Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trailside Grouse

I hit the Wooldlot today on my Rune. It was a cooker of a day and the bugs were about as bad as I've seen them in the trees. I climbed to Cabin Trail and then turned off mid way down Blue Ribbon and then traversed over to the bottom of Snakes and Ladders on the TCT connector. I brought some clippers and a hatchet with me that I used along the way to clear some Blackberry bushes and a decent size tree that had fallen on the TCT connector.

Once I passed Snakes and Ladders I ran into a Grouse on the side of the road. It really didn't move when I came up to it but then I noticed it had two young babies hiding in the bush near it.

After snapping off a few pictures, I made my way back up to the top of Snakes and Ladders and then rode down. It's been a while since I rode it in such dry conditions. I then rode over to and down Shotgun and my ride was over. Not a bad little afternoon ride.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bear Mountain with some fellow riders

I put out the call for anyone that would like to join me for a spin at Bear today and two guys replied on NSMB. Basically we met at 12:30pm and decided on the trails we'd ride while we climbed. It turns out Adrian had never ridden a few trails on the menu but he knew of a trail that neither Mike or I had ridden so it was new trails for everyone.

It seems the three of us are all bike gear heads to a certain degree so the ride up was filled with discussions about tires and forks and just about everything in between.

Once at the top we rode Backdoor to Lorax and had a fast rip all the way down. Adrian was hooting behind me. To say he liked Lorax would be an understatement. We then hit Smoke 'n Bobo which is a really fun trail that I really need to memorize. I nearly went off the line half a dozen times hitting blind corners or going over slight rises.

We then climbed back up the road to the tower and rode Microwave where Mike had a funny little tumble missing a corner just ahead of me. It seems pine needles aren't all that great for holding a line. Once at Corduroy we decided to ride this other trail that Adrian knew about from years ago. It was actually a pretty nice trail that offered a bit of variety rather than the fast straight shot down of Corduroy.

We then pedaled back to our cars where I loaded up and headed home. It's nice riding with others during the week and finding some new trails to ride. Hopefully I can try to make this a bit of a regular thing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seymour Dawn Patrol

It's been at least 6 years since I've ridden Ned's so I figured what better trail to ride today.

I've been doing the shelf shuttle thing lately and the weather was sweet this morning so I enjoyed a nice long pedal 17km all the way up to top (all the way to the ski lodge).

I'd heard whispers of a somewhat unknown line that descends from one tower to the next so I had a quick look around and once I found it I made my way from one tower to another. It's pretty much an overgrown straight shot down the hill that exits just above the CBC trail. To be honest, it's nothing great, but it's certainly better than riding down the road if you shuttle up.

Once I was on CBC one thing became immediately apparent; I am out of practice riding skinnies. I was all over the place on anything less than a foot wide. I'd had a nice clean ride down the trail but on the narrow woodwork I was looked a little rusty.

This elevation profile shows the elevation gain and distances of the climb and the descent today. 28km of riding, 17km climbing and 11km of descending. I also marked where CBC and Neds are on the descent. I would have thought that CBC had more elevation gain/loss than Neds, but the GPS doesn't lie.

After CBC it was over to the top portion of Corkscrew and then Ned's. I had a fun ride down Ned's on my Rune today. I'd say it's the perfect bike for this kind of trail. Had I been on my big bike, I could have definitely gone faster, but riding a smaller bike you can use finesse rather that monster trucking to keep speed and skip over the million or so rocks that make up Ned's.

Ned's on my Rune

It was 10am now and I was at the bottom of Ned's so pedaled over to my car on Riverside Drive and loaded up to head over to the Cove Bike shop to see what new bikes they had in. Another great ride on "The Shore".

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stave and Allouette Epic - The Redux

Call me crazy but the ride the other day to Stave and Alouette was so damn sweet, I did it again today. Nothing really different this time around except that the weather was even sweeter than the first time. My legs felt great and I enjoyed another trip into the wilderness.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Google Earth Epic #4: Stave and Alouette Lakes

I'd been near the end of Alouette Lake about 18 years ago with a buddy of mine. We ended up with near terminal mechanical issues with our bikes and needed to be plucked off the side of the lake by a boater and taken 15km back along Alouette Lake to the boat launch and then a 20km pedal back to my car on the other side of the mountain. My ride today didn't have any mechanical but was epic due to the sweet views and distance ridden.

