Sunday, December 20, 2009

Randon Woodlot Meeting

Recently I was given a few items to 'test out' and provide my honest opinion about them. So on this ride I had a new set of grips, a new set of knee pads and a new helmet camera.

I figured I would try out these new parts on my shakedown trails: Goldmine. So with a pair of cameras rolling, I rode down on my Rune on this cold rainy overcast day.

Once at the powerlines I traversed over to Snakes and Ladders and ripped down the my most familiar of trails. Near the end of Snakes I caught up to a guy who stopped to let me pass. Then at the end of the trail I ran into two very familiar faces: Dave and Bryan. It turns out the guy I passed was a riding partner of theirs.

We all decided to ride up again and hit a few trails together. Bryan, Dave and I are bike obsessed so all we talked about during the climb was bikes and biking politics. Once at Toad Stool I decided to put a camera on Bryan so that I could get a different view from the camera with him both leading me and chasing me. Bloggy Style was the next trail and finally Shotgun.

Running into and riding with Dave, Bryan and their friend was a pleasant surprise and even though it was pissing down rain, we all had a great ride.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Google Earth Epic #1: Epic Rides = Epic Views

I went on what many people would call an epic ride today. I looked on a few maps of where I wanted to go and then plotted the route in Google Earth, printed the map and started pedaling. It's been a while since I went on one of these view finding epic wandering rides. I always go prepared with the necessary gear (GPS, maps, compass, tools, camera, phone, food and clothing) so extending my ride a few hours past my normal time isn't too much of a worry.

The views today were quite simply amazing.

I the photo above you can see Mt. Baker and even Mt. Rainer that is 300km away in the distance. Visibility like this is rare in the summer but today the air was crisp, clean but chilled you to the bone in the shade.

I had ridden in this area a few years back but recently there has been a few new cutblocks of logging and a couple new logging road spurs cut in. I remember a few weeks back hearing heavy machinery in the area and I can see why.

My climb ended when I ran into a fresh cutblock where there were loggers still hauling logs off the slope of the hill. I managed to snap a few photos for this panoramic photo before I departed down the hill.

An amazing view looking east across Stave Lake.

For the most part my ride was on logging roads to get around from peak to peak but to finish today's ride I was on the more familiar trails of The Woodlot (Goldmine, Snakes and Ladders, Shotgun). All I can say is that without a bike under me, I would never get to experience such breathtaking views.

Frozen waterfall

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Vedder by moonlight

Today I was invited by Tyler from to hit up a night time shuttle of Vedder. Seeing as I have never ridden Vedder and I was itching for a night ride, it was an opportunity hard to pass up.

So with my lights all charged up and directions in hand I set out from Maple Ridge to Chilliwack and met up with Tyler, Gerald and Spencer at the base of Vedder Mtn. Tyler had a bit of a chuckle when I got out of my little family sport wagon when the three of them were driving lifted 4x4 trucks. It was soon apparent to me that the shuttle up Vedder was a little more that gravel road.

Once the bikes were loaded on the trucks and the lights all checked, we headed up to the top of Vedder. Gerald and Spencer rode up in Spencer's Jeep Cherokee and I drove up with Tyler in his highly modified Chevy powered '95 Toyota pick-up. I'll be the first to admit that my 4x4 experience is somewhat limited so the drive up to the top of Vedder gave Tyler a bit of a laugh when he said this isn't really 4x4ing because we aren't in 4 low or needing winches while I was bug eyed whispering holy crap on some sections near the top.

Once at the top we unloaded and powered up the lights, then pushed up the hill a bit to get to The Den. Lately the weather has been dry and quite cold so traction was abundant on the dirt and the air was icy cold on this clear moonlit night. The video below shows clips from my helmet camera that I had on for the duration of the ride. The trails we rode included: The Den, Two Cents, Skidder, Turd Ferg, Ditch Chicken, Electric Lettuce and Femur. I really enjoyed getting the tour of Vedder by these guys as they really knew their way around and showed me a variety of different trails. For me a few standout sections were a gully where you carve up and down the two sides like a half pipe and Ditch Chicken (Gerald's trail). The trails on Vedder have a lot of fun natural flow that is distinctive all to itself when compared to most other areas of the Fraser Valley. I hope I'll be back some time soon to sample the trails in the daylight.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Karpenter on Film

I met Tim and his brother up on Karpenter today. He had bucked up a bunch of wood for the next part of the tune-up he is doing on the trail so I helped with splitting the rung. It was DAMN COLD today with ice on the trail on the way up but by the time I was at the top it had warmed up to melt most of the ice and frost.

Once the rung was split we talked about the next sections that will be worked on and then Tim and his bro took off for home.

I made my way to the top and decided to do a helmet camera run of Krazy Karpenter. It's hard to believe that I've never once done a helmet cam run of this trail.

After Karpenter I made my way up to Tusga then Snakes and Ladders and finally Shotgun. I managed to clear a few fallen trees on the trails so everything is clear and safe to ride.

I had a great ride on this dry cold December day and I can't wait to see what is going to develop on Karpenter in the near future.