Another training night for Intermontane Challenge – Tonight was the perfect night we arrived at the trail about 7:30pm and did a few trail running photo shots for Ann Corbett from Defeet so we ran up and down Elbow Valley hill into Canyon Creek Trail. As Phil was running up the last time some mountain bikers were coming down so he jumped out of the way as it were we knew the riders so we took some great pics of them as well.
Now on to our mountain bike hill repeats of the gravel road upto ‘You Shoulda’ then a sweet fast ride down. We started riding at about 8pm the sun perfectly in our eyes for the first hill repeats as we climbed up the hill which is pretty steep our sunglasses were fogging up with the heat and working pretty hard putting on a good pace to the top trying to get in 2 hill repeats before dark. Finally at the top ready for the fun part Phil attaches the Go Hero camera to his handle bars and I go first down the trail as he follows I try to keep my glasses clear on the way down so I didn’t have to stop and so I don’t crash. What a rush we make it to the bottom pretty fast with a burn in the legs and arms we come to the end of the down so it’s time to go back up again.
One more hill repeat this time we come across a deer and take a quick stop to say hi and then back on our pound up the hill also a fast ride trying to beat the sun going down. Reaching the top is always the best part until you go down and down once again a great trail and a great rush just watch those tight corners.
An awesome weekend of riding. Saturday we rode 65 kms. We started out on Little Elbow Trail, after a 20 km gradual climb we got to the summit elbow pass. We were surprised to see how much snow was still in the backcountry. We had planned on riding over Misty Range however with all of the high water and snow around we decided we would be best to just ride to to Elbow Lake and back on Big Elbow Trail. We got to Elbow lake and had some food to refuel before turning around and heading back towards Big Elbow Trail. The second half of this ride was a lot more fun. Lots of fun rolling hills and some fun tight single track. We got back to the car after 5 hours of riding. We then jumped into the Elbow River to cool down our legs.
On sunday we decided we would go out and ride the new trail we just recently found called You Shoulda. The trail is a perfectly flowing trail. To get onto this trail it requires a 2.5 kilometer climb up a gravel road. The trail is so worth the climb up the gravel road. We took some photos of shots of us on the burms on the trail. We rode the trail twice. The second time we didn’t stop for photos we just rode the trail nice and fast hitting all the burms and killing the single track sections in between. I am so happy and thankful to the people who built this trail. I am very happy to see good fun trails being built out in Bragg Creek area.
We have done a bunch of shopping and bought a tonne of food. Most of the food that we have bought is raw. We will see how this goes. We have some backup espresso shots and red bull just incase we need a pick me up in the middle of the night, but we will see what happens. The weather down here is hot, hot, hot. It was about 27 degrees today and not a cloud in the sky. We went for a quick 30 minute ride just to loosen up the legs and make sure the new Crank bros. pedals that we picked up from Mountain Bike City were good to go. Everything thing seems to be in order. We have 35 energy balls each and I have made about 18 litres of my new energy drink. We also have about 20 litres of fresh water to drink also. We have our Video cameras with us and a couple of still cameras aswell. Before we know it, it will be sunday at noon and we will be finished. I will post another entry about this race once all the dust settles. That one will have pictures and hopefully a video attached.
We were to meet Mike L’s group at 8:30 am to start the ride so the alarm went off at 5:30 am that was the worst part of the day but we needed to have our green shake before we left for the ride. It took a while to wake up but after packing all are our stuff and Phil made some energy drinks for the ride we were on our way by 7:20am.
We arrived early to Sulphur Springs trailhead and Steve K happened to be riding today as well although he had his own group and they left before us but that won’t be the last time we’d hear from him. Everyone else started to arrive for Mike L’s group and altogether there was 8 of us.(AJ, Deano, Mike, Aldo, Cal, Michelle and us) The morning was cool as the sun was not shining through the clouds yet so we put on our leg and arm warmers but we warmed up very quickly.
The ride started the same as yesterday with a quick ride to the snow and then a long walk in knee deep snow as we slowly started to climb the snow went away and the trail was drier. The first of the killer climbs took most riders by surprise and there was a bit of walking but everyone made it to the top. Phil once in awhile would speed on ahead and setup to take pictures of all of us. Click on the link at the bottom to see the album of pictures.
Our group soon caught up to another group and now there was 12. We reached the switchbacks and had a fast ride down with brakes squeeling and dust flying. At the bottom of the switchbacks there was Steve K’s group. Now there were 15 our group was growing as the day went on. As we cruised to a finish of the first lap it was decided that we do the lap in reverse and take Moose Mtn Road upto the the turn to the switchbacks and at the bottom of the switchbacks we went straight which took us flying down to the main road where we finished the ride out on Riverview trail and hammered back to the parking lot.
This was an amazing day for a ride it’s the first day of warm weather. Thanks to Mike L’s group for a great ride it was nice to ride with some other people as we train for our race next weekend. Hopefully we will have SPOT with us so you can follow us online for our race.
