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. ūüôā





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! ūüôā

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. ūüė¶

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… ūüėČ

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! ūüėČ

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… ūüôā

Glad the Heckler is back in business.. ūüôā





After Work Shred…

25 06 2012

Getting sweaty and dirty after work is a great way to end the day…

Going with the flow…

Dressed for an evening out…

Rock-star!





Glad I have spares…

3 06 2012

Chilling with my fatty…

My¬†Santa¬†Cruz Nomad is in the shop to have its fork serviced. A long overdue bit of maintenance. I don’t like to rush folks doing important work on my gear and I realize that May is not the ideal time to drop off a mountain bike for quick turn around repairs.

Riding my On One Scandal with Grant and his sweet Chromag Surface 29er…

So I’ve been riding my other mountain bikes – a On One Scandal and a Surly Pugsley fatbike.

Grant pondering the beauty of our local trails…

It’s great to have other bikes to ride so I am not waiting for the Nomad to come back before I can ride some trails.

Scott happy to be out riding…

And although my other bikes are not as supremely awesome as my Nomad they keep me rolling and help me better appreciate my main mountain bike.

Sharon glad I had a spare bike to ride…





Working it…

14 05 2012

Cranking up a rocky step…

Sharon on the same rocky section…

Around the corner…

Lazy on the move…

I was hanging from a tree to get this shot…

Whoa!

Sharon grinds the slab…

Another fun drop…

Creek crossing…

Lazy…

Hunting for gnar…

Using the Dark Side of the Force…

Cruising…

Log ride…





Bro Session…

10 05 2012

A-Man at the start of Shock Treatment…

Man and dog…

Scott leading the pack…

Lazy up and over…

A-Man tackles the infamous HUMP of doom…

Scott HUMPing…

Grooving in the woods…

Geeking out…

Got Jones?

The Nomad…

Snacking…

Fun times in the trees…

Wall to…

….Wall





Sharon turning the cranks…

7 05 2012

Sharon in the forest…

Practicing the roll in…

Getting wet…

Looks steeper from the saddle…

Using the 24″ gear…

Trail architecture…

Proof I was along on the ride…

Rooty!

A well earned rest…

Heading for the car…

One last grind…





Fun Fun Fun!

16 04 2012

Sharon and Laura excited about a Dirt Girlz MTB Club ride...

Since a vehicle was heading to Hartland I figured I might as well go for a ride...

This strange guy on a rigid bike started following me.

I tried to shake him, but he was too fast!

He was getting close to my bike at stops. Was he thinking of stealing it?!

I would have had to chase him on this bike. It doesn't even have pedals!

He called his bike a Jeff Jones Spaceframe Truss Fork.

He called himself Porcelain Rocket....must be his Burning Man playa name?

He could ride that strange bike pretty well...

I tried his bike and got distracted by that crazy huge front tire! Doh!

He didn't let me ride his bike after that...something about liability and bad PR...

That's cool. I kept rolling on my Santa Cruz Nomad...

As soon as he saw I had the camera out he went all crazy like...

I just did my best not to make him angry at that point...

Finally he stopped to pee so I blasted out of there...

If anyone asks you my name is Jesus-Eduardo and I'm from Guadalajara Mexico!





Expedition to Mount Work’s Summit…

15 04 2012

Is it much further?

I thought we were headed to Hartland Mountain Bike Park for a quick 2hr fun blast around our favourite trails on a sunny Friday the 13th. Little did I know we were on a 4hrs+ bike-xpedition to the summit of Mount Work.

Going tubeless?

We were talking about¬†tubeless¬†tires on the drive to Hartland and Kurt stated that he was going tubeless on his Santa Curz Nomad after this ride. So naturally the Puncture Fairy gave him a snake bite less than 5mins into the ride and while she was at it she ripped his valve stem nearly clean off. Plus she stole Kurt’s spare tube. Yikes! Bad Fairy! Luckily I had a spare tube stashed in my bike’s Porcelain Rocket frame bag. We also realized his front tire was either defective or not properly seated on the rim. After 10mins of futzing with it we gave up and he just kept going. It’s not like a front blowout could be a problem mountain biking right?…;-)

No bikes? - No shit!

