Day 1: Quick Ride Around in Bralorne

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/69840691

 

Day 2: Float Trip Drop at Lorna Lake

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/70082008

P1040545

Start of the float plane adventure at Tyax Lodge

P1040555

In the Beaver and cruising through the South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park

P1040562

Flying through some break taking scenery

P1040563

Ahhhh guys, so we’re like still flying, don’t we have to ride back through this?

P1040564

Allllllrrrrriiiigggghhhhhttttt!

P1040565

I’m stunned at the beauty, but seriously, we’re still flying

P1040566

Well we’ve pretty much run of mountains so I’m guessing we’re landing here somewhere

P1040569

The crew, pumped and ready for landing.

P1040571

The approach to Lorna Lake. It was really windy too, so the plane was moving around quite a lot. The pilot took a couple attempts and stomped the landing on the 4th try.

P1040573

The pilot was cool as a cucumber and rocked a bad ass moustache. Safely landed on Lorna Lake

P1040578

Backcountry engineering, one rickety old dock. This was taken just before noon, not ideal given the length of ride ahead of us. From this point on we were racing the sun. GO!

P1040581

Top of the first climb up Lorna Pass and ready to rip the short descent down in the valley below

P1040583

P1040586

Taken part way up the Deer Pass. We’ve climbed up out of the valley in the distance

P1040587

Taken facing the other way from the picture below. We’re heading up the ridge in the distance. Yes the one with the snow on it.

P1040588

Still climbing, and just loving the scenery. My eyes hurt from the eye boners.

P1040589

Getting ever closer to the top of the Deer Pass

P1040594

The top of Deer Pass and stoked. 700m vertical gained in 5 km of trail.

P1040603

Since the photo at the top of Deer Pass we were pinned. This photo was taken as we got back to the truck. 60 km of trail, 9 hours elapsed time, 6 hours of saddle time. 1500m of vertical climbed. 3000m of vertical descended. Tired and thoroughly stoked.

Day 3: Climb up to Lick Pass and Descent Down Lick Creek

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/70326494

P1040606

At the top of the grueling climb and making our way across this beautiful valley

P1040607

Range on point.

P1040610

Our crew taking a quick rest of the top of the climb and enjoying the back country scenery

P1040620

After lots of climbing to the top of Lick Creek Descent. 14 km of single track dropping 1200m of vertical. We wind up down near that blue lake in the distance. PUMPED!


 Day 4: Quick rip in Bralorne

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/70558466

Day 1: Burnaby Mountain Ride

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/61578528

 

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

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/61819900

 

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.

 

The Range on Ranger. I couldn't believe how perfect these trails were.

The Range on Ranger. I couldn’t believe how perfect these trails were.

Vacation Day 3: Greenwater. Ranger and Pallasades

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/61988272

 

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.

 

The man, the myth, the legend, Randy Andy at the top of the shuttle road. It's a tough call if the driving or the riding was more exciting.

The man, the myth, the legend, Randy Andy at the top of the shuttle road. It’s a tough call if the driving or the riding was more exciting.

 

View down in to the valley from Pallasades

View down in to the valley from Pallasades

 

Day 4: Talent. Climb to Old Man Trail to Chucks Chips

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/62210475

 

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.

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/62643606

 

Probably the fastest I’ve ever been on an all-mountain bike. Following Wild Bill was wild.

Wild Bill our guide for the second day in Ashland.

Wild Bill our guide for the second day in Ashland.

 

Day 7: Oakridge. Alpine Trail

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/62890931

 

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.

 

Some of the cheapest liquor around

Some of the cheapest liquor around

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Getting my pose on at Crater Lake

Getting my pose on at Crater Lake

The start of the Alpine Trail

The start of the Alpine Trail

 

Day 8: Bellingham. Galbraith Lap

Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/63096855

 

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.

 

2013 NW Cup #3

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.

 

They sure love their stars and stripes at the NW Cup events. Folks couldn't be any nicer, and the racing is excellent.

They sure love their stars and stripes at the NW Cup events. Folks couldn’t be any nicer, and the racing is excellent.

 

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.

 

Practice at 2013 NW Cup #3

Practice at 2013 NW Cup #3

 

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.

 

Seeding run 2013 NW Cup #3

Seeding run 2013 NW Cup #3

 

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.

 

Random wall art while wandering around Port Angeles. Apparently this was actually a ferry that ran out of Port Angeles.

Random wall art while wandering around Port Angeles. Apparently this was actually a ferry that ran out of Port Angeles.

 

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.

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.

 

2012 Garbanzo DH results

Strava

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.

