Bernie's Report - July 04, 2004
Canada Day 1st July
A mixed group of cyclists decided that a nice leisurely ride on the Silk Trail at the ski hill would be a nice way to spend part of Canada Day. Some of the group is very fit, and some on the way to being so. The Silk Trail is a well known cross country trail, therefore theoretically, not too many steep sections. The plan was to meet at Aussie Dave's house in town, take the bikes up to the hill in trucks, and enjoy an easy ride. However after arriving at Dave's, one unnamed individual suggested riding to the hill, and then riding up the Silk Trail, adding about 14 kls to the trip. Aussie Dave said it was Dave C's idea, Dave C said it was Chris's idea, Chris said it was Aussie Dave's idea and so on.
As soon as we set out, it started to drizzle, but at least it wasnt hot. The rain held off for nearly all of our ride. For two of our group - Bill and Nancy - (who found out that we were riding to the hill after they turned up) this was their second ride of the season. We assured them it would be a piece of cake. Ha Ha . They survived however and are still talking to us. The ride up the highway is nice and cruisy, then you start the climb up the Ski Hill Road. It never seems to end. Past the first Timberline Rd, and you are sucking in oxygen, then up past the Timber Chair, more oxygen, then up to the machinery shed, hallucinating by now. Where is the start of the Silk Trail, that is going to be so easy. (only about another two kls of UPHILL. )
We finally reached our starting point (see photo) and it was all uphill from there. The rain we've been having made for some fun splashing through puddles, mud flying, and we rode on through some of the most beautiful forest to the southern ski hill boundary. At this point you swing left and parallel the same trail out, but a little lower down . One would think this would be all down hill. WRONG. For some reason that no-one can explain, its mostly uphill on the way out too. We had the good fortune to see a small black bear, and a deer that almost jumped over Brett, as it flew out of the forest and up into the trees.
Once back at the machinery shed, the proper downhill started. With very ominous black clouds coming in over the Lizard Range we rode back past the car parks, onto Ski Hill Road, and turned up into Boomerang way, and down to the Stone Creek Condos, where Brett promised us a nice little track following a stream, back to the highway. Being an ex national cyclist for Australia, we have quite a different interpretation of nice little track. The beginning of this was almost too steep to walk down, especially in the rain. Brett and Dave both managed to slide off the track and into the bushes amidst gales of laughter. But we all managed in various ways to get back to the highway. A major thunderstorm greated us as we rode back into town. The round trip was about 30 kls.
Bernie's Note: This report is thanks to Aussi Dave. I didn't make it out on this excursion.