We wanted to head to the top of the bike park and ride Dave’s Line to Fun Trail and then back to the parking lot. Sadly we took a couple short cuts that we thought would let us ride more singletrack on the way up rather than just grinding up the easy to navigate double track. We should have know things had gone horribly wrong when we ended up on a hiking trail that was signed “no bikes”. As we were to learn this was¬†because¬†1) the trail didn’t lead anywhere bikey and 2) it wasn’t rideable! Being the¬†eternal¬†optimists we figured that once we were at the top we could drop down the other side of Mount Work and connect with the trails we were after. This of course was totally incorrect.

That's not a smile...

So we slogged uphill for over an hour on a nice warm sunny day. I didn’t realize my bike was in the All Mountain¬†category¬†because it was so much fun to push all 35lbs of it up a steep hiking trail.

Kurt is happy because he thinks this is the summit and he'll be riding down now - not!

A couple false summits later we thought we were finally at the top, but it was lies all lies.

The summit - for real!

Eventually we did get to the top. Ironically the one person who would have enjoyed this experience, Scott “Hike A Bike” Felter, was at home slaving away on some Tour Divide bike bags.

Don't get too excited Kurt...

Kurt was stoked to start riding down the other side of the summit to the bike trails we wanted to shred. He got about another 100m further than shown in the picture above before he realized we were not even close to being in the right spot and that the only way to the bike trails was back the way we came. In the photo below the pen is lined up with the trails at the top of the bike park we wanted to ride and the electrical tape is the summit of Mount Work. Doh!

WTF?

So we turned around and spent 25minutes or so hiking down a steep mostly unrideable hiking trail back to the point where we left the bike park. We had started from my house in the middle of a sunny afternoon and were starting the real riding as the sun was going down and the forest was getting gloomy! We got to ride a bunch of great trails though:

  • Lumpy Pants
  • Dirt Falls
  • Phase Two
  • Dave’s Line
  • South Ridge
  • Fun Trail
  • Crossover
  • Ruffles

Cleaning up the mess...

On the plus side we got a great workout. Hahahaha! We did get to do all the riding we had set out to do. It just took a bit longer than we had anticipated. Mountain bike foreplay?…=-)





Deep Forest…

25 03 2012

My MTB animal totem is the Angry Squirrel...

Friday afternoon Kurt and Scott dropped by and we hit the road for Hartland Mountain Bike Park.

Spaceframe in action...

Scott is once again schooling us on a rigid mountain bike…this time single speed just to make it interesting for him!

Kurt in the forest...

We managed to pry Kurt away from his books long enough to shred some dirt.

Scott demonstrates a semi-fat roll in...

I’m already thinking of¬†modifying¬†Scott’s brakes so they are 25% engaged all the time he is riding.

I may be slow, but I dress to impress!

Of course I now have the excuse that I’m slow because I have to haul around 8lbs of photo gear to¬†document¬†the ride.

The start of the aptly named "Get Wet" Trail...

For the time being I just jam my DSLR into a basic camera bag which I then jam into my 10yr old Camelback Transalp backpack. I’m always guarding the rear of the pack uphill or downhill so the extra weight/bulk isn’t a big deal.

Happy to be back aboard the Nomad...

Having to pull off the backpack and get the camera out¬†every time¬†isn’t ideal, but I’m keeping my eyes open for a dedicated MTB hydration & camera pack. They exist, but are $$$ so I want to make the right choice and my first priority is a fast prime lens when I’ve got some money saved.

The Dream Team...

It’s good that Kurt came out for a ride so that Scott had someone a bit faster to ride with. Not only do they have more fun, but it takes the pressure off me to catch up as fast as possible so I can enjoy ¬†bumping around in the forest at my own pace.

My typical perspective on Kurt as he rides away from me...

When I run into folks that know me from my blog I often get¬†surprised¬†looks on the trail wondering why I am not the uber biker they¬†thought¬†I was based on my photos and ride reports. So this is me setting the record straight. I’m slow!

Kurt doing his mountain goat impression...

You may have already figured out that my mountain bike photography interest continentally allows for me to stop and catch my breathe while I snap some action shots of other folks riding.

Heading downhill...

Luckily both Scott and Kurt are willing stunt models who don’t mind riding the same section of trail again and again while I futz with the camera.

Wait for me!

Although I love my Pugsley it sure was nice to have 6″+ of suspension at both ends to smooth out the trail and make riding significantly less tiring. My Nomad even goes uphill really well so there isn’t much downside to this bike.

Scott and his buddy Big Fat Larry...

