Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend riding

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  At this time of year, it's quite normal for most parts of Canada to experience frost in the mornings. Daytime temperatures are usually crisp but not freezing. The leaves have begun to turn bright colours. But the last week has been unseasonably warm -- like middle-of-summer-warm, but without the mosquitoes.  It sure has made for some awesome dual-sport riding weather.

I ditched work on Friday and I headed out with Johh, Jason, and Ovi. We had a full day of riding trails, fire roads, and some logging tracks in the Calabogie area. These guys are all better riders than yours truly so it keeps me on my toes. I need to keep reminding mylself that I don't have to prove anything and that falling behind a little is okay. It was a really great day even if I was dressed a little warmly -- and carrying too much weight in my back pack: I always pack lots of tools, spare tubes, first aid kit, food & water.

Jason on his WR250R, Ovi on his 530EXC, and John on his 690 Enduro R.

Gas time.

This is the view from Eagles Nest Lookout, a 1.5Km ride from
Hwy 508, then a hike on foot for the last 200 feet. The view is great.

Watch that first step: it's a long way down.

On the way home, John forgot his back-pack at the gas station 10 minutes
back, so I just sat on the side of the dirt road waiting for him. Played around
with the timer function on my phone camera (Samsung Galaxy Fascinate).

This is a bunch of video clips I stitched together from Friday's ride.
At the 6:30 mark I just about went straight through a turn.
I was perhaps going a bit too fast, and I think I glanced down at my GPS.
Only takes a split second to smack a tree.
In any event, I managed to keep the rubber side down.

On Sunday, John and I rode out to Calabogie to meet Jason
(not the same Jason as Friday's ride) who trailered his new
KTM 450EXC. The three of us headed out on the power line
trails and made our way through all kinds of other gravel roads,
fire roads, logging trails, ATV tracks, etc,

We followed an ATV trail that led to a small lake.  At the shore,
someone had fashioned a rudimentary shitter by placing an old
toilet seat atop some large rocks.

Power line trails (we call them hydro lines in Canada because most
of the electricity the transport comes from hydro electric generating stations)

View from the hydro lines

Taking a break in the mid-day heat.

Ready to head home after some re-hydration.

And a couple of videos from Sunday's ride:

At the 5:45 mark I decided to take a closer look at the bushes, and I managed to
get it back on track. Then at the 6:00 minute mark, my front tire slips out to
the side in some mud ... taking me completely by surprise.

This video starts with me onboard Jason's KTM 450EXC.
Jason is riding John's KTM 690, and John is on my Suzuki DR650.
The 450 feels as light as a mountain bike compared to my porky DR.