had heard a lot of good things: wall rides, short lift lines, friendly people and wicked flowy trails.

I had an absolute hoot riding non stop on every trail I could find. Flow, jumps, root, rocks, it has everything.

The one trail that stuck in my head was the World Cup Trail. It had a HUGE wallride. UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE!!! It was simply amazing hearing the buzz of your tires and getting rocketed off the end screaming down the trail. If you stand at the beginning of the trail you can hear the hoots of riders as they ride the wallrides.

I plan to hopefully come back in the future to enjoy the wicked trails of Silverstar.

Hopefully next year we can get the boys out again.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

2006 Lift Extravaganza - Day 2: Sunpeaks

Day 2 of the Extravaganza..........

Lets go back to last night. 6 rowdy drunk mountain bikers getting re-hydrated with beer on the drive up and in the bar last night.

Lets just say we weren't exactly in great shape for riding today. The festivities ended at 3am with a late night porch BBQ and the few beers to put us all to sleep in a Chalet.

In the morning there was bacon 'n eggs and lots of Gatorade. We all made our way to the lifts in the morning and rode our asses off.

Later in the day Tim, Rob and I were the last men standing/riding and decided to shoot a few photos in the upper sub-alpine of Sunpeaks.

The photos below are the shots we took.



Me (Dean)

Friday, July 21, 2006

2006 Lift Extravaganza - Day 1: Whistler

The 2006 Lift Extravaganza

What is this you might be thinking? 6 guys 3 days 3 mountain and non stop riding.

Our adventure started on July 21 when we departed from Seymour's Pub in North Vancouver to head to Whistler. 2 trucks loaded to the rafters with bikes, bike gear, clothes and BEER.

It was a hot day in the Holy Land of lift access mountain biking. The lines were pretty clear as well so we were able to get in as many runs as we possibly could. Garbanzo was open all day so several trips of the higher alpine trails were had by all.

There were a few hiccups though......6 flats in the group and one front brake replacement. I was dubbed the mechanic for the trip so I helped with most repairs...the flats and I did the brake replacement at the truck with Rob where we needed to MacGyver the grip off his bike.

Overall Whistler rocked! We arrived at lift opening and stayed until a half hour before closing. We hit the road for a long drive on Duffy Lake Highway to Kamloops to ride Sun Peaks the next day.

Group Shot near the top of Garbanzo at Whistler:
Back Row Tim, Dean, Mike, Steve
Front Row Wilby, Rob

The drive from Whistler to Kamloops was long and HOT!! In fact during the weekend of the Extravaganza there were several temperature records set across the province. While at Whistler we saw 37.3 °C, at Sun Peaks 38.7°C and Silverstar was 37°C.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The 3 Amigos on Eagle Mountain

Well, it has bad been quite a while since I had last ridden Eagle and tonight the trails on Eagle kind of beat me up.

By some crazy coincidence we (Rob, Tim and I) decided to ride on the first rainy day in a month. The trails we rode were the 4 Lost Souls, The Dentist and Randy's.

The push up was,.......well steep, but that it Eagle. At the top of 4 Lost Souls we geared up and proceeded down the hill. This trail is so freaking fast that it can be over before you even know it. Hit after hit after hit. It is a trail where the saying "Commit or eat shit!!" comes into play. A cool step up to platform to a 5 footer to a 7 foot step-down........then a bigger drop to a hip to a big step-down to a bigger step down to another then another then another then wooden berm/wall ride to a HUGE wall-ride with 12 foot long planks of cedar which I launch off the end of 5 feet in the air and proceed straight across the trail and into the bushes where I get a stick wedged in my helmet cutting my forehead. It was so much fun that we went up again for another run. Hit after hit after hit, non stop fun.

After 4 lost souls we proceeded down The Dentist. On the push up we looked at a few new features that were on the trail since we had last ridden there. A huge 12x12 foot step down / drop to tranny. We eyed it up on push and though....ummm not today. Well by the time we made our way down the trail we were still on fire from 4LS so what the hell right. First Tim hit it and it was butter, so I hit it with a little table tweak and stomped it....butter, absolute butter smooth landing. That drop was PERFECT. Then the wall ride. My first run at it was really good. Rode it high and exited off about 4 feet in the air to the tranny. Second time with Rob and Tim watching I hit it a little vertical, slid down and wiped out. I dusted off the dirt on my bike and my ego and went back up to hit her again. This time popping and railing the wall. So much fun.

We made our way down to the gap to wooden step-up to platform to drop. Once again...sweet. The drop is a little bigger than I thought, but that is likely because I was going a little fast.

So by this time the clouds had rolled in on the hill and visibility was getting poor. There was one last little drop to a tranny made of rock. I rolled up blind but was told by Rob and Tim who were ahead of me that it was 5 feet to the tranny 6 foot drop. I got to the end of the ladder but popped of the end about 5 inches too late. I basically didn't see the end of the drop. Somehow I managed to hold on to a nose wheelie hard landing onto rocks, big rocks. In the air I was thinking this is really going to hurt. But god blessed my 888's this evening and I was able to ride it out without incident. My nuts did get scrubbed by my rear tire and my inner thighs were raw from hitting the back of my seat, but I was alright. A few deep breaths later and we were on our way.

We then went up the road to Randy's. A nice old school trail with a few drops and tight sections to make it fun. Well I was riding far too close to Tim and got to the end of a 3 foot drop and found myself in trouble going WAY TOO SLOW. I could not pull up in time. I nose off the end and had to abort and go flying without my bike. My bike then proceeded to cartwheel down the hill about 40 feet narrowly missing Tim who was oblivious to the Ollie hurtling towards him. I was shaken but unhurt. More of an ego thing as I could do that little drop with my eyes closed, but I was not paying close enough attention on a trail I had only ridden once before. So I went down the hill to get my bike and smartened up. No more stupid moves on a trail I don't know.

We then made our way to the backyard trail that makes its way behind the houses on the hill. It is a nice little flowing rip where you need to keep an eye out for hikers and dogs (I am not even sure if bikes are allowed to be on this trail, but it sure is fun). Back to the cars and we were done our ride. 2 1/2 hours of Eagle Mountain fun.

I tip my hat to the guys that build and maintain Eagle and hope to get out there again soon, only next time in the dry.