Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunrise ride: started good...ended bad.

This morning I was up before the sun and on my way to The Woodlot. I had a few hours to escape reality and I could think of nothing better than sneaking in a ride at my favorite hill.

I arrived just as the sun was starting to rise over the mountains and was greeted with this breathtaking view.

I climbed made my way to the top aboard my trusty Rune. At Cabin trail I geared up and let go of the brakes. One this is for certain, the Rune is WAY FASTER on the DH than my Trance. It had been a while since I was up on Cabin trail but overall things looked okay with only one or two spots that need some TLC. It's an all natural roots rocky rip that keeps getting better every time I ride it.

I then made my way to Snakes and Ladders where I spent a little time removing some trees that had fallen across the trail in the last few weeks and needed to be removed. I grabbed a stashed axe I had nearby and had at the errant trees.

A few trees that were blocking the trail

After the tree removal I rode down Snakes and soon discovered that mother nature had played a nasty joke lately on the trail and broke one of the bridges on the trail leading to the teeter totter and long log ride.

Considering the amount of woodwork on the trail and the number of bridges that have the potential to get broken, we've been really quite lucky with Snakes and Ladders. I hope to get back up here soon to fix this bridge by either replacing it, or piecing it back together with braces.

After viewing this scene of carnage, the rest of my ride kinda sucked. I rode the remainder of Snakes and then hit Bloggy Style that had seen a Freelap race down it last week which caused a whole pile of damage. This put me in an even better mood. Shotgun was alright but at my car I had the image of the broken bridge on Snakes in my mind. I guess I'm just forced to do a little more building in the near future.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Neapolitan Wood

This is the first real ride I've had in over a month, even though I have been up to the Woodlot 5 times in the past 30 days. Those 5 times were spent building on Giant Killer to replace a bridge section that had degraded over time and needed some tender loving care. It had been raining hard for the last 4 days so there was no snow on the trails and they were in great condition for a ride.

My route took me up Stovetop and then the road to the powerlines. My bike of choice today was my Trance which proved to be a good choice for the climb. The recent snow and wind has resulted in a fair number of fallen trees on the trails that will need to be cut out with a chainsaw (Stovetop, Blood Donor, Snakes and Ladders).

At the top, I geared up and snapped a shot of my new ride. It's a fun bike that gets you to the top with ease, however I just need to tune it a bit more for the DH side of my riding.

Once I was geared up, I made my way to Krazy Karpenter which was a lot of fun but a little hairy at times given that I have a hard compound summer tire on the front of my bike. After Karpenter it was up to Blood Donor. Overall it is in okay shape but for the fallen trees mid way down the trail.

So after Blood Donor I rode down to Giant Killer which I may be riding a fair bit more in the future to do trail work with Ryan. I stopped at the new bridge section to snap a few pictures and take in the aroma of the cedar of which the scent can be detected from far up the trail. The Neapolitan color of the wood is quite magnificent in person.

After Giant Killer I traversed over to Snakes and Ladders where I discovered that even more trees had fallen in the forest. Fortunately the trail is not blocked, but about 8 trees are snagged and hanging dead in the air above the trail and therefore need to be removed before they fall on their own. Apart from the trees, the trail is in good shape with only touch of dirt work/rocking needed on one jump landing.

I had a great ride on Snakes and then rode over to Shotgun which is sooooo damn fast nowadays and my ride was done. In the parking area I bumped into Cory so we talked a bit about bikes and trails and I departed home.

It was really nice getting out for a real ride and a little bit of trail work rather than it being the other way around. It was satisfying to see the fresh built woodwork of the bridge with the snow melted away on Giant Killer.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mission Complete - Giant Killer Pt.5

Finally it is complete.

Ryan and I met today at The Woodlot around 8:30 in this chilly morning. In the last few days we've had a little snow and the weather has turned down right cold.

I fixed my chainsaw since the last time I was building so I had it with me in my pack with one mission in mind. FINISH THE LADDER. Ryan and I climbed at a nice easy pace to the build location and took in the sweet view along the way.

The view today.

So once we were at the building area we went straight to work on the bridge. Our plan: trim the wood edges of the bridge, rock in the beginning, rock in the end, remove some dead trees, modify the exit with the removed trees, tweak a few things for flow and fix the ladder section a little further down the trail. Today EVERYTHING went as planned. There were zero hiccups and all the work was done within 3 hours.

Overall, the bridge took longer than I had anticipated to complete, but the goal was to replace the old bridge with one that will last a long time and not need any additional work for many years. This new bridge is solid and adds a much needed easy line for those that don't want to ride the log ride. I found it better to take our time than to rush the work and in the end the results speak for themselves.

A before and after of some stump removal. This section now FLOWS!!