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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #601 ·
Downhill Lesson

I took the "Progressing the Park" lesson today. I ended up with a private lesson because there were only 3 of us, and the other two were far enough above my level that I'd be slowing them down. So right away, woo-hoo! We discussed my goals and decided on a schedule for the day, which would consist of general techniques in the morning and jumps in the afternoon. I gotta say, it was a really productive day. A lot of stuff was review, some items were clarification, and I had one a-hah! technique revelation, which is to use the rear-brake only when doing tight, twisty trails. That keeps the front fork from diving, which keeps your steering geometry from changing abruptly (probably more of a problem on a downhill bike). I felt far more in control.

Another item that Sandy had me work on was using no brake at all in the berms. That was scary at first because I'd speed up through the curve, but I gradually got used to it.

In the afternoon, we practiced jumps on The Gentle Giant, which is a tabletop exactly where I thought the Trek lessons were for jumps. Confirmed! It's a good location because you can just session the jump and keep riding back up to the launch point.

After that, we went and hit Crank It Up. The first run was deliberately slow, rolling or casing all the jumps, just to get a feel. The second run I opened it up a little, although I still mostly cased or scrubbed. But the important thing is that I've seen the run, I've done it, and I can do it routinely now.

So, the bad news: I crashed twice. Not high-speed stuff or off of jumps or anything that would leave a scar I could brag about. Oh, no....... I have to wipe out at low speed on loose gravel while just tooling along. Seriously, I still cannot figure out why I wiped out in those places. Momentary loss of concentration? Poor line choice? Gremlins? Who knows. I'm sore and I have some spots I needed to polysporin, but no real injuries. It does though make me look at my Troy Lee upper body armour and say hmmmmmmm...

In any case, it'll be a while. Today was my last Whistler riding day. We head back tomorrow. Just as well. I'm going to be sore.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #602 ·
So the smoke has finally settled in. I've been expecting it for a while--one of those "any minute now" things--but it's still irritating when it finally happens. Today's conditions are categorized as "unhealthy" in Coquitlam, so I'm not even going outside, let alone going for a ride. Things are apparently "moderate" in Whistler. Not that that helps me at all.

I was eyeing a Santa Cruz Megatower down at Kinetic Cycles. Unfortunately it's an XL frame and I need L, according to the website. I could probably get away with the XL, but I'd have to change the dropper as it goes up too high for me, even set to its lowest. Not worth it.

I'm seriously considering an enduro bike for Whistler now. The downhill bike is great for downhill, but as soon as you need to start pedalling, especially uphill, it gets really really old quickly. And enduro would be a perfect compromise. Santa Cruz is my preferred option, but there are others that are good. Unfortunately, they're probably just about as hard to find right now, so FML.

This is what "becalmed in hell" means. No actual pain, just no positive movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #603 ·
I haven't posted in a few days, and stuff has happened. So, updates...

First, it's raining as I write this, both in Coquitlam and in Whistler. And man, do we need it. So no complaints from me.

Second, I bought an enduro bike. Not the Santa Cruz Megatower, but a Specialized Enduro Expert. It's the same class of bike as the Megatower (read: same price range) and has a pretty good reputation, looking at the reviews. I'll post a pic as soon as I take one. Not sure about the name, though. An enduro bike with a model name of 'Enduro' ? Yeah, not a lot of effort showing there.

Anyway, I found it up in Whistler earlier in the week, at Village Sports. Brought it home and did my usual tweaks to get it personalized. The suspension is quite involved, and for the 2021 model Specialized didn't even include a tuning page, instead just referring you to the Fox website. Not a good look for a $10k bike, honestly. I'm not sure why they did that, since they have a page for their 2020 and for other 2021s. Someone really seems to have gone lazy on this particular model year.

In any case, I got the suspension dialed, tweaked the transmission a little (it was skipping in a few gears), and added a bell and a mirror--and yes, I expect to be mocked at the bike park for those two items. But experience has taught me that any bike being used on the trails really benefits from those items.

Overall, it's a solid, quality bike, and I've taken it through Bert Flinn, but I have to admit I prefer the riding characteristics of the Treks. The Enduro feels a little twitchy and not as stable at low speeds (although strangely, I can trackstand quite well on it). If only I could get rid of that bottom bracket knock on the 9.8, it would be my best bike.

