Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rockin' Snow Ride

Thank the heavens for the warmer/wetter weather we had over the past week. A great deal of the snow in the hills has melted making riding on the lower trails possible.

I headed to The Woodlot today with the sun high in the sky and warm breeze coming the open window of my truck. Once at the parking are there were already 6 or so vehicles from riders already on the hill. I loaded up and decided to ride/push up Shotgun as the regular route up still had far too much snow. In the trees Shotgun was all clear of snow, in the open clear cut the snow had melted to 5 inches of compact slush.

In the upper section of Shotgun 2 riders passed by me coming down at race pace. Big bikes on Shotgun = big fun.

Once I hit the road, most of the snow was gone or was well on its way to melting away. There were still areas on the road that needed to be pushed, but for the most part the climb wasn't too bad. One thing the heavy snow does on the edge of the road is snap and bend trees over onto the road. There was one tree so badly bent that it blocked the path so it needed to be cut out. I grabbed my folding saw and cut away; leaving the trail clear to ride on past. I then made my way to the trailhead of Snakes and Ladders in about 8 inches of slushy heavy snow. Any higher on the hill and the riding would be impossible. I stopped to take a picture of my Banshee Rune at the trail and then continued down from there.

2008 Banshee Rune

The top of the trail had just a little too much snow to actually ride in but a few hundred meters in and it was clear sailing. I hit a few jumps and for one I even stopped, swept the snow off the run-in with my foot and gave her hell riding down. At the bottom of the big rock faces there has always been an issue with drainage and mud accumulation. My goal today was to either get in a good long ride, or have a short ride and build for a few hours; I chose the latter. Once I parked my bike and got the necessary tools I snapped some pictures of the mud before.....and then after I had finished working.

Rocking away the mud.

Extreme Makeover - Snakes and Ladders Style

The rock I used was the rock that I spent hours and hours stacking in the summer of 2006. I knew this section was going to need a lot of rock and I used a good amount of it today. A few years ago you came to a complete stop in the mud, but now it is a super fast right hand turn over a highway of granite. This work only took me an hour and a half with no assistance needed. While building I did have 2 groups of 3 riders cruise on past thanking me for the trail work which was quite nice. One rider in particular who reads my blog (Daryl) rolled up and said..."So you must be the infamous Dean!", and my reply, "Ummm yeah?????". Daryl was with 2 other good guys out having a great old time in the snow. We chatted for a bit, I pointed them in the direction of the 'new ending' of the trail and they were on their way. It's always cool to meet people that appreciate the work that others do on the trails.

I then rode out the rest of the trail, rode down shotgun where I met up with Ewan, Dave and a different Darryl from earlier, we chatted for a bit and then ripped the remainder of the trail. At the parking area there must have been 30 cars all up the roads. The sun was shining and the riding whored were out in full effect.

I am really happy with the work I was able to get done today and I am especially looking forward to getting more work done on the trails this winter and spring.

No comments: