Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cypress Hill

Cypress is my favourite local mountain. It has some of the steepest, gnarliest, technical riding around and has more natural stunts over man-made structures. It can be a bit of a humbling experience to ride there, but I enjoy the challenge. The adrenaline rush and high that follows a good ride on Cypress is hard to beat!

Mid-November B and I got out for 3 amazing laps on Cypress. There's been a lot of snowfall on the mountains lately, and it'd come down to a little ways below the start of the trails.
We started with a lap down Paul Hogans and into what's left of Family Guy. James picked us up at the bottom and shuttled up for our next 2 laps, first of which was Fifth Horsemen. In my opinion this is one of the most fun and difficult trails up there. We took a few minutes to enjoy our first snowfall of the year before we made our way down.

There is a lot of rock on Fifth, and a lot of steep. Combining the two is what makes it so challenging. You really have to pick your lines all the way down and finesse that braking.


And of all the sections on the trail, this is the steepest. It's like riding down a very steep staircase, where the steps are huge and uneven and covered in roots and mud. And you have to ride down it at an angle. And there's no side rail. And it's a long ways down! Oh it's fun!

Bryden pulled out the racer line - straight and fast... and smooth as always.

It's hard to capture the steepness on film, but it's there.
B checking out one of the rock faces.
Our final lap was a run down every racer's favourite on that mountain: Mystery DH. It's by far the fastest and smoothest trails on Cypress, and a great way to finish off an awesome day of riding! It starts higher than most trails so it had the most snow of the day. Riding in snow is almost like riding in the wet, but magnified. You really have to stay loose and not fight the constant slipping around that your tires do. Easier said than done of course...
Hello winter!


Island Times

At the beginning of November Bryden and I went on a weekend trip to Vancouver Island to visit some family and do some Island riding.

By early afternoon we found ourselves on the DH race course in Port Alberni. Bryden's dad shuttled us up to the top of the lookout for our first lap, and then we pushed up for our second.


It was a wet day, but the trail was fast! The last time we'd ridden that trail was when we raced it as part of the Island Cup series in the middle of the summer. The deep dust of the summer had turned to deep mud puddles...
Sunday morning we met up with a few of Bryden's friends who took us out on some good pedaly loops out by Sproat Lake. We were a little out of place on our big DH rigs. Let's just call that "training".
The wood looked a little slick.

Someone lost something.

By the end of the ride, we were pretty tired and covered in mud and smiles.


We also went and checked out where Bryden spent his first few years growing up. There wasn't much left but some remnants of where his house had been.


And the final little excursion before hopping back on the ferry was a trip to Stamp Falls.
The trail started just behind the closed sign.

I've gone to the island several times now this year and am finding out how beautiful it is there. Nothing like a relaxing weekend get-away to prepare you for another week.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Executioner

Same trail, new adventure. We hit up Dreamweaver/Execution again for yet another exciting adventure.

B had a spectatular crash about 10 minutes into the ride, and I got a front row seat to the action!


He found his very own little jump off the side of the trail, hit it, and while in the air he took out a good sized stick with his body. It threw off his balance just enough that he ended up rolling down the hill and wedging his bike nicely underneath a rotton log.


The culprit...