July 31, 2013
Day 1: Quick Ride Around in Bralorne
Day 2: Float Trip Drop at Lorna Lake
Day 3: Climb up to Lick Pass and Descent Down Lick Creek
Day 4: Quick rip in Bralorne
June 26, 2013
Day 1: Burnaby Mountain Ride
I started the road trip off with a quick spin on SFU. A sort of warm up for the legs for what I was hoping would be 8 straight days of riding on the Range. A bit of a different ride route wise trying to incorporate as much single track with no doubling over in a ride.
Day 2: Greenwater. Ranger Climb / Descent
I met up with a buddy Andy in Enumclaw, Washington after battling through some serious Seattle traffic. We didn’t have much time, so pedaled up one of his local favourites. It had just stopped raining and the trail conditions were perfect. Don’t ride this place, you wouldn’t like it.
Vacation Day 3: Greenwater. Ranger and Pallasades
I enjoyed myself so much yesterday that I decided to ride in Enumclaw with Andy again today. We shuttled two trails that were absolutely epic.
Day 4: Talent. Climb to Old Man Trail to Chucks Chips
I drove down from Seattle to Talent Oregon yesterday and today. I was early for the e13 event since the Enduro race was in progress, so I went to a local bike store and got a sketchy hand drawn map. What I found was awesome and well worth the solo pedal mission.
Day 5: Mt. Ashland Morning Ride
Morning Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/62392748
Afternoon Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/62453322
I met up with the e13 guys last night, had some beers, and prepped our bikes for the next 2 days of riding. You can check out my NSMB review here: http://www.nsmb.com/the-hive-ethirteen-for-2014/
The riding was awesome, the gear was great and I had a lot of fun on my bike.
Day 6: Mt. Ashland. Time Warp to Marty’s to Jabberwocky.
Probably the fastest I’ve ever been on an all-mountain bike. Following Wild Bill was wild.
Day 7: Oakridge. Alpine Trail
I drove up to Oakridge from Ashland this morning. I went via this random liquor store just in California state to get some scotch and Crater Lake. Both of which were awesome. The driving was entertaining as well. I hooked up with a shuttle driver in Oakridge and self guided down their epic trail called the Alpine Trail. I was pinned the entire way down besides a couple photo ops and it still took the better part of 2 hours.
Day 8: Bellingham. Galbraith Lap
I thought was little better way to end an epic road trip than a ride on Galbraith. Galbraith remains one of my favourite places to ride an all-mountain bike. The legs hurt from all the riding, my face hurt from all the grinning and it didn’t matter.
May 20, 2013
I was bummed to miss the first North West Cup events down in Port Angeles this year. The North West Cup races are always well organized and run on fun tracks to ride. I came to Port Angeles this year a little uneasy. I’ve been so stoked to ride my Range I’ve kinda forgotten to ride the Aurum. I think I’ve ridden the DH bike all of twice this year.
The weather was a bit drizzly through out the week-end, but come race day the track was tacky and grip was all time. We all arrived on the Friday and got in the extra afternoon of practice. This allowed time to ride the other tracks, and get in a couple laps on Glenn’s new Zerode G2.The Zerode G2 is a big improvement over the old Gerode G1. Although Glenn’s was a large it still felt significantly shorter than my XL Aurum. That said the head angle is now similar to most DH bikes, the front centre is longer, the travel reduced to 8 inches and the bottom bracket dropped. As a result the geometry felt spot on. The bike was much less nervous than the old G1 Zerode, yet all that bump eating rearward axle path was still in full effect. I was able to ride the Zerode very fast on my first lap down the hill, and would like to spend more time dialing in the suspension and getting to know the bike better. First impressions were positive.
I also did a bunch of tire testing this week-end. I rode the Maxxis High Roller 2 2.4″ 3C DH casing, the Maxxis High Roller 2.5″ 3C DH casing, the Maxxis Minion DHR 2 3C DH casing and the Schwalbe Muddy Mary 2.35″ Trail Star DH casing. I’ll be doing a write up on my impressions of all the tires soon on NSMB.
