You think you know the Woodlot? Mr. Woodlot knows the Woodlot.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Thout shall never be forgotten.

It is Remembrance Day. Time to remember our war vets and for the Second Annual Remembrance Day Ride on Mt. Fromme.

Dean, Mike, and I met at Seymours Pub bright and early. 6:50am to be exact. We parked my truck at Braemar Park and loaded all the stuff in to Mike's truck and headed up the Mtn. Highway. We parked, geared up and started to ride. If you have never been to Fromme, it is a long climb. The hardest part, however, is the very start. After that it is a pretty level grade. I'd say it's about 5kms bottom to top. I was very proud of myself on this day as I rode about 85% of it. That is the most I have ever rode.

The trail itinerary for the day was 7th Secret to Espresso to Lower Crippler and the ever famous Pimp Coaster.

7th was a blast. There has been a sh*tload of work on that trail recently. It is mint. Some say that CBC is the poster child of North Shore riding. I think, and I discussed this with Dean as well, that 7th in it's current state is easly number 1. A good long flowy blast that we all really enjoyed.

Next up was Espresso. Lot's of fun woodwork on this trail. At the start anyway. About halfway down it turns to mostly natural stuff and gets really fast. There are a few very cool stunts on Espresso. One little section has a very steep rock rolldown to a funky log ride. The log isn't supported at one end so that when you ride to the end of it, it slowly drops down to the trail. It is a very weird feeling as you are wobbling back and forth as well as dropping down. Very cool. I had a pretty nasty spill on Espresso. A stupid mistake really. I rolled up to the end of a ladder, missed the little plank rolldown and Supermaned off and into a dive roll Mary Lou Retton would have been proud of. Good times.

We got to the bottom of Espresso and had to hike a little to Lower Crippler. Mike hates to hike and bitched the whole way. What a wanker. We need to get him out to the Woodlot more and get him conditioned to pushing.

Lower Crippler is fun. It starts with a rock face huck or roll down to a big ladder a-frame to another huck rolldown rock. Cool little sequence. The trail is built really well. The rock/woodwork is very good. We eventually came to the Pimp Coaster. Mike hit it first and didn't carry enough speed to the second hump and had to put a foot down. Dean was next and cleaned it rather easily. Then it was me. Up the first hump, down and oh shit! I get bucked and off I go. It is so compact that it just threw me off of my bike. Oh well, next time. We rode out to the truck and geared down. All in all, a very fun and enjoyable ride.

We hit Seymours Pub for lunch where we all observed a moment of silence at 11am. Everyone remembers in there own way. We chose to take part in a hobby that we all enjoy and may have not been able to do if it wasn't for the men and women that fought so bravely for our freedom.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


So it's Saturday morning(Oct. 30th)and Tim, Dean and I decided that it was a good day to ride. Of course, when isn't a good day to ride? We all met in the parking area around 7:30 and started to push. We decided to hit The Gate for a warmup, and then we'd go over to Platinum.

The Gate isn't what I would call a good "warmup"trail. It is tough. Skinny after skinny after skinny. It has seen a lot of maintenence in the last few weeks though and that is the reason we decided to hit it. It started out good. There is a new gap section in there so Dean and Tim sessioned that while I watched. They're too big for me right now. Then on to another skinny section with a drop on the end. The drop is about 5ft and I was wanting to try it today. Well, Tim walked on the plank to have a look and one of the stringers holding the planks up broke. Guess I won't be trying the drop today. Oh well. We closed the stunt and then rode out.

Up to Platinum we went. I was hell bent on trying a bunch of sh*t today. I did, but let's just say I paid for it. The first gap after the rock face is one I think I can hit. I tried the run up to it twice but didn't feel comfortable either time so I rode around. On to the next one. Also one I can make. The run up is a little sketchy but I thought I'd have a go. Just before the launch my tire slips on the trail and sort of throws me at a small stump sticking out. I hit the stump and am off my bike flying through the air before my bike has even left the launch. I whacked my leg on the tranning and rolled to a stop. I believe Tim has a picture of this. It hurt. A lot, but I plugged on. Shaken now, but not stirred. I watched Dean and Tim do all the huge stunts until we came to the gap that I had hit a couple of weeks earlier. Off I went to hit it again. Faster this time than last. I hit the launch a little left and in mid air my arm hit a tree. Thankfully it wasn't a big hit and didn't throw me off balance or anything. I had too much speed and missed the trannie all together, but landed Ok and didn't crash. I then watched Dean and Tim do the Six Pack and the Roller Coaster drop and we headed off to Giant Killer.