We spent a lot of time messing about on Fun Trail at Hartland which deserves its name.

I'm loving the dark green landscape we have to play in...

I agreed to put away the camera once we got to the top of Mount Work so we could enjoy the ride down without interruptions.

Wall ride...

I may have broken my promise once…

Hartland glamour shot...

…or twice!

Time to play...

Once back at the bottom we rolled over to Two Trees Trail and a few rocks that are always fun to play on.

Kurt going wild...

Bikes, rocks and body armour make for a fun time…=-)

Scott showing how you roll rigid...

Everyone took a few laps on Scott’s Jones Spaceframe.

I'm no Porcelain Rocket...

The Jones is a very fun bike that likes to roll over obstacles and loft its front wheel on command.

Whoa Nellie!

Scott’s got it geared 25T x 36T which seems awfully tall for us weaker folks, but he makes it fly and he rolls smoothly down even the roughest trails. We’re not sure how he does it, but it’s fun to watch!

Two thumbs up for another great ride...





Santa Cruz Nomad at Hartland…

22 03 2012

Met up with a fellow Santa Crux Nomad rider today...shared some MTB stoke...=-)





Return of the Shred…

22 03 2012

Scott gets the first drop in with his Jones...

After a bunch of riding down in Sedona AZ I was excited and also a bit apprehensive to return to the brooding winter trails on the South Shore of Vancouver Island’s rainforest.

The Jones Spaceframe looks right at home in the woods.

Sedona’s cheerful sunniness and endless traction had spoilt us.

Sharon takes the highroad...

I didn’t realize how much I missed our rocky, rooty, loamy trails until I went away and came back.

The lowdown...

They are challenging, but they are also beautiful.

So stoked to be home I'm glowing...

Best of all we have so many miles of trails and so few local riders it’s like a private playground.

Note the 4" & 5" rubber most of our bikes sport for traction...

Scott brought his Jones Spaceframe for its first dirt ride. It’s a super sweet bike and we are all keen to see how it performs on our trails.

Sharon carves it up...

Sharon stuck to her trusty Santa Cruz Nomad all mountain rig with skinny 2.35″ tires, but 6″+ of suspension travel at both ends to smooth out the bumps and keep the wheels glued to the trail.

Fat green machine...

I threw a leg over my Surly Pugsley that I Jones-fied as an experimental¬†comparison¬†with Scott’s Jones Spaceframe.

Sharon lost in the green zone...

The fact we can all ride well and have fun on such different machines is testament to the great mountain bikes that are available to riders these days. They are different for sure, but the bottom line is they can all get you around your local trails with a smile on your face.

Torture testing the Spaceframe...

The important thing is to get out there and ride your bike. The rest is just details!

Green with Envy?

I was really happy with how the Pugsley performed with knobby Surly Nate 3.7″ tires and moving my riding position a couple inches to the rear. The result is a fun playful bike that can climb slick terrain and isn’t afraid of the steeps.

I do miss Sedona's red rocks though...

It’s quite a contrast after riding a SC Nomad day after day in Sedona!

There is a reason this is called a rainforest!

There were some juicy sections of trail to remind us we were riding in costal BC.

Sharon chillaxing in the MTB skills park...

After the ride we goofed around in the Hartland MTB skills park.

Scott throwing the Jones around...

Scott impressed us with his stunt riding on the Jones.

Lean Mean Speed Machine...

I tried to operate the new DSLR reasonably well, but all the controls and options are pretty daunting I must say!

My Surly Pugsley...dirty, but happy...=-)





Stole One!

12 02 2012

Alone in the woods...

The forecast was for several days of rain including the weekend. I missed out on a window of opportunity Friday while I worked just to have it start to rain as I was loading up my bike for a ride.

Gorgeous trails in the forest...

So when I woke up Saturday to dry skies I decided I better get outside and steal a ride on what was supposed to be a rain day.

Taking the wide road...

Not sure why, but getting a ride in on a day that you assumed would be a write off is so amazingly sweet…=-)

A quick rinse in the creek...

Interestingly lines I couldn’t clean with my Nomad’s 6″+ of FS I could handle on the 29er, but at the same time other sections that the Nomad gobbled up without pause challenged me with so much less squish. That’s why you have XC bikes and All Mountain bikes!

Rolling the big 29er hoops...

Riding different bikes back to back on the same trails is so much fun and makes you appreciate the finer points of each design.

