Thursday, August 29, 2013

More adventure + Devon River Raid XC

Slackcountry biking. As absurd as it sounds, I was thinking about all of the chairlift access mountain bike mountains around here and many of them have a trail that leaves the patrolled boundary. Call it a great way to finish off your day! I don't think many are as long and hard (that's what she said!) as Kicking Horse's (Maybe Khyber Pass in Whistler?).

At first, I was a little angry that the mountain is not too keen on allowing uphill traffic, even after they close for the season. But then I remembered that "The Separatists" had won some gift certificates. What a great way to spend the day: casing some jumps, hitting some stumps, and then cap it off with a hike-a-bike to a super long descent.

Loading up the bikes in the Gondola. The Marin took quite a beating as the trails were quite rough after a dry summer
The trails were ROUGH, and I was taking quite a beating, I could even start to feel the death grip setting in midway down the first lap! Okay, they are pretty long laps. Getting a lift to the top is fun, getting beaten up: not so much.

At the top of the grassy knoll aka T2. A different perspective in the summer for sure! Some steep hiking to get there.

My partner struggling, wearing body armour and carrying a heavier bike
 Unfortunately, I did not really possess the skill level to really make the most out of the trail, and I did a lot of walking. It's definitely more of a hiking trail, but I could see how a skilled rider could get down some sections. It seemed that every time the trail got fun, that the next section would force me to walk my bike. After quite a character builder, We were finally at the logging road, and able to rip the upper Canyon Creek descent (Lower Sir Donald, LSD). This trail is fun, and a great contrast to the blown out and rough nature of the KHMR trails. Steep sections that were not loose, okay, maybe I should tighten my lips about this trail!
As we didn't have a car waiting in Nicholson, we cut the descent short and returned to Cedar Lake, then I finished off the loop by pedalling up to Kicking Horse. My whole body and my mind were sore!
A tough day for sure. The Golden Cycling Club is planning on officially sanctioning the trail with the goal of having a descent from the top of KHMR down to Nicholson. I'm in no position to discuss what that will mean for the nature of the trail, but in its current state, it is best left for the more skilled and adventurous riders looking for a great/challenging way to finish off the day!

The body was sore for a couple of days after. All of those isometric muscle contractions while riding downhill are not something that I normally experience. Fortunately, I was all rested up and ready to race the River Raid XC in Devon on the weekend.

A fast course, mainly consisting of doubletrack, but with some steep singletrack climbs and a tight, but straight descent. I was feeling pretty good and was able to ride the steep climbs every lap with the odd dab or two. I ended up in 4th, just shy of the podium.

I took some notes from the winner of the Kicking Horse hill climb.
I really did have a job interview! Then I met up with Bill at Moose Mountain on my way back to Canmore. We were going to do SHAFT and Special K, but I broke my rear maxle on SHAFT. I had my Xprezo with me, so we salvaged the day with a lap of Shoulda.

And then a Baldy + Hector downhill ride a couple of days later.
Some great riding, and I need a little more rest. I'm itching to get to Revelstoke for some alpine hike-a-bikes to cap the year off properly.

1 comment:

  1. hey,
    just came across your blogspot looking for any information about the long hike a bike from the top of kicking horse and then descending all the way down to nicholson (via LSD).
    did that with my buddy last fall and for us europeans was a unique experience!
    tried to find any contact/mail so i will leave mine:
    take care,