Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Bowl Exploration

With Monday March 6th being a some what warm day, well if you can call minus 3 warm. Decided on the way back from Toronto to check out a trail area I spotted in the Back Roads Map Book near Port Hope.

The Bowl ATV Trails Area Satellite Image

In theory there is potentially some track that would be good but based on the area my expectations where not high. I expected more of a spin and explore with nothing really stimulating. But it is worth the effort as one never knows what they might discover. Plus I have been over the last couple of years trying to find more riding areas in Eastern Ontario outside the already known.

Dead End Beginning

The entrance that I started at is at the dead end of Mail Rd and have no idea if this is a de-activated unmaintained county road that part of the area use. However as I explored came upon an interesting sign will cover later that gave me this idea.

Double Track

Initially the beginning was quad track which really is like riding double track. To an old RGMC type like me that is part of mountain biking.  Because especially in Ontario mountain Biking is more than just singletrack because if you don't include double track and some unmaintained road. You get less. There was some stuff down in a small ravine but it was wet and muddy so didn't go look.

Gravel Through Da Trees

On this exploration ride of double track connected back to the unmaintained road. Which led to the discovery of what I hinted at earlier...

Gravel Road

Gravel road with a storm drain???

Secret Gravel Shifter?

A storm drain in the middle of a unmaintained gravel road area? Is it a way to slowly shift sand and gravel to the local shore line to create a sand and gravel beach??

Wrong Bike For This

There is probably more to explore here but between the chilly temps and lack of time. Only go a brief time to spin around on the wrong bike for this.  There is possibly more rideable around as the BRMB  shows double track on running along the waterfront  on the other side of the old Wesleyville Generating station. So there is the potential to create a loop of some kind.

To get to this location you get off the 401 at Wesleyville, off ramp # 456. Head south on Wesleyville Road to Mail Rd. Turn right on Mail Rd and drive till you get to the dead end. Trail area starts here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Action Not Words

Today's late afternoon ride was a little different as spotted something that didn't seem right and raised a  red flag.

 Looking after your mates

 On this day and that being a clear, sunny, and very warm February day was a good day to ride. Expecting nothing but a spin on the bike and a stop by the creek to clear my head. It was off for a wander to check the conditions of the ice thickness on the trails.

About 5 minutes in riding along Bath parallel to the CN Rail main line to Toronto spotted a older gentleman sitting near the tracks. But when I looked a second time noticed he was sitting on the actual rail.  Took me about 60m before I remembered that is the section where a couple of years ago someone was killed there by a VIA rail train, they still won't say if it was accidental or not.

Quickly stopped and dropped my bike in the snow. Not wanting to run back and startle the old guy. Hopped the ditch and jogged up the berm to the line. I wanted to see if there was more going on before I just ran up to him thinking the worst case. All it looked like was he sat on the rail during a walk to have a moment. And turns out it was correct as he stood up and dusted himself off. And walked back to the street. And kept walking towards home some where down the street.

So in the end it was nothing but an old guy sitting on the rail looking out over Collins Bay. Maybe not the smartest place to sit. But it was better to have checked to see if someone was having a bad day. So back on the bike to check out the trails and the creek.

As I rode was thinking of the last few years and what I have been through in terms of mental health. And thinking of the suicides last year that rocked my wife's workplace. I could speculate all sorts of scenarios. Yet it was one thing that stands out....

Instead of talking about mental health, I interrupted my ride to check on some one else which is more important than just talk.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Where Ever I May Roam

A rare year with minimal snow and a day with temps that allowed for shorts. Yes shorts in January in Ontario.

A ride that had no real route planned. Leaving the timing stuff behind. Just a general direction to roam.

Route map.
Where Ever May I Roam

2017 marks 14 years of wandering the Rouge and numerous trips up to the highest point in Scarborough....The summit of Ben Trash.

After descending Ben Trash wandered my way east to take the connector to Seaton.

Turned out to be a mixed bag, some bog conditions, some ice, and some giant puddle skirting.

Ended up at the Seaton view point and took it in for a bit. Had some Rum from the new flask to warm things up a wee bit. And a salute to those that are missed.

No feeling like dealing with the puddles and ice that would make up half the ride back took the road back part of the way.

In the end a good unexpected 3 hours of riding in January.

In shorts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tough Call and Head Injuries

 In the last 12 months there has been an increased discussion online among cyclists about concussios. Specifically around some articles that leaned towards the fear side of the discussion. Here I will not be sharing articles but a incident on January 7th. 

On January 7th at the Kingston Snophy Fat Bike race we had some crashes that involved some injuries.  One was a broken collar bone and one concussion.

CCA Concussion Management

Part way through the day we had just extracted a rider with a broken collar bone who was warming up and getting checked out by the race medic. During this a rider walked up stating that he rang his bell good. Which initially wasn't alarming. What raised the red flag was when he said..."I don't remember what lap I am on" and he was on lap one. Recalling past incidents to others in regards to concussions without hesitation I got him headed to the medical tent 10 feet away. And got the medics attention to take over. His race was over.

