The super D that never was

26 04 2010

A ride today was initially intended to track down a super D route however some discussions at the start line soon showed that the land managers likely to be involved along all the proposed routes would be all but impossible to organize. As such, we left the idea for another day and just rode.

We smashed ourselves up Martinsville rd and then headed off along moto trails to god knows where. To be honest, I would still be there riding around in circles if we didn’t have someone who knew the area to ride with.

Given all the recent rain and past experience in the area, I chose to leave the race bike at home and took ‘the pig’. This was both a good and bad idea since the anthem didn’t get chewed to pieces in the grit, mud and water, however ‘the pig’ was showing its age and was slowly falling apart underneath me. First the rear brake pads disappeared leaving me straddling some kind of guided missile/jackhammer hybrid. Ever time i pulled the brake lever, the lever would go to the bars and all that would occur would be a strange ticking noise (presumably pad backing vs disc) however there was no slowing down to be had .

So i spent quite a bit of time relying on the front brake which was all good while we were up on the plateau, however when we hit the steep downhill stuff, prodigious front brake use and steep rock ledges proved extremely hairy. There was downhill slope where i locked the front wheel several times and then proceeded to soil myself only to find out I had gone the hard way and everyone else was waiting for me further up the trail.

About halfway through the ride ‘the pig’ developed chain suck and and resulted in several more stacks on steep pinches as you would commit to a line and start smashing to clear the rocks, only to have the driveline lock and loose all momentum and be forced to try unclipping in some of the worst possible places. I spent the whole ride in a single gear since I knew from past experience that changing gears too often would just result in horrible grinding crunching noises and the demise of another drive line. This probably staved off the chain suck as long as possible, but ‘the pig’ got me in the end.

I had several super kook moments today including stacking in the car-park at a rest-break. I have no idea what happened, I think i washed the front wheel on a wet root and before I knew it, I was lying on the ground in front of everyone…. KOOK!

While the SPD’s were more than happy to stay done up as I pitifully struggled to unclip on the ground in the car-park, I managed to pull my feet unclipped more times than I can count on the rocky terrain with a few brown trouser moments resulting.

B-rad was all grins as he rode his new redline full rigid 29er single speed like a man possessed. Can you blame him? There wasn’t much that could go wrong with it….

Towards the end, I had a dummy spit and threw the bike off the trail in disgust. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a killer ride. It was an awesome day. It just means ‘the pigs’ days are numbered….

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11 responses

27 04 2010
b rad

I didn’t see your super kook moment in the car park, but I did see the pig fly…

Awesome ride! Beautiful weather. Great crew. Perfect bike (mine, that is ;)>).

29 04 2010
Simon F

Where be this Super D you speak of? Now that is more my style !!!

30 04 2010
pi11wizard

Yet to be figured out.

Our thoughts for a super D were to stage it like a pedally downhill race. So a ‘time trial’ type race (rather than mass start) with a couple of practice runs and then the real go.

This would necessitate shuttling bikes (so there has to be good road access) and any land that is managed by National Parks is a red flag since they don’t really want mountain bikers anywhere near their trails at the moment. So we are all scratching our heads to figure something out.

Anyone have any ideas?

3 05 2010
Simon F

What, in terms of terrain, is above the highest point of that bastard new pinch climb??? That ridge line must go up to some where and an without pulling the trail back in towards the xc trails at the bottom, does that double track keep going down ?? I rode that new section a few weeks back and absolutely hated that climb (especially on 160mm forks and 15kg bike) but the DH section was so beautiful and flowing. There needs to be some banked wallrides and swoopy berms to rail.

3 05 2010
pi11wizard

I think the logical place to start would be to shuttle up to the DH road gap and then head across the fire trail from there. It is INSANE terrain up there and a series of branching trails could be sent out from that point into the steepest, rockiest, awe inspiring trail building I have ever seen.   Flora and Fauna reports, hundreds of hours trail building and god knows what else stand between us and that point however. Gee I can’t wait though.

3 05 2010
Simon F

Without checking altitudes on a GPS, does the DH road gap sit higher than the top of your new pinch climb? Could the FR trail flow from DH road gap to that “Little Falcon ridge line ??

Wide open, gravity fed FLOW is very inspiring to help build and especially to guinea pig !!!

3 05 2010
pi11wizard

About 100 meters above the little falcon pinch.

Sent from my iPhone

3 05 2010
Simon F

So, in theory, a flowy line could be cut back and forth across to the ridge line. Google ERF seems to show a creek between the two ridges. Might have to investigate this next time Im out there.
Bigger picture is that with a mass start, thinned out by a short fire road stint, and a grand stand “REDBULL” esque finish at the main carpark, It can be done.

3 05 2010
pi11wizard

True.   Although we were hoping to come up with a long descent off site somewhere so that we could have a slightly longer race and also didn’t require building trail i.e find something that was already existing. It is looking less and less likely however.   When the planning meetings come up for the next trail options, a super-D link between the XC and downhill will be high on my agenda.

3 05 2010
Simon F

Sammydog has always had on his agenda a FR style of trail. Now OK, the term FR is hard to pigeon hole but in general terms a fast flowing bermy, jumpy gravity fed line is what I think is his ultimate goal.

Are these planning meetings on a calender somewhere ??

3 05 2010
pi11wizard

No meetings schedule at this point. We are finishing the last of the planned XC loop and then going from there. I am hoping the last of the XC loop will be done in short order. So stay tuned and I will make sure that people know when they are going to be held.

I couldn’t agree more with the concept of FR. I also like the AM concept as a way to differentiate technically challenging advanced level trail away from the ‘family and punters’ oriented XC loop. It doesn’t mean I won’t have a red hot go on my anthem though 😉

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