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.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.