Sunday, June 12, 2016

North Fredericksburgh Crown Land Revisited

Last December when we had no snow took took a road trip to near Napanee to do a Recce ride of the North Frederickburgh Crown Land that was told about from one of the other MTB Kingston members.

North Fredericksburgh Crown Land

 Sunday May 29th was able to take a road trip back to Napanee to revisit this location. Keeping in mind it was swamps and may not have many ride able options for routes even this time of year.


Leaving the parking area which was definitely cleaner that in December. It was drier than in December so was looking up that I might find something rideable. Came up to the ATV club coverall with three choices. And as I recall took the straight ahead option which lead to bod. So went right.

Left, straight, or right......Choices.

Was definitely dry the track I chose which crossed under the Napanee-Kingston hydroline. And the track crossed back into the trees heading in the direction of the 401. Which you could hear.

Looks promising
Took a look down a fork to the left and it came out right at the fence beside the 401. So had to kack track as it didn't look interesting.

Dull 401

Followed the track that went right that pretty much went straight back till it passed a farm house on riders right. Which spit me out on Switzerville Road. When I looked back hidden in the trees was the sign...."Unmaintained Road..Blah blah blah blah". May as well say "Unused road...explore"

Sign should say.....
Took Switzerville Road back to the trail head and went back in. Found a track that came out at the Duck Unlimited Pond one can see by the 401 on the south side.

Ducks Unlimited Pond

And on the way back just to keep it stupid took a questionable path that required me to hop through a swamps.

In the end while nothing majorly exciting here. There is a short loop one can put together here...

Good for a short spin when am in town. Or could possibly add a bit of mileage if parking at say the Tims by the 401 in Napanee and riding there and back.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Turbine of Pain Part Deux

 With the weather being better and the water levels finally dropping down to low levels. Figured it was time to revisit the 2014 Turbine of Pain route from 2014.

 2014 Turbine Of Pain

 This year would follow the same route but try to actually connect to Ernestown.On my 2014 ride came up short as hadn't brought enough food to fuel on the hot day. Also had taken a different track 3/4 of the way to Ernestown which dead ended at a huge farm field.

Turbine of Pain 2016

After a wee bit of rain which led to a afternoon start it was an easy spin to the start of the real work. Better prepared of course...despite the hydration bladder deciding to retire after 11 years of use.

Wet Roll Out

Looking good for now 

Time to ford

How to numb your hands in less than 500m.

Looking back at the first Bog of the day

Riding Tussock like grass hurts

Snowmobile trail

It's a beautiful bridge

After reaching what I believe is the deactivated part of Jim Snow drive followed the snowmobile track that I had looked at before. Which in 2014 I had turned right and headed back instead. Partially because the water levels seemed higher unlike this year. Of course it meant had to contend with at least 4 more bog sections.

It's not just a ride, It's an adventure

The additional snow mobile trail did connect to Camden Road East which led to Ernestown...specifically the old train station.

And this called for a beer....home brew of course. Because it was a tough slog to get to this point as more than half of the way out was bashing snowmobile trail.

Beer, because fuck your electrolyte drink

Headed back via Caton road, well at least 3/4 of the way. Specifically to give my hands and shoulder a rest from being beaten by the snowmobile track. The Cinelli bars I ran as an experiment for the road sections to add a position where I could rest on my forearms. And give my hands a rest.

4 plus hours late thinking of beer and junk food

This year felt stronger through it all so the winter of endless intervals and dead lifts with a side of squats have worked. As well had packed food for the ride that added the comfort factor.

Because...fuck yer Cliff Bars

So over all a successful redo of the 2014 first attempt. Unfortunately had a gear problem as the hydration bladder decided to retire. So had to improvise with 4 waterbottles in the pack which isn't an ideal situation as round one's dig into the back when in the Wingnut pack. Thinking I might pick up a couple of Backbottle's to use.

In the end after 4 plus hours and nearly 50km of abuse was a good day out. And was a 3 beer evening of recovery.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

First ride of 2016

 Finally the weather has it seems to stop being full blown weird.  Which allowed for the first actual non freezing ride of the year.

Rough route and distance for all those Strava types who worry about this stuff.

April 8th Ride

While the tea leaf readers at the Weather Network said it would only be light rain. One can never trust them so mostly go with little stop and take pictures.

Not really eventful  in the end except for a side track I took that decided in 2016 to have a Bog as part of the exit.

It was definitely still damp. And even non singletrack routes where muddy.

