Monday, July 29, 2013

Zest tour 2013

It was time to pay the grandparents a visit.

Kelowna: Made an attempt on Little White. On a hot 35C day in Ktown, it was nice to get up high! We ended up taking a wrong  route above the KVR and were climbing up a sun-exposed gravel  4wd road instead of the correct trail  through the trees. Once below the KVR and into the Myra-Belleview provincial park network, we descended Crawford to Hillbilly for a fun descent,  though I had to get used to my 26" Marin Attack Trail after spending a couple of months on the 29er. About 300m vertical from the bottom, the heat really set in, which changed our moods from failure to more opportunistic. An Okanagan lake dip was on order!

North Shore: After a short and sweet stop at granny's in Burnaby, we set off for the North Shore, a classic mountain biking zone. We climbed up Old Buck, Baden Powell and Mushroom trails with the intent on starting off with a Pangor lap, but a rock had other plans and got caught up in my rear derailleur after getting flicked into it by my tire.
Bent, with no cage spring tension. This Shadow is more like a Shadow minus
Bill enjoyed his lap, even hitting up Empress after. With a short, but expensive stop at Cove Bikes and some parking lot wrenching, I was back in business, and we headed up again, this time with the goal of trying out a new trail we had been informed of below the classic Dale's trail. There has been a lot of talk about the changing nature of the bike trails on the shore: Some argue that the movement is "dumbing down the shore", while others would like to open up the sport to new riders, impress land managers, and I'm sure lower their monthly expenditure on rear wheels and derailleurs.

In short, I enjoyed the trail with it's smooth transitions between short technical features, but Bill was not impressed with the meandering lines and almost too desperate addition of flow of the trail. Then the trail spat us out in no man's land: along the Bridle Path hiking trail, which required lots of (surprisingly enough) hiking to get us back towards our car. We pushed up and enjoyed the steep Applicator trail and on to the parking lot.

I was starting to feel better on the bike, and we just had to do a quick Executioner-Dreamweaver lap on Fromme before catching a ferry to Victoria. I loved Fromme. A nice, easy road climb up and some awesome descents!

Bill, in his natural element

"does it at least  look cool?" "kinda"

Sunset ferry ride. A must-do

In Victoria, we enjoyed excellent hospitality thanks to the other grandparents, and checked out the Mt. Work/Hartland zone. Mountain bikers in Victoria have it tough, with a large portion of their riding contained to one area 20km from the city. They have lost entire riding zones to questionable development (Bear Mt Golf Course being the main culprit. Boycott them if you love mountain biking...).  I've heard of other trails that can be connected to Hartland through the Highlands or other parks (Thetis Lake?) and Sooke, but there is not much information available on those connections. Anyways, we enjoyed riding the countless rock slabs. We rode a suggested "advanced" loop (little face-switchbacks-twister-snakes and ladders), thew in some other trails (lumpy, jelly roll, mindbender, dave's, trillium, who's your daddy, night shift, skull trail) and Bill even got in some gnar on "birth control". It seemed like endless Razor's Edge!

Our trip was short and sweet and we were headed home the next day, but not before a quick rip at Vedder, near Chilliwack. The Fraser Valley would be a sweet place to call home with lot of excellent biking and skiing options, without the clusterf*** that is Vancouver. On Vedder we rode 2 cents to Turd Ferguson to Dilemna and were surprised by the smooth trails and jumps that were just begging to be ripped fast. I came into a corner a little too zesty and laid 'er down. Fortunately, came up with no damage. 

Finally back home for a short stop before the Kicking Horse Cup road races in Golden!

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