Rain, Rain, Sand, Sausage Suits

Ya rain. Seems to be the standard weather pattern in these parts for the last month or more. And our local trails are mostly clay and loam based….so they don’t dry fast…so mega mud. Not good to ride on, not good for the equipment or the trails. Also, a ton of roots and rocks here…so when wet very slick…dangerous for body breakage.

So….what are the alternatives? Well…there is the ride inside thing. Now with smart trainers it makes this option much more appealing…especially if you like to ride inside (not me), or if you are desperate to get into shape (my belly says this is definitely me!), or if you like the simplicity of just throwing on a pair of chamois/shoes and get riding (ya thats me, I’m simple), and the option to be active when no other options are available. However, for someone who cherishes his time to be outside and sharing time with nature…my preference will always be to ride outside.

So then…to ride outside, on trails, in these conditions means travelling to get somewhere where the trails will be rideable. There are three notable locations within an hour and a half drive of my house that are predominantly or completely sand based and ride well in the wet…Turkey Point, Copeland Forest, Mansfield.

Turkey Point trails (Turkey Point Provincial Park) have been our go-to trail system for years when anywhere else is waterlogged…or even when it is not. They are just fun trails…and there is camping available at the park (during camping season, which is now over). There are over 85kms of trails, with trails for all levels of rider. Most of the trails are sand based…but not all…some of the trails are loam or clay and do get muddy. Also, some of the trails get closed for non-members at certain times of year…some get closed for the hunting seasons; but with 85kms of trails (yes…85!!) there is always plenty of trails open to ride at any given time.

Copeland Forest (which, I think, some of the trails are maintained by SCMBC) is predominantly sand based….with some gnarly climbing and descending…again trails for every level of rider. There are a few camping options in the area (I have stayed at Bass Lake Provincial Park on occasion). And there are other trail systems in the area including Horseshoe Resort, Hardwood Hills, and various trail systems built and maintained by SCMBC. You can check out the SCMBC trails at https://scmbc.ca And there might even be the odd gravel riding option in the area.

This summer spelled the first time in many years that Mansfield Outdoor Centre is open to the public for mountain biking. Mansfield Outdoor Centre property abuts up against the Dufferin forest and the expansive mountain bike trails in this forest. Both sets of trails are almost completely sand based and when trails anywhere else are flooded or mud covered, these sandy trails are mint…packed, tacky, and grippy! If you park at Mansfield Outdoor Centre you must purchase a day pass, or have a season pass, to ride giving you access to the MOC trails and the Dufferin forest trails. The pass also gives you access to the facilities including a lounge with a fireplace, washrooms, showers, a bike wash, bike tools and a pump. There is also camping available at MOC. If you park at the Dufferin forest trailhead, you can ride the Dufferin forest trails (but no permission to ride the MOC trails), there is no fee, but also no facilities. The MOC trails have been upgraded significantly, and they are continuing to add more trails. The good folks at Team Van Go have taken on the challenge of building and maintaining the trail systems at both MOC and Dufferin, and they are doing an outstanding job! The trails are fun, fast, challenging with natural and person-made features providing options available for all levels. Aaaand, there are rumours that there will be 50kms of groomed fatbike trails this winter!! https://www.mansfieldoutdoorcentre.ca

Speaking of Mansfield…Dan’s last race (Substance Projects) of the XC Marathon series was held at Mansfield. The race, dubbed the Sausage Suit ITT, course was amazing…in tune with the trails system…(i pre-road the race course on the Friday before the race). By all accounts the race went amazingly. Yay for Dan! Dan’s fatbike race series will start sometime when there is snow I guess?? Check it out at https://substanceprojects.com Oh, yeah, Apex Ted (Apex Race Photography) was on scene at the Sausage Suit taking action pics. Haven’t seen Ted since forever…although he is ninja-like like that… https://www.apexracephotography.com

And now since writing this it has been several days of darn near summerlike weather…so I am out to ride some local trails…while they are dry. Then…on the next too wet to ride day…head to Turkey Point, or Copeland, or Mansfield/Dufferin. Fall riding is amazing!!

Wait! What?? No stupid, offensive humour in this post?? Well, truth is, I get Lois to preview all my posts before I post them…and she edited out all of my humour. Apparently it was all too lame, or offensive (what the frig isn’t too offensive these days???)…even for this blog!!?? Some of my best stuff apparently didn’t cut the mustard, like….

While riding on halloween I was attacked by a mob of clowns but I got away by going for the juggler…(apparently too lame…and some people are afraid of clowns???); or… 3 fonts walk into a bar, the bartender says, ”sorry we don’t serve your types in here”…(apparently just too lame…which is offensive); or…my favourite… while writing this post my iPad said I had to reset my password, in my frustration I put ’penis’ but it told me it was too short…(apparently just too offensive to some…OK, everyone). Even the memes I chose or made up were too offensive…

Ya…so, sorry…no lame, offensive humour in this post. I will see what I can scare up next time…

Stay posted!

Shhhh!! I snuck this one in!

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