Conditions Weaving

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Clean bike before race day.

Hammerfest Enduro was today and couldn’t have been under better conditions. Clear blue sky, tacky trails, lots of racers. I pre-rode the stages yesterday and did my best to recover fully for the race today. Seemed to have worked.

I got my chip and started getting race ready before the briefing when I discovered a very loose spoke. None of my tools fit it, so I swung by Scott’s Trek Bike Shop van to see if he had the necessary spoke wrench. He didn’t, but we managed to use a leatherman and a set of vice grips to get it (and one other) tighter.

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Racers briefing. This is what 185 strong looks like.

Racers briefing was the normal stuff, and soon we were off. We were requested to hurry to our first stage, then we could take our time after that (the goal being to spread people out). I got up to stage 2 in fairly good time, rested a bit, got set up for my stage and got in line.

Soon it was go time and I took off. This stage was pretty long and I managed to remember all the little bits I thought were important. I bobbled a couple corners, and was pretty slow on one sharp corner, but overall I felt pretty good. At the end I tapped my chip, didn’t hear the beep, tried again before realizing it had fallen to under my wrist. I lost a few seconds there.

Then came the second climb to the top. I got to stage 3 and there was no line up at all. I sat for a bit to recover before I got setup for the descent. Again I punched it as best I could. Bobbing and weaving through the trees, pumping the dips, prejumping rises and logs. The end of this stage had a bit of pedalling so I tried to save some reserve energy for that. I ended up passing one other racer on the stage before getting to the end and tapping the chip.

Once again, the climb up was in order. Even slower this time I walked more than I had the other ascents. At the top I sat for a bit, drank some water, had some food and let my legs come back before stage 4. The longest, with the most pedalling.

Lining up I felt ready for the final stage. I knew it was long and the bottom half had lots of twists, turns and pedalling. I tapped my chip to start my time and I was off. I felt pretty good on Pumpinator railing the switchbacks and turns. I nearly washed out on the same one I nearly washed out on yeaterday, but managed to keep upright and moving.

After lots of pedalling I got to the end tapped my chip and I was done. Wow, lots of fun.

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Back at the car I got into some other clothes, returned my chip, ate some food, and waited for the results.

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Post race loam coating.

After a bit I went and got my chip times. Woot! Pretty happy with them.

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Chip times. Look at the second column of numbers, on rows 2, 4, and 6.

After quite a bit of waiting I ended up having to go before results were announced. I later learned that one of the guys I was chatting with came in first place! As for my results, I had to wait until I got home, but I’m more than happy. I tied for 16th out of 60 racers.

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Another great race done. I am not sure how many more (if any) I will get to do this season. Big bonus that was just pointed out to me was that I am currently 9th in the series after the first two races.

Weather Avoiding

I knew today was going to be a wet ride. After I got up I could hear the rain pounding on the roof. I grabbed most of my wet weather gear and headed out any way. I was meeting some people over at Partridge and I decided to do some trails at the dump first.

As I started out, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going to ride before getting to Partridge, so I headed out Shock Treatment. Puddles everywhere. I meandered a bit, thinking I had lots of time. With 20 minutes until I was supposed to meet up, I realized I was waaay behind. I just don’t have the same fitness I had in the summer. Imagine that.

I took a couple shortcuts before hitting Trillium, then down to Partridge. I arrived thoroughly wet and muddy.

We roamed around Partridge hitting a fun loop, but avoiding some of the larger lakes that dot the area. My hands were cold and wet, but not too bad off. My feet were aching though. Normally they warm up and are fine but I couldn’t keep moving enough to get the blood flowing to keep them warm. The descents were fun and messy. There were more than a few two wheel drifts through the sloppy mud.

Exiting Partridge, one of my riding buddies gave me a ride back to Hartland where we all got changed.

Mud everywhere. Caked onto my knee pads, shorts and shoes. Anything that wasn’t muddy, was soaked. Getting into dry clothes was nice, but without a towel, I also transferred a bunch of mud. We stopped for coffee and a bite to eat. Felt great to get something warm on the inside. Back home I filled up on some soup and tea.

Then it was off for a shower to clean myself up.

Rides like that remind me of when I first got into mountain biking. We’d ride in any weather, get messy, and have a blast.

