Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rockin on Giant Killer

My ride today took me to the Woodlot where as part of my ride I decided I was going to work on rocking the top part of Giant Killer.

Today I chose to ride my pedlally bike (Trance) and made my way up to the top. I started my ride on Karpenter and then down Blood Donor. Though the Trance is capable of taking on these trails, riding the trails at speed is a little hairy on a bike that is kind of meant for XCish riding.

Once at the top of Giant Killer, I surveyed the area to see what I wanted to get completed which extended what Ryan had started a few days earlier. I then gathered the tools and went to work laying rocks and dirt in place. In no time at all I was done the work I wanted to do for the day so I packed up the tools and snapped the photos below to see what I had completed.

The section rides a 1000 times better and should last a long time. After riding the rest of Giant Killer I hit Bloggy and then Shotgun were I hit the jump near the end of the trail a little too fast and aired way past the landing.

It was a super productive day of building and a good rip to finish it off.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Death to Gordon!!

Such a wicked ride! The day started with a pedal up to Blood Donor and then a mellow rip down to Giant Kiler and a traverese over to Snakes and Ladders.

Today I finished off the apporach to the bridge that I have been repairing and began some of the clean-up of the area. All I really need to do is trim the edges of the bridge, but I ran out of gas for my chainsaw, so finishing it off just wasn't in the cards.

Steve after a couple rounds of chemo.

As I was finishing up, I was greeted by a whole pile of riders. Craig and Jeff came down with Steve Sheldon and his nasty tumor Gordon. Steve is in the middle of chemotherapy to treat a tumor he has in his chest that he has called Gordon. Words cannot begin to describe how much life he brings with him wherever he goes and to see him enjoying a ride made my day.

Another group of 9 riders showed up and in total there were 12 people mulling around at the bridge. So as not to miss an oportunity, I put them to work moving some HUGE watersoaked logs that were in the way of where I was building. Once all the logs were moved the Steve and the other riders continued on down the trail.

Riders finally crossing the fixed bridge.

All it needs is a trim.

I finished cleaning up the tools and then headed down to Shotgun and home.

Death to Gordon!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winter Drainage Work

10am at the Woodlot. I meet up with Ryan and we head up to look at the entrance of Giant Killer to determine how to handle the issue of water flowing down the trail when ever there is heavy rainfall.

On our way up we fixed a few quick spots on the trail and then at the top we discussed some options and went to work on the most appropriate solution to the problem. In no time at all, it was fixed. A HUGE drain was put in as well as a grade reversal/damn to stop water and make sure it flows where we want it to.

After the water control was complete, we discussed how to fix the current state of the rooty mess at the beginning of the trail. My guess is that after a couple days worth of rock work, the trail will gain its flow back and you'll be able to ride the first section of the trail without any worries of going down on a root.

By the time we had finished the drain and the other little stuff we were both soaked to the bone from the heavy rainfall and were getting cold pretty quick. It didn't take up long to decided we'd just ride down Giant Killer, Bloggy and Shotgun to our vehicles.

I'm glad we were able to get the drainage work complete so that now the real rock work can be installed at the top of the trail. It's been a long time coming but should be well worth the wait.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Slushy Mucky Shore

I was out in the North Van area to drop off my shock (Rune) for servicing. Being that I'm not out here all that often and I had a few hours to kill, I decided to go for a ride up Fromme. I'd heard that the snow level was pretty low but it didn't deter me from having a go on Fromme.

Basically the snow starts at the 2nd gate at the water towers and once you hit the first switch-back you have to walk due to ZERO traction. Lately Bobsled has seen a lot of attention and was rebuilt to be a north shore DH pump track. I figured what better time to give it a go than in the snow, on my little Trance, with clipless pedals. One thing is for sure, this trail is a total hoot. Lots of twists and turn and many places to pop and boost for a little added fun. I did however have a bail of enormous proportions off a bridge. It involved a big wedge of ice diagonally across the trail in a corner before a bridge that just doesn't quite line up. I knew as I blindly came around the corner that I was going down. I was just lucky I picked a soft spot to land.

With my bail under my belt and the trail over, I climbed a little further up to ride Natural High which was a load of fun and then I rode a trail I'd never really noticed before Imonator which I'd refer to as an old school skinny wood laden trail that was a load of fun to ride but a real eye opener with clipless pedals. Next time I'm wearing flats when I ride that trail. I know Rob would love to ride this trail.

From there it hooks up to Baden Powell and then out to my car. I was soaked to the bone from the rain and covered with a bit of mud from my bail on Bobsled, but I had a smile on my face having just rode two new trails.

Good times on the slushy mucky shore.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mucky fun

The weather today started off rather nice: overcast and a little bit of wind. I was free in the late afternoon, so I decided to hit The Woodlot on my Legend.

There weren't really any indications of snow down low on the hill, but once I was a third of the way up the snow and slush appeared on the climb. I decided to avoid the inevitable death march through the snow that would greet me at the powerlines so I climbed to Blood Donor.

At Donor I started my descent with few patches of snow here and there in the corners which made for a few exciting corner drifts as I negotiated the upper part of the trail. Given that there had been a lot of wind lately, I was pleasantly surprised there weren't any blow downs on the trail at all.

I then stopped at the top of Giant Killer to have a look at a few 'problem areas' that I hope to be able to address with Ryan in the coming weeks. Apart fromthe very top of Giant Killer I'd say the trails has not been in this good of shape for MANY years. The trail has seen a fair amount of drainage work and sculpting that has made the trail gain back the flow it's lacked for quite some time. I was truly impressed the work that has been done lately.

I then made my way over to Snakes and Ladders and along the way it began to rain. I guess the gods knew I intended to do some trail work and deserved to be rained on. I rode down the to bridge that was broken a few weeks ago and began working on bracing the bridge I had built. Due to the length of the span this bridge covers and the lack of large diameter stringers available, I had to used mid size wood for the bridge. These mid size stringers flex a little too much for my peace of mind, so I put in a large brace near the center of the span. The bridge is now solid as a rock and only needs a hour or so to finish the approach and clean-up and it will be open for business.

The remainder of Snakes is in okay shape and really only needs a little little raking and TLC to be buff once again. Considering I have not needed to touch the trail for close to a year I'd say I am quite pleased. Next time I come up, I need to bring some gas, bar oil and a chain file for my saw and a few trail supplies (nails and a rake).

The ride down Shotgun was a drift fest for me. I seem to have picked up a few corner techniques that is allowing me to ride a lot faster in turns and drift my bike trough the corners with a little more confidence.

Good times in the wet muck.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Escape to the snow

I managed to sneak out for a quick rip today. I had a very small window of time where I had no commitments, so I grabbed my pedally bike (Trance) and quickly drove to Maple Ridge park. I pedaled from the park into Golden Ears park via the horse trails and up towards Mike Lake.

For the first time ever I forgot my hydration pack. This goes to show just how big of a rush I was to get out and ride (either that or I was just so excited to ride). Fortunately I had a spare set of gloves and a toque in my car for the ride. The climb was rather pleasant and I rode at an easy pace. After a while I ran into more and more snow on the trail until it became a real pain to ride on, so at that point I turned my bike around and headed home.

It took me next to no time to get back to my car and back to reality. Start to finish my ride was an hour and a half. I felt refreshed and ready to get back to the grind.