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Discussion Starter #441
Rain

Rain. Rain. Rain.

Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain.

Rain rain.

Rain.

Wait. Oh, look. It's...

Nope. More rain. :mad: 🤬 😡 :poop:
 

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Discussion Starter #442
Finally, FFS

Finally got some reasonable (not great, but reasonable) weather yesterday, and I took advantage of it. After the previous 40 days and 40 nights of deluge, the trails were in no condition to ride on, of course. Plus you'd have to dodge all the ducks swimming in the puddles. But I was able to do the walking trail, then down to Coquitlam River, which is at least a good conditioning run.

I also checked out the baseball field above the school, which turns out to be a lot better drained field than the morass below the tennis courts. Less than a day after the deluge, it was dry and firm enough to ride on. I think that'll be my practice field from now on.

On that subject, I spent maybe twenty minutes working on basic techniques like track stands, tight-radius turns, and wheelies. I'm hoping to make this a regular part of my ride. Eventually I'd like to work my way through all the basic techniques for mountain bike riding, including the dreaded bunny hop. We'll see.

The rest of the week is also looking good for weather, so maybe I'll be able to get in some exercise before the next month-long storm front moves in. 😡
 

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Discussion Starter #443
Three in a row

That's three sunny days in a row, which is far more surprising than the fact that I got three days of riding in. Right now, the weather is looking pretty good on the predictions, with only some limited showers on Saturday and Sunday, and sun/cloud the rest of the time. If only it could be true...

So I went up to the baseball field again, and did some trackstands and wheelies. And I am, amazingly, seeing progress. Not quantum leaps, but a little bit better each day is more than acceptable. I forgot to work on tight turns, but I'll get into a routine eventually.

The trails were still a little mucky, but not wallows any more. And my riding is also detectably improving, thanks to frequent rides. I'd be happier if I could be more consistent about hitting all my fave trails, but on days like today, time is limited. Still, a ride is a ride, and way more fun in the sun.

Also, I've now lost 10 lbs and 2" off my waist since the beginning of May. And that's without dieting, although I am paying attention to snacking and second helpings.

And apropos of nothing in particular, I love my Bell SuperDH helmet. Being able to unsnap the chin section is very handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #444
Whistler Day

Whistler has closed a number of trails around Lost Lake for maintenance and fire prevention. Which is political speak for getting rid of underbrush and logs and stumps and such to reduce the dangers of fire. It's not a terrible idea, but of course the trails they've closed are some of my favorites, and the ones I always start with when riding in Whis.

So I did some research and came up with a course that would give me a good workout. The full course starts with Dwarf Nebula, which is accessed just off the Lower Panorama fire road. Then on to Zoot Allures, followed by Toads of the Short Forest, Gee I Like Your Pants, Son of Mr. Green Genes, and finally Jellyroll Gumdrop. Jellyroll lets me off at the small bridge onto Old Mill Road as it runs back to town, so it's a nice flat ride to cool off.

Man, you sure can tell the people who named these trails were stoned at the time o_O:LOL:.

I tried Dwarf Nebula last time I was in Whis, and it kicked my ass, sadly. I did a lot better today, possibly at least partly because I tuned my suspension before I set out. It was a little under-pressure, and rebound was set low. Anyway, today I cleaned a lot of the sections that stopped me last time.

I continued on through Zoot and onto Toads. Unfortunately near the end of Toads, I took a wrong turn and ended up climbing Treacherous Cretins and Central Scrutinizer up to Muffin Man. Insane climb, insane downhill. Won't be doing that again for a while.

I'm having trouble with wood bridges, though. For whatever reason, they freak me out, especially when they're raised up more than a foot or two. After almost riding off one on Toads, I ended up walking all but the shortest ones. I need to find a relatively long, relatively flat bridge with small consequences and just ride back and forth on it until I'm desensitized. I haven't found one yet, but then I haven't visited all the trails by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter #445 (Edited)
Local day

Came back home early yesterday, but there was no hope of a ride. Maybe some canoeing down the street. Today was much better in that it wasn't raining, and there were even a couple of glimpses of blue sky. Everything's still doubtless soaked in the trails, though, so today was a practice and conditioning day.

I started off up at the baseball field, practicing techniques. Still doing the basic three, wheelies, trackstands, and tight S turns. And they continue to improve. I think if I spent an hour or two solid at the field, I could nail those once and for all. Unfortunately, my boredom threshold won't allow that.

