Good morning All,
Rides for the week have been added to the calendar.
... in Everything
Good morning All,
We have a posted time for the ride this weekend for the Andy / Roz Bday ride.
Start time 2pm.
... in Everything
Well if you have not heard already, Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip passed away at the age of 53.
Growing up I wasn’t the biggest Hip fan to be honest, but over the last 5-10 years I had personally gone back and started listening to the old albums, Trouble at the Henhouse, and really listening to the music and the words. Gord Downie was an amazing song writer and story teller. I was lucky enough to see him live, and during one of the songs, which one exactly I can not remember, but he went into a whole conversation about saving the whales and the environment. At the time I thought it was a little odd, but as he spoke it started to resonate what he was actually saying. He could tell you a story and it would make you really think long and hard about life.
Like many folks, I watched the live concert that was on the CBC, and really just in awe of his presence. He took over the stage and for the couple hours, you didn’t even know you were watching TV. You were enthralled with what you were seeing. Gord Downie had touched the lives of all of us in one way or another. The more you read about him, and what he has done and the projects he was working on, the more astonishing of a man he becomes. He will be a legend that is truly missed.
The CBC has an amazing write up on Gord Downie, I do recommend you read it.
Embeded in the article is the Secret Path. It is worth spending the time to watch it as well.
... in Everything
Who says you cannot have fun on a gloomy day, when the weatherman is calling for 10-15mm of rain. Well when that rain doesn’t start to fall until after the event is over, then you have all the makings of an amazing day at Dufferin Forest.
This past Saturday was the Sausage Suit ITT (SSITT), hosted by Substance Projects. This pretty much is the finale of the Mountain Bike Race season, and what a way to finish. You put almost 70 riders, along with countless volunteers and 16.6km of single track together and you have the recipe for an epic day. The premise behind the SSITT is interval starts, allowing 30 seconds between riders. What this does, is allows for a clean start and less traffic, and thus less chance of an incident at the beginning of the race. This also allows newer people into mountain biking a chance to experience the awesome single track that Dufferin has to offer at a pace they like and is safe to them.
As always, must start by saying a huge thank you to Dan, his mom and dad, the timing people, Ralph at the aid station, and Janet for helping with the day. Now if you have not been to this race, or have not seen the start of an ITT, you have a countdown. Well Janet again, was the countdown, and to be honest, you cannot have the SSITT without her. At the 5 second mark, she lets you know and gives you the motivation to fly out of the gates. Thank you again Janet!
Prior to the race, there was the kids event, with the kids race using the small section of single track near the parking lot. The plan was for all the kids to do one lap. That was the plan. Things change, and kids can be unpredictable. Well each and every one of the kids in the race decided to do a second lap cause they had too much fun. This was awesome to see, and awesome to see them enjoy the race too. Future event entries for sure! Thanks to Janet and Johnny for helping out on this one.
As for the SSITT itself, the race was split into two distances, there was the 1 lap 16km, or 2 lap 32km. There were 20 entries in the 1 lap event and 48 entries in the 2 lap event. Which was really awesome to see based on the weather forecast. The race itself started from the upper lot, with you being hit right away with a nice decent on single track to the lower lot and the tight area which had been recently logged. The lap continued on some amazing fun single track around pretty much the perimeter of the forest. The first half of the lap was the tougher part for sure, with the majority of the climbing.
The trails were in amazing shape, so climbing the hills was not problem. The little bit of rain that had fallen the morning prior to the race had made the trails perfectly tacky, allowing you to let the bike do what it is meant to do. The being said, there were the odd slick part, and a beefier tire may have been a better choice, but it was still a riot. The nice thing about the SSITT is that the course is the same year after year. So for me personally, I look at the SSITT more of a competition against myself, and the previous year, not so much as a race.