In the end a 21.24K first ride of the year sans thermal kit.

Cambridge Freeze

Weekend of April 2nd took a trip to Kitchener/Waterloo for a weekend away. While I wasn't expecting to ride singletrack as the weather has dragged out this year. but it turned out to be the worst weather in 9 years. Compounded by the fact one doesn't exactly plan to need pack 20 pounds of extra winter kit in April.

By early Saturday Afternoon it began to do this...

And began to see a slow drop in temperatures.  but the ground wasn't frozen so it turned to muck as it was wet snow.

And by Sunday morning it was minus 16 and a skating rink outside. So no riding till later when back in Scarborough.

By evening temps had warmed up slightly and was able to get a bit of a ride in on the Sunday.

The nasty turn of the weather has led to a small pre-positioning cold weather kit at my in laws with all the other kit. Just in case.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

North Fredericksburgh Crown Land

With some info  from a MTB Kingston member about a area of Crown land in Napanee  I had noted down to check into the next time I was in or near Napanee. On December 19th was in Napanee again and went to check it out.

Currently the weather has been mild and very wet so wasn't expecting it to be dry. And wouldn't get very far in. But hey, still better than nothing. Though it was minus 5 out.

The initial entry was rocky and had some sections of water.

Down this track though it got to the point of impassable as I expected.  And while in summer would make the attempt to go further. It is a bad idea at minus 5 and temp will start dropping soon as it was late afternoon.

Back tracked a wee bit and took a different track...

Came to this section which was the creek where the swamp drains.

While couldn't get far in as it was wet and muddy. There was still some sections that was rideable.

While didn't get to far due to lots of water at this time of year. I will try this again next summer when the water levels have dropped.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Vanderwater Exploration

 Due to a road trip to Belleville saw a opportunity on November 14th to ride and explore some where new in Eastern Ontario.  Just north of Belleville is the  Vanderwater Conservation Area near the town of Thomasburg.

Tried looking up any info through Google but there isn't much info on the area. So the only option is to explore. The map online may or may not be accurate but gave a rough idea of the some of the supposed tracks.

It was chilly in the parking lot at the trailhead. Paved road way may or may not be a good sign.

Just after starting spotted local wildlife. A Porcupine busy eating grass and didn't even flinch when I went by so close.

The trails are more double track the singletrack which is more like what we rode 20 years ago.

But looking to the sides of the double track you can see the potential of the area if it was decided to add more trail.

A wee bit of leaf covered downhill.

Future off the grid housing?

Found a little technical singletrack on the way back to the truck.

About an hour and a half  of riding later with the sun setting it was time to pack it in. Vanderwater is nothing  exciting if your looking for singletrack. But still it was a exploration of a new area which is always good.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gananoque Provincial Wildlife Area

Last February heard about a potential new riding area near Kingston called Gananoque Provincial Wildlife Area.  And noted it for a future exploration in the the year.

Once during the summer coming back from riding in Brockville stopped to take a look. But after looking at it, it was over grown and hard to see the track. So when the oppurtunity arose on November 4th to go ride there I took it.

Trail Head

The trail head is a gate and a park where you can affair. And while there was a big effort to clean it up  earlier in the year the reality is it is minimally maintained. And unlike many I don't shy away from minimal maintenance trails as they are fun in their own way. And exploring is always a good thing. Especially when the system has no known maps.

Initial impression

After getting gear on headed into the system expecting a bit of navigation skills being needed. And initially was what I expected from minimal maintenance but it was a illusion. After a bit of guess the route progress became a combo of ride a bit and dismount to hike and carry bike over/through stuff.

Moss Carpet

Had a nice throw back near the beginning to riding on moss. Throw back to the days of riding in BC. Unfortunately it went from this to something more akin to a navigation exercise or masturbating with a cheese grater. Mildly amusing but mostly painful.

Welcome To Hell

And after a half hour of head bashing fighting through this crap came out onto a quad track. So changed plans and tried to see where the quad track led.  Which was to a swamp and a beaver dam.

After doing a cyclocross like carry along the edge of the beaver dam. Followed the quad track for 10 more minutes. And in the end it was a dead end and a waste of effort...dead end. So back tracked and tried another quad track....

And after a bit of mud had to back track again. So followed the quad track back to the track that paralleled the 401. And headed back to the car with the end result of 2 hours of effort to go no where.

So while there could be potential for winter back country XC skiing. I will not visit it again. It is a waste of time during the riding season to go as it is al ot of energy to go no where.