Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ledgeview....night ride

Tonight there was a Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association meeting at the base of Ledgeview at Trevor's place, what better thing to do afterwords than to go for a night ride after the meeting.

Tom, Trevor and I were all that took part in the ride but we had a good ride nonetheless. The weather tonight was perfect where all that was needed was a light sweater.

I honestly had no idea what trails I was riding at all during this foray in the night, but I had fun sliding around on the clay dirt that lined the trails. [Edit- the trails were Little Buttafuoco, Paper Route and LeBite Me]

Another great night ride with good people that share a passion for mountain biking and the trails we ride on.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Transiton for the trail gap

It's been a while since I did some real building where there are a pile of tools used and where rock, dirt and wood form the final product.

I've had my eye on the transition for the small trail gap on Snakes & Ladders for some time. Today I donned my building pack overflowing with tools with the goal of building a sweet tranny for the gap. One thing I never really took notice of before was the size and weight of my building pack when loaded with tools. My wife commented as I was about to load it in my car so for giggles I weighed it.........41lbs. I always up the pressure in the rear shock on my bike to compensate for the additional weight, but I never really thought my pack weighed that much. Climbing with it isn't too comfortable, but as many have said: what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

The 41lb pack

Once I climbed to the trail I went straight to work getting the cedar stringers needed and cut them to size. One really good thing I took away from a building course IMBA Canada put on at The Woodlot a while back was to peel the bark off the logs you use. It took a little extra time to do this and in the end the final result was well worth the effort.

Once the logs were peeled, sized, notched and nailed in place, I filled the structure with several HUGE rocks and then filled in the rest with rocks that were piled by other trail users in a spot near the tranny.

Rain water on the lens made the after shots a little sub par, but end result in person is quite nice.
I spent a few more hours than I had planned on this, but doing things right takes time and I am very proud of this bit of trail work. The weather today was what many call 'typical BC weather', wet and rainy with a few rumbles of thunder and lighting thrown in for fun. I hit the jump a couple times to make sure it was all lined up and then packed up to go home.

I had a nice mellow ride down to the car soaked to the bone from the rain but oh so satisfied with my effort.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rob rides Burke

Rob was once again down in the valley for a weekend so we made sure to squeeze in a ride on a local hill.

Today Rob, Dave and I did a full lap of Burke: Triple Crown, Red R, Slayer, Dawg, Hustler and then back up for a little dodging of bullets.

We had a great ride with wicked weather and no hiccups.

Riding can't get much better than this: great trails shared with good friends.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Training Ride - #2

Once again I had a bit of time to kill so I went for another ride up to Thornhill from my place but this time on the hard tail. A slightly different route got me into some nice double track and into a newer subdivision development where I ran into a friend of mine from soccer. After a brief stop to say hi I was on my way.

15km of riding with a door to door time of 50 minutes with a stop to talk. Not bad and the legs felt good on this ride. Next week hopefully I have more time to explore.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - ride #1

I had an hour to kill and the weather was freaking spectacular, so I boarded my Rune and went for a spin from my house. I've been kind of lacking in the speed department when it comes to climbing and I've been reading about simple ways to improve speed, so today I did a training ride.

It was mainly a steep road ride climb to get to an area that has some mellow single track, but it worked well to get my heart rate up and practice some mid tempo climbing. In total I did 12km up Thornhill.

If I keep these regular rides up I am bound to improve and at least I am exploring the trails that are within a short ride from my house.

1 hour door to door and a good sweat was worked up. Considering I have a 60% healthy knee I was generally pleased with the ride.

I think I'll keep track of the number of 'training rides' I do just to see if I keep it up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Working with a Krazy Karpenter

Tim and I were finally able to get out and ride/build together today. Krazy Karpenter is getting a make-over by Tim and we decided to work on an old stunt that he has earmarked for a fresh new look.

Once we made it to the section we were building on we unloaded our tools and nails that we hiked up and got to work.

Tim fired up the bush saw and I did the groundwork and transition for the stump roller. The stunt is essentially an old stump with a ladder leading to it and a steep roll down the other side. Due to weathering and rotting, the stump has rotted out but Tim intends to fix the rotting problem and keep the feel and nature of the original stunt with the new work.

Below is a shot of Tim shaving the stump with the saw.

Not too long after this shot, the pull cord on the saw decided it was time to die and it snapped. Without the saw we could not finish the wood work that we intended to do, so we did as much of the ground work we could and called it a day. When we left we figured there is maybe one more days work for this feature to be finished and dialed in.

We pushed part way up the trail and rode back down the new features Tim has been working on lately.

On Upper Toadstool I had a little spill and sacked myself pretty good. I can tell that my knee is weak and affecting my riding lately. I kind of feel like I've lost my quick agility and ability to 'stay out of trouble' on my bike. Hopefully soon I'll gain back the strength in my knee and leg, but until then, I am riding at 60% and staying away from jumps and drops.

Lower Toadstool and Bloggy Style were next and then Shotgun. After the build and ride we were both pretty beat and headed home. It has been quite some time since we worked together and as a pair we can get quite a bit done to improve the trails. Hopefully I can make it up to Karpenter with Tim again sometime soon to finish off the stunt we were working on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A new tool and an old friend

It's been months since I've ridden in the rain and today it rained........pretty hard. My plan today was to hike some tools to Snakes and Ladders as well as go for a spin .

I learned something a few weeks ago when I raked the Bear Mountain DH course in preparation for the race: a good rake is one of the most valuable tools you can have when you need to clean up / buff a trail. I find that carrying multiple tools on a trail is a PITA, so I killed two birds with one stone with a mod I made to some rakes I had. I made a double ended rake that I call The Buffer.

Once I dropped off the tools on the trail, I continued up to the top pedaling my Rune. I geared up and rode Krazy Karpenter which is getting a once over by Tim. Things are really beginning to take shape in spots and it is a lot of fun. I do however really need to put some soft compound wet tires on my bike because I was slipping everywhere on my summer tires.

One particular section that Tim has recently worked on was a skinny section that just plain sucked in the past. The ladders and lines just didn't line up until Tim worked some magic. Now, it freaking rocks. Timmy made the skinny section a challenge to ride, yet still fun. The photo below is me riding the section for the first time ever.

After Karpenter I made my way to Fluffy Kitten and then to Snakes and Ladders. Snakes is running quite well and from top to bottom there was only one puddle on the trail. I stopped in the jump section to fix the lips and trannies on a couple jumps and put my new rake to the test and it worked flawlessly.

After Snakes and Ladders I headed over to Shotgun to ride out to my car. Shotgun wasn't bad and with my current tires, the wet roots kept things on the edge for me in sections.

At my car I ran in to Greg and Denise as well as a long lost friend of mine, Keith White who I used to ride with 15 years ago. Man how time flies.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Burke Guiding

Burke really seems to be on my radar lately. I arrived at the hill and set off on the climb right away. On the way up I met up with a few guys I've seen at The Woodlot before (Andy and Steve) and Steve's wife.

Funny thing is it turns out they were on Burke looking for some trails that they had seen some helmet cam videos of.........hmmmmmm I wonder who's videos they were referring to? ;-) So after the introductions were made I agreed to guide them down Triple Crown, Six, Slayer, Dawg and Hustler.

We had some good conversations about different things and I was able to test out a new camera mount I made. The footage did not work out well and some additional tweaking is needed.

I had a great ride even with a pooched knee but I know in time it will heal.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Woodlot a 'Test Run'

A little over a week ago I had a nasty spill at Whistler. After over a week of icing my knee and lots of ibuprofen I thought today I would test out my knee and also my chest camera mount that I made.

I rode my Rune and climbed up via Stove Top and made my way to Upper Toad Stool and then back up to Tsuga, Snakes and Ladders, Bloggy Style and finally Shotgun.

To be honest my knee felt like crap and hurt the whole ride. It ballooned up after the ride and caused me a fair bit of pain for the next few days after the ride.

Sweet view on the climb up.

The video below is a grab bag of the footage I got on the ride. The chest camera mount worked okay for the first test of my design, but it needs to be tweeked a little to offer more stability. I was neither impressed nor let down by the initial results BUT I know where the improvements can be made.