Coming through the the pine forest near the end of the lap is the infamous Gorilla Hill! Yes back by popular demand the gorilla is in that section of forest cheering you on, or heckling you to make sure you make the climbs. It is the spot in the forest where your legs are starting to scream at you, then you have a nice punchy climb and spectators. The thing that you dread the most is putting a foot down infront of these people and walking up the hill. The gorilla helping you as you go. Nicely wearing a bright orange hat as well so you did see him!
As you finish the lap, in your head you start thinking, wow that was too much fun, I wish I could do that again, then you realize, oh yeah I registered for 2 laps, out I go. I must say the second lap was way better than the first, as everything began to dry up. Starting near the back of the 30km meant you got to catch up and see a lot of folks and have a quick chat as you went along. It was awesome that way for sure. Everyone on the trail that I personally came across was happy, and friendly and having an awesome time.
As the second lap was finishing up, everyone that was at the start finish area were cheering you on, smiles on their faces and just all and all an awesome vibe.
Seeing friends that you race against over the season, having chats while cheering the others coming in, that is what it is all about.
Again a huge thanks to Substance Projects, the volunteers, and just everyone that was there. It was by far one of the best events yet again.
Results for the Day can be found in the below link.
... in Everything
Good morning all,
Well we have posted up the ride for the week.
There may be others, so keep an eye.
Go out and enjoy the week, weather looks awesome!
. in Everything
Hi all, As there has been some controversy recently about activity in the County Forests we have to ask everyone to understand this change of plans for the weekend and rules to be COMPLETELY respected.
First and foremost….as many of you are aware there was some attention given to the issue of open alcohol in a public space. If you are partaking in this then you are breaking the law, no excuses, and the County has a responsibility to act on this issue. Therefore at this time and moving forward I must ask everyone to refrain from consuming alcohol while on County property and respect this Law. It is also applicable at tomorrow’s Substance Projects event. It is to be a completely dry event. Trying to sneak one in, even in a cup and getting caught will do nothing more than cause harm to everyone who enjoys Dufferin Forest. I’ve been informed that there will be OPP present as well as our County Forest Manager for the day. So again, no alcohol and utmost respect for authorities and County Staff.
Second item: We have talked about it and due to the rain forecasted Saturday night, we are not hosting the Campout following the event. For a few different reasons, it’s best not to have it this year. We will instead be hosting a get together at the team van go club house, 8km away. It’s dry and warm. If you wish to head to the club house it’s bring-your-own-snacks and beverages. Maybe we can organize a BBQ (I only have a bus size one)? If you wish to camp out, no problem, that’s available as well. Just so we know numbers, if you want to stay the night, please contact me through the CONTACT tab or directly.
Thank you for your understanding and respect for the issues. It is very important to support the requirements of the law, Council and Staff as we can never lose sight of the fact that it is an absolute privilege and not a right to be able to enjoy such an amazing forest.
See you out there, Johnny... in Everything
Good morning all,
Last night I personally, along with probably 100+ others to listened to delegates with respect to the Dufferin Forest Recreation Plan. This is a plan that has been in the works with Dufferin County, residents, and invested user groups for over 4 years. I do want to thank the Council and everyone that was involved in the making of this plan, and the hard work and countless hours put into it.
Over the course of the proceedings last night a point that was brought up and really pushed home was enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the parking lot post ride. Please refrain from doing so. If you want to be social post ride, bring a different beverage, such as a recovery drink, water etc. I respect what was said last night, and do want to enjoy the forest as much as the next person.
If you did not attend last night, there were many excellent points brought up by delegates from all user groups. I appreciate the time and energy that is put into this, as Sue Downing said during the proceedings, use of the forest is a privilege not a right. We as users of the forest have to understand that as well.
The forest is a place for all of us to go unwind and enjoy nature in whatever way we want, whether it be hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching etc. It is there as a place of refuge for some. The County and the Council members are doing everything they can to ensure a safe and pleasant environment for its residents and users of the forest.