Once again my ride started at the computer. I found the spot I wanted to get to in Google Earth and then I proceeded to plot the route, printed the map and loaded the info in to my trusty GPS.

The starting point for today's ride was at the parking lot for the boat launch for Stave Lake where I fired up the GPS and began pedaling on Burma Road/Florence Lake FSR and the end was at the viewpoint where you get a view of both Stave and Alouette lake at the same time.

Stave Lake has a long history of being a party place where people take their boats, trucks, dirt bikes and quads to play in the woods and on the mud flats. Often when mixed with alcohol or simply by unfortunate circumstances people get hurt and or die. There was on section of the road where I saw three memorials for people that had lost their lives while in the area. It was a little creepy pedaling past these tributes.

I continued past the memorials and simply kept on pedaling. The route is a nice logging road that weaves along the west ridge of Stave Lake and then turns slightly west upwards to get over to Alouette Lake. There is a junction about 5km from the end where you could descend a switchbacked road that leads to the shore of Alouette lake and the BC Hydro water tunnel that connects the two lakes. In fact this was the spot where my buddy (Greg) and I got stuck many years ago.

This time I was far more prepared and just pedaled past on my way to the viewpoint. In the end it was a little over 22kms to the view point and a hair over 1500ft of elevation gain from my starting point with lots of up and down sections.

This little foray into the woods netted me one of the most spectacular views I've seen in a while aboard my bike.

Florence Lake

Mount Robbie Reid

The narrows on Alouette Lake

The view of Stave Lake (left) and Alouette Lake (right)

The view down Stave Lake

The view of the narrows on Alouette Lake during the descent from the top.

The very end of Alouette lake. The creek on the far right feeds the lake.

Me enjoying the view

Looking south on Stave Lake

The panoramic view from the top and my trusty steed: My Rune

After I took these photos I started the long pedal back to my car. Thankfully the return trip has more downhill than up and it took a lot less time to get back. Another epic ride with an epic view.

For those interested in the route:

View Allouette / Stave View in a larger map

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Two hours to kill

I had 2 hours to kill today so I took off out the garage to get in a ride. I rode my 2 hour Golden Ears/Alouette route and did it in great time.

My photo above really doesn't do this waterfall any justice. In person it is sweet and is about 3/4 of the way into my ride. If needed I'd be able to stop and wet my face or get water from this creek that's fed by melting snow and ice in the hills above.

I had a sweet ride and actually seem to be getting used to riding clipless pedals again. Blasphemy!!!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Aloutte 2 hour loop

I have been on a quest to find a 2 hour loop from my house and today may have just found the perfect loop that starts at my front door.

Basically I get on the green belt from my place and head east to Alco park and cross the Alouette river to get onto the horse trails. From there I pedaled to the lake for a view and then headed back west along the trails and up the Loop trail.

Once at the peak of the Loop trail you are greeted with a nice view of the lake below and you begin the descent along the Eric Dunning trail.

I pedaled up the road that leads to Mike Lake and turned up the horse trail that leads west. After a short steady climb the descent is fast and twisty on a horse trail to a horse corral. From there I follow some trails to Fern Crescent and then cross the Alouette river again at the 240th horse crossing and make my way home. By skipping the visit to the lake, the ride will take just under 2 hours. I'm stoked to have found a great rolling ride so close to home.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

2010 Bear Mountain DH - Race Day

Race day. One could say I've raced bear a few times; this was my 6th time racing Bear and I've been on the podium 4 times. I was prepared both physically and mentally for this race but for some reason I was tentative this race.

I'd had one prerun earlier in the day and I had the course and all the jumps dialed, but come my race run things just didn't feel right. I came up short on one jump in particular that I've always cleaned. Something just didn't feel right.

My bike felt amazing during the race and performed flawlessly but I as the rider just didn't let it all hang out in my race run. I am happy with the result and getting on the podium in my class, but I am just a little let down at my personal performance because I know I could have and should have ridden to a much better time. I just rode too cautious but there is always next year.

Andrew Knott 2nd, Todd Kaulback 1st, Dean Wilkes 3rd

Saturday, July 03, 2010

2010 Bear Mountain DH - Practice

My schedule was full today. All I had time for today was one practice run at around 9am and then I had to get home for a family function.

I've ridden Bear so many times now that any more practice would just make me slower. I think my only problem is just keeping the pace high and letting it all hang out rather than riding conservative and clean. I must be getting older.......and wiser.