Dean had to get home so he took off on Tim and I. Jerk.

Giant Killer was good and I finally did that drop about halfway down. It really was rather easy and I can't believe it took me so long to do it. That phsycological wall is always the hardest one to get by.

Hoots was good. I finally cleaned the rock face on it. I've been trying for a year. Dean showed me the line on the way up and I hit exactly where he told me to go. I rule. After the rock I decided to hit the small gap up next. I've never done it so this would be the first time. I went in with not even close to enough speed and crashed big time. My second huge crash of the day. Tim explained that it is a good thing as it means that I'm actually trying sh*t. I suppose, but man does it hurt.

We got out of Hoots and decided to avoid Shotgun today and headed down the skidder. On the way down we saw Rich and Ewan heading up. We stopped and chatted for a bit. It was my first meeting with Ewan and it went Ok. He didn't seem like such a bad guy. Hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to him in the future a little bit more.

Tim offered me a Coke in the parking area, but seeing as how I'm cleansing, I had to decline. I look forward to my next ride which should be in about two weeks time. I can't wait!

Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Tonight, we ride.

Mr. Woodlot's first night ride couldn't come on a finer evening. The Boston Red Sox are in the midst of securing their first World Series championship since 1918. There is a total Lunar Eclipse, and Dean has some new lights for me to use. Life is grand.

Up we go. Slow go in the dark. Seeing as how the full moon was being blocked out by the earths shadow, Dean had to use one of his lights the whole way up. Earlier I said that the push up Hoots was annoying. Try it in the dark. Instead of Lower Toadstool again, Dean and I pushed up Giant Killer. Not too difficult, but again, annoying. I have been cleansing and fasting for the last couple of days too so my energy levels were WAY down. This push was much tougher than it should have been. Then out to the road and up to the top of Blood Donor.

So we suit up, allign the lights and away we go.

The lights light up the trail quite well so it is a lot like riding in the day. Dean is an experienced night rider so he was quite a ways a head of me. As I said, my energy was way down so I was really rather slow. We got to one of the ladder sections that I have ridden probably 100 times. I got up the first little rise, and oops! My tire wavers and falls off the ladder. Away I go. It's only about 5ft to the ground, but any fall sucks. Luckily it didn't hurt. I jumped back on and decided to try again. Too tired. Didn't make it up the rise so I had to push. From this point on I kind of just coasted down the trails. I didn't do many of the stunts, but I seriously enjoyed my first night ride, and I can't wait for the next one.

Thanks to Dean for fixxng me up with lights and dragging me out tonight. Good times.

Sick Day

Today (October 15th) I was sick. So Tim and I decided to head up to the Woodlot and hit the trails for a cruise. Now, there is active logging at the Woodlot these days so in order to get up the hill you need to push up the trails. At the bottom there is only one choice; Hoots. So up Hoots we go. It is a pretty easy climb until you get to the clearcut. In there it is more annoying than tough but whatever. At the top of Hoots there are several choices. On this day we chose Lower Toadstool. Bad choice. It is steep in a few spots and VERY tough to push a 50lbs bike up.

On the way up we were chatting about where to go. I hadn't hit Platinum in a while so we decided on it, Giant Killer, Hoots, and Shotgun.

We got to the top and suited up. Tim is a very good rider so Platinum is a blast for him. Me? I'm advanced but not Platinum advanced. Away we go. Tim was on fire. He had an all around great run down Platinum. I did Ok. I hit one of the gaps lower down the trail and was rather impressed with myself. I've just started to hit gaps so this is/was a big step. A Platinum gap. Wow!

On the connector trail from Platinum to Giant Killer (it's called Stovetop) we ran in to Rich and Cory. It's the first time I met Rich and he isn't that bad of a guy. He coined my new nickname which I rather like. I'll need to buy him a pint for that one of these days.

On to Giant Killer. I'm really liking GK these days. It is a turning out to be a fun flowy trail. There is a drop on it about halfway down that I really want to hit. It is about 4ft. On this day, I just rode by. Down the trail, over the teeter, down a few rolldowns and out to the top of Hoots.

I'm rediscovering my love for Hoots these days. I think it is because I am getting better as a rider and can do almost everything on the trail.

Shotgun was Shotgun and we ended the day.

Tim and I had a Coke in the parking area and then headed on our way. I guess I should get home and take some cold medication for this nasty cold that I have. :-)

The begining of the end...............

Everyone else has a blog, so why can't I? I am after all the un-official spokesman of the Woodlot. It's true. It's true.

So, right then. Away we go.