At one point last night, the Warden Darren White made mention that it doesn’t appear as the user groups are getting along. I agree with him at least at they level we were seeing at the Council meeting last night. But there has been attempts at collaboration between all the user groups. OCTRA and the cycling community have worked together, and there was an event last year where it was a combination ride of Horseback, running and cycling. The event was called the Triple Crown, and personally I was hoping that to be a stepping stone in different user groups to work together and appreciate the forest as one. I think this is still achievable whether it be similar events or like what has been done in the past, prior to an OCTRA event, going out and helping clean debris from the double tracks that are used for the equestrian events.
For anyone that wants to read the post with respect to the Triple Crown I’ve re-posted it. The event was held in June 2016.
At the end of the day we should to respect what Council requests, as they are the people that we elect to run our County. Again, I will re-advise, please refrain from post ride beverages in the parking lots. Enjoy them when you are home.
Have a great day everyone, and remember, go outside and enjoy the forest.
. in Everything
Triple Crown Race @ OCTRA Summer Solstice
Saturday was a blast — our bike group participated in the first-ever Triple Crown Race with our friends at the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association (OCTRA). Teams of a mountain biker, runner, equestrian and equine competed head-to-head … and honestly, illustrated how horses, mountain bikers and other trail users can get along famously in the same forest/trail system!
Our team was a bit unorthodox — we couldn’t find a runner, so Rosemary Hasner started the raceand did the 15km of singletrack (in 30C+ heat). I took the handoff and rode the same route while the runners did 10km (only seemed fair). And then our new friends, Tom and Carolyn, who came in from just outside Ottawa, rode Dolly and Thor on a 10 km trail ride!We used OCTRA rules, which meant our overall team time didn’t stop until our equine teammates’ heart rates were below 60 bpm! This meant we had to work to make that happen!
The non-equestrian teammates had to de-tack the horses and bathe them to cool them down. Pulse checks were conducted by vets and once we were rested enough, the non-equestrian teammates had to present the horses to the formal vet check. We had to keep the horses’ heart rates below 60 AND then we needed to trot the horses to make sure there was no sign of lameness or other issues. This event was a COMPLETE BLAST. Neither Rose nor I are race-inclined, but this event seemed perfect for us. And it was an outstanding way to show the world how bikes, horses and other trail users can happily co-exist in the same place. Win-win! Word of advice from our equestrian friends — start talking to the horses and the riders the moment they come into view. Don’t stay silent! Horses have no issues with mountain bikers, but they are caught off guard when something sneaks up quietly on them. They’re happy once they figure out there’s a person on that two-wheeled contraption! Take a stroll through the pics for a glimpse inside this AWESOME event!
Mass start for mountain bikes was at 12:30 pm. Temp = 30 degrees C! At least there was no humidity.
Rose returns triumphant. First words out of her mouth? “That was tough!”
Johnny from www.TeamVanGo.ca worked with Sue from OCTRA to set up the whole day and he was stationed in the forest at the half-way mark for bikes (and the cut-back for runners) to make sure we were OK. I used this moment to hang-out and chat for a good six minutes or so. I don’t race because I am too competitive and I hit this checkpoint way too quickly — it was too hot to be riding that fast, so I needed to collect myself (and talk myself into slowing it down a little). This was supposed to be fun!
Not only were our times noted on it, but also the health of our equine partners — HR, leg condition, respiration rate and other general notes. We hung out in the crew area while our teammates were on their ride. They had to stop in the middle of the forest for a mid-point pulse and respiration check by one of the on-site vets — OCTRA folks REALLY look after their horses! We were waiting with pails of water, sponges and squeegee sticks to help get the horses cooled fast upon return. Dolly gets a pulse check before we head out to final presentation.
Informal pulse checks are conducted at the cool-down area, so you know where you stand before you go to the next stage. The last thing you want is to present a horse with and elevated heart rate (they send you back or dock you points).