Speaking of other bikes, I'm going to have to purge to make room for the Enduro. I think I'm going to get rid of the street bike, since I really don't see myself doing much of that. Also the Trek EX 7, since it's now my #4 mountain bike, not even including the DH.

I took the Enduro to the Burnaby Mountain Air skills park this morning and practiced on the tabletop jumps. As expected, I started out kludgey but got better. I've gotten to the point where I'm tucking in midflight, which is what you need in order to avoid a dead sailor jump. And that means I'm probably just about ready for the jumps on B-Line and Crank it Up. Nevertheless, I'm going to do a session on Gentle Giant beforehand.

I wore my Alpinestars upper body armor at the skills park, just in case. And I find I really, really like the jacket. It fits well, and the padding is very confidence-inspiring. I can't remember where I bought it but I'm going to try to find another one. The front zipper and chest padding is much more comfortable than the Leatt.

Oh, and one final thing--my Mountain Bike Hopper Lite arrived today. I think that may end up being the death of me.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #604 · (Edited)
I broke the chain on the 9.8 today. Not even doing anything bizarre, just riding along David Ave on the way to Bert Flinn. I walked the bike back home and went out on the Enduro.

After my ride, I went looking for a new chain. Trek said I was looking at Dec - Feb 2022 for a replacement. Fortunately Kinetic had one, so I did my first chain replacement. Honestly, I could have fixed it with a master link, but guess what, they're backordered too. Jeebus.

Anyway, not much other than that. The ride was routine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #605 ·
Followup: I went for a ride this morning on the 9.8 and guess what? That annoying click is gone. Turns out it was the chain, not the bottom bracket. Who knew? So now my 9.8 is completely quiet and is back to being my best bike. I guess the Enduro can go up to Whistler with a clean conscience.

And I started out the ride doing manuals around the Bramblewood baseball field. Manuals continue to improve incrementally. And I did two full-on, perfect bunny hops. Not high ones, but they were textbook L-move manual-to-jump bunny hops. And as usual, couldn't do them again to save my life. But it's a start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #606 ·
Two days in Whistler

I went trail riding yesterday. Lots of fun, felt really good about my riding. Nothing really noteworthy happened, except that I started and ended the ride with a short session at the Fitzsimmons jump line. And I was really amazed at how much better I was jumping. Has to be because of the session at Burnaby Mountain Air park last week. But whatever--I cleared every tabletop, even overshot slightly a couple of times.

Today, I went to the bike park. I took my SC DH again, but this time I armored up thoroughly. Troy Lee long-sleeve upper, Troy Lee padded lower, Fox armored full-finger gloves, Race Face knee-pads, full-face helmet and goggles. Unfortunately I could not wear the Fox knee/shin pads, as they are simply too tight to be comfortable. I don't know if they shrunk a little in the wash or if I've bulked up a bit, but they just don't fit anymore (they barely fit in the first place). Thing is, Fox doesn't make an XL for these pads, and they should. The L just leaves a whole segment of the market out of luck.

I tried using the Evoc hip pack instead of a backpack as well. The water tasted a little funny, but I put that down to the bladder needing to be washed. The fannypack seems to work well, mostly. I like the fact that there is Velcro and a snap holding the pack in place. What I don't like is that the pack doesn't really have a place to keep the nipple by default. I used the magnetic clasp from my USWE, and that worked for a while until it flew off and fell between the boards at the loading station. I kid you not, it went for that crack like a chipmunk diving for cover. I'm going to contact USWE about a replacement and check Amazon as well for some kind of equivalent, but man that's irritating.

It was busy today. I mean weekend-level busy. The crowds followed the usual pattern--a surge of bodies around 11, peaking around 12, then starting to taper. But the tapering was minimal, out to 1:30 which is when I packed it in. Lots of beginner classes on the runs, but also lots of rogue noobs. Including an obviously married couple who took EZ at just over a walking pace. Maybe they just wanted to say they'd done the Whistler bike park, but I guarantee they didn't get their money's worth. They're probably still going down.

