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 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...


Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Post of 2011

Hey folks, after a long hiatus I'm back...maybe I had writer's block, maybe I went into hibernation over the winter, or maybe I was too busy being too lazy to write. But who cares, that's the past and we're looking forward to an awesome season of riding!

I'll give a brief synopsis of what I've been up to since last fall. I rode my DH bike well into the season, only putting her back in the stable for R&R in early November. After that I got restless and purchased a climbing membership at the Edge 2 months earlier than I normally would. On one hand it was good since I had something to do right away, but on the other hand, I now haven't climbed in almost a month and a half and am stupendously weak as a result! But, when I think about it, that doesn't really matter because this year is going to be my year of MTB!

I've recently replaced my 2008 SX Trail that I was using as my DH bike with a 2010 Rocky Mountain Flatline World Cup that is absolutely deadly. Funny thing is, I spent about 3 hrs chatting last night with the genius that designed the Flatline...pretty cool opportunity. The goal is to really progress my riding skills this year and in doing so, take part in a few DH races for the fun of it.

I'm also hoping to be able to replace my XC bike that I sold last season with a 5" trail bike so I can do some big, epic trail rides this year and possibly try some Super-D races too.

Along with my riding goals, I'd really like to put in some effort to designing and building a trail somewhere locally. I'll have to look into the particulars that go along with it but I think it should be a great experience.

So here we are, a week and a half out from the first day of Spring, two days out from Daylight Savings Time starting up again and three days out from mid-week rips on the Northshore commencing again. I love Vancouver.