If it wasn't for good luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all!

zero_it

Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2000
Messages
287
Likes
0
#1
Last weekend I picked up a new KTM 200 and spent a couple days doing the normal bike prep routine. In their great wisdom, KTM no longer supplies a spark arrestor on their enduro bikes. WTF?! So I ordered an aftermarket one. Apparently it's a popular S/A I chose, because it's back ordered for another week or so. What a dilemma, brand new bike that's not legal to ride on any public land and my 5 acres is getting really boring. Thankfully our neighbors to the north do not require spark arrestors, so off to Canada I went yesterday for the official maiden voyage.

The most hard core of my hard core riding buddies, Scott, joined me yesterday at Chipmunk Creek. He's the one who regularly scares away riding partners because they don't like the endless technical, butt-whooping trails he drags them through. Me, I love it! Neither of us had ridden this particular area in about 3 years and Scott had been there only once for a race, so we weren't exactly familiar with the trail system. I knew enough to be dangerous and pointed us toward what I knew to be the biggest hillclimb (steep, uphill singletrack for nearly 2 miles) and subsequent nasty, rock infested downhill in the area. As we started down the downhill we noticed a new trail off to our left. It was marked "Palo's Easy Out". I balked at taking the easy way out, but Scott wanted to check it out and promised that if it was lame we'd loop back around and ride the other trail. The trail name was apparently a joke. This was a fresh cut trail through the trees that was close to a freefall in a couple areas. The flatter stretches of trail were nice & tight, lots of rock & some tree roots. It took a dip down through a dried up creekbed (or would that be waterfall?), popped back up the other side and into more sick, tight stuff. Scott & I were pumped and laughing about how we really wanted to ride with this Palo guy. The trail came back out of the trees and dropped into the dry creekbed and ran down it. I got to a spot where it was necessary for me to slow way down and pick the lesser of all evil lines through some huge boulders when I heard somebody yelling at us. Off to our left was a guy wearing a packback and carrying a pulaski and a guy on a CRF 250X. We told them how excited we were about finding the "Easy Out" and inquired as to what they were doing. Turns out they were building a new trail that bypassed most of what we had just ridden. The Honda rider said that if we liked the "Easy Out" we should follow him. He looped us downhill and back around to the freshly cut trail where we went by about 4 guys with various trail bulding tools in hand. It was a killer little stretch of trail. Apparently we were saying all the right things and passed the initiation test, because the guy on the Honda (Paul) invited us to ride with him.

The first thing he drug us through was called "Keller's Downhill". This was one of those downhills that makes your arms shaky from holding your body off the gastank and handlbebar pad. We're talking A and AA-level riders only on this thing. It had a couple of cool creek crossings as well as we rapidly made our way down a draw to the lower elevation trails. After a couple of quick connections on more moderate trails we went into a rock strewn trail covered in moss and tree roots. You had to keep you toes up and your eyes & mind focused all the while taking a beating from the large roudn river rocks. Just when it was getting to be a little tiring we came out to the river bank and paralleled the river for about 1/3 mile (picutre below). This was a welcome relief. We took a short breather about then and it finally occured to me. "Are you Palo", I asked. Mr. Honda smiled and saide that he and his friend Carlos had built the "Easy Out" and just blended their names to come up with Palo. Too cool, the guy we thought would be so fun to ride with was awho we were riding with! And he did not disappoint. He showed us all the new trails his club had built over the last 3 years or so and some of the hard-core favorites.

About mid-way through the ride Paul asks us if we're afraid of heights. Scott & I kind of looked at each other and said no. That was Paul's free ticket to trying to scare us to death. He took us over a 6 foot high ramp with a near vertical drop off the back side (picture below) and over a 50 foot high bridge with no guard rail or kick board. Those were the warm ups for the real show. His motorcycle club spent two years constructing the most elaborate aluminum ramp system around a huge rock that's about 20 feet in the air and steep. It has no particular purpose other than to entertain, as the rock is in the middle of a clear cut, so you can build trail pretty much anywhere around it. I can't really describe it, so just check out the picture of Scott descending it.

