Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Season in Recap

I just got inspired by my brothers Cam and Trev who have been actually updating their blogs so I'm going to do the same. I guess I'll summarize to some extent the DH biking season to date. This is a list of probably the biggest things to come of riding this year. Firstly I remember thinking pre season that I wouldn't be inclined to buy a season's pass for the Whistler Bike Park since I was more interested in travelling around a bit and seeing different parks and riding areas. Well, I did see a few different areas this year including Post Canyon in Hood River, Oregon and Silverstar in Vernon. What I've realized is that Whistler is an unbelievable riding area and we are luckier than we all know to have such a world class park in our backyard. I would love to get a bike park pass there next year as I think that's probably the only way I'll improve to where I want to be in the time I'll have to dedicate to it. Secondly, I think I did start riding a bit faster this year and I've definitely gotten somewhat more comfortable in the air which were both goals of mine coming into this season. Another goal I ticked off the list was to try out a few low-key races. I got up to Squamish for a few of the toonie races earlier in the season and it was really blast; I think I'll definitely sign up to do the series again next year. There's nothing like being counted in at the start line and then just going hellbent for leather when the clock starts! Apart from that I hit a few bigger jumps and other features but like always, there seems to be more left undone than wrapped up; but I guess that's a great way to leave any season as the former seems like it might be a recipe for boredom and an inevitable search for a new sport. Next weekend is the final weekend of riding up at the Whistler Bike Park and I must say I'm going to miss it, until next year. The nice thing is we still have at least a month of riding the Shore, the Woodlot and Squamish; surfing season is pretty well upon us; and you can all but hear the ski season laughing up in the high alpine as the temperatures drop and the autumn rains move in. So much to look forward to. So much to live for. This truly is west coast living at it's very finest and I know with the deepest conviction that I'm one lucky duck to be able to live it.

Here are a few photos from a few recent weekends up in the park.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Super Pumped

Last year, my brother-in-law Sizzle made me aware of a young motocross phenom by the name of Ryan Dungey. His tagline is "I'm Supper Pumped!". This is amazing. I woke up this morning super pumped because I'm going back to the Woodlot with my buddy Ryan. Ryan's way better rider than me so I'm psyched to ride with him again and try to keep up and push myself to ride the same features he's hitting. Anyways, here's an awesome video with an awesome soundtrack that should get you super pumped for the day!


Brendan Howey Shredding on pinkbike.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How Much Wood Could a Woodlot Lot if a...

Initially this weekend was booked with an attempt at the fabled Garibaldi Neve Traverse with my main wolf Cammer the Hammer. When last minute updates to the avalanche forecast put the kibosh on that, a quick phone call confirmed that Stuey B was ready and waiting to mobilize for a trip out to Maple Ridge to check out the Woodlot trails.

Neither of us had ever been out to the Woodlot previously and after a quick one-hour drive we were parking the Booky Van on the lower flanks of a bulging treasure chest of roots, rocks and dirt. The map I had found on Gutsploder indicated that it was a 45 min hike/bike up to the powerline where a number of the trails started from.

We started up the trail and after a few turns, I had as expected, gotten us lost. Fortunately we pulled up to the junction between Blood Donor and Giant Killer and due to the signed entrance to Giant Killer we were able to locate ourselves. We also ran into a friendly duo that was really helpful in recommending some fun trails to try with it being our first time there.

We opted for a hike up Blood Donor to preview the trail and then took a great rip down it sessioning some of the smaller jumps and missing all of the larger fare. The trail is really nice with some great jumps on it that we'll have to lift our game for when we go back again!

After that we rode Giant Killer and then rode over to check out Platinum based on our new friends' recommendation. It was amazing!! We both felt the majority of the features on the trail were a little over our heads (literally - haha) that day but also both agreed that it was a must-add to teh list of goals for the coming season!

After a solid run down Crazy Carpenter, Toad Stool, Bloggy Style and Shotgun we finally made it back to the Booky Van, packed 'er up and headed for home! what an awesome day and I can't wait to go back with some friends and hopefully hit some more of the amazing looking trails and features we saw.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Supernatural BC

This past week and weekend were pretty awesome in terms of getting out and proving why BC is the place to be.

After three days in a row of riding the Northshore trails on our DH bikes, I took a day of rest so we could get back out on Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon saw a change of plans inspired by a flash of genius on Stu's part. Cypress had gotten 20+ cm's of fresh the previous night and instead of get out on our bikes again, why not go tour up Hollyburn Mtn for some fresh tracks after work under clear blue skies? I met Martin and Stu up at the Cypress Mtn ski area and we got in two great laps before the sun sank too low in the western sky. What an awesome afternoon/evening!

