I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride my bike ~ I want to ride my bicycle ~ I want to ride it where I like
~ Queen, Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Long Weekends, Good rides, Awesome People, Turtle Burgers, and Broken Toes!

Every once in a while a long weekend comes along that is just awesome...and this past weekend is what I hope to be the first of many this year. It started on Friday when Kyle and I went out and explored a new to us riding area called Partridge Hill....a smaller area with flowy not so technical trails....good place to take newer riders with a little fitness (lots of climbing but none of it super hard). I was playing with the some the new mounts I got for the GoPro (video to come out shortly) and just enjoying getting out on the bike with a buddy. The view from the top of the hill was great.

The Rune Resting at the top

Kyle and Stella the Wonder Dog at the top

That night my girlfriend came over and made turtle burgers...her son saw these awesome burgers on the Internets and since I had a BBQ at my place I got one as well...lucky me! They are two quarter pound homemade patties with jalapeƱo jack cheese in between them, wrapped with a bacon weave and then hot dogs for legs and head...while the hot dog appendages got a bit burnt...the burger was just amazing...not something you can eat often but totally worth it.

om nom nom nom

The next morning I awoke and was excited to go ride more new to us trails. We got a big group of us to head up island to ride a few Maple Mountain Trails (Maple Sugar 1/2/3). I have known of these trails for quite some time, but I always end up at Tzouhalem or Prevost when up in Duncan. One of the things keeping me from riding there was many warnings that if you go without a guide....you will most likely get lost, and finding someone that knows the place well enough to guide seemed to be harder than finding someone who admits to liking nickleback. 

That all changed when Jim posted on the VIMB forums to let us know that there has been a bunch of work done to some trails there and that we should check it out....this really piqued my interest and to make it better he posted up full directions...and let me tell you it was just awesome. The ride to the top is a bit of a grunt in places...I had to dismount and walk a bit, but I am really not known for my climbing skills...lol, but what made it not so bad was the road up was for the most part forested so it kept us nice and cool. If you are a fit rider you should have no problem with the ride up.

The view from the top of Maple was awesome, that little looking hill on the right is Tzouhalem!

Once up top we grouped up, had some snacks, padded up and got ready for the ride down. Just as we were heading to the trail head one of the guys snapped his brand new granny ring....wtf, never seen that before...oh looks like two of his crank bolts came out somehow...shitty...well at least he has his middle ring still. This is where it got fun...the trail is a bit schizophrenic....steep, fun, techy trail followed by a grunt back up...the trail was just so much fun, slow and techy XC, followed by flowy AM with some break burning DH thrown in to mix it up a bit....all I gotta say is I will be back here...thank you Jim for the awesome directions and for all the work on the trails up there.

Sunday, well..this was a day of rest...I really should have gone riding but I was still sore from the past two days so I just hung out at home and played some Assassins Creed.

Monday I planned a day of fun up the southern west coast of the Island with my GF, no riding but got to go to one of my favourite places, and then explore a few others. We drove up past Sooke, well...first I had to stop in at my favourite bike shops...Sooke Mountain Cycles and see whats crackin with them...Lorien had the day off so that gave me time to catch up with his bro Jay and see the changes in the shop along with some of the new lines he is carrying....very nice. If you have not seen the new paint in the shop...I suggest you stop by and check it out...really well done (now the ceiling needs a fresh coat too...lol).

After that we headed up to Sandcut beach, this used to be one of my favourite little rain forest hikes followed by an awesome rocky beach with a waterfall dropping into it...and the water just disappears into the beach...pretty awesome. But recently they have been doing tons of work to the trail and I am not a fan of the work they have been doing. They are putting down gravel along the whole trail...it used to be this great soft loamy hike down to the beach but it is turning into a walk down a gravel path...bah, I liked it more rustic...but once you get down to the beach it is just wonderful...even if the weather was not we still had a great time. I thought I got some video of this...but it turns out I am kinda special when it comes to turning my little camera off and on...and turned it on when I put it into my pocket and off when I took it out....yeah, I am awesome...haha.

The Author face palm

Then we headed up and had a snack at the Deja-Vu cafe in Jordan River...they just opened a month ago and I really love what they have done with the place...service was a little slow but since they are new I will give them the benefit of the doubt...the veggie burrito I had was REALLY good (as was the Grape Crush....lol). If you are near Jordan River and feel hungry....this is your place.

After a yummy lunch we headed to China Beach....this is where things got...interesting. We found a great little waterfall and were enjoying climbing and exploring and having fun when my foot slipped on a wet rock and slammed into a bigger rock....damn have not stubbed my toe like that before...holy hell that hurts....walk it off...huh this feels like it might be broken, damn. To make matters even better, it's a little bit of a walk to get back to the car...and all uphill. My GF is a good sport and stayed with me as I whined my way to the car...one hobble at a time, but I was not going to let a stubbed toe get in the way of our awesome day....plus it was feeling better...right...yeah...ok....off to the next stop.

Amazing falls at China Beach...beware of the slippery rocks!

I have been wanting to visit the Sheringham Point Lighthouse for quite some time but never really knew how to get there, my roommate went there a few weeks back and since then I have had the itch to check it out. After a little searching we found it....such a beautiful area that looks like they are trying to build a high end housing development around it....other than that it was really awesome.

Some really cool views from the lighthouse

After exploring the lighthouse grounds and trying not to stub my toe again we walked back up to the car, we were happy, wet from the west coast mist and...well, I was limping just a tad...all in all a really good day and a great end to a great west coast long weekend. 

What did you get up to?

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