Things were a tad juicy...

One place the IGH 29er hardtail definitely will win out is when things are wet and muddy the clean up and maintenance is soooooo much simpler.

A quick hose down and lube of the chain...





Dirt Girl…

6 02 2012

Sharon ready to roll...

Learning to MTB on Vancouver Island is like...

...learning to climb on K2 - crazy talk!!

Sharon has taken it all in stride and given it her best...

Playing on the slickrock...

Learning to trust that the bike will roll down safely...

Enjoying the singletrack...

A rock with a view...

Demonstrating a bigger a roll in...

Getting the front when up and on an obstacle is more than half the battle...

Going over bigger stuff...

Time to crush...

Approaching the next obstacle...

Classic BC trail conditions...

Heading out of Hartland...

Good to the last drop...

Back at the car...tired, but smiling!





It’s a dirty job…

4 02 2012

...but someone has to do it.

Weather was perfect...

I was alone so I had time to mess around...

...and session every techy nugget I could lay my tires on...

mountain biking isn't all about getting dirty though...

I took some time to savour the flavour of the forest...

Sure it was a lot of Work...

....but I had fun!

...not a bad way for the day to roll by.





Splish Splash at Hartland…

2 02 2012

I just can't slow down...=-)

Scott and I went to check out the condition of the Hartland MTB Park trails yesterday. We’ve been riding them all winter and they are definitely wetter than ever. Once they dry out this spring we should feel like super bikers with traction galore. I’m almost getting used to the constant sliding and¬†spinning¬†of tires.

Scott does a lot of waiting...

Scott has been riding his Hunter 29er rigid for the last couple months. He’s so fast compared to me that he’s going to start bringing magazines to read on our rides so he can pass the time more enjoyably while he waits for me.

This looked soooo epic from the top...really it did...=-)

It’s already staying light out far longer than in Dec. Another month and we’ll have to start our rides late if we want to do a night ride instead of being forced to use lights on just about every ride like in Dec. It’s also warm again and I am wearing the same clothes I mountain bike with in the summer.

Scott takes the high road over the water...

I had a near ride ending derailleur munch. When I stopped to investigate and saw my rear derailleur all bent and jammed up into the cassette I was pretty sure I was walking back to the car. However, to my¬†surprise¬†I was able to get it working again. It was making some unhappy noises so I’m not sure if I’m going to have to replace anything yet. Some daylight investigations of my Nomad’s drivetrain today are in order.

She's a dirty girl....

Back in Calgary this sight would have made me cry, but out on the Wet Coast it’s now just the sign of a fun ride. Better still the soil out here isn’t damaged by wet riding so you can have fun and the trails won’t get thrashed.

Electric Green Machine...





Night Mission…

7 12 2011

A few changes to the Nomad...

Before our nocturnal assault on Hartland Mountain Bike Park last night I tweaked my Santa Cruz Nomad a bit.

I flipped the stem.

I’ve been wanting a better position for climbing so I flipped the stem to lower the bars a bit.¬†Surprisingly¬†I didn’t find the techy climbing any different, but I did really notice a difference on tight twisty¬†descents. I could plant the front wheel and carve turns more¬†aggressively. It was an excellent modification which I will keep. I think the solution for the techy climbing is twofold:

  1. I just have to attack things more aggressively and use the momentum generated to get me up the first part of the section plus work on my body position more so I maximize traction at the mid-point to generate the power to pop over the top
  2. at some point get an adjustable travel fork so I can drop it 2″ for techy problems and raise it back to a full 6″ of travel on a fast DH run
The cost of an adjustable travel Fox Talas 36 is prohibitive [over $1K] at the moment given that I’ve got a fully functional high end fork. So I’ll work on myself first and upgrade the gear at a later date.

Brooks B17 Narrow with cut out...

I tried a Brooks saddle on the Nomad [sold the Surly 1×1] so I didn’t need it over there. The saddle itself was plenty comfortable for MTBing, but I can’t get enough setback with the seatpost I am using so I’ll be fitting the Selle Anatomica back on it. I’m going to build up a hardtail MTB of some sort in 2012 and this saddle will find a home there most likely.

Scott on his custom Hunter 29er...

Scott has rigidified his custom Hunter 29er just to emphasize how weak and unskilled I am at MTBing…=-)

Sexy steel fork...