Portland Scenic

My Portland Ride was a lot of fun. I pinged some friends to see if they could recommend a trial to me. One guy I know in Vancouver who does a lot of road trips, had never ridden in Portland, but strangely enough was there the same weekend I was, so I ended up riding with them for the day.

The drive from Portland was a little over an hour long, but it was more than worth it. The trails were a lot of fun, and completely different from what I am used to. Very open, very skinny, very smooth. Oh, and lots of fun.

We started off with a climb through a field. It zigged and zagged a long way up from the river. By the time we topped out, the cars below looked very tiny.

It was a perfect blue sky as well.

Just before the main descent we stopped for a break. We had a little visitor.

It was quite the scenic place.

There were even some technical bits to keep everyone on their toes.

The trail took us right next to the cliff edge.

In all it was a great ride, with some very fun people. Back at the car I quickly changed, stowed my bike and gear in the car and booted back to Portland. Great ride!


View Syncline in a larger map

Duallies Loop

Last weekend I hooked up with a couple internet friend to riding in Duncan up at Tzouhalem. That mountain is pretty fun. Long climbs, rewarded by super fun descents. Lots of work has been done up there in recent years and it shows.

Though the ride was a little shorter than I would have liked, I still had a great time. I got a little beat up on the descents though. Hardtails are great for riding, but you sure feel every little bump, rock, root, and rut when you are chasing a couple duallies down a hill.


View Tzouhalem 10/03/2013 11:04am in a larger map

Total distance: 6.69 km (4.2 mi)
Total time: 1:18:44
Moving time: 56:11
Average speed: 5.10 km/h (3.2 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.15 km/h (4.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 35.35 km/h (22.0 mi/h)
Average pace: 11.77 min/km (18.9 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 8.40 min/km (13.5 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1.70 min/km (2.7 min/mile)
Max elevation: 458 m (1503 ft)
Min elevation: 203 m (665 ft)
Elevation gain: 384 m (1261 ft)
Max grade: 18 %
Min grade: -56 %

This past weekend I took Heart out for a ride at the dump. I wanted to climb, so I figured I should head to the far side, climb up the back side of the park, hit Trillium, then Who’s Yer Daddy. It was a great loop, with lots of climbing in it. The hardtail was a good choice for this loop, until I got to Who’s Yer Daddy. This trail is in flux right now, and is getting smoother, so pretty soon this will be the perfect loop.


View Dump Ride 16/03/2013 in a larger map

Total distance: 10.83 km (6.7 mi)
Total time: 1:54:11
Moving time: 1:34:37
Average speed: 5.69 km/h (3.5 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 6.87 km/h (4.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 29.72 km/h (18.5 mi/h)
Average pace: 10.54 min/km (17.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 8.73 min/km (14.1 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 2.02 min/km (3.2 min/mile)
Max elevation: 313 m (1028 ft)
Min elevation: 111 m (365 ft)
Elevation gain: 497 m (1631 ft)
Max grade: 11 %
Min grade: -19 %

Trillium Ridge

I had a interesting ride today. My goal was to ride Trillium, but do it the “correct” direction. Each time I have ridden it, I went up the trail instead of down.

I started off from the parking lot, and went up Skull. It was a little chilly and a little foggy out. My tires were sliding around on everything. I think I had pumped them up too much, so I let a little air out of both of them. That seemed to solve the problem, so I kept going.

At the top of skull I headed up the fire road all the way to Trillium. At one point Heart stopped following me, and deked off into the bush. I couldn’t see her for a minute, and she didn’t come when I called her. Odd when I have cookies in my pocket. I figured she found a bone that a crow had carried off from the dump, so I went back to get her. Sure enough she had something in her mouth. I grabbed it, and as I was tossing it further into the bush I saw that it was a plastic food covering that had some pastey, liquidy, white goo in it, and good god did it ever smell awful. And I got it all over my right glove. And my glove has holes in the fingers, so I got some on me! I wiped it off as best I could, but I could still smell it. I ended up having to take off my gloves and ride bare handed. Not ideal.

The ascent up the fire road to Trillium took me a lot less time than I thought it was going to, so I didn’t even take a break at the top. The descent down Trillium was fun, but a couple times I felt my tire bottom out. I would have to be careful I didn’t pinch flat.

After Trillium I headed up Sidewinder, then along North Ridge. While heading up North Ridge I could see a few sun rays beaming through the mist. Very, very cool. After North Ridge I wanted to hit Snakes and Ladders. I also wanted to do Who’s Yer Daddy, since I saw some new trail work there that I wanted to try. What to do?