North West Cup #3

May 13, 2012

After the relatively successful trip to Port Angeles 4 weeks ago I was pumped to head back down for the third North West Cup. This time Andrea was going to join. We had a great trip down on Friday night, and had Aja, Kevin and Taylor stay with us at Super 8 Motel … classy.

 

Once again Pro practice wasn’t until the afternoon, so Andrea and I took the morning to check out the farmers market, walk along the ocean and enjoy some coffee. Quite civilized really for a sort of red neck town. Once again practice went really well. I managed to figure out a good line down the track, which was composed of all my favourite bits from the previous races I’d done here.

 

Come race day I was full of energy after yesterdays runs. My first practice run was great, and I was looking forward to seeding. My plan for seeding was to ride a little harder than usual. I generally cruise my seeding runs, but I figured I’d basically try a race run. Through what is probably the fastest part of the course I somehow lost control of the bike and wound going over the bars into a tree. Once the crashing came to a stop I was winded, but managed to drag myself back up to my bike, remove it from the tree and keep the track clear for Rob behind me. Once I got my breathe back I decided nothing was broken, but left elbow was throbbing. Turns out I managed to puncture my elbow through my elbow pad. It looked like the exit wound from a tiny bullet. I got the first guy to patch me up, got filled with vitamin I and relaxed for my race run.

 

Mentally the crash didn’t bug me much, but physically I felt stiff and sore come race time. I left the start gate feeling stiff, and wooden, and struggled to find my flow. I nailed a couple sections really well and slowed started to loosen up. The further down the course the better I felt, the pain in my elbow subsiding, the logical nagging to avoid further injuring my left arm disappearing. I railed into the largest spectator section and nailed my line perfectly … right up until I jumped clean off the track and wound up outside a crucial left berm. DAMMIT. I bumped into a tree, picked my bike back into the trail and pedalled off. I lost a bunch of time in my costly mistake and wound up mid pack (22nd). I was bummed I didn’t hold my run together knowing how well I was riding in practice, and how much I enjoyed the track, but I was glad I didn’t get more hurt in my crash, and I had a solid time given the magnitude of my mistake.

 

On my race run after my mistake and back on track.

 

20120513-_DSC4110

On my race run. Drooped elbows clearly showing I wasn’t having the best day.

 

NW Cup 2012 Round 3 Results

North West Cup #1

April 8, 2012

I travelled down to the first North West Cup of the year in Port Angeles with the Dunbar crew. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the races down in Port Angeles. I’d been looking forward to the Port Angeles trip for some time. After lengthy delays in traveling down on the Friday we weren’t able to get in any practice. We did manage a quick course walk though, and thought the course looked awesome.

 

After a good nights rest we got off to a slow start on Saturday. Practice for the Elites at the NW Cups occurs in the afternoon, so we had ample time to get to the course. Once on the bike I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face all day. I loved riding the course, and my bike was working exceptionally well. I had no major incidents in practice and finished the day with a high of adrenaline.

 

My practice run on Sunday morning wasn’t fantastic. I felt wooden on the bike, and after the euphoria of yesterday I was a bit bummed. My seeding run was better, I hit most of my lines, and I rode smooth. I think I qualified 10th, which I was happy with considering the strong field at the North West Cups.

 

This hip was scary. The take off was rutted, the landing had stumps, and lots of folks were crashing.

This hip was scary. The take off was rutted, the landing had stumps, and lots of folks were crashing.

Come race time I felt good, and was excited to ride the track. My race run was generally good with a couple small mistakes and was good enough for the 9th fastest time of the day. For that I got some prize money and a North West Cup. STOKED!

p4pb7955028

Finish line jump during my race run.

 

NW Cup 2012 Round 1 Results

I didn’t have the best racing season in 2011. While I felt quick on the bike I wasn’t able to put good race runs together. In Kamloops I finished 15th, 5 seconds off the win, after what I felt was an excellent ride. Then at Bear Mountain I rode very well throughout a very muddy practice only to get a flat tire in my race run. At Panorama I felt quick again, but had my only crash of the week-end on my race run. Then at the Western Open I had a big off in practice and rode scared for the remainder of the week-end. Come Mt. Washington, the BC Cup finals and provincials, I was looking for some sort of redemption. I really like the Mt. Washington track and knew I was capable of a good result. Once the dust settled I wound up 8th in Elite with an uncharacteristically messy run. Race results are below:

Mt Washington 2011 Provincials Results

A nice movie was put together of the race and can be seen here (I make an appearance at 4:04): http://www.pinkbike.com/video/213111/

Bear Mountain has been kind to me in the past. My best result as an Elite racer came at Bear Mountain back in 2008 when I finished 2nd overall. I’ve been riding well lately, feeling fit, and was looking forward to a positive result at Bear this week-end.