While I was riding down around Coquitlam River, I tried doing manuals--well, wheel lifts, really. I'm a long way from a manual--using advice from this youtube video. And I pulled a couple of the highest wheel lifts I've ever done. Turns out it's as simple as dipping a little forward over the bards at the beginning of the move, which gives you more room when pulling back. Of course, I also clubbed it several times. But as with most techniques, the first couple of successes are the biggest deal. After that it's just practice.
 

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Whistler Day

Whistler has closed a number of trails around Lost Lake for maintenance and fire prevention. Which is political speak for getting rid of underbrush and logs and stumps and such to reduce the dangers of fire. It's not a terrible idea, but of course the trails they've closed are some of my favorites, and the ones I always start with when riding in Whis.

So I did some research and came up with a course that would give me a good workout. The full course starts with Dwarf Nebula, which is accessed just off the Lower Panorama fire road. Then on to Zoot Allures, followed by Toads of the Short Forest, Gee I Like Your Pants, Son of Mr. Green Genes, and finally Jellyroll Gumdrop. Jellyroll lets me off at the small bridge onto Old Mill Road as it runs back to town, so it's a nice flat ride to cool off.

Man, you sure can tell the people who named these trails were stoned at the time o_O:LOL:.

I tried Dwarf Nebula last time I was in Whis, and it kicked my ass, sadly. I did a lot better today, possibly at least partly because I tuned my suspension before I set out. It was a little under-pressure, and rebound was set low. Anyway, today I cleaned a lot of the sections that stopped me last time.

I continued on through Zoot and onto Toads. Unfortunately near the end of Toads, I took a wrong turn and ended up climbing Treacherous Cretins and Central Scrutinizer up to Muffin Man. Insane climb, insane downhill. Won't be doing that again for a while.

I'm having trouble with wood bridges, though. For whatever reason, they freak me out, especially when they're raised up more than a foot or two. After almost riding off one on Toads, I ended up walking all but the shortest ones. I need to find a relatively long, relatively flat bridge with small consequences and just ride back and forth on it until I'm desensitized. I haven't found one yet, but then I haven't visited all the trails by any means.
re trail names... Dude...Canada..Eh! I spent a winter in Whistler back in the 90's, primo weed was everywhere then, I can't imagine what it's like now ;)

Wood bridges... you talking about skinnies? I hate those things. I get why they would build them to connect sections of trail though, especially when the area they would need to clear is choked with boulders and fallen trees.
Sometimes they can be a bit contrived, IMO. no need to build one if there's no actual requirement, I say.

Great reading about your progression, esp with bunny-hops. Ollies on a bike. Manuals are super useful too. still working on those. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter #447
Skinnies seems to involve more along the lines of logs with their topsides flattened, or 2x8 boards. I've seen a few wood bridges under 'skinnies' but they're really narrow. The wood bridges I'm looking at are 18" to 24" wide. And honestly, I can ride that narrow easily when there isn't a drop on the side. But add some consequence and I'm just not confident enough yet. Thus the need for desensitization.

Next time I'm up to Whistler (there are very few bridges in Coquitlam that I can find), I'm going to locate a bridge that's long, reasonably flat, and low to the ground and just ride back and forth on it until I'm bored silly. It's the only way.
 

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Discussion Starter #448
Getting some good days in

So this was three days in a row since I've gotten back from Whis. Today was almost aborted, as it rained a bit in the morning and spit a few times otherwise. But I got out there. Got rained on a little, but with the humidity right now it felt good. The trails weren't too bad--very little open water, just a lot of mud wallows. Of course it started to pour after I got back home, and it's going to rain the rest of today and all of tomorrow according to the predictors.

Junuary. Urgh.

But hey, I did get those three days. And my wheelies are coming along. Two things I learned today: 1) more speed helps. I've been slowing almost to a stop before popping, thinking it would give me more pop, but I can get enough pop with a higher starting speed and more stability. 2) When I pull back on the pop, I have to go back until my arms are straight. If I stop short while my elbows are still bent, is no bueno. It's not earth-shaking, but this is supposed to be pretty basic. And hey, I'm getting more strokes on my wheelies before I drop the front, so improvements.

The trails also are going well. I'm hitting all of my regular trails faster, not only because I'm getting better with the terrain but also because my fitness is improving and I can just plain maintain a better pace for longer. The log roll on Mama Bear isn't really even a problem any more, nor is that steep pitch coming out of the Loop trail. All in all, feeling good.
 

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Discussion Starter #449
Grrrrr

Well, I'm up in Whistler, and oh look, it started raining. It's predicted to rain until the day I leave. Quelle surprise. So there won't be any bridge/skinny practice this time around. Too bad, as I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it.