Wednesday we were back to our usual tricks and fired off a few laps on Fromme. For each ride, my goal this year is to try at least one new thing so that I constantly feel as though I'm progressing. So far this year has been pretty good and although some of the sections of trail that I'm clearing now aren't all that impressive, it's definitely building my confidence slowly but surely that I can tackle harder things this season. Some small but tricky drops, a few steeper rock faces...they all add up and sooner than later you'll find yourself sending things you never dreamed of doing.

Thursday I got out for a great 30 km road ride around Stanley Park with Sizzle, and after that we had a good workout up at the gym at UBC. My legs felt good on the ride and it felt good to use my upper body a bit more since having all but stopped climbing for the past two months.

A few days off saw Sunday come rolling along and Stu and I got out on Cypress. First lap we hit Conductor into Tall Cans since I wanted to show the latter to Stu and also have another look at the gap jump and rock drop. After another look and convincing myself I wouldn't smash my bars into either of the two trees guarding the entrance to the jump, I hit it and cleared it quite easily. One more time for posterity and to smooth it out a little and then it was into the rock drop. I had one look from above, told myself it wasn't so big and then hit that too. I was psyched! It was actually a decent size when you realized how far down the transition you land with the speed you carry off the lip, but it was also nice and buttery when you landed. So that was it; two new things plus a rock face I've always shied away from on 5th Horseman on the next lap. Not a bad haul for one day considering my goal quota of one new feature per ride. I guess the difficulty with that ambition comes in that as I tick off more and more of the moderately tough sections, it's only going to leave the captain insane-o stuff...oh boy.

Anyways, looks like another week of rain in Vancouver but luckily that doesn't stop you from riding bikes! Plans for the coming weekend include getting back on the skis to try and bag the infamous Garibaldi Neve Traverse up in the Squamish Backcountry...hopefully the Avi conditions are good and ol' Shaft and I can get 'er done!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tall Cans, a bit of Snow and the First Day of Spring

Well, Happy Spring 2011! It's going to be a good one!

My good friend Renee who I rode with almost every time I got out last season was back in town this weekend after her recent move to Princeton, BC. She called Friday night asking if she should pack all of her biking gear and the answer was obviously an emphatic Yes! We decided we'd have a shot at Cypress on Saturday since this week I had already gotten out on Fromme twice and was itching to try some of the other local trails which are more conducive to shuttling.

I got to Cypress a bit early and since the snow line was quite low I decided to drive up to the trail head and check out the situation. It ended up that there was about two inches of fresh snow on open ground but that which had tree cover had a lot less making it easily ridable.

I quickly turned around and when I got to our meeting spot Martin and Renee were waiting and ready to go. Stu unfortunately had pulled the plug assuming there would be two feet of fresh on the trails.

Our first lap we went down Slippery Canoe and then followed someone else's tracks down a different connector trail into the top of Right of Roach. We blasted down Right of Roach hooting the whole way down. At the bottom we hiked up the road to where Roach Hit and Roach Clip intersect because I was keen to ride Tall Cans which was a new trail for us. After a little hunting around and thinking we had missed it, we got on our way and coincidentally we were actually riding said trail! It turned out to be a really cool little trail with a great log ride into a little gap jump and then a nice natural rock drop; both of which I took a rain cheque on.

Hopefully after a few more weeks I'll feel confident to go back and hit them.

After that we ran one more lap before Renee had to get going to visit some more people before heading back to Princeton. All in all an awesome day; got to ride again with a good friend, Martin was riding awesome and we found the trail I was hoping to check out.

Looking forward to more mid-week riding during the official first week of Spring!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inaugural Ride

So I got out for my first MTB ride of 2011 on my new DH pony with Martin last night. We pedalled up Fromme (not entirely true as we spent a decent amount of time walking - har har) and hit a few laps of Bobsled, which didn't entirely suit the new ride, and a couple trips down 4-2 which most definitely did cater to the new pony. You can tell that thing just wants to ride...fast. Hopefully I can step up my skills to pilot it...

The snowline was high though, and I think after the forecast 5 days of sun and 11 deg temps, we're going to be ripping the 5th switch back trails next week. Bring on the summer Vancouver!

Peace love

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mid-week Rides

I was supposed to get out tonight for my first ride of the season and my first ride on my new pony. Unfortunately a few things conspired to keep the event from going forward as planned. Martin and I hastily rescheduled though and we're going to try again for tomorrow night. Hopefully there is a little less moisture in the air and the snow line is high!

One of my goals for this year was to try out at least one DH race so I definitely need to get back on the bike and start riding again.

I'll post up tomorrow to let you know the trail conditions and how the new bike is! Until then, here's a short clip from Pinkbike of Testrider X having fun on my bike...