Thursday, March 27, 2008

Short and Sweet

Tim and I hit The Woodlot for a night ride. I was on my Banshee Rune and Tim on his Norco Six. In the parking area it was dry, but once we climbed past Quick Hit and were in the trees, we realised the snow was going to be UGLY. It was wet and slushy, so we decided to stay low on the hill and ride from Snakes and Ladders down.

At the top of Snakes we got off our bikes and went for a walk on the trail to see some areas that need attention from a maintenance perspective. After our walk in the snow, we ripped down the trail. I had brought an extra light tonight for Tim which he reluctantly tried.......and now he wants to make up his own 50w light for his helmet.

Snakes was a hoot and fortunately for us, the further we went down the trail, the less snow there was. We then went over to Shotgun and ripped a new one down the trail.

The ride was short but ever so sweet in the darkness of The Woodlot.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Surprises

Sunrise at The Woodlot.

I just had to pause and take a picture on the way up at QuickHit where I also did a little work today.

Riding the steep ladder on QuickHit

After some building I rode QuickHit then made my way higher up the hill. My first lap took me down Stove Top and then over to Heckyl and Jeckyl. This was the first time ever riding down Stove Top and overall it is a fun little rip that flows well.

Heckyl and Jeckyl was alright for me today, but I avoided all the big jumps as I was riding alone and just didn't feel the mojo needed for the big stuff but the turns and woodwork were enough for me today.

I then made my way up for my second lap that started the descent at Tsuga. A few days earlier there had been a rather sudden hail storm in the area and it left several inches of wet snow and anything above Tusga would have been a nasty hike to get to. Judging by my tire tracks, I was the first person down Tsuga in the snow which made for a wild ride on a particular bridge that I drifted sideways across.

At the bottom of Tsuga where you make your way over to Snakes and Ladders, there was a tree down which I hope to remove the next time I am there with the saw. Snakes and Ladders was a total hoot. I met two guys on big bikes at the trail head that I chatted with for a bit then took off ahead of them. The busy riding season is close at hand and it is nice to see people out on the trails.

Over to Shotgun I went where I met up with Dave, Kenny and Jon and talked for a bit and I then departed down Shotgun with a loaded pack of heavy tools on my back.

Great ride, wicked weather and surprising amount of trail work done.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday pedal to Arduum

My 'biking' day started really early today.

I first had a 9am FVMBA meeting in Chilliwack more than an hours drive from my home regarding the trails of the Fraser Valley. After an hour or so all the business was taken care of and I was on my way back home for a ride.

I decided to hit a trail I have never ridden before: Arduum. Last year this new trail was cut on Red mountain in Mission and a DH race (Arduum Challenge) was hosted by the builders. Today I thought I would see what all the hubbub is about.

The climb to the trail head is a nice open fire road climb which gave a good warm up for the steep descent the trail offered.

The picture below shows the wicked view from atop the start platform at the beginning of Arduum. I'd love to see this on a sunny day or at sunrise.

The view atop Arduum

My steed for the day was my Rune. I haven't ridden any of my other bikes since I built the Rune and it was the perfect bike for my ride today.

Arduum is steep in sections and has lots of off camber exposed root traverses and tight corners, with a few rock gardens to keep you honest. Modulation is the name of the game on this trail. I had a freaking blast riding this trail. I had been warned ahead of time by others to look out for signs that warn of drops and gaps, which I heeded on my virgin run, but I can't wait to come back and session a few sections.

The trail is amazing considering the time the builders have been on it. My hats off to their effort.

I cannot wait to come back and ride this trail again really soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

6 Years

It has been 6 years. 6 years since I lost my brother to a car accident. Since that day I have made a conscious effort to get out for a ride and remember my brother for what he was; a thrill seeker with a passion for having fun with his friends. Mountain biking is my passion and I use it as my expression to pay tribute to my brother every year on this date.


Tim and I managed to hook up tonight for a night ride. He picked me up and off to The Woodlot we went. He was especially stoked for this ride because he had just spent the afternoon tuning his bike and installing some new parts.

With little light to guide us, we climbed up to Karpenter in the darkness of the night. We rolled down this classic trail making our way to Blood Donor. At Donor Tim went ahead hitting almost everything in sight. I wasn't feeling the mojo so I rode most stunts but not everything. I learned a while back to listen to the inner knows best.

We then rolled down the logging road down to Snakes and Ladders. The road is different in the dark, I had no idea where I was. At Snakes we ripped the trail like 2 kids in a candy store. The final section of the trail is holding up well, but due to the tight nature of the line, some of the trees that line the trail are showing signs of people hitting them with their bars. I have a few ideas in mind to 'protect' the trees.

At the bottom of Snakes I discovered that I was having some issues with loose spokes; so I took it mellow, as we descended down Shotgun, as to avoid a mechanical disaster.

At Tim's vehicle we chilled for a bit, enjoyed a beer and headed home with thoughts of our ride playing in our head.

March 12 is a day where I try to make every second count as you never know when it can all be taken away from you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday Bliss

Last night the clocks went forward for daylights savings so this mornings ride seemed even earlier. Sunrise and trails clear of snow; it just doesn't get any better.

Pedaling to the top was a breeze and my route down took me on Krazy Karpenter, Blood Donor, Giant Killer, Snakes and Ladders and finally Shotgun.

Karpenter was moist and slippy. The first long log ride was a bit of an eye opener, half way down it required a quick huck off the right ride back onto terra ferma. The upper section of Blood Donor really showed how well the Rune rips in the corners. In berms this bike is freaking amazing, it hooks up like its on rails.

Coming down, I hit virtually everything on the trails and realize now just how much a light bike can improve the ride on trails. Even the drop at the end of Giant Killer felt mellow on my bike today.

The little video below is an example of what I call 'All Mountain' riding.

With Karpenter, Donor and GK under my belt it was over to Snakes and Ladders for a mach 3 rip and then down Shotgun to my truck.

I had an amazing ride today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Shotgun Helmet Cam Rip

I had an hour to spare so I headed to The Woodlot. I decided to make it a quickie so I pedaled up to the top of Shotgun and filmed my ride with my helmet camera. I managed to get home in under an hour round trip.

Super fun and fast rip of Shotgun @ The Woodlot on my Banshee Rune