29 July 2010

And now, for something a little different...


One of the things I wanted in my helmet cam was the ability to take pictures on the fly. It never had that ability until I updated the firmware a couple weeks ago. Now I can set it to take a picture every three seconds. Well, it gave me a little different perspective of what I went through. There was no guided ride last night, but me and a few guys went out anyways. Now, I'm no guide, but apparently was the only one who knew the trails well enough to actually lead a group out there. We didn't get lost and there were only a few seconds where I didn't know where we were going.

It looked like a great night for riding earlier in the day. It was 27 degrees and sunny until I got past Bragg Creek, where I encountered some seriously wet roads, and even some remnants of hail in some of the lowlands. When we did get out on the trails, I took us on the nearly exact ride we had gone on last week. Now, 3/4 of us had been on these trails or tougher ones before, but one of us hadn't ridden things this tough before. He kept up quite well, and after a little time he got his groove on pretty well. The first hour of riding was pretty slow going since the trails were quite slippery, and the roots seemed pretty exposed even compared to last week.


There were quite a lot of scenic captures from my camera. It was a great night to ride. After we were done riding, Mike commented that he really liked the trails we went on because on a (skill level) scale from one to ten, he figured this ride was a 9 3/4 for him. It got me thinking, at what number on the skill level scale do we receive the most enjoyment? Obviously 1-5 are pretty boring since we can easily accomplish those tasks, 5-8 probably brings the most enjoyment, and 8-10 can be pretty grueling. I'm not sure where I receive the most enjoyment. Those trails were difficult in some spots, but generally, I could have ridden tougher trails, but I don't know where to find them, nor the "enjoyment" that I should be receiving from riding.

Don't get me wrong, I really love being out in the woods trail riding, but I am missing something. Let me tell you a little backstory. When I was young I was quite emotional. I remember crying in grade 5 or 6 because I got accepted into a "gifted students" club at school. I also cried when people made fun of me and when things didn't go my way. It was somewhere around that time that I consciously decided that I had to remove emotions from my life. Well, I did. If you have met me personally, I'd suspect that you'd think I was boring. I don't laugh, chuckle, smile, get angry, or especially...cry. I have found great success in my life by removing this emotion from my existence, but alas, this also causes me not to be happy.

I really am hoping that I can get some kind of perspective when I go out riding. A time to contemplate, a time to grow, a time to fall and get frustrated and maybe even break down. It's great to have these guided rides where I get a chance to meet other people and perhaps let them see a new persona from me, not the Mr. Spock that I am always living, but maybe more of a Captain Kirk? Well, it's a stretch, I'm a nerd trapped in a relatively athletic body, so I'm not sure what persona I should actually be.

Well, that's the weighty part of the post, here's the fluff. Here's a bunch of pics from my camera. Thanks to Mike, Clamacious, and Marcel for the good ride. I think I did have fun, for now I guess I'll continue to be content...

22 July 2010

Here are some new videos!

Last night was still a great ride. I'm pretty sore today, or more accurately, mostly just wiped out. I made a movie for the ride leader since I saw him take a few spills. I thought maybe this would lift his spirits...



A few weeks ago I was accused of attacking some trees. This was not the case, the trees actually attacked me. The trees are amassing a secret attack plan to destroy all my credibility by making it look like I have it out for them. Well it's not going to work, I've been collecting evidence...



While riding I found a little trick to get over logs that are too slippery to get the back tire over. All you have to do is get the front tire over and get your rear tire near the log. Tip the bike over, the rear tire shifts to the side and lifts itself over the log. Joy!!



I have lots of video, I hope I can come up with something interesting to entertain you with next week.

21 July 2010

Great ride tonight!

Wow! Sometimes I think that my life is tough, sometimes i think my
life doesn't have perks. Let me tell you, I've got it all! As some of
you know my wife kind of bullied me into buying a bike. Sensible Joe
wouldn't let himself waste that kind fo money on a superfluous item
like a motorbike, but sensible Joe was kind of run over. I got a bike,
I love riding it and I love my wife for strongly encouraging me to get
it.

Tonight was a great ride. The temperature was nice, there were a lot
of friendly faces, and a lot of trees in my way! It has been raining
so much this year that the trails have taken a bit of a hit. Tonight I
rode some of the exact trails I had ridden two weeks ago, but they
were not the same trails. The ruts were deeper, the roots more
exposed, and the hills got steeper. Wait did I really say that? The
hills never got steeper, but they did seem to claim a few more
casualties along the way. There were a plethora of crashes on the
intro-intermediate ride. Even the leader and the sweep went down, and
I have video to prove it.

