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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #661 ·
Even Better Day!

Yeah, I lucked out today. There had been a cm or so of snow overnight, and there was no snow or just flurries in the forecast, so I guess most people decided to do something else today. Well, imagine my surprise when I looked out my window this morning and it was snowing! So I hurried off to the gondola, and got to the top just before nine. I did just short of four hours today, finally having to quit because my Morton's was hurting too much. I'll have to take the pad with me tomorrow.

Because the crowds were relatively lighter, I spent less time today in the lift lines, and therefore more time riding. I went down Dave Murray Downhill twice, and I have to say, it's way the hell more fun with a topping of fresh snow. The important thing though is that I went down the run in control, even on the steeper parts.

I also spent considerable time on moguls. Still have some trouble when the hill gets steeper or the moguls get larger, but I'm starting to chip away at the bottom of the range. I'm also able to handle chundery runs much better. The ideal trajectory seems to be something between straightlining and S carves. To the extent that I can articulate it, it's about finding the 'grain' of the slope from all the previous users and getting into the same rhythm. Kind of like riding moguls, but on a larger scale.

I even did one jump run today, although I really shouldn't have with my knee issues. No problem though. I was shaky of course, not having practiced all season, but I pulled it off. I also did a flat box and a rainbow box while I was in the jump line. Again, probably not my smartest moments since I wasn't wearing any padding today, but oh well.

Anyway, 4 hours and 11 runs. Pretty good day.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #662 ·
And, we're done.

I think, anyway. I went up yesterday and it was terrible. Then the temps dropped overnight, and I went up today, and it was more terrible. Seriously, it's either slush and mashed potatoes or ice and death cookies. There's no "winter" left. And the snow-forecast predictors bear this out. A few supposed snow showers here and there, but nothing hefty enough to save the slopes. And the temps are regularly soaring above the peak, so rain is now common, which just hastens the melt. I came down Olympic today, and on Lower Olympic I found a whole section of the run had turned into bare rocks.

There's still snow if you're stubborn, and ten years ago I would have been that stubborn. But it's not fun at that point--it's work. I'm ready to switch over to biking. The Valley Trail is long since bare concrete, and Whistler announced yesterday that they were shutting down the Lost Lake cross-country skiing as of the 23rd. So the trails are now open to bikes. Now having said that, most of the gravel road around Lost Lake is still snow-covered, so cycling will be an adventure. I'm not sure what the hill trails will look like.

I'm back home now, but we're back up to Whistler next week, and I think I'm going to pack up all the snow stuff and bring out the summer stuff. Time to start pedaling.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #663 ·
Post-Season Recap

Whether or not I get one or two more snowboarding sessions in (unlikely), the season is over. I'm not going to learn anything new or do anything new, so it's time to sum it up.

In terms of snow, this was a crap season. Oh, we got a lot of snow between mid-December and mid-January, but then we got several atmospheric rivers that washed it all away. And there was never a real concerted comeback. A couple of relatively okay snow cycles, but nothing that could be said to have replenished things. Essentially, we had one good month this season. And I missed half of it because of the renos, so FML! I'm ending this season with 29 session days, which is abysmal. Only that year where we got virtually no snow was worse.

Because of all that, I did no switch practice, no park (even though there was a jump run this year), and no exploration of the greater resort areas. Essentially, I stuck to Family Bowl and the immediate area.

Now, having said that, the season wasn't at all a dead loss. All my technique issues finally came together this season. I've figured out moguls, I've figured out steeps, I've figured out speed, and I've figured out carving. I still glitch sometimes, but that's just a question of practice. At least now I know what I should be doing and can recognize it when I do it wrong. Next season I have to make a point of working on the things I didn't get done, such as switch riding and park. Also finally learning to penguin walk and ollie.

As an aside, I caved and purchased the Seymour pass. Let's face it, $200 for a seasons pass is a no-brainer, and sometimes Seymour is the way to go. At least I have the flexibility.

