Solo Shred…

17 05 2013
Spring has sprung...

Spring has sprung…

Sharon has become a bit of a mountain bike fiend these days. Part of that is as her skills improve she is enjoying each ride more and more and part of it is that she’ll be off the bike for 3 months this summer after knee surgery so she is trying to get in as much riding as she can.

Either way it means a car is going to Hartland MTB Park frequently and I hate to waste gas so I jump in with her whenever my schedule allows. I don’t like to mess up the all-girl-MTB vibe she has with her friends so we go our separate ways and arrange a time to meet up back at the car.

Riding solo has its benefits. I ride at my own pace and can get into a nice flow – especially coming back down the mountain. I’m not worried about riding as fast as possible, but I do like to clean everything on the trail and find a consistent rhythm. The longer I can stay in the same “zone” the happier I am. 🙂





OTB Bitch!

28 02 2013
Roll down...

Roll down…

Sadly I wasn’t wearing a GoPro when I went over the bars on my mountain bike. I’m sure it would have provided some comical viewing.

Getting used to the red rocket...

Getting used to the red rocket…

I’m happy to report that the bike is fine! 🙂

Back in the forest...

Back in the forest…

I’m fine except for a tweaked right wrist. Nothing broken or too badly sprained, but I won’t be shredding for a week or so. 😦

She didn't stay clean for long...

She didn’t stay clean for long…

I was at a hockey game last night with some local mountain bikers and the laundry list of injuries [broken wrists, blown up knees, severe tendonitis, sprained hands/wrists, etc…] made me feel like less of a klutz.

Little did I know of my impending doom!

Little did I know of my impending doom!

After riding in Baja for 2 months of blessed traction I guess I had to be reminded that traction in the BC rain forest in winter is a luxury you can’t take for granted!





The end of summer…

4 09 2012

Enjoying the sunshine while we can…





Pop!

3 07 2012

Bright colours make for vibrant photos in the trees…

Taking nice mountain bike photos in BC’s gloomy rainforest can be a challenge.

A little red sure helps…

One thing that can really help and doesn’t cost a lot of money is having riders wear bright coloured clothing.

A bright bike doesn’t hurt either…

A brightly coloured bike doesn’t hurt either. Obviously you can’t readily change the colour of your ride just for a photo shoot, but if you live somewhere that’s dark and want to take photos on rides it does make sense to keep this in mind when the time comes for a new bike or a new paint job is in the works.

Our bikes are easy to spot in the forest…

We got lucky as both our bikes are pretty brightly coloured even though back in Calgary this aspect wasn’t nearly as important for taking MTB photos.

White is right!

Compared to Scott’s black Jones my Nomad shows up much better in the forest. I also wear a white helmet and white gloves to improve my visibility.

Spot Sharon….

Sharon’s colourful top and pink grips pop in this photo.

Sharon trying to stick to the high ground…

If you do have a dark bike you can help it pop with contrasting accessories like grips, cable housing, rims, fork, bars, etc…

Sharon happy to pop!

When Sharon saw this jersey at a shop she wasn’t sure she’d like it. I don’t normally get involved in clothing advice issues [I’m too smart for that!], but I did mention that it would show up nicely in photos. Once she saw some photos of herself in the jersey she was stoked to have bought it since it really brightens up each frame.

Even a bit of colour helps…

Aaron isn’t into wearing hot pink, but even the small detail of some red trim on his shirt really does help make him stand out in the photo above.

Kurt knows the score…

Kurt was smart about this subject before I even clued in how important it was. I came to realize his MTB photos always turned out better than mine and finally it occurred to me he wore a lot of bright colour coordinated clothing when he rides.

Maybe I went a bit too far?….;)

Now if you are thinking mountain biking is supposed to be about riding the bike not some sort of fashion show in the forest I don’t blame you. We spend a lot of time snapping photos on our rides. It’s just what we do and it’s not something essential. In fact it gets in the way of the riding to some extent, but we often have experts, intermediates and beginners on the same ride so stopping to session a tech section and photograph it gives the hardcore folks more riding time while the newbies can rejoin the group and catch their breathe. It also allows the less skilled riders to see what the hot shots are doing and try some stuff they’d skip if they were already 5 minutes behind the group.

Bright colours are helpful even when you can see the sun…

The BC rainforest makes bright colours really important, but even in the desert where there is a ton of light wearing bright contrasting colours still helps the subject pop in a photo.

