Yesterday, we had 13 sleds out on Friday for what I think I will make an annual event. Considering the awesome riding conditions here we did not have a big weekend booked. This is due to the constant battle of convincing the rest of the island (including people from Central) that the riding conditions are as good as they are even though there is practically no snow in the valley. I am sure when people from central read this post they will be surprised these pictures were taken yesterday. We decided to invite some regular customers out at a discounted rate and offer free guiding for the day. It was not a tour, just a ride with friends. This allowed me to have some extra fun as I relieved myself of the responsibilities of a paid tour. I spent a good part of the day looking for jumps, climbs and water skipping opportunities, of which I found plenty! We all had a ball! We had a family call last minute looking for a place to sleep while on the way to the West coast to ride. I mentioned on the phone that we had plenty snow here so they should come with us on Friday. It took some convincing as they thought I was out to lunch when they arrived to see the lack of snow around the chalets. Boy were they glad they stayed! They had a fantastic day and were blown away by the amount of snow, the country. Once again we converted another group that they do not have to drive an extra 3 hours to ride mountains and experience late season riding. They will be back. Nothing against the West Coast…its stunning over there and I ride there myself a couple times a year, but it is not the only place on the island with such landscape and winter conditions. Riders need to explore other options. One thing I love about the North East coast is the lack of people. Its easy to find untouched climbs and unbeaten trails. On out trips we don’t see many other riders.
We traveled 150km yesterday covering back country roads, trails, open country and hills. It snowed for a good part of the trip, sometimes heavily and not a flake fell at the chalets. It was a warm comfortable day…I expect today we will be riding in only our shirts. Although we had barrels of fun I was, and still am, a bit sad knowing the winter is coming to an end. The forecast for this week is warm but I think we will pull through it. Its going to be an early spring though as I am used to riding until very late April into Hodges and early May on the Gaff. Those of you who know me are aware of how much I love riding. Although the there is still lots of snow I already can’t wait until next season. So far I have racked up over 7000km since early January and that’s considering we lost over a week when we lost good riding conditions early this winter. This is a lot considering so much of our our riding here in central is backcountry trails. Still I look forward to meeting the group of the day and visiting the same places day after day. I never get sick of it and it is always a pleasure. We don’t have a large number of kids coming to the chalet, especially riding their own sleds but this year there has been the exception. They have no trouble keeping up either! These two, Andrew and Mark did very well indeed. There was another young fellow, Tyler who fit right in as well and they all had a great time!
I would like to use this post to thank all of you who came out to ride with me this season. I know you will all be back next year…many of you multiple times. I would also like to express my appreciation for all of you who voted for us in the recent Sleddy Awards. We won both “Guide of the Year” and “Accommodation of the Year”. This is a a great honor for us and very much appreciated. Well as many of you have heard me say, I have to go “burn some gas”. My barrel for this week is not empty yet!
I have to add another piece to this post. Many of you know my little buddy Jack who is 6 years old. He has an Arctic Cat 120 and has been riding for two seasons now. Last year he hardly rode at all though as he found the machine too slow….and it was. It had a top speed of about 10 km per hour. I can’t blame him for being bored! As soon as the warranty ran out I removed the speed controller and now 25km per hour is no problem! He is having a ball now. He loves to “ditch bang” all the way in to our backcountry cabin which is over 25km from here. He rarely sits and always wears his snow-cross helmet, goggles and chest protector. He learned a lesson of limitation the other day when he tried to climb a hill from the ditch which was about 8 feet high. It was too steep to climb straight on so he attempted it on a 45 degree angle. Of course he rolled his machine right over himself and back down into the ditch. He damaged his ego and broke his marker flag off the machine. I wasn’t there but caught up on the scene and everyone was cracking laughing. It was a proud moment for me as a father of a boy who is going to be an awesome rider. He is constantly looking for jumps too…where did he pick that up I wonder LOL? We were out yesterday (Sunday) building jumps for Jack which worked out well. The more confident he got the higher I built the ramp and before long he was clearing two feet high and 6 feet in distance. He is already begging this morning to get back at it. That’s my boy!