CCA Head Injury/Concussion Protocol

As a course worker it is not fun pulling a racer of the course. I raced endurance sport for years specifically triathlon where finish no matter what is the mind set. But I know it was the right call to have made for his long term mental health. Of course later when one is relaxing with a beer you analyze the event and think what could have been done. Even better when you have others who have knowledge on this to sto act as a sounding board. Fortunately I have a sounding board to talk it out with and figure out if something was missed.

My wife Joely is that person with who we have discussed numerous times head injuries related to her job. Joely's job is the RMCC Women's VolleyBall Head Coach and Head coach of the CISM team. So later that night with beer in hand shared with her the incident and what was done. And it was the same as what she would have done for any of her athlete's she coaches.

As a coach I feel that while we are seeing lots of discussion about concussions and long term effects. We also need to talk about incidents and what was done so that others may learn more about it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Dilemma Of Frame

So a year ago I had my be loved Mistress V1 aka Chromag Stylus stolen. And delayed getting a replacement till now.

Costs this time being a concern, meaning had to keep it in the dirt bag budget area. Which delayed looking at new through On One Bikes. I stalked the Pinkbike and Ebay looking for something that would meet requirements. But never found much, not even a old Stylus ever gets sold.

With winter I decided I needed a winter build project and a winter bike. Nicely timed to this was On One having a wicked sale. But this leads us to the Dilemma. That being go with the 45650B or the Deedar? Was already looking at a 650b frame anyways as would still allow me to use wheels I already have.



Pros: can fit hubs I already have so don't need to acquire a new hub, has disc tab, takes a 1.5 steer tube, can build it up faster for earlier riding gratification, and can get it in the raw look for no extra cost.

Cons: Older design, No thru axle


Pros: Newer design, 44 head tube allows me to run a 1.5 steer tube, drop outs can bne replaced. Shiny and newest edition

Cons: Need a 12x142 hub, so need to build a new rear wheel as can't run current QR wheels, Raw is $50 extra, no other drop outs available, and no earlier riding gratification.

And on one is having a sale where the Deedar and the 45650b are the same price $163.66.  Thus creates the I go for the new Deedar even though I have to get a 12x142 rear hub and build a rear wheel or go with the older 45650b and get riding sooner?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Switzerville Wandering

Over the last few years have been slowly exploring trail options in the area between Kingston and Napanee.

My foray down the Unmaintained section of Newburg Rd to the 401 was a bust as it went right into a quarry. Which had warning signs that mentioned High Explosives. So that was a bust. But further down Switzerville Rd was this unmaintained road.

Switzerville to Maple Rd

It is definitely not gravel rail trail as the suspension fork on the Mistress V2 had to do some work.

Turns out there is a small escarpment as one nears the 401 and the track wheels left to pass an abandoned quarry.

The track ends at Maple Road which is not far from the Camden Road 401 overpass. Which is not far from the exit of another track on the south side of the 401.

This would be a good spot to park and follow this track further at a future time in the Spring next year.

After getting back to the van took a spin down Switzerville Rd for 5 minutes and found another Unmaintained Road. 

But looks like this goes after a quick Google Earth look , straight north. Not exactly the direction I wanted. But still work riding it next year.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cat Trail- Perth Village to Highway 15

On Sept 5th made a trip up to Perth Road village to check out that section of the Cataraqui Trail. It was really a recce ride as time was short as it was later in the day then planned. But while short it gave me info on what to expect for the longer ride.

After check Google Earth and planning was back up there on September 10th for a longer ride of that section. The goal was to get to Highway 15 and return.

Perth village to Highway 15

 Initially it was a rainy drive up to the trail head and looked like a wet soggy ride. Fortunately the rain was only south of the Cat Trail thankfully.

Initial start was damp but after that it was dry.

On the bridge at Chaffeys Lock some local left a couple of pumps for anyone who needed it.

Apparently a nice boat know if your into that sort of SS Minnow kind of thing.

After reaching Highway 15 for the turn around. Began  the long slog back towards Perth Road Village. While had brought lots of water and my favourite patatoe wedges. My lack of fore thought to bring a bottle of Pepsi on a 5 hour ride on gravel would soon rear it's head.

At one point had to stop and take advantage of a nice bench someone had placed by the trail. As energy was a bit low. And of course my Ipod decided that was the correct time to leave me with no tunes to finish the return trip. But hey there was a nice view of a swamp from the bench.

After a bit of a rest was back to getting to the Adventure Van. Which was a bit of a concern time wise as it was after 4 and sunset was coming sooner than later. Despite a slight slacking of speed still made it back in time.

Usually after a ride like this would drive back to civilization to find some food source. This time planned ahead and brought some instant Pho to brew up by the Van. During which of course causes the rain to start again. After shovelling in the food it was time to head for home.

 And while it was good to get in the mileage and ride some where new. It is a ride I would do rarely as it is pretty mind numbing. One definitely needs some tunes.