Saturday, December 30, 2006

Redemption on Mount Fromme

Today the venue was Mount Fromme. I arrived at 7:45am and within 5 minutes I was on my way up the road to climb to the top. Along Mountain Highway I passed a couple other guys but for once in my life my pace was higher than someone else and I never saw them again on the climb. There is something different about riding Mount Fromme solo, it is like the rider vs the ominous mountain. I think this is what draws me back from time to time.

The climb up was not bad at all. The temperature was chilly but not cold. I was not raining but there had been some snowfall over night the snow on the road started at the water tower. Once again I was getting fresh tracks in the snow on the way up as I was the first one climbing for the day. It was only at the end of the 6th switchback and the end of the 7th switchback where the snow was too deep to pedal and I had to get off my bike to push. Once at the 7th Secret I geared up and started the descent on the snow laden trail. Of all the trails I have ever ridden, 7th is by far the most suited for a snow ride. It is as if the trail was designed for riding in the snow. The sweet slippery flow lasted the length of this magnificent piece of trail work. Fun, fun, fun as always. After 7th it was up the road to Oil Can. Oil Can had seen some work over the last year by the NSMBA to bring it up to the high standards that are expected of trails nowadays. I had only ridden this trail once before on Remembrance Day '06 but it was so much fun that I decided to give it another run. Sweet easy loamy flow, 4 words that describe this trail perfectly.

After Oil Can it was a quick traverse on the Baden Powell trail to get to the top of Boundary. The last time I rode Boundary I destroyed my rear wheel on a beautiful feature at the top of the trail so one could say that this was the redemption run.

The stunt in question is at the top of the trail and involves a couple wet slick narrow ladders that need to be negotiated perfectly to lead into the steep down ramp.

Photo by: Doug Chinnery

Well all went well today, I admit I was nervous but the outcome was favorable (in my favor). The rest of the trail involves many steep rock faces that are linked by narrow sloped ladders that require 100% concentration or you go for a ride on your butt. Today I was on and everything seemed to come together for me. The trail is spilt up into sections and at one junction you have a choice of going left or right, well I chose the wrong direction at a particular junction and headed off on my way to Digger. Well this wrong turn in the end seems like the right turn because I ran into the builder of Boundary. Karen is the sole builder on of Boundary and does an absolutely stellar job at it. I would say we chatted for a good 15 minutes about this and that but in the end I needed get home and she wanted to get to work on her trail. This lady does masterful work and deserves a huge amount of recognition for her efforts.....and she rides it on a hard tail!!!!

Once I was back on the right track I made quick work of the rest of Boundary because I was now behind schedule due to the longer climb in the snow and chat with Karen. Once I was on road I climbed up the road at a good pace and descended to where I parked my car. Then it was the 40 minute drive home in Saturday morning traffic.

In summary I had a great solo ride with a quiet climb in the snow, a rip down frosty 7th Secret, a flowy run down Oil Can and I finally rode Boundary top to bottom, meeting the builder of the trail along the way. I don't really see a better way to end my '06 riding season than with this ride.

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