Had a nice leisurely ride at TP Sunday morning. Trails are in great shape and riding fast. I ventured through the park trails and out Earshot to Big Mike / Rum Runner / East Ridge to the West Side for a loop. Ran into another rider who warned that the MNR rent-a-cops were out and giving tickets if you happened to ride off trail. I didn't get the pleasure of running into them though as I kept it to the legal trails.
Stopped for a little morning sunshine siesta at the West Side trailhead, which is located at Long Point Eco Adventures.
The signs are becoming more obvious now that summer is winding down, as much as I don't want to admit it. Days are getting shorter and nights are cooler, bugs are dying off. Fall is one of the best times to ride so I don't mind, but I do dread the thought of another hard winter like the last two we had. Oh well. Life in Canada and just another great ride at TP, as usual.
It was a long awaited weekend away from home. I had planned on it for quite some time as Mrs. Bric and the kids were going overnight to a friends place. I had set my sights on riding Copeland Forest just north of Barrie. I've heard all kinds of things about how great the riding is up there and how its a bit of a hidden gem of singletrack. I set out after a busy day at work on Friday afternoon to be greeted by the stop and go bumper to bumper traffic all the way from Oakville to Innisfil. After several hours on the road I finally made it to Bass Lake Provincial Park where I would camp the night before riding in the morning.
I quickly made camp and hit the park showers. Feeling refreshed, I lit the camp fire and started some dinner. My gourmet spread of Kraft Dinner and camp fire hot dogs hit the spot. While sitting and eating I noticed that the tent I had brought (the same tent I used for similar road trips in my younger days, it has to be 12 years old or so) was looking a little worn. This might be the last trip around the sun for it. Guess I need to watch for another dome tent on sale at Crappy soon. The old made-in-Hungary air bed I brought was still going strong though. 30 years old butyl rubber never looked so good, the smell was something else though.
The sun was setting and the stress of traffic on the 400 was fading. I laid back in my chair and watched the camp fire and stars. Seems like it has been forever since I've been out camping and biking like this. I think the last trip I took was with my cousin back in 2007. The two of us rode most of Ontario together and did numerous bike trips together.
I woke up later than I usually do when camping, around 7am. I boiled some water and ate my freeze dried eggs and bacon with some fresh toast. It was OK. I packed camp up and headed out to The Cope'. I arrived around quarter after nine and set out into the woods. I didn't really know where I was going so I just began hitting whatever singletrack I came across. It didn't take long to get a bit lost.
To my luck I met up with a group of over a dozen local riders. After a brief talk with Bob, and a quick introduction to the group, I was on my way with them leading me to all the best that Copeland has to offer. Some of the group who had been riding out there for over a decade said they can still get a little bit turned around out there. Good thing I met up with them.
It seemed like we climbed for hours, each turn just kept going up and up. The last climb to "mile high" was a doozy, 8 switchbacks and as steep as it gets. To top it off, I was stung by a yellow jacket while making the climb. Once at the top the group stopped for a breather, I got lots of questions about the fat bike from the curious crowd and assured them that the bike wasn't holding me back.
We then set out for the longest downhill trail I've ever ridden, it seemed to go forever but in reality was likely only a few minutes. I shredded the section cleanly on the fat bike but the rigid fork took a toll on my arms. A Bluto would have been nice today.
The group made their way back to the trailhead and made me a standing invitation to ride with them again whenever I found myself in the area on a Saturday morning at 9 am. It was a great ride and I'd like to get back there one day. I was grinning from the experience all the way back home that evening. Copeland Forest is absolutely a hidden gem of singletrack that you need to experience if you have never been there before. Tell Bob that The Bric sent ya.
Nice early ride at TP, it was very foggy for the first part of my ride before clearing up and getting pretty hot. Ride was good until it was cut short due to falling ill. Not much more to say.....
Slipped out before the crack of dawn and hit the road headed towards Woodstock. Arrived at The Pines just as day had broken. Rode a loop of the red route with all the Black options. The Fatboy just swallowed up all the nasty roots and climbs on Doug's and Bloody Lung, traction from the Ground Control tires is awesome.
I decided to ditch the hydration pack for a lap of the Green trail. It was very liberating. I need to take a good look at all the junk I carry and go back to bottles and cages. The Specialized SWAT kit looks good but is very expensive for what you get ($25 for each plastic bottle cage? No fucking thanks). I'll see what I've got floating around at the bottom of my parts bin for seat bags, or maybe toss on the Jandd bag? We will see.
It was a good ride. The Fatboy just keeps on impressing me.
May your rides be long and your tires fat.
My Norco cross bike had a flat tire. After swapping tubes I realized that I bought a bad batch. Damn. I had no more tubes, a flat, and Little Bric was itching to go to Port Dover. I said to hell with it and hooked the trailer up to the fat bike and pumped the tires up a bit from trail pressures.
We set out through the Friendship Festival happening in town, go lots of stares and pointing at the size of my rubber. I guess this bike is built to impress.
Huge tires and rolling resistance aside, the Nashbar is a pretty comfortable rail trail rider. The upright position (compared to the Norco) and the big tires mean cruising comfort.
Once in Dover we rode to the pier and took a break, then set out and rode along the beach for a distance before cutting through town and back to Simcoe via the Lynn Valley Trail.
It was a fun ride, the fat bike hauling a 50lbs dead weight is one hell of a workout though. Maybe I'll get myself a few tubes for the Norco before the next ride out, on the other hand though I might have schwarzenegger-esque calves if I keep using the fat bike for this ride.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.