It’s crazy how fast and smooth Scott is on this beast.

Worth another look...

His Hunter fork was so pretty I nearly had my VISA card out and cellphone in hand to order up my own custom Hunter.

Der Rohloff!

He’s even got a lovely Rohloff on the back end of his rig.

Up up and away!

He’s a beast once he gets those big 29er wheel up to speed…=-)

Log ride...

In fact he’s so fast I have to fight back by setting his lights to low power so he can barely see where he is going.

Grand Pa dropping a gnarly 1' hump...

We ended up at Hartland since we’ve been to Partridge Hills something like 10 times in a row and needed a change of pace. For night riding Hartland has the advantage of being mapped and having reflective trail markers so we always had a reasonable idea of where we were. We hike a biked up to the top of a downhill run which made Scott happy and was pretty fun going the other way for me. I can’t believe how warm it is in the forest at night lately. I’ve been stripping off layers after the first 5 mins and end up riding in the same gear I would in the summer just with a long sleeve shirt in stead of a T-shirt. Awesome!

Scott racing for the car - luckily I had the keys!

Another great night ride in the bag!…=-) Thanks to Aaron for loaning Scott a set of lights and that’s to the folks that¬†designed¬†and built us a fun MTB park to play in.

BTW – I should once again say that my Dinotte lights rocked. They take a beating and keep on lighting a fun path down the trail…=-)





Tax Dollars at Work…

27 08 2011

Coming soon to a neighborhood near me...

The city is opening a MTB skills park about 5 blocks from me. That’s awesome! On days when I only have an hour to mess around and no time to get my dirt rig out to Hartland MTB Park this will give me a local option to get some useful skills time in the saddle…=-)





Getting Funky!

25 07 2011

Splish splash...

My apologies if posts about mountain biking at Hartland MTB Park are getting boring. I sympathize, but I gotta post about what I am actually doing and trail riding has been on the menu a lot lately. The more I ride at Hartland the better my BC-specific bike skills get and the more fun I have so I want to ride more. As you can imagine that has the potential to spiral out of control…=-)

Where are we?

The trail system at the park can be a little confusing and we usually get lost once per ride at least. Not a big deal as all roads lead to fun!

Goofy fat tire fun...

I just realized this ride my tires are quite worn and I need to start looking for a replacement set. I’ll probably just spoon a new pair of Kenda Nevegals on to my rims, but I may poke around a bit and see if anything else strikes my fancy. My Nomad has never run on anything other than Nevegals so they have served me well.

Kurt checking for damage after a big rock + bike impact...

The other problem I’m having with so much riding is that my pads are getting smelly like hockey gear…=-( BC is humid and even though I lay everything out to dry after a ride it has acquired some funkiness! I’m going to have to wash everything really well.

I just found out that the city is building a mountain bike skills park a few blocks from where I live so I’ll have some even easier riding options if I just want to work on some techy moves.

Beware of the forest animals!

I was riding along when what looked like a stripped bandicoot took a swipe at my leg….ouch!

Berry good snacks along the trail...

I think he was protecting his berry patch, but we ignored him and had a feast…=-)

Summer mountain bike camp...

We ran into a group of kids on a summer mountain bike camp. Looked like a fun time for all of them. Kurt gave them some words of wisdom – specifically how to climb gnarly rocks and the best colours to wear for a MTB photo shoot…=-)

Not so clean anymore...

When I put the new tires on I may even clean my chain and lube it. If I am feeling super motivated I may remove some of the dirt, but I’ll probably save that for another year or so!





It’s been a dirty summer…

21 07 2011

Hartland MTB Park is our second home...

I lamented not going mountain biking as much as I wanted to last year. Well I got my wish this summer. We’ve been out to Hartland as much as 3 times per week and I bet we’ll fit in a 4 session week before the year is through.

The trails are world class and the park is free – well not free, but it was constructed and is maintained from our tax dollars.

Cranking up the rocks...

You’ll notice that all these photos are tagged with the blog URL. I don’t plan on doing this to every photo posted, but I wanted to try it out and see how it looked so that when I do have some photos I want to tag I’ll have an idea what to do.

Aaron adding air...

Aaron was discussing the pros and cons of riding a hardtail mountain bike. One of the key things is getting the air pressure in your tires correct as the rear is needed for both traction and a bit of suspension.

Good times...

