I’ve been back to Partridge Hills twice since my last post about it. The riding continues to get better and better. Not only are we finding loads of new trails to ride each time, but the quality and difficulty level is very consistent which rocks.
The funny thing is every time I’ve been there we’ve gotten totally lost. One time we had to think fast as the sun was setting as it would have been hard to get out of the forest without lights. We ended up making it back to the parking lot just in time.
With night falling much sooner these days up in the Great Green North I decided I better start being more prepared so I added a light wind shell, 2 energy bars and a headlamp to my MTB hydration pack in case I end up out later than planned.
Partridge Hills has long flowing sections of singletrack that are beautiful and filled with enough technical bits to be fun, but not enough break the rhythm of your ride. By comparison Hartland MTB Park offers twice the technical challenge density with half the beauty and 10 time the number of riders.
I will continue going to Hartland when I want to work work hard on my technical skills, but Partridge Hill is where I’ll go when I want to stop thinking and just let my bike roll. The mountain bike version of a moving meditation.
Just to give you an example we were riding lost for an hour trying to get our bearings when we spotted a nondescript unmarked trail leading off the main double track we were on. Figuring we couldn’t get any more lost we jumped on it and discovered an amazing word class buff singletrack that went on and on and on. Every turn led to more wicked riding and we finally got spit out back where we wanted to be – sweet!
There are some steep sections that we have to push up, but most of the trails are rideable for our us at our average skill levels. That might mean they are boring for you if you are uber hardcore, but then again Hartland is 5 minutes away with as much techy goodness as you can handle.
One other thing I quite like about PHs is that the forest isn’t so dense here like it is at Hartland which makes getting enough light for decent point and shoot photography a lot easier. Having the leaves falling doesn’t hurt either.
The question we always ask when we are mountain biking on Vancouver Island is “where is everyone?”. There are loads of dirt riders here and we see lots of MTBs on cars driving around, but we rarely if ever see other riders on the trails. During the last two PHs trip we saw zero riders one day and 3 groups in 3hrs the second time. Given the quality of the trails that seems crazy.
I had hoped to be riding in Moab right about now. I even had a very kind offer from a group of guys to meet up with them in Moab so I’d have some company on the trails, but work got in the way with two big reports that need writing by tight deadlines…=-( The only upside is I discovered PHs recently so I can satisfy my MTB sweet tooth on these trails to make up for the read rock dust I should be caking my bike with…=-)
Sharon’s bike had a really low rear tire so I stopped to add air and managed to rip the valve stem off…*sigh*…=-( So we had to replace the tube – I was carrying two spares so I only messed up one thing on that ride!
I’m hoping to get two dirt rides in this week. I bet you can guess where I’ll be going…=-) I like being lost when it’s this much fun!