Tom took Dolly, who is a bit high-strung, to official presentation just so we were all safe. Tom and Carolyn told us the horses stay calm when you talk gently to them, so there was a lot of face-to-face calming to help keep those heart rates down.
Rosemary Hasner, horse whisperer, with Thor during official presentation. It worked! The official presentation! Rose has Thor, who is a purebred Polish Arabian and naturally chill. The vet is the fellow with the red flag attached to his belt. Thor passed!
Now it was time to trot him. Rose clearly had a blast and Thor looked good, although we were all a bit concerned about a wee hoof nick on one of his back hocks. This boy will need boots next time!
I got to fuel Thor back at the cool-down area.
This handsome boy got a mix of carrots,apples, oats, molasses and electrolytes. And of course, some tasty clover that was nearby!
Addition from Johnny…
Thank you Janet for the great review of the event!
I’d like to thank all the people who made this possible. I have to give credit to Sue from OCTRA for coming up with this event idea, thanks Sue, it was a pleasure to be a part of this event with you. A large thank you to all the volunteers that gave their time to come out and make this event happen. I hope everyone involved from every discipline gained some education from each other. We all are seeking the same thing, enjoyment from spending time in nature. Thank you to all that helped and participated in this event. Johnny... in Everything
Good afternoon all,
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Thursday.
Dan from Substance Projects has reached out for a couple volunteers to help with the Aid station out by the Alligator pit. There will be a tent so no worries about the elements and you can yell and scream at people the whole time!!!
If you are interested, pleases contact dan, email@example.com
Enjoy the day, whether you are indoors or outdoors.
. in Everything
Well it seems Mother Nature may win this one tonight! I’m still going to head up at 6pm for a short while with some trail tools and leaf blower (and raincoat and rubber boots!) to see if we can at least get the “outer loop” of the practice area open for the SSITT this weekend. Andy and I checked it out last night and it didn’t look too bad, the loggers did the best they could. So if you still want to get your “forest fix” and help with some trail maintenance, I’ll see you at 6!
If you have a rake &/or hoe bring it along….
Second thing, logging has started in the Simcoe Forest at the south end. They are harvesting the hardwood there. We have been invited by the County to flag the trail to indicate to the loggers where it is as unmarked it’s almost impossible for them to see it from their equipment. If anyone can get out to mark it let me know. We are to use orange flagging tape (I have some) and mark trees along the trail. If anyone gets out there for this let me know so I can let them know and not have others head out when it is already been done. This has worked very well in Dufferin to reduce trail damage during harvesting. Thanks!... in Everything
Well folks, if you have yet to register for the Sausage Suit ITT happening this coming weekend, you are in luck as it is still open!
If you are thinking, do I want to do it, or what will it be like, or if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound, well read Colins post from last year.
If this doesn’t get you motivated to come out for a fun filled afternoon I’m not sure what will.
... in Everything
Good morning All,
Rides for the week have been added to the calendar.
. in Everything
Check out calendar for details…see you!. in Everything
Hey all, just a little reminder that the SSITT 2017 is coming up fast, like next weekend! I’ve totally forgot to get signed up so I figured I’d remind myself and everyone else. The trails are in amazing shape, the leaves are starting to change…should be a great day for a ride, bonfire and camp-out. See you there!
... in Everything, Links
What is the worst that can happen with a race that starts at 2pm and finishes at 10pm. The answer nothing, nothing bad can happen, everything that happens over the course of that 8hrs is positive and fun!
Parry Sound Bikes, and Get outdoors Parry Sound hosted their second annual 8hr race at the Georgian Nordic Centre, about 10-15min outside of Parry Sound. Now if you have never ridden at the Nordic Centre, I will 100% recommend you make the trip up there. The trails are an absolute riot. Not only the 6.5km loop that the 8hr race consisted of, but the abundance of other trails in their network. Google them, or contact the lovely folks at Parry Sound Bikes for more information.