I did 7 laps--the first 5 were variations on EZ Does It/Golden Triangle, and the last 2 were B-Line and Crank it Up. I did 88 jumps (of course many of those are false positives or just barely qualify as jumps), but the biggest one was 30 feet. Woot! I definitely still need practice though. I dead-soldiered a couple, did the standing-tall thing on a couple of the bigger ones, came down a little nose-heavy on one or two, and came down back-wheel first on at least a half-dozen. So I still have to work on my body position in the air. Also, Garmin claims I burned about 2500 calories. Granted it was a long session, but that still seems high.

While standing in line, I looked at other people's bikes, and I'm amazed at how many non-DH bikes are being used now. A lot are enduros, but by no means all of them. I'm going to have to take the Specialized up the hill soon, otherwise what's the point of having bought it? At the level that I ride, it's not like I'm going to be pushing it to its engineering limits anyway.
 

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Had my first decent crash today, I knew it was just a matter of when really as I build confidence on the bike. Came of a kicker on a downhill section of the local track in a rocky section and front wheel landed smack on a lone loose good sized rock that just kicked the front end out and the rest was history. At least the Garmin crash alert worked a treat, cancelled it, brushed myself off and had a mellow ride back to the truck.

A couple of lessons learned, confidence works both for and against you, the bike has way more skill level than the rider, launching off tight downhill rock garden sections at my experience level towards the end of a ride when tired isn't the smartest thing to do and even though I own fox elbow and knee guards, I probably should wear them, My new Troy Lee MTB pants are awesome but now have holes LOL. Whilst I also love my Garmin 830, it isn't helpful in the fact that it keeps telling me what times I need to beat on each of the sections which continues to puch me.

I don't remember snow hurting as much as rocks!!!

It is addictive though, might invest in a decent helmet now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #608 ·
I don't remember snow hurting as much as rocks!!!
I was thinking about this the other day--how much MTB and especially downhilling will improve my snowboarding game. After banging my way through a couple of berms with braking bumps the whole way, snowboarding just doesn't seem as dangerous. Jumping will not only desensitize me to free fall, but will also help with estimating approach speeds. And of course, I get desensitized to simple downhill speed.

And having crashed twice on gravel, I laugh at the idea of crashing on snow.

Plus I think I'll wear my Troy Lee upper under my jacket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #609 ·
I went for a ride in Bert Flinn today, and I completely cleaned that first climb in North Starz, including hitting the rock roll at the top of it, without stopping at all. Of course I was pretty winded after that, and my Garmin says I hit a high of 165 BPM. Actually felt a little queasy for a few moments, so I know I pushed it.

I did the whole usual route. I think I'm ready to start adding on some more, like maybe the second half of Lower Backyard Trail down the hill. And maybe I'll take the Backyard Trail right from the off-leash area near the exit from Starz Line 1, instead of climbing all the way back up to Hett Creek. The other option is to do an extra loop in the park, taking Starz Line 2 or 3 to Jo-Jo. That last one is attractive because 2 and 3 have some interesting features.

That is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #610 ·
Some Misc updates:

Vail has announced Whistler opening for ski season as Nov 25th. They also have no intention of bringing the reservation system back, at least not for the moment. That can change depending on provincial mandates. The bike park closes Oct 11, so I have a month and a half to stew. I guess I'll have to get my cold-weather gear together and do trails.

On the biking front, I'm starting to be able to do random bunny hops. The issue seems to be that I have to have something specific to hop over. I can't just do a bunny hop for the fun of it. Doesn't work. However, I think there's a lot of English in my bunny hops--not a lot of manual going on. I tried to do one the other day coming up a curb and really hammered my back tire, so more practice required before I do one that needs commitment.

The click is back on the 9.8, but my current theory is that it's actually the cables going to the rear brake and derailleur. It would make sense that the noise would only be while under load, since the rear suspension would be flexing if I'm pedaling hard. I think my rear shock may also be underinflated, since I bottomed out today on a jump. I'll check all that when I get a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #611 ·
I've been riding several times since the last post, a couple of trail rides and a park day in Whistler. But the weather really seems to have shifted, and shifted fast. It's full-on fall weather now, cool and rainy. I've been told that we're expecting a La Nina weather pattern this winter, which means cold and lots of precip. Here's hoping.

On my last park day, I was having problems with my jumps. Dead-sailored a bunch of times, actually came down off my line once or twice. No crashes, but it is worrying. As a result, I'm a little tentative, and was even undershooting my jumps on the Fitzsimmons skills park line.

