Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I had a couple things I really wanted to get done today. 1.) To have a look at a trail that is not suppose to exist. 2.) To build on Snakes and Ladders. I wanted to get the 'difficult' corner complete.

My ride started a little late for me; 9:30am. At the parking area there were 2 other trucks already there......grrrr, I was not the first on the hill. I was full of energy today so the climb up was easy as pie. I noticed there were allot of tracks coming out of the newer line that goes from Upper Toadstool and spits you out at Shotgun. I guess it is time for me to find out the name of this line.

I didn't want to waste any time at all so I rode up to Quick Hit to have a look and make sure she is in good shape. Besides the big trees across the trail, it is in fine shape. I then made my way to another mystery trail. It seems some Trolls started a trail that is not suppose to exist. From looking at it you can tell that they were looking for log rides and any feature that presented itself, but allot of important trail building issues were over looked. The ladder in the picture below will be so slippy in a few months due to wood selected for the rung that it would end up being a dry weather trail only. I am not sure as to what is going to happen to this trail. Not sure at all. I guess I will need to find out if others have dealt with the builder already.

Anyhow, I made my way back over the mountain to Snakes and Ladders. At the building section I took a few before shots and go to work filling the framing of the corner that Tim did last week with rock and dirt. Buckets and buckets of rock and dirt. The corner is 95% complete. I am really happy with it. I rode it and it flows, in fact it is far better than I expected. We are soooo close now I can smell it.

While working 9 riders came down Snakes in the course of a half hour. It gave me a good opportunity to have a snack and take a break. Once my couple of hours were up, I pushed up to the start of the new line and rode it in its entirety. I am happy with everything we have done to this point. I then rode out to the bottom and rode over to Shotgun. I met up with Experience Cycling's final group ride for the season and rolled by them pausing to say hi to Rob.

At the parking area it was extremely busy with cars and trucks everywhere. I said hi to a few people I know then loaded up and drove home knowing that I had done what I set out to do today; to have a look for some Trolls and work on the 'difficult' corner.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rob and the Rain

This weekend I rode with a good buddy, no building, just riding in the ever so plentiful B.C. rain. Rob was down from Kamloops and he brought his bike so early in the morning I picked him up and we hit The Woodlot for a WET and muddy ride.

We both knew it was going to be raining the whole ride, so for the most part we dressed for the occasion and made our way up into the clouds. On the way up we talked about this and that and how much drier it was in Kamloops. We decided that a run of Krazy Karpenter, Upper and Lower Toadstool, Snakes and Ladders and finally Shotgun was in order.

We geared up in the trees at Karpenter and then let go of the brakes. I started riding the long log ride near the top but traction was near zero so a quick wheelie drop off the log was in order and I was back on terra firma. Unfortunately Karpenter has not seen any maintenance for a while and there is broken woodwork and other issues all over the place. Considering how long it has been and how many people actually ride the trail it is standing up quite well, but it needs some work in places.

After Karpenter it was Upper Toadstool where Rob decided he'd make an attempt at bitching me into riding the long log on Upper Toadstool. Really I don't know why he said what he did, I ride the log every single time I am on the trail. Wet, dry, sleet, snow, I have never skipped the log......but what he said irked me. "I wanna see you wipe out on the log" were his words. Pardon? I had his voice in my head the whole way along it. Sure it was wet and slimy and slippy, but there was no way in hell I was going to wipe out. When I cleaned I gave out a big PFFT!!!! and rode out the rest of the trail thinking 'haha, in your face'. Turns out he never even made an attempt at riding it himself....punk! ;-)

We then made our way down to Lower Toadstool which Rob had not ridden in a long, long time. This was going to be the first time he had ridden it since the new woodwork was built on it over the past few months. Rob loves ladders so he was as giddy as a pig in mud. All the rework on Lower Toadstool has made a trail that was ordinary into a total joyous rip. Nothing techy, nothing huge, nothing overly steep, just a fun winding rip down the hill.

We then made our way over to Snakes and Ladders. After riding our trail countless times we have it totally figured out and ride it without a second thought. It has seen a lot of traffic over the past months and years since I started working on it, but she is still holding up well even with the rain.

Both Rob and I stopped to film ourselves riding a few sections of Snakes.

Dean at the rock drop.

Rob on the jump section.

So at the new part of the line we walked a few parts to see how the drainage was working and so far we see no issues at all. Total ripping fun. It was nice to see what Tim had done days prior.

At this point we were absolutely soaked to the bone, but our route took us over to Shotgun as our last trail. I was on the big bike today (Ollie) and I can say that without any doubt it eats up the trail. At the truck we dried off as best we could, loaded up the bikes and headed home.

Great ride with Rob....even if he's no longer a local.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Keep your head up!

It's been a while since I have been on my bike in the woods; 2 weeks in fact. I had spent the last week with my 1 year old daughter in the hospital. She was there 9 nights, 8 days with IV antibiotics, surgery at BC Children's Hospital and lots and lots of blood tests. She is MUCH better now and has the sparkle in her eye that daddy always looks for. So today I took today off work to spend some time with my 2 kids and to got out for a quick build and ride.

I arrived early at The Woodlot with not a soul in sight. The climb is getting easier and easier every time I go up. Stovetop was the route and as usual it did not let me down. I really didn't know where I was going to ride today. I did not have a lot of time on my hands so rather than spend it on a long climb, I spent it building.

The climb took me to Tsuga and then down to Snakes and Ladders. I rode all the way to the bottom and decided to go have a look at S.O.S. as it had been a while since I saw what Johnny had built there. What I saw did not disappoint. That is a truly BIG HIT section that looks wicked.

So after my lookyloo I made my way back to Snakes and Ladders and pushed back up the trail all the way to the building section. Upon my arrival I saw that Tim had been up during the week and totally buffed the section I roughed in last week. He also removed the HUGE rock that we in middle of the line. GOOD WORK TIMMY!! I parked my bike, took a few before pictures of what I was going to be working on and got to work.

The area I concentrated on was a corner that was completely surrounded by red rot and duff. Upon a close examination of a certain tree and a good look at where the line would flow best, I determined that a particular dead standing tree needed to be 'removed' so I cut the roots around it with an axe and pushed that puppy down by hand.

If you are going to be pushing trees in the forest, remember to keep your head up.

After the tree was out of the way and the surrounding duff and red rot out of the line, it was clear this was what was needed. This corner that had been haunting me was now going to be perfect.

I was out of time by now so I packed the tools up, got on my bike and rode out the rest of the trail. The last 2 turns of the extension are really taking shape well and if railed right set you up perfectly for the baby hit at the end.

Shotgun was a good ride. With the recent rains the trail had little puddles here and there but like all the trails at The Woodlot it will be looked after in due time.

At the bottom there were 2 cars in addition to mine with riders itching to get up the hill to get their fix.

Good day of productive building and a nice little ride. The saying keep your head up applies to many things in life.