Moab…





The Bicycle Nomad Shreds Hartland…

1 07 2012

Tom “The Bicycle Nomad”…

Scott’s place is a hub of who’s who in the bicycle travelling world. So I wasn’t shocked when he casually mentions that Tom from the Bicycle Nomad Blog has stopping in for a few days to hang out.

Scott and Tom on Little Face Trail…

They asked me if I wanted to go for a ride at Hartland Mountain Bike Park. It would be my 4th ride in 5 days so I was a bit tired already, but I don’t own bikes to look at them so of course I said yes.

Wait for me – here I come!

Of course these young fit riders put the hurt on my aging and tired legs… 😉

Tubeless & tube failure…

I caught a break when Scott’s tubeless front wheel decided not to hold air any longer.

Tom waits to shred the Jones…

I caught another break when Scott pinch flatted and had to patch his sealant covered tube. I don’t think I would have made it without those breaks.

Scott concluding 2.1″ just ain’t enough any longer…

It was great to meet Tom in person and get to ride with him. His touring legs powered him around the trails with ease on Scott’s Jones Spaceframe rig.

Jamming to catch up with the guys…

Tom and Scott kept talking about some crazy expedition touring ideas. I just pretended my hearing aids fell out so I couldn’t be roped into anything arduous! 😉

Forest panorama…

If you are interested in bike touring Tom and his wife Sarah’s blog is well worth a visit. – check it out here.

“Anyone seen two riders come this way???”…

BTW – any photos of me in this post were taken by Tom Walwyn





Heckler Time!

30 06 2012

…framing the action

Apparently we didn’t scare Sean and Deanna off of mountain biking on the South Shore of Vancouver Island. They decided they’d come back for more dirt hijinx.

Sean taking a good line on Ruffles…

We covered a lot of the same terrain as last ride so they would have a chance to work on stuff they’d seen before and “figure out” typical tech moves that crop up repeatedly at Hartland.

Deanna on the move…

Their Hecklers are a bit more XC oriented than our Nomads, but they are capable bikes and well suited to local riding conditions.

Sharon starts up a climb…

Their bikes have steeper head tube angles and lower front ends than ours which makes for easier climbing, but it also makes steep drops more challenging. Especially without height adjustable dropper seatposts.

Bouncing down the trail…

It’s great to have a larger group out on a ride. You end up waiting around more, but that gives you time to chat and hang out with your friends.

Sharon’s turn to roll on in…

Sharon’s enjoying the pay off from so much time spent learning her MTB skills as she isn’t at the back of the pack any more and she can offer up some tips to others.

Sean on the edge…

Sean comes from a rugby and karate background. His style is to throw himself at the trail repeatedly and see who is tougher. This approach has been surprisingly effective, but has also resulted in some spectacular crashes. I gave him some body armour I wasn’t using for future rides as I suspect otherwise his MTB career could be really intense, but really short!

Deanna checking things out…

Deanna is a lot more cautious and she’s rebuilding her MTB skills at a measured pace. It’s going to take her longer to master the challenges of our local trails, but she’ll get there soon enough and won’t have to visit the hospital during the learning process!

Fun in the forest…

We are continuing to get the riding position and the suspension setup tweaked optimally for their Hecklers. I’ve learned with my Nomad how important it is to continually adjust and evaluate your bike’s setup. Small changes can result in big improvements. Plus you get to understand your bike better.

In the groove…





Lost & Found!

28 06 2012

That little silver retaining collar at the far end of the shock is really important!

When Deanna and Sean came out of a ride this past Sunday the silver collar at the front of Sean’s shock jumped ship leaving the spring grinding away against his frame. That’s not a good thing obviously.

Come out, come out – wherever you are!

The shock is from ~1998 so finding a replacement part could be a challenge. We decided it would be best to go back to Hartland and search for it Monday before the trails had seen much traffic.

I spent a lot of time looking down…

We spent over an hour doing a detailed search of the section of Little Face Trail where we noticed the part was missing. Our rationale was that it must have come of within a few hundred metres of that spot.

Still looking…

Eventually we gave up looking and decided to go for a short ride since we were at Hartland anyways. I figured there was a slight chance it had fallen off on the first trail we rode on Sunday, but that was 20 mins earlier before we noticed it was missing so that seemed like a long shot. We decided we’d hit that trail right before we went back to the car.

There’s my baby!

Sure enough at the first corner of that initial trail from Sunday the collar was sitting on some moss waiting for us.

No longer MIA…

I love it when a plan comes together… 🙂

Glad the Heckler is back in business.. 🙂