I'll be going downhilling tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #612 · (Edited)
We've definitely entered an autumn weather cycle. Last week was more ugly than nice, and this week is shaping up to be worse. If I want to continue to get enough exercise, I'm going to have to settle for street-level riding, with rain gear. Otherwise it's two months to the beginning of snowboarding season, and that's just too much.

I did get a couple of trail rides in last week, and a couple of park days. The trail rides are fine. I'm gradually improving my endurance, and mostly avoiding dabs and pedal slips. Downhill is not going quite as well. For some reason, I've lost the proper form on jumps. I've gone in and landed tilted a couple of times, and though I saved it, it was scary. I'm also doing a lot of dead sailors and landing either tail-heavy or nose-heavy. That last one is the most scary, but seems to happen when I don't preload my jump. It's affected my confidence a little, and I'm back to approaching the jumps too slowly. I think I have to spend a couple of hours on Gentle Giant, just practicing and desensitizing.

I've left my SC with the good folks at Village Sports for a brake bleed and general check-over. The rear brake lever was reaching my knuckle, even with the adjuster cranked up as far as possible. Don't know why Kynetic didn't catch that. But their service on the sale was so excellent, I'm going to give them a by on this one.

The Troy Lee upper armour is amazing--light, thin, breathable. No, I haven't crashed in it yet. That'll be the test. But the upper and the shorts are so comfy and low-profile that I think I'm going to wear both when snowboarding. I might even consider wearing the full-face helmet on park days, if I'm going to be doing boxes or (heaven forbid) rails. Or any other feature made of non-snow.

And speaking of snowboarding, I think I've reached that point in my biking season where I'm starting to get tired of biking and impatient for winter. Hopefully that's more about weather frustration than anything, but if I slack off on biking, I'll have to start using the treadmill more. I cannot afford to have my weight climb back up before snowboarding season even starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #613 · (Edited)
I went downhill biking today, sliding in between one crap weather system and the next (tomorrow is supposed to be a monsoon). Even though the sky was mostly clear and the sun was shining, it was surprisingly cold. I was wearing my Troy Lee upper but was still feeling the temps for at least the first couple of runs, before it started to warm up. Can't imagine going up Garbanzo.

My main goal for today was to figure out what's going on with my jumps, which (as mentioned above) had completely fallen apart. I did a warmup on each of Easy Does It and Golden Triangle, then went over to Gentle Giant and did some sessioning. It quickly became apparent that I wasn't even jumping as well as I had my first day. I eventually figured out that I'm trying too hard, forcing the stomp and the launch. This means my timing is off, I'm pulling on the bars, and launching unevenly in some cases, resulting in dead sailors.

The solution? Stop trying so hard. Let's face it, the real problem is that I'm trying to put extra launch into my launch to compensate for coming in too slowly due to my fear of speed. So instead of trying to rush things, I have to get my form right and accept that I'll case jumps until I get the approach speed right.

After my jumping session, I did B-Line once and Crank It Up twice. By this point I really was doing better on Crank It Up, even throwing a couple of perfect jumps. So, as usual, the answer is more practice. Sadly I probably won't be getting that many more sessions before the Oct 11 shutdown. So I'm pre-loading for snowboard season and for next spring when the bike park opens up again. Interestingly, this means I'll be working on speed, approaches, and jumps virtually all year from now on. That's got to help.

The braking bumps are getting worse. It's not just the gouges taken out of the berms--I've actually gotten to the point where I can mostly handle those. What really gets to me are the washboard sections that make me feel like I've just grabbed the wrong end of a jackhammer. Today one section of Heart of Darkness was bad enough to out-and-out hurt. And that's with a DH bike. I can't imagine how people with shorter-travel bikes must feel. I went out and bought a new set of handles after the ride. Hopefully that'll make a difference.

I also did a couple of technical trails here and there. I really don't have a problem with the blue techs. I should spend a little time checking some of these off of my to-do list. In particular, Fantastik and Out Of Sight start up by B-Line and empty out onto Crank It Up partway down. Or Ninja Cougar splits off from B-Line near the top (just above that right-turn berm) and leads straight into Karate Monkey, then Samurai Pizza Cat or World Cup Singletrack, then Ho Chi Min or Devil's Club. Or a little farther down B-Line, there's Funshine Rolly Drops then Smoke and Mirrors then Blueseum. All of these are doable.