I do miss the longer less technical trails in Alberta. I miss the sunshine because we are almost always deep in the forest at Hartland. When it’s slick after a rain I’m a crash monkey here in the rain forest. Having said all that I now have amazing mountain biking 10 minutes from my door and can ride 11 months of the year. That’s pretty cool. I also suspect that after riding all the wet techy trails here when I go to Alberta or Moab to ride I’ll be a stronger rider so that will be nice.

BC provides free trailside snacks!

We took a few breaks to catch our breathe and eat berries. If we got lazy the mosquito hordes reminded us we were here to bike!

Resting while the mozzies began to attack...





Dirt Slugs~!

15 07 2011

Help - no brakes!....=-)~

I posted some damp mountain bike porn on my Bow Cycle Blog. If you are feeling dirty just click on the image above to jump there…=-)





Sunday at Hartland…

27 06 2011

Sharon ready to rumble...

A lovely sunny Sunday...

Hartland has gone all green with water and sunshine...

Sharon is getting more confident about riding dirt...

We love the bridges...

Sharon's a blurr...

We ran into only a handful of other bikers on a perfect riding day!

She's starting to try more daring lines...

Before leaving we messed around in the trials area...

Proof I was there as well!

 

Another great day at Hartland Mountain Bike Park!....=-)





Hartland MTB Park

30 05 2011

Kurt up close...

Another great session Sunday afternoon at Hartland Mountain Bike Park. It blows my mind that we have such awesome trails so close to my house [15min drive] and that we almost never have anyone on the same trail we are on. World class riding is one thing. World class riding you don’t have to share is another!…=-)

Cruising Hartland...

I had one of my best days at Hartland yet. I was getting into a good¬†rhythm¬†and¬†finding¬†a way to work my Santa Cruz Nomad over obstacles reasonably gracefully. I’m more at home in the wide open terrain of Utah, Arizona and Alberta – so the tight, narrow and dark forest riding here on Vancouver Island is taking some time to adapt to. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of a road trip to Moab & Sedona, but the riding here is stellar I just need to spend more time on my local trails.

Happy to be riding the lush trails of BC...

My office gets so hot by 3pm in the summer that it’s hard to work so I plan on keeping my MTB loaded in my truck for the trip out to Hartland. Riding in the shade of the forest will be an ideal way to deal with the heat and to hone my MTB skills. I’m only an average recreational MTB rider and I’m okay with that. I just want to be a good average¬†recreational¬†MTB rider!…=-)

Feeling at one with the bike...=-)

Kurt’s been volunteering for trail maintenance with the South Island Mountain Bike Society [SIMBS]. I need to get off my lazy ass and do something to contribute towards the trails that I am ripping.





MTBing Hartland…

7 07 2010

Kurt getting his wheelie on...

Kurt and I headed over to the Hartland Dump to checkout one of Victoria’s local trail systems.¬† The fact there is a landfill in the area isn’t obvious by the quality of the trails or the beauty of BC’s lush vegetation.

Kurt getting his bearings...

This bike park has an extensive and thankfully well marked trail system.  You can buy detailed maps at LBS as well as using a system of trail markers shown in one of my photos below.

Enjoying the different character of BC forest riding...

I was blown away by the fact we saw only two other groups of riders the whole time we were on the trails…keep in mind it was a holiday long weekend in Canada so that would typically be a heavy day for use of recreational facilities.

Kurt let's one of the few riders we encountered pass...

Hartland is only 12kms on quiet roads from my house so if I’m feeling motivated I could ride there and back…or I can have a leisurely drive of 15mins.¬† My closest high quality riding in Calgary was 90mins away so this totally rocks!

One of the handy trail markers found at all major intersections...

The riding here is a bit different than in Alberta…the vegetation is a lot more lush and we were riding in the trees most of the time.¬† The dirt holds more moisture making it tackier with less rock and more roots than in Alberta.

Enjoying some Fresh Air!

We found two stunt parks at Hartland…one for beginners and this expert level one.

What goes down must go up...to get back to your car...=-)

One issue I’ve got to deal with is learning to take better low light photos. Based on my riding so far it seems pretty clear I’ll be shooting in about half the light I would typically in Alberta so new techniques are in order.

Maybe the car is this way?

Since mountain biking in Victoria is a year round activity I should get lots of opportunity to get my photography sorted and wear out some bike parts…=-)

Kurt looking glad he moved to Victoria...=-)