And I'm now a senior citizen at all my mountains. So $200 for the Seymour pass, $220 or so for the Cypress pass, $815 for the Whistler pass, and $665 for the bike park pass. That last one is a bit of a slap in the face. Basically $65 off, so like 10%. But I'm ready to go.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #664 ·
...And that's a wrap. Today I bundled up all the snowboards and took them to storage. All the bikes are downstairs ready to go. Just need to swap the winter clothing for the summer clothing and the changeover is complete.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #665 ·
And just to make sure I truly, truly understand what a bastard the universe is, Whistler got 77 cm of new snow in the last 48 hours. And good snow, too. Not the barely-freezing snot. This is -4 temps. On a weekday. For perhaps the first time this season.

So memo for next year, don't quit until the mountain actually closes.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #666 ·
I broke down this week and pulled one set of kit from storage. Went up Whistler on Wednesday, and Seymour today. Whistler wasn't great--they had a freeze/thaw cycle or two since the big dump, and it was -7 when I was there, so it was armor-plated. OTOH, the new snow had filled in the holes.

Seymour was a lot better, because the temps were slightly above freezing. Real spring riding. Foggy AF, though. Nevertheless, I got a good morning's riding in. And I think that really is it for the season now.

One thing I need to add to my season recap above is that this year I didn't spend enough time in the roughs, so I never really regained that level of balance where you can take unexpected bumps and tosses without losing control. That, along with speed desensitization, is something I'll need to work on early next season.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #667 · (Edited)
Biking Season Begins

First ride of the year today. I took it very easy, being unsure of how my knee would handle it. There was a bit of soreness, and I still can't bend the leg as much as my good one, but other than that I felt good. For someone who is drastically out of shape, anyway.

I note on the Garmin that last year I had 8 rides by this point, two of them in Feb 🥶. Must have been a warm month or something, last year. This is April and today I had a frigid headwind all the way to Bert Flinn. Should have worn a hoodie.

Anyway, kvetching aside, it's properly begun. I'll gradually crank up the intensity over the next few weeks.

Edit: I also did a test-assembly of my MTB Hopper jump ramp. Not bad, took about 10 minutes. The lowest setting is a little more aggressive than I hoped for, though. I'll probably stick to that setting for a while.

Also, the day after the ride, my knee feels pretty good. A little sore, but a little less sore than it has been. I think the cycling really is good for it, just as the physio said.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #668 ·
Second biking day. I did 3 laps this time--kind of reminiscent of my first year. Two noteworthy things happened. First, I did a perfect bunny hop over my bunny hop rock, first time. A better bunny hop than I think I was doing all of last year. Second thing, the second time I tried it, I did more of a ramp jump, which I pulled off okay, but snapped off my tail light. I didn't realize it until the next lap. Someone must have picked up the light and placed it on a rock facing up-trail, because I could see it flashing as I approached. Derp. Oh well, those plastic seat mounts are probably only good for a year or two. Methinks I'll stock up at Trek.

Anyway, lungs are burning, I'm realizing that my butt-callus has disappeared over the winter, and I still can't really stand-pedal for any distance. That last is more about the knee than anything, but it's something I'll have to work on.

But it was a beautiful day, no wind, just warm enough.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #669 ·
Don't get cocky

That should be my mantra for the near future anyway. I went for a ride today. Did the 3 laps per last time, and added in Jo Jo Finn. Everything was going well until the second skinny. I made it almost all the way across it. Fell off to the left right at the end and hit the very last root with my front tire. The bike stopped, I did not. Complete OTB with the bike ending up on top of me like a turtle that's been flipped on its back. I wasn't hurt (except my pride), but sadly my bike did not escape unscathed. Broke the front brake lever and twisted the front fork slightly. I guess she's going into Trek for a checkup and fixit.

Still, other than that small detail, it was a good ride. I did several really good bunny hops today, and drove my heartrate up to my max area. The knee felt pretty good overall. I've almost got full range of motion when bending it, too.

The activity tracker still isn't working though. Seems like it can't connect to my phone or something. I'll have to diagnose.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #670 ·
Went riding again. I'm up to 7 rides for the year so far, which sux compared to last year, but whatayagonnado? I'm still avoiding that second skinny, so I'm going to have to man up at some point. Ironically, I'm going over the drop at the bottom of Jo Jo with no hesitation at all, and that used to be my most feared feature. As a small aside, I went over that drop while some day-hikers were there (they moved to the side for me) and I heard an "Oh my GOD" behind me as I rode away. Felt good. Would have felt considerably less good if I'd screwed it up, but fortunately no.

