Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wintry Ledgeview

Tonights ride was at Ledgeview in Abbotsford. I have only ridden there once before a few years ago and tonight I was hooking up for a ride with Tom from the FVMBA.

The ride/push/drive up to the top of Ledgeview is pretty easy compared to most places I have ridden. There was still snow on the ground but the trails here have seen a ton of traffic so they were compact and buff like a bobsled run.

The view from the top looking over Abbostford.

Once we pushed up to the top of Son of Berminator (S.O.B.), we started our ride down. Smooth and flowy turns sums up the feel of S.O.B. It was a fun trail without surprises or anything too difficult and a great trail to ride in the snow conditions we were having tonight.

At the bottom of S.O.B. it was a short pedal over to the top of Lost Oakleys. This trail has a different feel to it and involved short stints of climbing to get from one section of trail to another. A mid size (All Mountain) bike is ideal for this trail and my Rune between my legs let me enjoy the hits this trail had to offer.

The half shuttle that our route gave us was ideal given the snow. I had a hoot riding new trails and had a good chat with Tom.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Snow Bros

Early this Sunday morning Rob and I hit The Woodlot for what seems like our annual snow ride. Rob was down from The Loops to visit with his family and he just happened to bring his bike. It has been some time since Rob has been on his bike, so he was a little rusty and tentative due to a recent knee injury. However, for us die hards, nothing can keep us from the hills when we really want to get out for a ride.

We arrived at The Woodlot as the sun was starting to rise. The weather was slightly overcast and -1°c. The temperature was just cool enough to keep the snow frozen, kind of crusty, but soft enough for good grip when walking and riding. The higher we ascended , there were virtually no other tracks in the snow. By the time we reached the corner at the top of Giant Killer we had made the only tracks going up the hill. We laughed to ourselves, because it seems we are always the only ones that seem to venture out and take a ride in the deeper snow at The Woodlot.

At Tsuga we decided we had had enough, there was no need for a suffer fest in the snow.

Only our tracks at Tsuga

At Tsuga we paused for a photo and then headed down hill. We were blown away by the conditions. They were simply perfect. The snow was just the right depth, providing tons of grip in the corners. Good times all around.

Snow Bros

When we hit Snakes and Ladders I rode everything - including all the snow covered wood and the jumps. The conditions were perfect. Rob was wisely riding with caution given the state of his knee, but looking at the grin on his face, he was have a great time simply chillin on the trail.

After Snakes, we climbed back up to the top of Bloggy Style which has seen some nice work recently, and rode down to Shotgun.

Banshee Rune in its element

We ripped down Shotgun, hooting after all the hits. At the end of our ride we cracked a beer, 10:30am :-) , talked about life, loaded our bikes and headed home.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stunning Sunrise

My schedule and life lately has been extremely hectic but this morning I managed to slip out in the dark to go for a ride. When I left the house the sun had not risen yet but by the time I had picked up a coffee and bagel from Tim Horton's, the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds.

I was riding my new Banshee decked out with a new lighter wheel-set. The bike is getting more and more dialed with each ride. By the time I had pedaled a third of the way up The Woodlot, the sun was raging through the clouds and Mount Baker was making an appearance with the glow from the sun setting it alight.

This is what rides at sunrise are all about. The views.

Sunrise looking south towards Mount Baker

After stopping to take photos, I restarted my climb up the hill. 2 weeks previous when I went for a spin up here, there was a ton of snow, even low on the hill. Right now on the lower parts, there isn't even a hint of the white stuff, but I knew I would run into it at some point.

The climb was good but when the snow appeared on the trail and I had to start pushing in the snow, I decided it was time to point my bike down hill for the descent.

My ride down started at Tsuga and the snow on the trail made for a lively to rip.......pure riding bliss.

I the rode Snakes and Ladders which rocked today. The ground was damp but not wet and sloppy; the type of conditions that keep you alert. With lighter wheels on the bike the ability to pop off any undulation in the trail is amplified. Pumping the trail was child's play.

I paused at the teeter totter for a little trail maintenance and then bombed the rest of the trail, especially the new section. Judging by the number of tracks coming out of the new line I'd say it is now getting some regular traffic.

I then raised my seat and rode over to Shotgun. 2 words. Total Blast. Though I have ridden it hundreds of times and I never tire of Shotgun; such a nice finish to a ride. I then loaded my gear in my vehicle and made my way home with a dirty bike and visions of a spectacular sunrise in my mind.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Snowy Seymour Shuttle

This morning I decided to shuttle Mount Seymour "THE SHORE" with a group of guys known to many as The Shuttle Whores. I arrived at the predetermined meeting spot and the riders for the day just kept on arriving. In total I believe someone counted 18 people. The rides to the top were quickly organized and we were on our way up. The guys I recognized were Dave, Paul, Connor and Kenneth.

I caught a ride up with Connor who I have ridden with a few times in the past. At the parking area a few guys had to help a truck get into its parking spot.

Let the games begin.

So once everyone was geared up we headed to the trail just up the road. Several of us rode Corkscrew while others took a different route to the next junction. There was quite a bit of snow, enough to make skinnies and some ladders impossible, but most of the trail flowed quite well. The group was made up of quite experienced riders but nobody was left behind for being too slow.

Group ride.

At the power lines we regrouped and paused for a photo and then ducked into the trees to ride Pingu. The amazing thing is that past this point where the photo was taken there was no snow on the trail at all. Pingu is a great trail and the tight rocky rough corners really made the traits of my new bike shine. My Rune impresses me more and more every time I ride it.

It was then over to Pangor where near the end there is a rather unexpected launch in the middle of the trail......I hit it a touch fast but landed it well with a big sigh of relief. I then rode Slash which is a cool little trail. One of the riders cleaned the SUPER skinny line at the beginning and I just watched in awe. I've never cleaned it and the wet I just passed on it.

A few of us rode the infamous Empress. I love the steep, rocky technical let it all hang out nature of Empress. This trail really showed me how well the Rune handled steep terrain and tight turns. Once again I was not let down by my bike. I was impressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Sunday morning ride and it was great getting out to ride somewhere different with a great group of tight knit guys.
I have a feeling I might be doing this more often this year.