Some other miscellaneous items...

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I started up the Garmin in the wrong mode, in Stationary Bike instead of Mountain Bike. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't registering my speed, distance, or jumps. Derp.

And today was about some celebrity spotting. First, I spotted Jason Lucas setting up to take pics on Family Cross (or is it Joy Cross, now?). Second, I spotted Christina Chappetta in the line-up--not with Jason, but since they seem to work together sometimes, I suspect there'll be a video of some kind out soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #614 ·
Start of Season Recap

Yes, kiddies, it's arrived--time to start navel-gazing and obsessing about snowboarding. The Family Bowl area got snow this week, and even though it melted pretty much right away, it's officially the first snow of the season.

The first issue I need to address is any and all of the COVID-related B.S. Seymour instituted a reservation system last season which they will be implementing again this year. It may be a permanent thing. Honestly, I'll be the first to admit that Seymour is just way too busy on weekends, which is why I don't go there on weekends. I can even admit the need for a system on major holidays. However, they are a little too liberal with what they define as a 'holiday', which is what kept catching me last year. I've already bought season passes because my wife and daughter love Seymour for some reason, but we'll only be going weekdays, and only nondescript weekdays at that.

Cypress has no info on their web page about how the season will be handled. Not surprising. Last year they waited until the last minute as well. But last year they only limited day-tickets. Season pass holders were unrestricted. Hopefully they'll do that again.

Whistler has announced that they won't be using last year's reservation system, but with the caveat that they reserve the right to change their collective mind based on provincial mandates. Reasonable.

The big unknown for all of these mountains of course is how much the COVID situation will affect attendance. Last year, a lot of people were off work, and a lot of people were on reduced hours, and a lot of people were working from home, and schools were, well, who the fuck knows. But the point is that a lot (and I mean a lot) of people found themselves with free time during the week. This year appears to be shaping up to be a little more normal, which may mean more normal weekday attendance. That'd be nice.

As usual, I'll be avoiding weekends like the plague.

Now, on to equipment.

I purged my inventory last year, leaving me with:

The Blur and the EJack Knife in Whistler, and

The Speed Freak, the Proto HD, the PYL, and the Heritage in the lower mainland.

There may be some binding purchases this year and a little swapping around, but for the most part, I think I'm happy with the line-up. Of course if they open the demo hut, I'll be trying things out, and you never know...

I shouldn't need any new clothing. I have several sets of protection from biking that will fit under my snow clothes as well, so I can armour up for those park days.

Which brings us to the last item, goals. For reference, my end-of-season recap from last spring is here.

Last year, I wasn't able to do any park because Whistler didn't build one, and the locals didn't really do diddly either. Hopefully this year that'll get back to normal a little bit. My park experience tends to mostly be about jumps and pyramids anyway, with only the occasional box thrown in for variety. I think biking will have desensitized me to speed and air, to the point where I should see some big improvements.

For the actual on-the-snow stuff, I'd like to work on some of the basic techniques this year, like penguin walk, switch riding, and ollies. If I can do those, I'm happy. And again, my success with working on biking techniques during the summer should motivate me to spend the time.

For the rest, here's my list from last year, showing the items I want to work on this year:

General technique items:
  • Modify my expectations to match the conditions. Going slow in fog and icy conditions is not failure.
  • On moguls, work on keeping weight forward. Leaning back is doom. Try to carve the sides of the moguls instead of following the troughs. Try to use windshield-wiper turns to scrub speed. Plan my path instead of just blindly charging in.
Strategy items:
  • Decide when to hit the mountain. In icy conditions, going up first thing is pointless and not really enjoyable anyway.
  • Vary my location. Don’t hit family bowl all the time. Make a list of runs on the mountain, and hit at least one new one every session.
  • Don’t quit after two hours, no matter how tired I am. Change locale, or work on small techniques, or take a break.
  • Try to follow other snowboarders that seem a little faster than me. This forces me outside my comfort zone.
  • Ride bumpy terrain and side-hits whenever possible. In and out of the trees. Getting used to being tossed around is excellent for improving balance.
  • Explore a little. Some of the stuff we visited on my lessons are runs I'd probably never find on my own normally.
Specific techniques:
  • Practice things like penguin walk, ollies, nose rolls, nose and tail manuals. Maybe even ground-spins.
  • Practice switch. A lot. I should pick a slope and practice going down the entire way switch. Up the ante once I’m successful.
  • Do the jump line early. It only takes 3-4 times through it to start to get the rhythm, and once I’m comfortable, I will hit it regularly. Wear armour those days if desired to make it a little easier.
Other plans:
  • Use the Insta360. Getting vids of my technique is incredibly valuable.
  • Desensitize myself to speed early. It makes a huge difference to my riding once I start bombing without chickening out. Don’t wait for it to just “come naturally” this year.
  • Try to move up slightly in park features. Larger jumps, boxes, maybe a pipe.
  • Try to wear armour whenever possible. It makes a difference to my confidence. And with the weight I’ve managed to shed this year, I should be able to do it without feeling bulky.
  • Watch some snowboarding videos as obsessively as I’ve been watching MTB videos. Try out the techniques presented therein.

It begins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #615 ·
Man, it is ugly out right now, with a capital UG. I did manage to get in a day of trail riding and a day of downhill park this last week, but suitable days are getting scarce. Someone told me it is supposed to be a La Nina winter this year (I think I mentioned that a few posts up), and so far it sure as hell is shaping up that way.

The downhill sesh was quite gratifying as A) I seem to have regained my jumping mojo, and B) I did that long tech trail sequence I was talking about. It's a lot of fun, and I rode it all the way, although there are a couple of features that gave me the willies. If I can get another session in before the park closes, I'll try a couple of the variations on routes.

I'm still doing a bit of bike-gear-obsessing since the snowboard gear hasn't really hit the market yet. But it's really just filling in the gaps. I don't know how much, if any, snowboarding stuff I'll be loading up on this year. Depends on what's good, I guess.

Anyway, waiting for it to either clear up or get cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #616 ·
I went downhilling yesterday, but in the afternoon due to scheduling issues. Unfortunately Fridays don’t really die down in the afternoon, so I only got three runs in before the lineups got nuts. Nevertheless, they were very much worthwhile. I felt solid and confident on the bike, despite the conditions being fairly soupy from recent rains. My jumps went well, including me clearing the tabletops on the first two jumps of Heart of Darkness.

Sadly, this is the last week of bike park coming up. The park closes Oct 11, and we're only here for the first part of the week. I might get another one or possibly two sessions in, then that's it until spring. Now mind you, the end of bike season leads to the beginning of snowboard season, so it's a kind of a good news/bad news thing, but if I'd had a little more time--even another couple of weeks--I could have gotten myself fully desensitized to speed and jumps on the bike. That would have been really great for my snowboard park sessions. But who knows, maybe I've already gotten enough of a start. Here's hoping Whistler puts in the park this year, though. Otherwise it's a whole lot of kvetching for nothing.

In other news, I bought myself a GoPro Hero 10 today. I had used the Insta360 on yesterday's session with the 4K mod installed, and it looked really good. Better than the reframed 360 videos, honestly. But the Insta is too high-maintenance for my liking. I was constantly fiddling with it and checking it, the watch remote kept disconnecting, and I lost the last video of the day which was an excellent B-Line run, due to the camera locking up at the bottom and corrupting the file.

So we'll see how the GoPro does. The 10 just came out, and has really good specs. And so far, the user experience is far more polished and confidence-inspiring. If I'm able to get another session in, it'll be with the GoPro. Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #617 ·
Aaaaand... that's a wrap. Probably. I went downhilling yesterday and today, and unless something changes drastically, that's it for me for the season. Yesterday was a Sunday, but I decided I'd give it a try to see what the weekend crowd is like from the inside. I did three runs, and when I came down on the third lap I found the line-ups extending right out of the maze. 'Nuff said as far as I'm concerned.

Today, a Monday, was pretty much exactly the opposite. It simply never got busy. In fact, for 3 out of my 5 runs, I rode straight through the singles line and right onto the lift. So why the sudden abandonment? A-Line was closed today. Well, that's my theory anyway.

Over the two days, I tested my new GoPro Hero 10. There will be a separate review of that item. I did the Easy Does It/Golden Triangle loop several times, did a couple of tech trails, and managed to do a couple of B-Line and Crank It Up runs.