I had to skip Hett Creek because the weather was starting to go ugly, so a shorter session today. But I was seriously considering adding North Starz to the line-up (weather permitting) so I'm feeling pretty good.

And the good news is my knee is a lot better. I got x-rays last week and went to visit the doctor afterwards, and he said other than a bit of age-appropriate arthritis, my knees are fine. Therefore, soft-tissue damage of some kind. After some discussion, we settled on inflammation of the medial collateral ligament as a likely culprit. This would explain why Advil seems to take care of it for several hours, over and above dulling the pain. Anyway, got some prescription anti-inflammatory medication and so far it's looking good. I'm noticing that I'm able to stand-up pedal more and more, and apply more heavy pedal action.

And a damned good thing. Bike park opens in 2 weeks. Whismas, bitches!
 

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Discussion Starter · #671 ·
Something different today

Today's weather was looking ominous--the kind of ominous where any second now, the skies can open up. On the other hand, it was dry (so far). So I decided that a full-on ride to Bert Flinn was too risky, but a quick trip up to the field under the power lines would be okay.

I had bought a set of adjustable jump bars late last year but hadn't yet gotten around to trying them. So I took one of the units up to the field, set it up, and proceeded to try out my bunny hops. The good news is I can actually do bunny hops now. The bad news is it's a very small bunny.

I started out at the very lowest setting, but was eventually able to raise it a couple of inches. At the end there, I was clearing a full six inch bar height! Wowzers. Seriously though, my favorite bunny hopping rock on the Loop trail is almost a foot high and I clear that regularly, but...
1. I'm going faster when I clear the rock
2. I've been doing that for quite a while now, and it's become almost automatic
3. I'm not entirely sure I'm completely clearing it. If I tap the rock with either wheel, I might not even notice. With the jump bar, the bar pops off.

None of this really matters, though. Large or small, I'm getting bunny hopping air!! And if I keep practicing this way, I'll get more air. The jump bar set comes with 4 units, so eventually (on a better day) I could set up all 4 in a row and practice sequences.

Oh, and my knee survived the ordeal, although it was kind of sore for a little while afterwards. But an ice pack and some anti-inflammatory gel helped a lot. They say the best thing for a knee injury is to exercise it and strengthen the muscles and ligaments. Ima go with that.

Bike park, 9 days. Not that I'm going up on Opening Day, of course. But I have every intention of being there on the 13th to sit down with a drink at the Dublin Gate and laugh at the people in line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #673 ·
This has really been a shitty 2022 so far. First, the snowboarding season--well, I've commented a fair bit about that. But just to add insult to injury, it's still snowing regularly on Whistler. In fact, the freezing level and precip are far, far more steady and dependable right now than they were for most of the winter. All of which is of course dumping extra snow on the bike park when the park guys are trying to clear the trails for bike season.

Meanwhile, the lower mainland seems to have been made a part of the Prince Rupert weather pattern. Cold and wet alternates with wet and cold. I've done 9 rides in Coquitlam this season. Last year I'd done 18 by this date. WTF, dude? I can't even blame my bum knee because it doesn't really interfere that much with riding--just with going up and down stairs.

I suppose it could be worse. We could be still in full COVID lockdown with nothing to do because the weather is crap. At least last year the great outdoors was available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #674 · (Edited)
Update... They're talking about the weather patterns on the news now. It's creating significant concern about excessive snow melt on top of the continuous rain, creating a significant danger of floods around the province.

And other than a couple of hours a couple of days ago, it's been basically all rain and clouds for weeks. And the forecast is for more of the same right out to the limits of the forecasts. Jeebus, I hope this isn't the shape of things to come.

On the good news front, my knee seems to have almost completely recovered. I'm using the treadmill now until the weather improves, although I'm being careful to not ramp up too quickly. I'm still going to go to the sports doctor, because I still want to know what's going on.


ETA: Oh, FFS.