Race day went well for me. I got in 2 good practise runs first thing. Seeding was ok, I pedalled a bit harder, and attempted to carry more corner speed in to two sections, both of which I botched. I seeded 27th. I was fairly unhappy with that result, I thought my seeding run was faster than that. Come race runs I pedalled harder (as always I should have pedalled harder in practise) than all my practise runs, made one minor mistake running off line in one section and loosing some time, and finished up 16th. Since the course was relatively easy the times were tight and my mistake likely cost me a top 10 finish. Given the quality of the field with the likes of the World Cup Specialized and Evil teams present, I’m happy with my result, 16 seconds off Aaron Gwin’s winning time. Results Here.
Obviously I’m riding well, and think I was capable of a better result. It seems as though riding the Range has kept my DH skills somewhat sharp, and hopefully I can convert some of my fitness in to better race results. Until the next one.
March 17, 2013
Ever since riding a prototype of the new 2013 Norco Range I’ve been trying my best to get one. It seems as though the market demand for 650b / 27.5″ bikes for 2013 has exploded. When I went to John Henry Bikes to put in an order for a Large Range 2 I literally got laughed at, “They’re all oversold”, they said. I pulled some strings and managed to get a frame set ordered. Got an X-Fusion Vengeance fork from the folks at Renegade Cycle Solutions, some pretty bits from the folks at Race Face and built up the rest.
I haven’t weighted the bike yet, but the imprecise scale with and without bike indicates somewhere around 32 pounds. The fork is coil sprung, set to 170 mm travel, and based on the one ride so far is a wonderful match to the rear suspension. This bike eats bumps like no other all-mountain bike I’ve ridden. The speed through rough terrain is biblical, and the way it accelerates out of corners can only otherwise be experienced by a jet fighter launching off an aircraft carrier.
I’m having so much fun riding this new Range that all my other bikes have been a bit neglected since bringing the green machine in to the fold. Every ride I do on the green machine results in a solid string of Personal Bests on trails that are both uphill and down. Ultimately I’m faster everywhere and having more fun, what more could you ask?
September 15, 2012
I’ve been having the time of my life shredding the bike park in Whistler the past couple months. I’ve been ripping laps with tons of friends, and as a result high fiving and howls of euphoria have been at an all time high. I’ve got a couple pictures from these good times in the bike park for you to enjoy below:
August 10, 2012
I decided to race the Garbanzo DH this year. I haven’t race it in a couple years, and decided that since I’m now of valid age I’d race in the 30+ Men category.
Practice went well, but as always I wished I’d had more time to learn all the lines. The track is long and so demanding and there loads of sections I didn’t have dialed in.
I had a good race run, but caught a couple riders in poor spots. I lost a bit of time getting by, but considering the length of the race I wasn’t too worried. Then I caught a guy about half way down the course. I politely asked if I could get by. The guy wouldn’t move. I asked again. Still no hint of letting me by. Then I asked why he wouldn’t move over. The guy then started yelling at me, and asking why I was in such a rush and to stop being an idiot on the trails. After being behind him for a while I snuck on by and pinned it to the finish. In hein sight I wonder if he wasn’t a regular Joe in the bike park that wondered on to the race course. Strange none the less.
I crossed the finish line and was apparently in the Hot Seat. I cooled off, and spent some time in the Hot Seat before I was knocked out by a super fast Whistler local. Once the dust had settled I wound up second with a time of 14 minutes and 2 seconds. I was pretty stoked with that result and got some cool prizes. I’m looking forward to next year already.
July 31, 2012
Some of you may of heard of Strava. I’ve been using it a bunch lately to track my rides, and it’s been a lot of fun pushing myself, and those I ride with, to set fast times on road segments and trails. Strava has a widget for blogs that I wanted to try and embed to see how it functions. It looks like it posts up a running total of my riding this week, and my achievements. How very handy, check it out below:
I have lots to update on. I’ve been super busy, but I’ve been working on some stuff that will make for a good read. Check back soon.
