Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back Broken




On a hot and sunny day with no care in the world I threw the bike on the Jeep, ripped the top roof panels off and drove to the greatest river valley for riding probably in North America.  Yep, life can be pretty sweet sometimes.

The goal of the day was to ride the once famous Back breaker backwards. Perhaps the silver lining in a dark cloud that has angered quite a few. I have been trying to keep calm about the whole situation and am looking at the bright side. We have bike groups in Edmonton who are putting their time in as well as their free labour who are maintaining trails and putting in new ones. This is awesome. This did not exist years ago.

I will admit I have not helped out at one of the trail maintaining sessions. In the past work obligations seemed to always get in the way. I know, excuses, excuses...  So you can say what you want about me. I feel like one of those people who complains about politicians but never votes. I do feel the guilt every time I ride through a new section of trail that has been repaired. A good example of that is Skyline trail. Years ago it would have just crumbled into the valley and nobody would have done anything.

Am I not allowed to complain about something I don't like if I do not attend trail days or get into the meetings regarding trail work? Guaranteed I would have said "Bad Idea!" when the talk came up regarding Back Breaker. Yes the area near the log needed work but it could have just stayed at that.

It was technical.

It was scary.

It was awesome.

It was the ultimate end to an incredible trail.

So I ask. Is that it for Mackinnon? Is there more planned? I have very strong fears of bridges going over the heavily rooted sections now. It happened on Old Timers so it can happen anywhere.



The ride started at Henrietta Louise park where I slowly clambered up the South side of the trail. My legs were quite tired from the rides yesterday. I pulled to the side of the trail and had a pep talk between me and my tired legs much to the dismay of passing office lunch runners. I rode Skyline, Gnome and went around the construction in Walterdale Park (just what the hell is going on there speaking of bitching about trails!?). I kept things on the south side and crossed Groat road bridge where I soon faced the bottom of Back Breaker.

I rode up and quickly my tired legs said "No More!" and I stopped midway up the first switchback. Tail tucked, I pushed the bike up the rest of the way and somehow had energy to ride the rest of the trail including going up the steep switchback midway through. I came back the same way and was disappointed at the ending yet again. This time though my guard was up for riders going the opposite way of me as the trail opened up both ways. Yes, yet another problem to bitch about.

The ride ended with visits to Groat Road Roller Coaster and a visit to my old ball and chain. Victoria's Secret. It was all incredible.

A good end to a short ride on a beauty day.

i'm sure there is a story here somewhere