Snow Building Sky Slope Atmospheric phenomenon
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #677 ·
Second day of Whistler bike park, first day for me. Yesterday was Whismas, and it was surprisingly un-busy. But today is the Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend, and a bunch of school districts have declared it a Pro-D day (total coincidence, of course), so I expected half the mallrats on the planet to be in Whistler. Not so. Today was no busier than yesterday. In fact, I got first chair when the park opened and never waited the whole morning--straight to the bottom, in the line, on the lift, back to the top. I don't know how many laps I did yet, because my Garmin is refusing to upload the session right now. But by 12:30 I was bagged. First day, out of shape, very little riding so far this year... all the excuses.

I took the Specialized Enduro today, because A) I wanted to try it out in the park, and B) I was concerned about my knee giving out from all the stand-up-pedaling, and C) if the park was insanely busy, I'd just go to the Lost Lake trails. The park turned out to be insanely non-busy, as mentioned above, so a non-issue there. Regarding the knee, either I needn't have worried, or the Enduro did its job as planned, because my knee was also a total non-issue. Mud, on the other hand, was an issue. Wow. I expect this is probably a regular early-season thing, especially through Juneuary which is always wet, but last year I didn't start park riding until July, and that was just getting into that extended dry spell.

Still. That's a lot of mud.

I stuck to Easy Does It for most of the morning, with occasional forays off to some of the tech trails like Del Boca Vista or blues like Longhorn. My last run of the day I did B-Line, which was, strangely, very muddy. Hmm. TBH, until they open a few more trails and dry out some of the mud, I'm not going to consider the park a priority. There are a lot of valley trails like around Lost Lake that can be explored.

Back to the subject of the Enduro. It certainly was able to handle the park trails (at least the easy ones that I did) and I don't think I really felt the bumps that much more than on a DH. But the bike feels short compared to the V10, and I always felt like I was too far forward somehow. I guess that's why they design DH bikes the way they do. I will definitely preferentially take the Santa Cruz V10 to the bike park in the future.

Oh, and I did crash once. Just a small crash off a side hit, and I knew it was coming when I landed wrong, and I managed to slow down quite a bit by the time my wheels finally slid out, and it was onto side-loam rather than gravel, so no biggie. But still. Jeez. But a reminder that anytime is a good time to wear armor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #678 ·
We're now in June. I've gone riding several times around home, although still not as often as I'd like. Weather continues to be March-like, although the average temp is at least coming up a little. I'm way behind on my total rides for the year, and I'm way behind on my fitness goals. And now I have an additional thing to worry about--my cholesterol is too high. Almost but not quite to the point where I'll need to go on medication. My doc has given me three months to get it down. At the end of that, I do a blood test (he's already given me the requisition), and we see where I'm at.

I've made some significant changes to my diet, mostly in the area of sugar. No more coke, no more candy, no more random snacking on packaged snacks, no more sugar in coffee. I'm also avoiding fast foods for the moment. But what I'm not doing is restricting calories. That would be just a step too far. And despite that, I lost 5 lbs in the first week without even trying. So hey, this might be worthwhile for reasons other than doctor's orders. If I can get my fighting weight down, it affects all my sports.

On the positive side, my knee issue is pretty much gone. I can still get some soreness from long walks of all things, but one dose of Advil takes that down. I'm still being kinda careful, i.e. not jogging around, but I can SUP now and drop the seat without worrying about which pedal is up.

Meanwhile... I went for a ride today in Bert Flinn and did the North Starz line for the first time this year. I actually overdid it, charging hard up that first steep section, and had to sit down for a few minutes at the top. Not terrible, though--it means I got good exercise. But I need to hit the trails way more often from here on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #679 ·
Junuary continues into June, unfortunately. Just one weather cell after another, pounding the west coast. Half a day to a day of good weather between each one, just to tease us with the memory of what the sun looks like. And of course because I can't just spontaneously take off and go riding, I'm missing most of those breaks :tantrum:. But there is some slight bit of good news: the freezing level has climbed off the top of Whistler, so the rain is melting the snow on the bike trails. I just checked and everything in my skill zone except two blue tech trails is now open. So if we could just get a little dry weather, I'd be good to go.
 
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