May Long Weekend. Ahhhh, the bike season is in full swing. I loaded up my Rocky Flatline, girlfriend Sarah, and my baby girl Jessamy into my truck (not necessarily in that order) and drove from North Van to Westbank, BC…home of Johnny Smoke and Barb Haley. They have an annual riding sess every year…hence the ‘annual’. ha ha Sarah had ridden there before and talked me into going in 08…it rocked! This time there were 30 people in the house, camping in the expansive back yard, wallowing in the hottub, lounging around the fire pit or tinkering with their steeds in the assorted bike stands when we arrived. Bike nerds all. I felt right at home.
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Anyone not familar with Smoke should know he is old school mtb history and passion personified.A Deep Cove mechanic from the day, early Kranked movie star and prez of Bush Pilot Tours. Very opininated and intelligent he tells it like it is with a wry smile and usually dripping with sarcasm. I love the guy. He has forgotten more trails than most people know and is a wicked rider. He would be our host with the most and guide.
We started off with Powers creek. 2500 vertical foot trails that roll right down the the house. Wicked corners, medium size woodwork of step ups and downs, drops, wall rides, and lotsa singletrack. Fast and Flowy this place is the bomb. We rode trails 2.5 and Builders which are total downhills. (I luckily missed the xc style dh’s earlier! Whew!)
At the bottom we came across a road gap thingy called Shenanigans. It was 14-15 feet up and about 23-25 feet long to the tranny. Luckily, a physiotherapist from WA and North Shore Colin hit it and I got a good speed check to guage how fast to hit it because after you landed the sniper landing zone between the trees you went into a g-out compression and spat uphill. I gave ‘er a go and promptly landed with my back wheel just tagging the top of the tranny. Hmmmm, too slow. Not a case but enough to get a bit of ‘huck neck’, a bent seat and a huge bruise on my inner thighs. “Ohhhhhh pumpkin” I said to myself and hiked up to send ‘er again…faster. I did so, made the tranny but was aiming at great velocity at a tree thicker than me. I altered my intended route of travel…errr…I mean I changed my line to the left of the tree instead and hit the g-out complete with assorted logs, sticks, rocks and miscellaneous debris. I stayed on the bike and tried to pretend I meant to do it scoffing at people who travel the beaten path. Ha! Fun stuff. It was almost dark now and the photographers were all drinking beer already so we had no immortilization of our sampling of healthy BC air except for the little video on my Canon Elph pocket cam.
We returned to Smokes satiated but hungry and found a banquet awaiting. I ate steak with my hands in the backyard and was so hungry I had to count my fingers after. People partyed and talk bikes til after midnight like good long weekenders should.
The next day consisted of two runs in Oliver for a combined total of 9500 vertical feet. They were long, fast cruisy interior BC rides of epic proportions. A touch of snow still at the top, loamy corners for thousands of feet, a couple more thousand feet of dh grassy meadows where you could FLY, and then a couple more thousand feet of desert style sagebrush and dust. What a mix!!!!
After saying goodbye to the cool mix of assorted characters (hence the word ‘mix’) ha ha I’m such a smartass…sorry…we drove to my mom’s in Kamloops and slept like a baby. (Which is a funny saying…because babies don’t usually sleep that well!) Well…we did! The final day of the Long Weekend I shuttled some runs with my little brother at the Ranch in Kamloops with his new 4 door Tundra and my pimp Rocky Flatlines in the back. Felt like a pretty cool poser I gotta say. ha ha
Yaaaa, I know I’m a bike nerd…but I’m a bike nerd who just got 3 wicked days of riding in 3 totally different zones with my bike nerd girlfriend. That makes this nerd one happy long weekend camper!!!
PS-Shameless product plug # 1…
My Raceface gear rocked!!!!
PSS-Thank you Smoke and Barb of Bush Pilot Tours and to my bro Jake.