May 30, 2011

Ridin' and Paddlin': Campbell River, Deep Cove, Pemberton!

7 of us risked the ferry line ups and the potential of rainier/cooler weather for the long weekend and headed over to Campbell River/Quadra Island for the weekend. Now, we have biked a ton on the island but always on Cumberland trails (which are fabulous). Andrew and I were into heading to a new place and although I've passed through Campbell River a number of times I've never actually stopped and checked it out...

We stayed at the Elk Falls Campgroud about 2km from the center of town and about 3km from the ferry to Quadra Island. Saturday morning/afternoon we biked right from camp and headed up the Dean Martin trail towards the Snowden Mtn trails. We had some minor navigational oopsies but made it to the trail head of aligator and then all the way to the other end of the park to cheschire cat and back through lower deliverance and back the correct way down dean martin and elk falls... It turned out to be a great fast and flowy 5.5 hour ride.

The next day we explored Quadra Island on bikes. We were all newbies on this island and just kind of took a shot at some trails. We managed to find ourselves on a little bit of an epic hike a bike hiking trail... all fun and adventurous though we all came out with big smiles on our faces and really hungry. Nonetheless, after the grueling hike a bike we found a great little restaurant on the ocean had some lunch and proceeded to rebecca's spit where we threw rocks, lounged and enjoyed the afternoon!

Our final day in Campbell River we drove to the parking lot at the Snowden trails and rode from there. We rode Vlad's trail, Tax trail and three pigs.. All super fun trails with the right amount of technical excitement.

All in all some really fun trails over in Campbell river and really different than what we have here on the shore. It was a good warm up for the next weekend where Andrew and I will be racing the Nimby Fifty mountain bike race.

This past Tuesday was good fun. We had flat waters, a longer course and some fast folks out. We paddled hard and felt sore at the end... my kind of race.... I paddled the Starboard New and rocked it on the flat waters of that evening. It was a tough battle between Mike D and I.. he is strong and fast and someone to watch out for in the SUP scene!

This is one tough race, it is long, it is technical and there is a crap load of climbing on switchback singletrack!
The weaher turned out perfect with a little rain the days before to dampen the sandy trails and a slight overcast to keep things from steaming up too much on race day. I always get a little stressed at the start of mountain bike races as I feel the pressure of singletrack riding and the need and want to pass and be passed fairly taxing and difficult.
So, I decided to start further back in the pack but kind of forgot that it was a road sprint leading to a long logging road climb into a short single track descent to more logging road climbing and then the lengthy singletrack ascent... I placed myself a little off especially due to a chain mishap right before the beginning of the long climb and found myself stuck in the wrong place for awhile.... it was a little frustrating as usually I climb hard to make up for my slower downhill but you know i am getting WAYYYY stronger on the descents and loving them all the more for it! WOot woot... On the switchback climb I felt stuck... I am not confident in my mtn bike racing skills to just say "excuse me I need to pass" so I just let it be until a good opportunity arose.. I felt this slow ascent slowed me down but at least when we reached the top I passed some people and the right people passed me and I got to ride one of the most exhilareting trails "overnight senstion" on my own with no stress and LOVED IT and rode it all! woohoo! I was pretty pumped from that which kept me fueled for the next grueling section of the course. This figure eight loop thing with tons of hike a bike (at least for the likes of me)... but again was pretty pumped to ride all of meat grinder etc trails no problems.. I even got a "nice line" from two guys I passed on the "DOWNHILL"... haha but alas my luck or skill would run out on the last huge steep rock slab.. I freaked mid way hit the brakes supermaned over my handle bars and watched my bike bounce handle bars over seat a couple of times on the rock and into the bush.. when I finally picked myself up and grabbed my bike it was twisted and something was dangling which shouldnt have been dangling.. my heart sank... but a nice man behind helped me out quickly and told me it was just my front gear switch and could ride but without switching gears... hooray I didn't have to run the last part! I got myself together and managed to finish off the last bit of trail on bike and then laughed at myself while pedalling on the road totally spinning out in my little gear... FRUSTRATING... haha.. In the end I beat my time from last year and it was a longer course.. I AM IMPROVING... and really thats all that counts in a race like that for me..

WICKED race! Totally recommend it if your into that kind of thing... 5 of us eventually headed back to Nairn Falls, enjoyed the falls, a campfire and general good camping fun times.

The following day Andrew, Ned and I headed back to Pemby trails and hit up a really new trail called Rusty Trombone... not even on the map yet! FUN,.. its tough with steep rock slabs and loose sand and some super steep sections..all good but I think ridin nimby up is wayyy better than the road... just a helpful hint!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

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