I'm relatively happy with my progress on wheelies, as mentioned before. I'm just about managing 4 strokes now before the front end drops. But I'm not spending enough time practicing. Yesterday I only did two laps in the field before taking off. The other thing I'm bugged about is that there are a number of things I should be practicing. They are:

  • Wheelies
  • Trackstands
  • Trackstarts
  • Manuals
  • Rear wheel lifts
  • Bunny hops
Probably in that order. Trackstarts, BTW, is my own name for a technique where you get on the bike and up on the pedals with the brakes on, then release the brakes and go. It's useful for getting going on a trail after you've dabbed. Anyway, I probably should pick a day where I spend most of my session on the field instead of just using it as a warm-up.

I could also set up a fake skinny using rope and practice staying inside the rope area. And I could also take a drive out to one or more of the bike parks. Of course, knowing me, that's unlikely to happen. Too much inertia and laziness.

Anyway, this is a whiny, grousing post for today because it's raining. Did I mention that it's raining? This is, after all, the wet coast.


.
 

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Discussion Starter #450 (Edited)
Finally back in the saddle

After four days in a row of rain, I finally was able to get a riding day. So of course, to make up for lost time I overdid it. Did three hours of hard riding, and I'm feeling it a little right now.

In addition to my usual Bert Flinn trails, I did the Coquitlam RIver Trail, both north and south of David. The south side is nothing, of course. Wide walking trails, really only useful for conditioning sprints. But the trail north of David, even when the trail is dry and firm, has some really varied terrain. Don't get me wrong, it's mostly green with some blue sections, but it's interesting at least. Today, though, was not dry. The first day after four solid days of rain? Mud-bath. And when I say mud-bath, I mean going through mud wallows where the tire is acting more like a snow tire, basically flinging mud backwards from the tread. And a couple of puddles so deep that they submerged my feet on the downstrokes.

I haven't done this trail since last year, and I had to get off and walk a fair bit of it, especially the steep rock-gardeny part near the south end. Today, while I didn't ace the whole thing, I did considerably more of the trail on the bike. So I'll call that a win.

But the real win from my point of view is my waist is down to 40" exactly, which is a new low since I don't know when; and my weight is down to 204. Still lots of room to improve, but I'm heading in the right direction.

I just hope all the moaning in pain tonight doesn't keep my wife awake. Advil is your friend, and I think a couple are on the menu for bedtime. 😣😖
 

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Discussion Starter #451
Practice makes... better, anyway

One of my items for next snowboarding season is to get lots of hours of lots of days on the slopes, the idea being that nothing improves your riding like hours on the hill. Well, I'm getting a really good illustration of that with my mountain biking as well. Despite my whining about rain (which is entirely deserved, I might add), I've been getting a lot of days in a row on the trails. And surprise, surprise, it's having an effect. I'm handling steeps better, rocky and rooty stuff better, features that were previously freaking me out are now all but routine, my riding is getting more precise as in able to follow and stay on a line, and I'm just all-round getting more confident.

In particular, ladder bridges have been my big fear this season, but I think I'll find I'm pretty much over that once I get back to Whistler. There's a bridge on Jo-Jo Flinn that I've been hitting every time. It's got a bit of a lip coming onto it, and I have to give a slight hop with the front wheel to avoid too much of a thump. Yesterday I bobbled the hop and started going off the bridge, but corrected myself and just rode on through. My fear of course has been that I'd be unable to correct if I went off my line and I'd go over the side. So not an issue any more.

There's also a short skinny on the same run that I've been hitting each time as well. I still don't think I'm ready for skinnies of any real length, but I do feel like I'm getting there, especially if they're low-consequence. The log roll on Mama Bear isn't even an event any more. I just hit it and continue on.

There are a few things on Jo-Jo that I'm still having problems with, or avoiding entirely. But I think that's coming.

On the skillz front, I got up to 5 strokes on wheelies today, so I'm really starting to feel like I'll be able to just hold those pretty soon. OTOH, my front wheel lifts have tanked. I think it's at least partly due to my sore right elbow, which I'm favoring a bit. But still, I should be able to do better. I think it's time to bring the camera with me for a session on the field, just to see what my attempts at a manual look like.

Also, the other day I did Bert Flinn then Black Dog then Mama Bear then Jo-Jo then Hett Creek. I was pretty much done by the end of that, but damn what a good day. Next I have to start investigating the North Starz area. I did them once last year then never went back, for some reason. I think it's time.
 
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