July 22, 2012
The BC Cup returned to Silver Star resort this year for the first time since I’ve been racing. I’d ridden the Silver Star bike park before and always had a good time on their trails.
Practice on Saturday went really well. The track was a little awkward in spots, with loads of corners that were tough to hold momentum through. I felt strong, and comfortable on the bike. Holding good speed everywhere and hitting my lines consistently.
Glenn and I were using Strava to track our runs, and I was happy with my own progression on the track through the day.
Practice on Sunday morning was excellent again. I had two fantastic runs that were smooth and fast, and I hit all my lines. Strava segment of one of those runs is here: http://app.strava.com/activities/14157581#264285367
Racing unfolded throughout the day on Sunday with beautiful sunny blue skies. Reports from the Masters was the track was holding up well. I was stoked for my run. Quietly confident that I could well on this track.
Unfortunately as we waited at the top for our runs we could see a storm moving towards the mountain. Streaks of rain pouring from the black clouds. I was hoping all the elites could get down the hill before the rains started. It started to drizzle. I lined up in the start gate. The rain gathering momentum. *BANG* Big lightning strike on the next hill over. *Beep* *Beep* *Beeeeep* “Best get down as fast as possible” I thought. “The track is still in good shape, I can still get a good result”. “Stay clean, hit your lines, relax”. My run was going well. The dirt was tacky from the moisture. The rocks and roots increasingly slippery. “Stay light on the rocks … easy over the roots”. I rode the first three quarters of the track fast and smooth. The clouds were so dark it was like someone turned the lights off. But it’s ok, “Last woods, enter high, apex early, stay tight” I told myself. Alas the roots were more slippery than I judged. The front end washed into a hole and I went over the bars in slow motion. BALLS! I remounted as quickly as possible, neck brace rotated so I can’t look down, adjust neck brace. Back in action and hit the bottom of the track. The final turns were greasy, easy, don’t need to go down again. It was really raining hard now. Frustrated I crossed the line and hustled to shelter.
All said and done I finished 15th of 30 Elite men, 13 seconds off the win. My practice laps on Strava were within a few seconds of the final winning time. You never know how much time you lose in a crash, but I’m sure without the rain and the crash I would have placed within the top few. I left frustrated that I didn’t get the result I knew I was capable of, but at the same time confident that I was fast, riding well, and had a ton of fun shredding all week-end.
Cheers to the organizers and volunteers for yet another wonderful BC Cup event!
July 15, 2012
I’ve always enjoyed the Sun Peaks race course. It’s probably the highest average speed race course on the BC Cup circuit, which I love, and it’s always loose … double exciting!
Glenn and I trained together for this race as per usual. The one difference was that we used Strava to log each practice lap. We broke the track down in to segments; the top steep loose section, the middle flowy fast section, and the end tighter tree section. After a couple runs we’d upload our runs and compare our segment times. The most interesting part was our perception of our strengths and weaknesses. I thought I was riding the top section really well, average through the middle section, and struggling a bit through the bottom section. Glenn was the opposite. When we compared times it turned out we were identical in time through the first two segments, but I was faster by 6 seconds in the last segment. My final practice run HERE.
My race run went well, with only a couple minor mistakes. I wasn’t overly happy with my run, but as the remaining Elite riders came down I realized that the course was loose and difficult to judge. After the last riders were down I wound up 6th of 26 Elite men, and 4.5 seconds back from the win, which I was happy with. BC-Cup-DH3-Silver-Star-Results. Also I was one place better than the overall BC Cup Champion for 2012, who is always really quick, being quicker than Fonzi is always a result.
July 12, 2012
Just this past week I got to head down to Sun Valley Idaho to check out some new Scott bikes. I was there as a representative for NSMB.com and the purpose of the trip was to cover the big unveil of the upcoming Scott Genius 650b (27.5) and 29″ trail bikes.
I wrote a quick summary of the trip before we got in to the meat of the riding on the second day I was in Sun Valley, and that got published here:
A full write up of the bikes and the trip can be seen here at NSMB.com:
If you couldn’t tell from the pictures the riding was awesome, the bikes were a ton of fun, and I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face all week.