Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fleeting Fall Day

   Fall 2012. Great experiences, or moreover, chances at great experiences often show themselves at the last moment and with a hint of uncertainty. It is within this uncertainty that the most potential for awesomeness can be found.
   Going to a full-time job is well....a full-time job. It can be tedious, relentless, tiring; yet provides security, peace of mind, and shiny things. These thoughts had been consistently roaming the back of my mind for a few weeks. Weeks where daylight was slipping away by minutes each day, leaving a restless kind of feeling in my fingers and toes each evening. When I received the call one morning, a feeling of apprehension accompanied my ring tone.  It was a call from Kevin Landry. He said something about biking, clearing some trees, and a helicopter. Snap. "I'm game."
   The next day, work was a breeze. Staying focused on measuring and cutting, the day flew by, all the while the motivating factor was the unknown that waited for me after work.
   Arriving at some location down a dirt road in the squamish area, i met Kevin, Taylor (artbarn) Ollie (shegnarnigans). Now i learned the scheme... a helicopter was coming in 30 minutes, trees were down on the trail, we had to work fast. Chainsaws, axes, rakes and shovels. Just as the last of the logs were moved we heard the radio beep. Heli was 10 minutes away and our bikes were a few minutes away, back at the trucks. Scrabble to get geared up and hike back to the trail head. "Tick tick tick" is the first sound, as it get closer "chop chop chop." Heart rate rises. Helicopter in sight and we still haven't rode our bikes today. Completely cold.
   Kevin drops in first. Disappears down the trail. The two of us wait. Radio cracks, "making another pass. Next rider ready?"  We acknowledge and Ollie drops in. Out of sight.  Now my apprehension has stopped. This was the moment I'd been anticipating without knowing for two days. Helicopter is about to pass, and I drop in. First rock drop( Pic here ). Second speed gap....too much speed, headed for a tree....protect body with bike. Thwack!  Trees are always solid.
   I managed to snap a handle bar right in half, but escaped with only a bruise. Kevin experienced some mechanical problems, while Ollie cleared the line twice a got some pretty cool footage.
   Regardless of what was we ended up with on film....or memory card...the day was pretty amazing with a pretty spectacular sunset to cap it off.

The Sunset

The line follows rock ridge, with a larger gap at bottom left of screen

Me on Pinkbike:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Post/Day in Squamish

    It started like any other adventure to Squamish...early rise, big breakfast and coffee for the road...but unfortunately today ended with a slight set-back; one sprained ankle.
   This trip was like most I make, mountain biking induced. The up with summer room mates Kevin Landry and Taylor Lougran of ArtBarnProductions to ride drop and jump filled lines against the backdrop of  The Howe Sound. Getting to squamish slightly after 8am, friend Pat Podolski and I were greeted by the always exuberant Cheekeye tha Dog, a log and rock mongering mustard coloured mutt.
After a healthy exchange of insults between the five of us, Pat and I decided to head to ze mountains right away to start building a new section of trail.
   The morning went fairly smooth, finding and starting a small bit of trail along a ridge, bordering a clear cut. Usually the hardest part of building bike trail/lines is getting overwhelmed by possibility...commonly referred to as line-itis. However by 11am we were almost set to ride our rough section of trail.
   However, this wouldn't play out  as Kevin, Taylor, Miranda and a three man film crew convoyed their way into sight. For the next few hours we rode and filmed a previously constructed drop, where rolling in as slow as possible was the key to a smooth landing.
   After a while, we had some good footage and getting bored of the same drop, started shooting other features. While Miranda and Kevin shredded a few corners with there knobby downhill tires, I took a few run-ins to hip (a jump where you must land at almost a 90 degree angle to the take-off). After getting the feel for the whole situation, I flew off the lip a few times...with varying success. In hindsight, THIS WAS THE POINT where i questioned whether to keep sketchily hitting the jump, or call it and head back to work on our new section of trail. Hindsight because the next attempt went foul. Pedal pedal pedal, corner hard in small berm, straighten body, compress and pop take-off.....oh no...I'm a wee bit short....drop bike mid air....down i come...find my feet on the sloped landing....Snap. As my ankle rolled a few thoughts were spinning on my turn-tables...will these jeans ever be clean again and... crap, this may take a while to recover from.
   The yelp I let out at this point was not from the direct pain, as I am "all that is man," but rather from the long? How long until i can ride again? How long until i can go to work and be efficient again?  Lying on the slightly moist ground, I recalled my hesitation from 2 minutes earlier and cried....on the inside. After a few words of encouragement from Pat..."well you've blown it" and "I feel your pain bro," I was up and tending to the injury.
    Relaxing and resting any injury is key to recovery, unfortunately, we don't spend everyday in a perfect zone for building so it was back to work. The rest of the afternoon consisted of me running a chainsaw and chinking rocks together to construct a take-off while Pat cleared the run-in trail. After a few hours of this hap hazard work the bugs and out lack of water turned out thoughts to civilization and all the comforts it offers. Pack up tools, relax and stare at the typically amazing scenery, and its time to head down.
   There isn't much of a definite conclusion here aside from the fact that Pat will tell you the truth (especially if it hurts) and the West Coast is always breathtaking. Decide for yourself....