After the big ramp Paul had to take off and Scott and I were on our own again. We were very greatful for Paul's offer to give us a guided tour and his faith in our riding ability. It made for some huge smiles. Anyhow we managed to find even more good stuff within the trail system that challenged and entertained us hugely until dusk. I dropped the new KTM once in the rocks, so it's no longer a virgin. Me and it got along very nicely. Scott & I laughed and smiled all day about all the kickin' trails we were treated to and the outstanding luck we had in finding "Palo" to ride with. Doesn't get much better than that.
 

Attachments

SpDyKen

Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
1,237
Likes
1
#2
Hello Z.I.,

Sounds like an incredible ride. The title was 'tongue in cheek,' I figured out! ;)

Thanks for those pics., I would not have been able to imagine it; had to be intimidating!

BTW, trying to recruit a couple of gals here in GA to consider the Endurocross, per your request.

"Keep it on one wheel," (R.I.P., Elmer)

Ken W.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
31
Likes
0
#3
Hey, zero_it, awesome ride report, I have only been to Chipmunk once years ago, and that was riding quad. I've seen pics of those trails before, but your pics do them more justice! We usually ride at Vedder Mtn. as its closer for day tripping. Ever been there? I think you'd like it. It's great to see some appreciation for the B.C. trails!
 

squeaky

Roosta's Princess
Damn Yankees
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Messages
2,561
Likes
0
#4
Awesome ride report! You've got guts - I'd never ride that!
 

zero_it

Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2000
Messages
287
Likes
0
#6
Ken - Thanks for doing some recruiting for Endurocross. It would be really cool to see more women competing in that event. Do you grow 'em tough enough down there in Georgia?!

Squirrel Girl - I know you grow 'em tough in BC! Vedder is another favorite hang out of mine (less than an hour drive). We had a killer ride there just about a month ago and I'll be taking a buddy up there this coming weekend for a little punishment. Chipmunk & Vedder are both outstanding riding areas with a tremendous amount of trail work done by volunteers that we appreciate very much. My husband & I did some clearing of windfalls at Vedder last winter, but sadly did not pull our weight there this year. We'll get some hours in next year like we're supposed to!

So a couple of you have maybe confused a loose wire for having guts. On approaching that big ramp around the rock I was feeling like I had a bit of a death wish going on and questionable sanity. All's well that ends well though!

LT
 

MXGirl230

Stupid tires and trees
Mi. Trail Riders
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,360
Likes
0
#8
As stated before...awesome write up! There is no way I could have maneuvered through that stuff! That's why I pretty much play on the track!!
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
657
Likes
0
#9
I have to agree with MXGirl230 (sorry for not knowing your name yet), as I would have a terrible time navigating big rocks and the like (I need some more practice! Darn! Looks like I have to go riding again :) ).

I never thought a trail ride would be all that interesting until I read this post!

Now that I think of it, the boyfriend did mention there being trails way up north by Lake of the Woods...I'll have to pester him about it some more!
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
1,534
Likes
8
#11
What is the surface of those aluminum ramps like?

I can see them getting a little muddy and dripping wet after a rain and being REALLY slick!

Rod
 

zero_it

Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2000
Messages
287
Likes
0
#12
The ramps are perforated and have good traction. The aluminum is raised around the perfs giving it some texture. When I first dropped onto the long one winding around the rock there was gravel on it and my front tire did skid a little. YIKES! Other than that they grip really well. Here's what it looks like up close.
 

Attachments

Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
424
Likes
1
#14
Wicked! :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:

Great Photos, Superfantastic Report....and... since you are apparently still alive... Goddess-like riding. :yeehaw:
 

WomanRider

Mi. Trail Riders
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
422
Likes
0
#15
Those ramps look nasty. If I rode those my front wheel would fall between the ramp and the guides on the sides. All I could think about are the possibilities of what might happen.

You ROCk Girl. Great nerve.