Well our weekend started out perfectly. Saturday afternoon bikes loaded, bags packed with energy balls and our new homemade energy drink (recipe coming soon). We drove out to Bragg Creek admiring the fresh painting of snow on the mountains. When we got to Station flats parking lot we found a few people and cars there but not too many. We quickly got geared up and got out onto the trail. Within ten minutes we hit snow and alot of it. We started the death march through the snow heading up towards the big climb. Once we started into the big climb the snow quickly disappeared and left us with a nice dry dusty track. We hammered up the hill passing a few recreational bikers on the trail. We quickly got to the top of Sulpher Springs, we ate one of the new lemon cranberry energy balls and took off over the edge down into the switchbacks. At the bottom we turned left and headed towards some more climbing. We passed some more bikers on the climbs again and then got to the top of the final decent, one last look at the mountains and it was all downhill from there. We finished off our first lap in 1.5 hours which wasn’t bad concidering the snow we had walked through. We decided another loop was in order.
This time we thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit and take the Riverview trail to finish. We hauled along the riverview trail bouncing off the boulders like we were in a pinball machine. We quickly finished Riverview trail and popped out into Paddys Flat’s Campground. Being May long weekend you could smell the campfires and bbq’s as we rode out of the campground and back onto the trails. We quickly got back to the parking lot and had some food while we contemplated getting up early Sunday morning to do the same thing over again with Mike L. bike group.
We had an awesome ride tonight, we started from Paddy’s Flats campground and headed straight up sulpher springs trail and climbed all the way up to moose mountain road. The trail is beautiful and dry except for the very low point, which still has a little bit of snow in it. We then climbed up moose mountain road until the top entrance to the switch backs. The sun was still up but was quickly falling behind the moutains. Our dog buddy was having a great time little did he know we were just about to start our long fast downhill ride. We flew down the switch backs which are in perfect condition, nice and dusty dry. I took lots of shots of Grace with our new Canon Rebel XS camera with the new 250mm lens we got for it.
We then continued straight down the riverview trail until we hit the road. As we crossed the road onto the last piece of our trail. It was starting to cool off and the light was quickly deminishing. Buddy did great tonight and even kept up with us all the way down the riverview trail back to the campground. Once we hit the gravel road in the campground buddy slowed right down to a slow trot. We rode back to the car convincing him to keep moving. We ended up with a nice pieceful ride home as buddy went to sleep and didn’t wake up until we got home.
We decided to do a road ride with some friends since all of us had Friday off from work because of Good Friday. We met out in Bragg Creek at the community centre, since the strip mall out there has put up signs saying unauthorized vehicles will be tagged and towed. Our friends Brit and Brad brought there friend Curtis with them. The three of them had there road bikes and Grace and I had our Gary Fisher HiFi mountain bikes. We knew this was going to be a tough slog to keep up with them. We did not realize how hard until the first hill out of Bragg Creek. Brad took off up the hill. I stayed with him but quickly realized keeping up with him was not going to be an option, we were going to have to hammer as fast as possible just to keep him in sight.
The weather was beautiful about 15 degrees and the sky had scattered white puffy clouds. There was still lots of snow on the sides of the road but the roads were very dry. The road was not overly busy with traffic which allowed us to ride often 2 by 2. We made it to the gate at the end of the road in 1 hour which was about 10 minutes faster than Grace and I normally would on our knobby tires. We all had one of my energy balls, check out the recipe here. Once we had finished our snack and felt rested we started the trip back to the cars.[kaltura-widget wid="9c9atkc0ws" size="large" align="l" /]
The awesome thing about riding from Bragg Creek to the gate is the majority of the way back is downhill and usually the wind is behind you on the way home. We pounded hard back to the cars, Brad dumped the rest of us after the first major uphill and we did not see him again until we finished. I think he was just so happy to be outside that he forgot about the rest of us. At one point Curtis and I tried to catch him but it was not going to happen. I gave up at Allen Bill pond and waited a couple of minutes for Grace and Brit to catch up. Curtis kept going with the chase. Brit, Grace and I all took turns leading and pulled each other all the way back to the cars. It was a perfect way to spend one of the first sunny afternoons. A good ride with some good friends!!!!
This morning we started out at 6am again with a gym workout. We have moved to some different workouts now instead of strength. This workout included Box jumps, Front and rear lunges with one foot on the bosi ball, and sidewalking with a theraband around our ankles.
This evening after work we went for a road ride in Bragg Creek. We used our mountain bikes and started from the Bragg Creek Mall parking lot and rode 15km to the Moose Mountain road. We then turned around and rode back. It was a beautiful evening and the sun was out the whole time. It was warm enough for shorts and t-shirts except for where it was shaded and the cold was reflecting off the snow on the sides of the road.
It was very exciting and uplifting to our spirits to finally be outside riding the bikes again. It was nice to see that all of the hard work in the basement training all winter is paying off as we get outside.
We were in Houston visiting our Friends Brian, Lisa and Carly. Brian and Lisa let us borrow a couple of there mountain bikes and Brian took us out for a local mountain bike ride. We rode from their house in the heights over to the Bayou. We then rode along the paved pathway to downtown and back as a warm up. We then headed out to hit the dirt in Memorial Park. Brian took us on a little bit of hidden trail that only a few locals know of. The trails were not overly technical which was good since we have not been outside on our bike for 5 months due to winter in Calgary. We spent about 2 hours riding around in circles occasionally touching the same piece of trail. Brian did a great job of looping us around and around so that we could ride almost all of the available trails in Memorial Park. I would highly recommend riding Memorial Park in Houston if you are in Houston and looking for a local ride that you can do within the city. Thanks again Brian and Lisa for a great holiday and an awesome mountain bike ride.