Saturday, February 24, 2007

Snowy Farewell

So this morning was my last ride before Depot. Tim, Rob, Dave and I hit The Woodlot.

Rob picked me up bright and early in the morning and we were greeted with little bit of falling snow when we arrived.

Nobody was all that eager to go all the way to the top today.....each of us was super mellow in our own ways. I was on my hard tail because I had given Rob the shock on my Heckler to use while I was away. We made it up to Tsuga and decided this was where we would begin the descent.

Tsuga was sweet. It was wet but the trail was draining well and there were not issues of fallen trees or anything so we all just had fun.

Snakes and Ladders was a rip with the 4 of us riding in a pack. Over to Hoots and we all paused for a quick photo and then down the trail it was.

The boys in the snow: Dean, Rob, Dave, Tim

Riding the open area of the trail with snow on the trail was a total hoot....on Hoots.

Shotgun was once again a total blast and out to the cars it was. This was a really short ride but some of the guys needed to get going home a little early. It was great getting a little send off at The Woodlot from my buds.

Tim and Rob came over to my place for a few minutes and a quick beer and to get a few bike parts n tools to use in my absence.

I look forward to when we can all ride together again.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Cedar Surprise

Well today was a bit of an escape ride for me. My life is really hectic right now and I am leaving town soon for a while so I figured I would get out all by myself on the hardtail and ride where ever my wheels take me.

On the way up I had a quick look on Quickhit to see that Tim had cleared a large fallen tree from across the trail.

A nice clear trail

I had been hearing of a trail up in the woods here for a while now and have never seemed to find it. Triple H. Apparently Digger built it at some time up at The Woodlot, but I have personally never seen it. So I went looking.

I have always been curious about where the heck the trail on the opposite side of the road to where you turn into Platinum goes. I have seen tracks come from there, so I decided that was where I would have a look. It was an old abandoned dirt bike trail that lead to a skidder road that definitely leads somewhere, but I did not have the time to go looking too long. The area that I went to turned out to be a plateau and there was nearly zero elevation change so I had a pretty good idea that there was no trail where I was looking. One day I will find it. I just have to ask the right people.

Once I turned around and headed back to the skidder road and then back along to Karpenter I ran into a group of guys heading to Platinum that asked if I was lost. After a brief explanation I was on my way to Karpenter. Given how wet it was, Karpenter was a ton of fun. Then Blood Donor and over to Lower Toadstool.

I then rode Snakes and Ladders and could not wait to ride what Tim, Rob and I had built recently, but was I in for a surprise. Timmy had been up to the trail during the week and extended the woodwork. Nothing but cedar sweetness.

A cedar snake

mmmm cedar

cedar extension - by Tim

The finishing touch

Running on cedar

I finished my ride on Shotgun and out to the car.

I love surprises.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Do you smell bacon?

Today was a ride with my two main riding buddies; Rob and Tim. We hit our local riding spot....again and had a great time. Our route on this really fine day was Krazy Karpenter, Upper Toadstool, Lower Toadstool, Snakes and Ladders and finally Shotgun. On the way up we noticed someone had wrote a nice message on the end of a log that had been removed across the trail.


The weather was sweet today with the sun shining and a little snow left at the top.

Sweet view

The snow is almost gone

Rob and Tim on the last part of the push

The 3 Amigos

I was riding my Ollie today; I felt like riding with a whole lotta cush under my tush. The ground was dry in the woods and the woodwork was super grippy so we were all happy with the riding conditions. Once we finished Krazy Karpenter and were on Upper Toadstool my phone started ringing in my back pack so I stopped to answer it. It was my wife telling me I needed to call someone back about some important information I was expecting. I made the call and it turned out I got the call for Depot. I gave out a big WHOO HOOO and rode the rest of my ride on a big, BIG high.

To be honest I don't even remember the rest of the ride as I my mind was consumed by what lies ahead of me. I was scheduled to leave for Depot on February 25, 2007.