Now there was a race to talk about too.
With the format, start at 2pm, finish at 10, you need lights for the last 3hrs for sure. It’s amazing how dark it gets at night, and how fast it becomes dark too.
With darkness comes cold temperatures as well. I’m not sure what the final low was, but on my Garmin GPS, I did see 5.4 degrees C. If you are sitting there in your warm office, or comfy couch, thinking 5.4 isn’t that bad, you should have dressed for it, well my good friend, it was cold, and add-on the heavy dew that was coming in as well.
From our happy little group, there was Tyler, Ryan, Dan and Sarah, all of which were in the solo category. Cause really, why not ride for 8hrs, again, what is the worst that can happen.
To give you a bit of an explanation of the course itself, I can sum it up as, the best 8hr course I have ever ridden on. There was a mix of single track, technical rock sections, and just enough double track to allow you to relax, gather your thoughts, and drink! Right off the hop, you hit the first single track which is a large rock slab off camber and down a slope. That gives you the idea of how this lap is going to go.
As you ride along the rock single track, you are shot out onto some very fast double track.
Then as you are nicely into your rhythm, POW, single tack and more fun technical rocks and roots. Now I will say the first 4 hrs the rocks were pretty good, but over the course of the day everything kept getting wetter and wetter, due to the rains that had happened the day before. This was to become my downfall for sure, and I use the word fall as that is what I did.
One of the nice rock slabs that had been my friend for 4hrs, become my enemy and decided that my tires were too wet and that I needed to fall from grace. So as I fell gracefully onto my side and slide down the rock, I decided to let out a nice umf and maybe the odd swear word. Luckily no damage to the bike, only damage to my ego, and right knee. Ryan and I pushed on, keeping the legs at a nice spin to ensure we had enough energy to push through into the night.
As the lap continued the knee was feeling the effects of a beautiful piece of Parry Sound rock, and began to twinge and pulse. But as Ryan said, you have to push through the pain. Again, luckily the double track was helpful in allowing the legs to spin freely, and just relax.
The first half of the laps were the toughest with technical features, rocks roots, etc. The second half is where you found flow and got into an awesome rhythm. Following Ryan through some single tracks, and then vice versa we kept going back and forth allowing each other some clear runs through the fun.
The one awesome part of this race was that it was small. You had many many sections of trail with no one around and you could just putt along at your pace and not have to worry about being passed. You were able to focus on what you were doing, which on this course was needed for sure. You needed a sharp mind to navigate the rocks.
Lap after Lap, the start finish area was always alive, with either a fire going, music playing, the smell of delicious food being served in the ski building, people cheering you on, as they sat nicely beside the warm fire….
As the sun set, we had to mount up the lights at 7pm and boy were they needed, it got dark, and boy did it get cold. The heavy dew set in, and you were not only fighting the cold and darkness, but also at times fog through the low areas. But again, having someone to ride with over the day and night made it way better for sure.
After 7hr and 12min of riding we had finished 13 laps, roughly 93km. We were tossing the idea of one more lap around, but we had slowed down and the trails were becoming a little treacherous and decided to call it a day and enjoy some warmth and some food.
I must say, the bike does make a huge difference for sure. The Marin Rift Zone Pro I was riding made my life a lot easier at times. Was the right choice for me for sure! Handled the rocks and roots, and was still fast to keep consistent laps. Other than a broken chain, due to me not lubing it, there was no issues or anything bad to say.
Sarah finished First with 14 laps
Tyler and Ryan tied for Second with 13 laps
Dan forth with 9 laps.
All in all, this was an absolutely amazing event, and a huge thank you to the organizers, volunteers, the folks that made the food.
This will be on the calendar next year 100%, whether it is solo tag or 4 person, I’ll be sure to make the trek up again.
For some photos:
Photos above from Thom Morrissey Photography. Photos are available for purchase.