 

Mother Nature didn’t really want to co-operate, and even though only a few millimeters of precip. were forecast, it rained all week-end. On the Saturday I used a set of Specialized Clutch tires and was having a ton of fun sliding down the track, but as the day wore on, and the rain kept falling, the track got steadily muddier. I left the mud spikes at home as I thought there’d be no way I’d ever need to use mud tires at Bear. Wrong. Very wrong.

 

I mounted the mud spikes on the bike on Sunday morning, and got to the race site early so I could get a good number of practice runs. Lots of racers were complaining about the conditions, but with the cut mud spikes on, I was having loads of fun. Some sections were getting really slippery, but I was still riding at good speed and  hitting all the jumps right through till the end of practice.

 

Pinning it into the showboat jumps during practice. Photo by: Dave Mackie

 

I was really looking forward to my race run all day. I lined up in the start gate and got ready to drop in. Everything felt right. I’d ridden really well all week-end and was certain I was capable of throwing down a strong run. I left the start gate pinned. I railed all my lines through the top section, and held great speed through the upper techy sections. As I traversed across the first flat the bike felt like it was rolling really slowly. I figured it was the mud, dug deep and pedalled hard. While the mud was thick, and slow, my progress was being thwarted by a tire that was swiftly going flat. Balls. I barely put a wheel wrong all week-end, have no flats, and I flat in my race run, in 3 inches of mud … how? Naturally I was gutted. Now I’m more motivated than ever!

Sean Verret was stoked to form a John Henry bikes team for Wades Excellent Adventure. Megan RoseRob Stead and Ian Kennedy all expressed interest. Wades Excellent Adventure is a team event ride on Mt. Fromme that is organized by the NSMBA.

 

The best looking team at Wades Excellent Adventure by a margin

 

So the Polartec Team John Henry Bikes powered by ethical bean team was formed for Wades Excellent Adventure. We all had matching fancy new jerseys (except Megan because we didn’t have a jersey that fit her even close) and looked mostly professional and stuff. We even had a support team, possibly the best support team ever, in Katie and Spencer. Bike wise we were on a mixed bag. Representing the shorter travel was Megan was on a Norco Phaser, Ian was on a Stump Jumper 29er and Sean was on a Specialized Epic. Representing for the long travel bikes was Rob was on his Turner RFX and myself on a lowered and slackened Norco Range.

 

Ultimately 10:30 … or 10:45 came around and the race was off. The filthy downhillers; Rob and I lead the charge. Our first lap was to be down Executioner into Dream Weaver. Most of us a crash or two … and then there was Sean who seemed unusually attracted to the ground. As a team we were making good time, and having a great time together. We finished lap 1 and headed back up Mt. Highway for lap 2.

 

Pedalling up for the first lap at Wades Excellent Adventure. It appears as though I'm enjoying myself while pedalling uphill ... weird.

 

Lap 2 was to be Seventh Secret into Leopard into Crinkum. None of us bothered to read the fine print that said exit at the 3rd switchback. Unfortunately Megan had a crash that taco’d her rear wheel. We tried to fix it as best we could, but couldn’t get her tubeless tire to re-inflate. She walked out to the transition area in the hopes that she could fix it and we’d meet her for the next lap. Ian went ahead while Rob, Sean and I helped Megan out. Rob, Sean and I went charging off after Ian. The turn out to the third switch back wasn’t marked terribly well (which we weren’t expecting as we didn’t read the card properly), we were having loads of fun riding, and as a result rode all of Crinkum down to the first switchback. We soon found some more trails markings, so thought we were totally on the right track. We did some XC loop that dumped us back on Mt. Highway and pedalled back up to Ladies Only. At the third switch back was Ian, who informed us that we’d just done an extra half lap. Dammit. And that XC loop we did … we did backwards adding even more vertical to our ride. Double dammit.

 

We soon got back up to Ladies Only. Had a good descent down. Picked up Megan in the transition area (who was now riding her boys larger Rocky Mountain XC bike), and pedaled up to Bobsled for our final lap down. We all had a laugh riding down Bobsled as a group. We finished after 3 and a half hours of gruelling riding with large grins on all our faces. We were greeted at the finish by Katie and Spencer who had cold Red Racers waiting for us. Legend.

 

I recorded the entire ride on my iPhone GPS and uploaded it, which can be found here.

 

Cheers to the team for an awesome day out. I’m looking forward to next year already.