I had a couple of my best crashes tonight. One endo, a few line drives
into trees, and of course, botched log crossings. I think I invented a
new trick for going over logs that you get stuck straddling. I have it
on video I think, so I'll definitely put it on vimeo as it's own
short. I will be sore tomorrow, but its not that I'm complaining, I
think the degree of soreness is a good indicator of how good the ride
was.

I took a 4GB SD card with me tonight so I have a whack of video to
comb through and edit. I will try to get some good stuff up ASAP, but
I think I'll have to do some editing. I've got nearly 3 hours of
video, and at least 5 minutes of crashes... I'll update when I have
some uploaded.

14 July 2010

Last week I had about 35 minutes of footage recorded, but only had 500MB of space on Vimeo, so I had to delay this video a week. That's ok though, since I'm not going out riding this week, I have an update for my hoards of fans out there. (joking, only 35 people visited the blog this last week)

I love going out and doing singletrack riding. It was the best part of mountain biking, but since I can't ride mountain bikes anymore, I am happy to say I have returned to my love. In this video I am starting to get a little loosened up and a little tired as well. You will clearly see that my handlebars are more floppy. I'm not sure if that's because I'm relaxed or bagged...



I hope that next week I can go out again and find some more gnarly trails to show off, but if the monsoon season doesn't end soon, I won't be able to get out. I tell you this has to be the wettest spring/early summer in a long time. In a couple weeks I am going to the inlaws for a visit, they have a boat, and I have a wakeskate. Is there anyone interested in seeing some first person footage of that? Leave a comment, you don't have to log in or anything.

08 July 2010

Last night's ride was simply delicious! The weather was just about perfect, my bike was in tip-top condition and I was ready to haul! The last time I took my bike out, I had nearly run the tank dry so I had to fill up immediately after leaving home. Normally I seem to get about 160km on a tank, so I thought I should be able to run all the way out to McLean Creek, and back with some off roading in between.

If you read last week, you know that I was a little disappointed in the intensity of the beginner's ride, so this week I was planning on taking the intro-intermediate guide. Well, only about 12 people showed up, so it was to be a fast group and a slow group. I chose fast...




I kind of thought this quad trail ride was a shakedown to see if we could really handle the more technical single track that the guide was planning on running. Well, it was good and fast. I figure for some of it we were in the neighborhood of 50km/h on quad trails. It was a great warm up!

Things started to get a little more technical from here, and I was about to be challenged. My tires are good for traction on the center, but I wasn't sure how they would be on the edges since I nearly lowsided on the street on the way out. Those knobbies are kind of bendy when you get on them. Well, in the next section, I was on some cross hills and just lost control. No reason really, it just kind of happened. That threw me off my game and I ended up wiping out a few times in the next clip.



No damage was taken on me nor the bike, so let's get out and do some nice hills on the way up to the ridge. I really like this next section of hill, since it's tight, but still relatively quick moving. Another rider gave me a little surprise on a hill climb. See if you can see what I mean.



Unfortunately, I ran out of space on my vimeo account this week, so that's all the video I have. Plus I only got 35 minutes of footage anyways since I ran out of space on my SD card! AARGH! Someday I'll get this helmet cam right, I had plenty of battery power, but not enough space!

After all was said and done, we put about 25 km on in the woods, climbed about 400m and came back down. I saw a lot of cliff faces, and some pretty serious hill climbs that I only moderately succeeded on. I'm so glad i took the more advanced ride. It was a lot of work, but it was so fun. I haven't ridden technical trails like that since I quit mountain biking. I really missed that feeling of being one with the bike, and just trying to survive the next set of roots or rocks. There was one section where the rocks were shaped like smashed up bricks and nearly the same size. That was a huge challenge to ride, but so rewarding. I can tell you one thing, I am sore today.

Remember at the beginning of this post when I said I hoped to have enough fuel to do the run? Well, I hit reserve about 50km from home and ran the gauntlet. I have no clue how much fuel is in my tank today, but I'm glad I didn't have to lug around that extra 10 or so pounds of fuel on the trails.

05 July 2010

Wednesday is looking good!

Over the past few weeks I've learned a few lessons. The videos I've taken haven't worked out great, I've missed some of the best stuff of the night, and cheap batteries just don't cut it. The beginner rides are just too easy, and I can't get enough riding. Wednesday will be different! I'm buying some lithium batteries, pressing record once, and editing out the boring part later. My bike is muddy already, and I intend it to be much muddier (if that's a word). I look forward to sharing my footage.