While I was in Toronto over the previous weekend visiting my parents a big storm hit Victoria dumping heavy wet snow and shaking the trees with high winds. That proved to be a lethal combo for many trees resulting in lots of blowdown. The trails at the Hartland Bike Park were virtually unrideable afterwards.
So the Dirt Hombres and got our butts into gear this weekend and started to clear as much of the mess as we could with small folding saws.
Hombres Jean and Michael got the ball rolling on Friday tackling some of the lower trails.
Saturday we got a 6 Hombre crew out to work on some of the higher trails [North Ridge – Sidewinder – Who’s Your Daddy?]. It was cold and raining ever so slightly, but spirits were high and many hands made for light work.
Especially with Helen “The Wolverine” Bailey on our team. She attacked trees so hard and fast there wasn’t that much for us to do, but stand around and cheer her on. 😉
Despite a lot of snow we were able to ride most of each trail once we cleared away the trees.
I’ll be posting a review of the folding hand saws we got at MEC.ca as they worked really well.
Although it was cold and the snow made for soggy shoes we stayed reasonably warm and comfortable.
As we cruised back down Who’s Your Daddy? and Night Shift towards the cars we were able to ride more and more since other folks had cleared the lower trails pretty well.
That was a nice reward for our efforts.
Sunday was raining fairly heavily and the temperatures were down near freezing. That makes for a fairly unpleasant combo and was the inspiration for the title of this blog post. Only Dan showed up from the Saturday crew plus me. We both admitted later on that we had thought about turning our cars around as the rain increased on the drive to the park. I was okay for the first half of our tree clearing session, but as we got lower and could ride more without pedalling or stopping to clear trees I got really cold.
We tackled Lazy Line, Falling Satellites, South Ridge and Fun Trail. As with Saturday most of our work was up higher and as we worked our way down only the really big trees remained. We marked anything beyond the power of a folding hand saw and moved on. It was so soggy I left the camera in the car – hence no tree carnage shots from Sunday.
By the time we got back to the car I was filthy, soaked and nearly hypothermic. That reminded me why I don’t ride my bike much in persistent rain in the winter on Vancouver Island – it’s not that pleasant!
Thanks to all the Hombres that came out over the weekend! Especially Dan for braving the gnarliest conditions to get everyone back to riding normally. Thanks also to SIMBS for sending a trail crew in on Sunday to tackle some of the bigger trees the Hombres couldn’t clear.
Keeping our local trails well maintained is hard work and it takes a solid team effort! 🙂