I've got to say that even though I love the trails at Turkey Point, and the fact that its a 10 min drive from home, its nice to change it up and ride something different. This was my first spin at The Pines so far in 2016. I've joined the Woodstock Cycling Club for the second year in a row and am enjoying the access to this small but wonderful riding area. The trails here are well loved and it shows, each berm being carefully crafted and each section well thought out. The black trail sections are a real challenge too, Doug's Delirium and Bloody Lung are quite the full body work out but I'm proud to say that I cleared them with ease on my first Pines ride this year. This 650b+ bike just eats the gnarly roots and steep pitches that make up these two trails. I also swapped out the Norco torture rack in favour of a Specialized Phenom saddle (after raving about the Power saddle) which is working wonderfully one ride in.
I noticed alot of orange ribbon in the bush too. Looks like the WCC will be undertaking a nice trail expansion project. Hopefully the flow and rolling terrain of the original trails will remain intact.
While riding trails like Bloody Lung, Broken Shoulder, and This Trail Sucks, I often wonder how these trail are named. Did some poor sap break his shoulder? Cough up blood? Either way, I hope I keep myself intact.
Its going to be another good year for riding and I've promised myself that I will start doing more rides away from home in places that I use to frequent before time became scarce with family commitments. I won't be back to road tripping every weekend (probably never will be, those were the young and commitment-free days) but places near home like The Pines will surely keep my fire alive when things at TP get a little ennui feeling. I'm going to make a "2016 Bucket List", thinking that I need to hit some places like Hydrocut, Kelso, Puslinch, Hardwood, Copeland, 3 Stages........ I could go on. I also want to do more group rides with both TPMBC and WCC as 99% of my riding the last few years has been solo. It will be nice to make some new riding friends and create more good times with old ones.
The last day of November and I had some time to shoot out to The Pines for a couple of hours. I took the parts bin 29er out again, for shits and giggles and all, and rode a Green loop to warm up, followed by the Red loop with all the Black options.
Trails were a little slick where the sun was melting the frost. Most of the stuff in the shade was still frozen and easily rideable. The slick spots were very greasy, reminded me that tire selection is key on a non-fat bike. The Rocket Ron I had on the back is not a friendly mud tire thats for sure but my selection of 29er tires is limited to whats on this bike. I predict that with the temps in the plus digits this week things will get even greasier.
It didn't take much to go beyond the limits of traction with the crap-tastic tire on the back. Its great in dry conditions but sucks ass in the mud, maybe I should toss some decent rubber on this bike if I'm going to keep riding it as much as I have been, but then the list just keeps going on...... drivetrain, brakes, fork, yadda yadda. I wouldn't mind building up a sweet steel singletrack slaying machine tough...... hmmmmm.
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.
Thought I'd beat the forecasted morning rain by heading out early to The Pines. As I was gearing up at the trailhead I realized that I had forgotten my gloves, a bit of a bad omen as to what lies ahead. I hate riding without gloves, my hands get beat all the hell and torn up every time I do it. Today would be no exception.
Trails were a bit tacky but no real mud anywhere, everything started out well enough. I was riding the Red loop with all the Black options, doing quite well I might add. The rain started, it was gentle enough so I carried on into Doug's Delirium. By time I was nearing the end of Cardiac Hill the rain was getting a bit harder but I didn't have much left to ride now anyways. I took the Black option into Bloody Lung. I was riding hard, nearing the top of one of the many root infested climbs in this section when my rear tire slipped ever so gently then came to a full hook up in the granny gear. A loud pop and crunching and I was off the bike. A quick spin of the back wheel showed that the freehub had blown up and was now locked. Great, a fixed gear MTB for the rest of the ride. I decided to call it and walked out to the nearest Red trail section. I was able to ride along the remaining Red Trail (This Trail Sucks, thats really the name) as long as I didn't stop pedalling.
Nearing the parking lot I rode over a rock garden at the exit that I always do and stopped pedalling to let the cranks clear the rocks. More popping and banging. Now my bike would not more forward at all. The freehub internals had disintegrated and I could spin freely in both directions. Good thing I was at the parking lot. I tossed the bike in the truck and left, knowing that I've got some hub servicing to do. Fucking Shimano freehub bodies.
Had a nice midweek ride at The Pines in Woodstock last week (been too busy to update the blog). Glad I bought a membership to the Woodstock Cycling Club this year, its a great trail to break up my usual TP riding and its less than an hour away. Lots of rooty challenging trails too if you venture into Doug's Delirium and Bloody Lung. And, as always, 354 gives huge shit eating grins while railing the beauty berms. Looks like the TP trail sign vandal has been out here too, marking his little pine trees on the signs. I still want to cut his hands off.
Watch for a trail review of The Pines soon.
Made the trip up to The Pines for the first time this year for the WCC Open House and Demo Day. Lots of bike for test riding available from Giant, Specialized, Norco, Kona, and a spread of bikes from the guys at Outspokin Cycles and Pedal Power.
Two bikes that really caught my eye were the Specialized Fatboy and the new Specialized Fuse 650b+ bike. I took the Fatboy out for a ride lap of the Red/Green trail and was impressed. This is a fatbike that rides more like a 29er, nice and fast. Makes my Nash feel like an overloaded lumber wagon. Very light weight too, could be a 4 season bike easily. This will be a bike on my radar in the future. Specialized rep says they are coming out with even more model of the Fatboy next year. The new Fuse 650b+ (27.5x3" tires) looked awesome but was not available for test rides, more of a "for your eyes only" kind of showing. Looks promising.
I also spent some time at the Outspokin Cycles display and convinced the owner Russ to let me take his full suspension Salsa Bucksaw fat bike for a quick spin. Wow! Unreal ride, it just eats everything you can point it at. I was rolling over rock gardens with ease and catching air on several occasions. Super light weight too, it was lighter than my 29er skinny bike. Heck, its even lighter than my CX bike.
All in all it was a great day. I managed to get in 2 laps of the Red loop, with a handful of black trails thrown in. I also did a number of green laps on the demo bikes. A good time. I even got to catch up with a few people I have not seen in years while out there. Thanks for the great time WCC!
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.