After a few hours of toughing out cottage traffic the family and I arrived at the cottage of my wife's cousins. We had made the plans earlier in the year to have a weekend on the lake visiting her extended family and there was no way I was going to leave my bike at home with all the great riding I could do up there. Saturday was a nice day at the lake followed by a Turkey dinner, but Sunday morning was my chance to sneak out for a few hours.
I was out the door and running immediately after breakfast. I had my sights set on getting out to Buckwallow (which was only 10 minutes from the cottage) as I had not been there in over five years. I pulled into the parking lot and was immediately greeted by the owner Mike, who was genuinely interested in talking about trail conditions and what my plans to ride were. In no other pay-to-play trail system have I ever been met by the owner and had a quick chat, maybe its the Muskoka-Friendly attitude or that life moves a little slower up there.
After paying my $10 fee I set out to battle the rocks of the Canadian Shield. I had forgotten over those five years just how tough and technical these trails are. I had to quickly adjust to the unfamiliar terrain or suffer greatly.
I'm not going to lie, the terrain here is steep and brutal at times. I was glad I had the extra traction of the full on fatbike with me but still had the occasional loud howl of my four inch wide tires sliding across the rocks when I would grab a little too much rear brake. All the rocks also made for plenty of opportunities to tear my big tires to shreds, although I did make it out with just a little bit of sidewall rash on the rear tire. These 3 year old Floater tires are darn reliable.
I got deeper into the trails and onto old Buckwallow classics like West 'D' Nile and The Missing Link. These sections are an odd mixture of pleasure and pain. I have to come clean too, I did have a few hiccups and colourful language while out there. I also had to be careful not to go down too hard, as the saying goes about "an unstoppable force meets an immovable object", I'm sure I would have had broken bones if I pushed too hard.
After a few hours of beating myself and my bike senseless, it was time to call it in. I had ridden everything that Buckwallow had to offer, then some sections over again for added self-induced trauma. I headed back to the cottage and enjoyed lunch, then sat on a comfy chair on the dock and relaxed the afternoon away while watching the family enjoy the boats and water skis. It will likely be another five years before I ride Buckwallow again but it will be well worth the wait.
Its been a while since I had a good rant so here goes.
What the fuck is up with assholes who cut the trail? The more popular the trails at Turkey Point get, the more cheater lines pop up everywhere. I understand the need for easy and hard routes in some sections but the blatant corner cutting of some people is just sickening. I'm not sure if its stupidity or the Stravasshole effect, but its getting downright maddening.
Take this corner on "The Burn" for example. This is near the north end of the trail just before it reaches Moosehead Junction. This end of the trail is known for being quite rooty and slower than the rest of the trail. Take a look at the photo evidence below looking at the corner from the entrance and the exit.
As you can see the original corner is already big enough to drive a straight truck through, then some assholes decided it was a great idea to cut that corner with a shitty little cheater line. I suspect this is the work of some Strava-addicted asshole who needs that precious half second to score his PR or KOM or whatever the fuck gets Stravassholes hard. What the dickhead in question does not realize is that now everyone is saving that half second on the cut corner and hes going to loose his bragging rights in their virtual race and won't receive as many "props" or what-the-fuck-have-you that those guys (virtually) stroke eachother off with.
If mountain biking was all about going fast maybe we should just pave a road through the woods and be done, but its not. Its about putting in the grunt work for the fast and flowing payoff, pushing yourself to the limit on both the fast sections and the slow grinding ones, earning your turns. If you can't ride a tough section or feel that it slows you down too much, work on your bike handling skills. Don't alter the trail to suit your own shortcomings, work that shit out on your end and become a better rider.
I've seen lots of this shit over the years, and some really awesome trail features removed because someone took it upon themselves to remove something they couldn't ride. I say fuck those people. If cutting corners is your thing then maybe you should take up sewing.
I did stick around after taking these photos and fix the corner in question, after all I am a man of action, not just some jerk with a keyboard.
In conclusion: Don't Fuck With The Trail!
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.