Friday, February 02, 2007

100% Flowing Cedar

On this fine chilly day in February, Rob, Tim and I took a day off from our regular jobs to do a some work on our favorite trail of all....Snakes and Ladders. Rob picked me up at my place at 7:30am. He borrowed my hard tail because he had a flat on his hard tail and the shock on his Heckler decided it had had enough and died on our last ride in the snow. I was on my Heckler and with me I had a chainsaw that my fine buddy Pete lent to us so that we could do some serious cutting of logs today.

A Husqvarna 359 (3.9Hp, 59cc, 20" bar) Sweetness!!

So after the short drive from my place to the Woodlot, Rob and I loaded up our packs with nails and gas and other necessities for the day ahead. As we there just departing up the hill, three guys pulled up on big bikes that were taking advantage of the stunning weather we were having today.

I must say that my pack was ridiculously bulky and heavy. I had my normal gear with me that consisted of my Dakine Nomad pack with my full face helmet, tools, leg and arm armour, 2L of water, but on top of that I also had the saw, 6 pounds of 10" & 12" spikes, 2L of gas, a bottle of bar oil and a few tools for the saw. I would have gladly paid for a Sherpa today but I put my nose down to the grinding stone and toughed it out.

We made our way to Quick Hit to see about some trees that had fallen across the trail. It turned out that they were some rather significant trees that will require a fair bit of time and a good saw to remove. We decided to leave them for today because our focus was Snakes and Ladders and these fallen trees would only delay any progress that would be made on Snakes.

So back down the road we went to the bottom of Snakes and Ladders. With all the gear we were carrying and the location we were working on today it was far easier to access the trail from the bottom. I could only push my bike up about 50m before I had to leave my bike and just hike my pack up and come back for the Heckler later. At the top I left my pack, looked at the area we were going to be building in and then went to get my bike. I have found that planning what you are going to be building for the day in your head well in advance of the build save a great deal of time and also give you a focus on what needs to be done. In my brief survey of the area I could see that we were going to need a lot of rung and a few more stringers for today's build.

After I retrieved my bike from the lower part of the trail I went back to my pack to unload the saw and get my camera to snap a few pictures. In no time at all Tim showed up riding down the trail so I snapped a quick picture of him riding by.

Tim riding to the build early in the morning.

After we gathered the tools for today's build we hiked up the hill a little ways to start bucking up some large fallen trees that would be used as rung for the bridge. The Husky saw that I brought turn out to be a real monster and ripped through the logs with total ease. After getting 5 or 6 big chunks cut on on log, Tim went to work splitting the wood into rung while Rob and I found another log a little ways away. Fortunately for us this area is wood and rock rich which makes building a lot easier. Rob and I cut 5 or 6 more chunks out of a huge fallen tree and then worked together to split the rung. In no time at all we had all the rung we would need for the day. As the 3 of us were tossing the rung down to the trail, the three guys that Rob and I saw in the parking lot were now coming down the trail. It is common trail etiquette to stop and offer help to anyone building on a trail, but it seemed as though these guys weren't up to speed on this idea. So as they rode through and stopped at the ladder down I kinda yelled in their direction to ask if they could help for a few minutes. They came back to us, picked up a handful of rung each and were on their way in no time at all. Tim, Rob and myself were somewhat amazed that they were really going to just roll through without saying thanks or lending a hand but I asked, they helped and all is good in the universe.

The layout of this bridge was absolutely critical to keeping the flow and speed of this section of trail. We spent at least half an hour figuring out angles and camber on the turns for this bridge and in the end we were pretty happy with the results. Once Tim did his traditional trimming magic the new ladder was ready to ride. You are now able to carry a fair amount of speed over what used to be a very wet muddy section of trail while enjoying a flowing bridge section.

The before shot and the finished product.

A little camber here and there of 100% Cedar

Looking back up the newly finished product.

So when we were finished building for the day we decided that we would push up the trail a little ways to get in a bit of a ride before heading home. We made our way to the wooden berm, turned around and the 3 Amigos were ripping Snakes once again. We stopped briefly at the new ladder to pick up the chainsaw and were on our way down to Shotgun in no time at all.

Rob volunteered to carry that saw down in my pack so I was free to ride at a good pace with Tim on my heels. Shotgun was a hoot and at the cars we cracked open a beer and toasted to a great build and ride.