A North Shore Ride Report (how I break my brakes)

This past Saturday found me in Vancouver. A friend of mine hopped on the ferry from Victoria, and I was to meet KirkH, and rotr no more for a spin on the shore.

I picked Mike up at the ferry, and the first surprise was that another friend Jason was there too. Seems Jason had returned from his year long stint in Yellowknife a little early.

We loaded my truck, then set off for Mt Fromme. After arriving, we strapped our gear to ourselves and poceeded slowly up the long climb. It was quite eery because of the low laying cloud. Peering through the trees all we could see was mist. People disappered and reappeared from the mist frequently. It was surreal hearing people make their way towards me, or away from me, but not being able to actually see them.

After what seemed like a couple hours (really only about an houre) we reached the first trail we would take. Upper Oil Can was the choice. We donned our gear, ate some food, lowered the saddles, and soon it was time to ride. Only a few hundred yards into the trail I started to hear an odd clicking noise from the rear of my bike. I stopped to check it out, but couldn’t find anything. I rode another few yards, ad heard it some more. I stopped for a more thorough inspection, and that was when I found it. My rear Hayes caliper had broken! It looked to me like the bottom bolt had follen out a while ago. As I continued braking over the past couple ride, the metal in the mount for the caliper was bent, and rebent repeatedly until it finally let go.

I was quite unhappy. How do you finish a ride with no rear brake? With a little ingenuity, and a few zip ties (thanks Tim), I was able to get the caliper to stay in place while I continued my ride. My conidence was shot on the first few drops so I walked, but I soon began to trust the hacked together repair job. I still had rear brakes, they just felt a little mushy. I did a few drops to test the strength. I found I could still come to a stop quickly enough.

Soon enough we finished Oil Can, so we headed down the fireroad a couple minutes to Expresso. Here we met up with Dave K and Meagan. His previous plans were cancelled due to the inclemant weather. I had never ridden Expresso before, so I was excited to ride something new. It was a very fun trail. There were a few ladder bridges, steep rock faces, root drops, log rides. All sorts of stuff a visitor to the North Shore trails wants to experience.

After dropping onto Baden Powell we traversed back towards the vehicles. Meagan pointed us towards an older North Shore trail caller Digger (I think that was what we rode). It was also a good trail. Some steeps, some loose stuff, and some drops.

We were spit out on a street not too far from the vehicles. We debated on whether or not to head for food, but in order for Mike and Jason to make the 3pm ferry, we needed to leave immediately.

That was our choice, so our day on the North Shore was over. It was a blast. I should have some pictures in a couple days.

Thanks again to Tim and Kirk for riding with us, and showing us around. It was a lot of fun.