Well? Have you? You know the type. Everything (and I mean everything) just clicks. You can ride faster, harder and jump bigger than you ever have before. Well, yesterday, Saturday May 15, 2010 was one of those days.
It all started quite modestly. I rode the Spitfre down to the local farmers market for some produce and fresh tamales. As is usual for a Saturday, things were taking longer than usual, so when Dave called me around "10-ish" to see why I wasn't at home ready to ride, well I knew I needed to get moving. I kissed my date and said see-ya then proceeded to sprint all the way home - actualy hit 38 km/hr on the flats!
I got back, a little sweaty and out of breath and quickly threw the big bike gear and the Scythe into Dave's truck and we were off for Nanaimo. Mission - practice laps on the DH course for next weeks BC Cup race. There was just one litle problem, neither of us knew where the track actually was...
Enter Dumont. Situated just west of town next to the cumfy cozy Nanaimo Corrections Centre, the Doumont trails are a network of shuttle-able runs with something for everyone. For Dave, the only runs worth hitting are the ones with the jumps!
We parked at the bottom, and rode/pushed our way to the top for a first run. Right off the start were a series of step-ups and step downs on Armageddon that just had to be hit. I watched Dave the first time, and then pushed back up and BAM! Nailed em! Stoke factor climbing!!!
We cruised down and hit a few more lines on Cripple Creek and I watched Dave hit a few more jumps that I opted to look at the first time. Right before the last section of the run, and what Dave referred to as "some slightly bigger gaps" we ran into a local who was out doing some building and walking his dog. We chatted a little, and he offered us a ride back to the top. SWEET!!
Up we went and started down run #2. Same line, and the moves up at the top were way more fun as hitting them for a second time my confidence was wayyy up. We opted to hike to the very top of Cripple Creek and this time I jumped the Creek! I yelled so loudly I bet all the bears on the South Island started heading for the mainland!! And this time, we had a date with the big stuff...
Mary Jane (I think I have this right) is a line of progressively bigger wooden gaps, step-up/step-downs and assorted jumps and drops. Dave had hit the whole line before, so I just followed him in.
I am tingling sitting here thinking about it again. I am not entirely sure I could get the order right, but I do remember the one gap I missed. Probably a 15 footer over a gully - Dave just sailed over like it was a walk to the store for milk. I think seeing how easily he hit it, combined with the fact that I had hit all of the smaller gaps up top had me convinced I could do anything. We dropped into the rest of the trail and something clicked...some little relay in my brain connected and all thoughts of safety and consequences got left behind, and my legs just started pumping the pedals. Off a 6 foot drop, build up speed through a rolling section of trail and there it was - the biggest step-up/step-down I have ever even approached. I was on Dave's tail and he didn't hesitate...and I just went for it!
Wow - after the step-up/step-down was a wooden gap of at least 10 feet and hitting it I must have been yelling the whole way!
But that wasn't the end. We still needed to try out the DH track, which we had learned was on a different mountain. Doh! Off to Mt. Benson with a vauge idea of where the trail was and some Cliff Bars to keep us fueled. Luckily, we chanced upon the bottom of the trail head just as some of the race organizers were heading up to replace one of the bridges on the track. They gave us directions, and we headed up.
The push up took us about 30 minutes, and then we added an extra 15 or so as there was some fresh looking single track above the DH track. Finally at the top, tired, out of water, we headed down. First up was the new line, FTR. Fast, rolling and a little choppy; it got us primed. Then we hit the DH track, Roller Coaster. I have to say, this was probably one of the funnest DH tracks I have ever ridden. Nothing super techincal or steep, and only one really big, optional double over some logs but probably the most flow per linear meter of any trail I have ridden in a while. Wicked end to a wicked day!