Lest We Forget - A Memorial Mountain Bike Ride
Since approximately 1992, mountain bikers have gathered at the base of Mount Fromme to share their respect of and sympathy for the fallen armed forces and civilians from times of war, aka: Remembrance Day. Every November 11th in North Vancouver they do this by meeting for a coffee and a snack before heading off into the dense, damp, wooded slopes and technical singletrack bike trails of the North Shore. The tradition of cyclists paying their respect this way has been long running but it was my first year in attendance. The photo below was taken after observing 2 minutes of silence starting at 11am. In proud memory of the men and women who died in the service of our country.
16 people and 1 dog turned out for what appeared to be a nice day of riding. Recent weather had been very cold and wet leading up to November 11th so the high cloud and dry roads were a treat, especially since conditions have been so horrid the last few years.............(Photo by: Johnny Halliday, about 3 - 4 years old)
Most of us met at the coffee shop and then rode up the lower trails to gain the gravel road just below the 1st switchback.
As we rode the whole climb together it was getting colder but that didn't put a damper on anything (in fact it help keep me from over-heating!). And of course, there were a couple "rest-stops".
Our first trail of the day was Bookwus with it's magnificently twisty, turning lines, chunky roll-overs and wicked roots which eventually lead into 7th Secret.
Everyone wound their way across 7th Secret to the 5th switchback. When we landed there we could see our breath and there was almost even a hint or suggestion of snow, but nothing to really take notice of. It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to be pedaling our bikes. The climb back up to Lower Oilcan was uneventful. A couple people had to leave so the group was trimmed down to about 14 and 1 dog. You know how when you ride a trail you haven't been on for a long time it brings back memories, especially when it's an awesome, flowy pedal-fest downhill? That's what this was and boy was it fun! (Note: Ti hardtail, seat up and clipless pedals!)
We were all having so much fun it actually took a minute to realize my brain wasn't hurting from a late night of beers or drinking a squishee too fast, it was because of the hail! Yup, Mother-Nature and her bipolar ways were starting to kick in and I think it's safe to say nobody was surprised. After a stunning singletrack rip down to St Marys we stopped to collect ourselves. That's when the group split into 2, with most people riding out to Dempsey Road and 2 of us and the dog riding up St Marys to Baden Powell.
The hail completely covered the trail, everything was white and freezing but knowing the Black Bear Pub was only 15 minutes away, we gathered our strength and flew through the last twisty descent to the magnificent trail end and the promise of a frosty beer in a cozy, warm pub.