Friday, November 30, 2012

Back on Dirt

We finally dusted off the Mountain bikes two weekends ago and headed up to Kamloops.  We had enough snow to make riding in the Kelowna area difficult, but not enough to go skiing - Grasslands Provincial Park it was.

We also got to ride with Dan, which was nice.  Plus he fed us dinner afterwards.

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (3)

This park is what sold me on mountain biking. 

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (4)

Perfect Singletrack.

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (5)

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (6)

We've come here to ride a few different times.  We have ridden two different areas in the park, and both were so good that we have never wanted to risk wasting time by exploring other areas that might not be as good.  Of course, they could be better.  If that was possible.  

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (9)

Kash was never far behind.

2012.11.15 - Kamloops (2)

Unless there were cows to be chased.

Maybe next year we'll take a long weekend so we can ride our favourite trails and explore some more.  It's almost a shame that the season is over.

2012.11.15 - Kamloops
(50% cow poo)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Bonk

Living and riding in Vancouver for the last few years, the "off season" has really just meant the wet season.  You ride less because you could be skiing instead.  Starting today's ride, I was faced with the thought that the Kelowna Off Season might actually force me off my bike.  Terrifying.


Luckily, my bottom bracket and I warmed up.  So far it has been the perfect temperature to keep the snow on the hills, but melt everything off of the roads.  The original plan was to do the Sunday ride, but no one showed up.  Sissies.  I decided to ride around the lake, which is something I wanted to try all summer - but the ride did not fit well with training for a Sprint triathlon.  I only had one Clif bar and one bottle of water, but on the past few Sunday Rides this has been more than enough.  I figured I could make it to Vernon and refuel there before finishing the ride.

Good fishing to be had off of log booms.
 In hindsight, there were a few problems with this logic:

- I had eaten a smaller than normal breakfast a few hours before leaving, rather than a large one 10 minutes before the Sunday Ride as usual.
- This route is 50% hillier than the Sunday Ride.
- Vernon is 90km into the route, not the 60 or 70 that I had thought.
- It is really cold out.  Apparently that burns calories.
- I have just had almost a month off.  Apparently that is not so good for fitness.

In any case.  I have never driven myself into such a deep hole before.  The first two hours got me 46 km into the route, at which point I hadn't eaten in an hour and a half, and had already done more climbing than the entire Sunday ride.  Things started to go downhill (figuratively only), fast.  All I could think about was Mars bars.  Baked Lays.  Tim Horton's. Gatorade.  Many Mars bars at once. At one point I actually caught myself riding with my eyes closed.  Things were not looking good.

What a 140km route looks like. An hour and a half into the ride - and I need to round the far end of this lake.
And then I saw it.  The convenience store. I would survive after all.


The brown bags are full of Chicken Samosas and Strawberry Turnovers (only 89 cents!).  After consuming almost all of that food, including the entire litre of orange juice, I felt a little better.  Not perfect though - I had to leave my stuff on the table to go to the bathroom.  I was very worried that someone might either steal or poison my remaining bag of candy, so I wrapped it up tight and took special note of exactly how it was sitting on the table.  When I got back, the candy was still there - and so was my phone and credit cards, just lying in the middle of the table.

I ended up deciding that I was too cooked, and there was too little daylight left to finish the loop.  Luckily, Caroline was able to pick me up in Vernon, so it was a relatively flat and easy 30 km into town for about 85 km total.

Next time: bring more food.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hiking the Burn

Original plans for this weekend - our first weekend of freedom - consisted of Mountain Biking locally on Saturday morning, followed by Ski Touring in the Coquihalla on Sunday.


As of last weekend when we drove by, the Coquihalla was under about a foot of water, and yesterday we woke up to six inches of snowfall here at our house.  Not the way things normally go, but I'll take some local snow without complaint.  We headed to our MTB destination on foot, so we could at least scope it out for springtime.

2012.11.10 MB Burn (6)

Gorgeous.  There is nothing like hiking through a burn after a big early season snowfall.  My pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.

2012.11.10 MB Burn (7)

We saw a large wolf as well.  Not pictured.

2012.11.10 MB Burn (15)

We ended up hiking (slowly) for about two and a half hours, doing a big loop through the park.  This was our first time, and we had no map - when we found our way back to the car, it had felt like a pretty long hike.  Without knowing anything about the park, I was worried that we had just spent a morning circumnavigating the entire park - it was fun, but if we could do all that in a morning on foot, we were going to run out of mountain bike real estate pretty quickly.


Not the case.  This is most excellent.  We will probably be able to spend all winter here on skis, and as soon as we have skiied it out, we can start exploring all over again on bikes.

2012.11.10 MB Burn (23)