I chose to do both. I rode to the top of Snakes and Ladders. At the rest break at the top, the sun was out and it was beautiful. The clouds were still hanging out down below, which meant I couldn’t see the parking lot. I love when that happens. I did a quick descent of Snakes and Ladders, then went back up the fire road a second time to catch Who’s Yer Daddy. Good call. The climbing was doing me some good.

The new sections were pretty good, and I even caught a bit of air. Sure enough though, two thirds of the way down my back tire felt a little squishy, and when I stopped I could hear the air hissing out. Damn. I unpacked my tools and set about changing the tube. It didn’t take me that long, but I did discover that one of my tire levers was broken.

After WYD, I ended with the trail that drops in to the TTA. All in all a gorgeous ride. Back at the truck the dog was pooped, and I was feeling the post ride afterglow.


View Dump Ride 02/02/2013 in a larger map

Spectacular Lot

I got out for a wonderful ride yesterday. The conditions were spectacular. It was a little chilly out, but not very cold. Basically if I stopped for too long I got a chill. I just tried to keep moving. There was very little mud, no running water on the trails, and traction galore. Just lovely.

Heart and I took Shock Treatment to the far side of the park, then started climbing up the back all the way to the top. From the top we came down Snakes and Ladders, then hit a couple more short trails to take us back to the parking lot.

The only bummer on the ride happened at the top of Snakes and Ladders. I was taking a breather when another guy and his dog came up Snake and Ladders. I noticed his dog had a muzzle on, and that got me to wondering. Sure enough, the dog saw Heart and started advancing. Once the guy saw this he called his dog who then rocketed off at Heart and jumped on her snarling. Thank goodness for the muzzle, but I just can’t help but wonder why he was bringing this dog out in public if this is how it behaves.


View Dump Ride 20/01/2013 in a larger map

Chameleon Conditions

I was pretty bummed when I found the crack in my Bullit. It meant that both my frames had cracks in them. I was lucky enough to see on twitter that Santa Cruz was having a blowout sale, and I picked up a new Chameleon frame. I transferred all my parts from the old green machine to the new sleek, black frame. I also put the disc brakes from the Bullit onto the new hardtail.

Old green machine


New black hotness

The old parts transferred over nicely, and besides new brake pads, the only real parts I had to buy were a new rotor for the rear brakes, and a new seat post.

Then the new bike hung in my basement for a few weeks.

Yesterday I got it out for the first ride. I first took it out onto the streets around the house to bed in the brakes since this was badly needed, then I headed out to the trails for the first real ride. Of course the weather had turned sour on us. Wet, rainy, misty, cool, but no wind. Preactically perfect riding conditions 🙂

The bike rode great. It feels like a huge improvement over the old frame, but I can’t completely figure out why. It climbs better, while descending hasn’t changed. The ground clearance is just fine, it feels lighter while riding, feels more compact (maybe there is a shorter top tube). The bike just felt right. It brought a smile to my face several times.


View First Ride On New Chameleon in a larger map
Total distance: 10.87 km (6.8 mi)
Total time: 1:59:23
Moving time: 1:29:16
Average speed: 5.46 km/h (3.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.31 km/h (4.5 mi/h)
Max speed: 30.62 km/h (19.0 mi/h)
Average pace: 10.98 min/km (17.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 8.21 min/km (13.2 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1.96 min/km (3.2 min/mile)
Max elevation: 287 m (941 ft)
Min elevation: 107 m (352 ft)
Elevation gain: 521 m (1709 ft)
Max grade: 21 %
Min grade: -33 %

Add in the wet conditions ride, my first in a long time, and it was a fabulous ride. Heart got a run in, and I ended up riding with a couple guys from the triple shot cycling club. They got me to thinking about joinging them on some of their groups rides. Could be a good way to get out more. We’ll see.

Rims Idyllic

I had a great ride on Hornby today. I love the trails here because they are so different from home. Twisty, turny, smooth, fast. I entered the trail system from the fire hall and headed up. I took Walton over to Milo’s Meadow. There were a few steep, loose climbs here that proved quite a challenge. From here I went up Slick Rock, up Lox’s Bagel, then up Ozzmosis. Finally I took Hot Rims all the way to the highest point I could.

