Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Double Cross - November 22nd

Its still on. Our first inaugural Double Cross will go down on Sunday, November 22nd. It'll be a less formal (read leass organized) affair than the Quintuple. It'll be just as much fun least in potentiality. Today Rodd, Jamie and I had the good fortune of being able to reconnoiter the route. Better late than never!

In case you'd rather skip the tale I weave below, here are the vital bits of info on the event:
When: SUNDAY NOVEMBER 22nd, probably 9:30am
Where: Starting and finishing from the Gate, Gamelin.
How far: 75k gate to gate.
Route: 45k road, 35k offroad. Read below for details. We created a GPS trace today, which is at the bottom. We will not provide cue sheets. Print the map out, or make a cue sheet if you prefer. Its pretty simple, so don't sweat it.
Format: Not a race. Teams of two, like a buddy system. Help each other, appreciate each other, compliment each other's choice of tire pressure and bar tape colour coordination. Share tubes and pumps.
Food and water: Bring some snacks. We'll stop at Pipolinka in Wakefield (35k from gate). Water can be acquired there or from the spring up the road.
Gear: Cross bikes. If you don't have one, an mtb will do. But the spirit is cross. If you bring an mtb over your cross bike so you'll have an 'edge' on the trails, you are missing the point. Run the biggest cross tires you can. Bring two tubes and patches, pump, etc. Fenders are dangerous offroad.
Price: Free, though we will accept donations toward trail building materials for Camp Fortune (a la the movie night Phat Moose is organizing for next Monday)
Apres: Its not really BBQ season anymore. We are trying to figure out a good place to converge after for hot drinks, cold drinks and food. Stay tuned.
Cold Rain Plan: If its cold and raining, i.e., miserable, we'll likely still ride. If this is the case, we'll meet at the same place, but modify the ride to get us offroad almost right away. This will be shorter, slower, and in theory, warmer. Why not do this in the first place? Because that'd pretty much be an mtb ride. Again, not the point. If the weather looks like it'll be heinous, check the blog for an update. If its absolutely abysmal, we might opt to go race cross for one hour rather than ride for longer. I'll likely post on the Friday if this looks like a possibility.

Questions? Ask here or email me at RSVPs would be nice too.

Sure, its me, but look at the composition; fantastic Rodd! Enticing, right?

Jamie navigates the chute, aka, ear ripper, Lac Phillipe. We don't ride down this anymore, even on all mountain mtbs. Pascal wound up in the lake one year. That's a sign.

Ok, lets continue with today's tale.

After a fortuitous melding of Tall Tree riders and Wheelers on the parkway on Tuesday night - what a treat to ride with so many wheelmen in the dark - Jamie and I were 'primed' for today's excursion. By primed I naturally mean somewhat worked over. No problem, I hear doubling up on hard efforts is good for us. With +5 and sunny weather, we could not go wrong. Got rolling from the cemetery on Gamelin at 9:45.

The plan: ride up to Wakefield on the road and assess our offroad options there. En route we opted to take Cross Loop, a perfect section for the outbound leg. Cross loop is always terrifically scenic (photos below). From there we descended upon fresh pavement down the River rd. Nice

Once in town, we had a fine lunch at...Pipolinka of course. Today I had a sun dried tomato and olive ciabatta bread with pear & sweet potato soup. Oh. My. God. I believe "ridiculously good" was how I described it as I eradicated my food. Outstanding. And it was Wednesday afternoon!

We'd already resolved en route where we'd go from Wakefield. I had a bit more ambitious route in mind, but we agreed we could use it in better weather and keep this ride at this time of year a little more conservative. So, onto the trail we went, over by the Mill, and headed north. In short, we looped around Lac Phillipe, and returned south to O'Brien. Most of the route was excellent for the cross bikes, with only a few short downhills that are littered with rocks. These are on the leg between Pine rd and O'Brien. Many will be familiar with the technical climbs along Meech Lake. They are a good challenge. We covered the trail section rather efficiently.

From O'Brien we headed back toward Old Chelsea, but failed to take the North Loop for the Parkway. We'll have that on the official route. Then up the Parkway we went/will go, finishing back at the gate. (Why wouldn't we? The Parkway is closed to cars! ) The climbs there will probably not feel great for anyone. But they will keep us warm! Seriously, I can count numerous times when I've wished for a climb so I could warm up.

A serene moment at Lac Phillipe

So that was a wrap. A splendid ride yielded a great route for the DC. Jamie, who has ridden trails very little on a cross bike, really liked it, which bodes well. We'd like to encourage everyone to run the largest tires they can on the cross bike, to reduce punctures. Running small tires to gain speed on the road won't be worth it. Put the biggest meats on you can. Nobody is going to be happy to change a flat in the cold. Or wait for their buddy with 30s on fixing one. Granted, if your bike does not fit big meats, c'est la vie. I'm kinda in that boat myself, with a 32 max on the back. 34s or 35s would be good.

The Map


Harry Quinn said...

Hehe... ear ripper!..

Pascii said...

Seriously, it ripped Robb's ear ring right out and nearly knowcked him out cold. My front hub has never been the same and my down tube got dented from that stupid chute.

Matt Surch said...

Yep, that chute went from being a cool, challenging feature to a major risk. Walking down is hard now. That's erosion for ya.

Pascii said...

Darn moutain bikers, eroding our beautiful trails!

Pascii said...

Your right though Matt, that was a very cool little chicane to contend with back then. Why I remember..waitasec, what's that monkey doing with that parrot?

Harry Quinn said...

I remember trying to stick Robb's ear back together with a piece of tape! Kinda worked...

Anonymous said...

Jen and I have secured a babysitter and will be it set for 9:30?


Matt Surch said...

Yep, 9:30.