I think I'm still having problems with my jumps, in that I haven't quite got the technique down correctly. I definitely can't pump rollers yet. Two items for next year, I guess. I'll be starting right at the beginning of the downhill season, and I should improve greatly.

Meanwhile, there's still trail riding (weather permitting) and snowboarding is coming up quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #618 · (Edited)
We're now well into shoulder season. Weather has gone completely to crap both in Coquitlam and Whistler, so there's no biking to be had. OTOH, the snow on Whistler is visible from village level, which I think is ahead of schedule. Regular dumps happening up at Roundhouse are actually making me feel fairly optimistic about this season.

I've put away the biking stuff in Whistler, but haven't pulled out the winter stuff yet. Haven't done anything at home. I really don't look forward to the whole bin-swapping business. But it has to be done. I may have to do a little purging this year, though. Too much shit.

And speaking of too much shit, I literally am unable to come up with anything that I really need to buy this year. I've been eyeing the Rome Black Label bindings--except they went straight from "Coming Soon" to "Sold Out". I've also been playing with the idea of buying a specialty board, like maybe a Stranda, but I'm not sure I need the distraction this year.

This season is going to be epic, assuming we get the requisite dumps. Not only have I finally figured out all my technique issues, but I have a full season of mountain and downhill biking to give me perspective on the whole speed and danger thing in snowboarding (as mentioned farther up the thread). And in addition, we may be spending most of a solid month in Whistler this winter, which means boarding every friggin' day. :crazy:

Well, here's hoping.

Edit: Ordered a Cheater, and some Now Drives to mount on it.
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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #619 · (Edited)
I'm about halfway between the end of biking season and the beginning of snowboarding season, and I'm really feeling antsy. Biking season ended like running into a brick wall this year. The weather went to crap and has remained that way, with only the occasional part of a day with sunshine. Far too short to dry the trails at all. Oh, and cold. That all bodes well for snowboarding season, but leaves me with mostly no outlet. I've taken to doing an 8 k walk around our neighborhood, just to burn some calories, but it's weak sauce.

As mentioned above, I ordered a Stranda Cheater and some Now Drives to go on it. The Drives arrived right away, the board, not so much. I imagine I probably ordered before they were starting their production runs for the season or something, but it took ten days for them to ship the board, when their website claims you'll receive it within 5 business days. This is just random grousing, understand. As long as I get the board before the season opens, who really cares?

But I have noticed that ordering and shipping in general is more problematic these days. Partly that's COVID and supply-chain issues, no question. But some of it isn't easily explainable as such. For instance, I tried to order a camera and some accessories from the GoPro site last week. The order failed three times with some bullshit message, but the site still managed to authorize my card three times. I went through customer support and they were very supportive, but the only thing they did was remove the authorizations. Still can't order through the site. I guess that settles the question of whether I should get the GoPro subscription--until they fix their site, I physically can't.

On the subject of GoPros though--I bought the Hero 10 Black a month ago, and in general I have to say it's a more usable camera than the Insta360 One R. Not hugely so--you could use an Insta and be mostly satisfied, as long as it didn't lock up on you. But things like the more accessible battery compartment, the much better sound (even without an external mike), the ability to easily attach an external mike (the Insta solution is an obvious kludge), and the much better remote control (the Insta constantly loses the connection). Huh. Reading that, it kinda sounds a little more huge than expected.

Anyway, I'm going to buy the MAX, GoPro's 360 camera, to see how that does. Given the website's issues though, I guess I'll be buying it from a brick-and-mortar. And that's fine--support your local store, right?

Further to the subject of supply-chain issues, I mentioned the Black Label bindings in the previous post. Still out of stock, along with a lot of Rome's other stuff. And the Anon lenses that I've been watching on--straight from "Less than a week" to "Out of stock". Again. Goddamit I hate Burton. Or at least their website.

So getting back to snowboarding, the stoke is building. I've started obsessively watching the snow-forecast site and the webcams on the various mountains. I'm starting to watch more snowboarding videos and fewer mountain biking videos. And my itchy VISA-finger is pointing more at snow stuff. We're heading up to Whistler this week, and I bet the shops will all have fully converted to winter. Time for a small spree. Woot!
 
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