I took a quick break on the cliff overlooking Denman and Vancouver Islands. What a view. I wanted to hit up some different trails from yesterday, so instead of going down 4 Dead Aliens I instead took Purgatory down to Bitchin Camero. Someone mentioned there was a gap jump in Bitchin Camero, but I never saw it.

From there I went up again. Up Slick Rock, up Northwind, then back onto Hot Rims back up to the same rest area. This time I took 4 Dead Aliens to Test Tube. Test Tube was a great descent, I highly recommend to to anyone. As much as I love 4 Dead Aliens, Test Tube may be more fun. I had to hit No Horses one more time, then it was time to head home.

I ascended Washing Machine to Coltsfoot. I went up a different section of Slickrock to get back onto Milo’s Meadow. I exited near the firehall on Walton. Great ride, lots of challenging climbing, super fun descents.

Hornby really is an idyllic spot to ride. I can easily ride the trails several days in a row and enjoy them immensely. The trail system is pretty small though, so it you lived here, the draw might lose its luster after a while. Still, for the visitor, there is loads of fun to be had.

Oh, and buy the map from the bike shop. Indispensable help when picking where to go next.


Combo Misty

Wednesday I got out for a training ride. This time I went out mountain biking. Hearty needed a run, I needed a ride, and this seemed like a good combo. At the dump I tried to plan a route that would involve a lot of climbing. I think I managed that pretty well.

It had been raining a bit the previous few days, and this made the trails pretty wet, and more than a little muddy. Traction was limited on some of the rocks, but I just had to let go of the brakes a little more and things smoothed out for me.

It was also pretty misty in the trees. I love how the fog dampens the surrounding noise. Very eery, but very peaceful too.

I felt pretty good on the bike, and enjoyed the climbing that I did. Mountain biking is a lot more of a full body workout than a road ride, and I like that a lot. Pushing the bike around, using body english to get up and over obstacles, and leaning the bike into corners sure tires you out quickly. I also find it amazing how slow mountain biking is compared to road riding. This mountain bike ride was an hour and forty five minutes, and I covered 11 KM. Pretty minimal on a road bike, but good workout on the dirt.

1.5 hours into the ride Heart started to slow down. I was still feeling great like I could do the whole look again, but I opted to get Heart back to the car, rather than risk her hurting herself trying to keep up to me.


View Dump Ride in a larger map
Total distance: 11.60 km (7.2 mi)
Total time: 1:49:53
Moving time: 1:27:21
Average speed: 6.33 km/h (3.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.97 km/h (5.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 27.47 km/h (17.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 9.47 min/km (15.2 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 7.53 min/km (12.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 2.18 min/km (3.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 302 m (991 ft)
Min elevation: 97 m (320 ft)
Elevation gain: 383 m (1258 ft)
Max grade: 3 %
Min grade: -13 %
Recorded: 4/25/2012 10:36 AM

Muscle Biking

Since the New year I’ve been trying to get back on my bike a bit. I did that trip to Tzouhalem, and I’ve been on my road bike. This is all in early prep for the Tour de Victoria of course.

Yes it’s early, but I am using that excuse. Riding is fun, and I do enjoy it quite a bit.

Way back on Feb 5 I got out for a ride with a friend. As I was getting ready (ahem, I should say I was putting on my booties), I pulled a muscle in my back. I was sitting down and hurt my back. WTF?

Still it was such a nice day I rode anyway hoping that it would loosen me up a bit. The ride was a spectacular couple of hours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the sunshine that we rode in. Unfortunately my back didn’t, and I was in some pretty serious back pain that took a couple weeks to resolve.

Last weekend I took my hardtail out to the dump. I still haven’t fixed the chain on my Bullit so the bike choice was easy. Mountain biking is so much different from road biking. The pace is slower, and the workout full body. And you don’t cover nearly the same distance in the same amount of time.

Here is a map of that ride.

Yesterday I got out for a solo road ride. I had aimed for a couple hours, and in the end I think it was 2.5 hours. Blustery day which made for a couple terrifying moments. One cross breeze hit me hard enough to put me into a two wheel drift. The route I ended up doing was really nice too. Prospect Lake Road is sure fun, and pretty quiet. After a few more training rides I will tackle Munn’s Road. There are some big hills on that one.

Can’t wait to get more rides in this year.