Sunday, September 2, 2012
Late August Rides - 1 of 2
Mecca...err, I mean Whistler. The counter weight that keeps modern mountain biking from falling into the death spiral that is the sterile atmosphere, sky high saddles and tubular tires of the UCI world of road racing, off road.
Even the itty bitty trails around Lost Lake rule. A quick lap from Riverside Campground to the Passiv Haus and back delivers a full plate of rocky, technical, rooty and super physical fun. It's no wonder so many strong riders and racers come out of this region - even the sucky little trails here rule.
Yummy Numby. Dr Meyers and I attempted the Yummy Numby version of Comfortably Numb last year, and somehow ended up riding pretty much the entire Comfortably Numb route in REVERSE. This trail is a punisher and when ridden backwards as the Dr and I did in 2011 it's even more demoralizing. I came back for redemption and a proper loop of CN via Yummy Numby. I nailed it. A great loop outta Blackomb that provides a short cut climb into the heart of Comfortably Numb so it is "mostly" downhill on the second half of the loop.
Four signs that you are on an "XC" trail in The Whistler Valley:
1) That lowest setting on your adjustable seat post that you never get down to on your local "AM" trails is suddenly not low enough.
2) The risk of going over the bars on the climb up is as great as it is on the descent.
3) You've been climbing on trail for what feels like forever and you have yet to actually sit on your saddle.
4) After completing a Whistler "XC" ride your upper body feels more worked than your legs.
Whistler Bike Park. I rode the lifts. First time I've ridden the lifts at Whistler in 5 years. The valley trails are so much fun and such a good work out that I have not felt the need to get on the lifts. This trip I wanted to pile on some vert on my trail bike, downhill. As a guy named Jim on another lift at another bike park later in the trip described it "the Whistler Bike Park, where everyone is a hero." The folks who built the Whistler bike park have done such a great job on their trails that it is a predictable and relatively safe way to get up to speed. The character of the individual trails are so consistent and without surprise that within the first couple hundred yards of a given trail you can pretty much gauge the speed you can carry for the rest of the run - without getting surprised or barreling into something unexpected. My favorite run of the day was Original Sin to No Joke to Duff Man to Golden Triangle to A Line. The park was pretty blown out being the post-Crankworx weekend, but I didn't mind. I wanted a gravity assisted work out, and that's what I got. Whistler provides and abides.
Methow Time. With a limited amount of time to ride while we were in the Methow Valley it was recommended that I try the new Rendezvous Basin loop outside Mazama. Rendezvous Basin is a prime XC skiing destination in the winter with XC ski trails and a couple nice huts. Recently, a single track mtb trail was built and is now providing summer trail access to the area. On a scale of 1 to 10 the trail was a "meh", and the views were a "wow". Look out for cows as this is an open range area, and I did encounter a small heard that did not want to observe proper trail etiquette by yielding the trail to me (I'm telling IMBA) so I chose to hike-a-bike around them vs get stomped which is what the big males looked like they wanted to do me. I finished the 11 mile singletrack loop with a spin down the valley to the Twisp pool and a Mexican Pepsi.