Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Embrace The Suck: Muddite Edition

Saturday afternoon wanting to ride some where with woods and dirt decided to take the Monstercross Wench out to ride a bit of unmaintained road. Hoping maybe to high to find some rideable tuff.

And that is where the suck began.....sucking me in. With the illusion of it being soft yet rideable. It was slightly slow with bits of ice and some traps.

Early on got to play the game of ice covered hole and when does the ice fail. And see how deep the ice covered hole actally is.

Brought to a halt

The first 20 minutes turned out okay and despite the ice was not to bad. Which gave the illusion that it was going to be good.

It is an illusion

Right, and then comes the catch....

How bad could it get?

And then it began to suck at a double time rate.  And the pace ground to a slog with having to get around flooding.


Then almost 3.5-4k of hiking with a bike in mud that looks rideable yet had no traction. Even hoofing it was an exercise.

Muddite Heaven

To say it was slow would be an understatement. 6.4km in over an hour? Painful.

You have gotta be joking

To say it was ugh is all I can say to keep it non NSFW. No words to say it.

At least the ride back to the Van was easy. Though a wee bit chilly.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Lower Highland Creek Trails

15 years ago when I came to Scarborough there was nothing in the Highland Creek system for much trails. Well...there was abandoned sections near Centennial. I say abandoned as no work done as after sections had been taken out by whatever past storm. So with no one building trail that left the Don Valley and Rouge systems for anything trail related.

 Relics of the past

But like anything that changes .....

Early Winter

In the last couple of years that has seen some change that has slowly appeared. At some point a couple of Trail Sprites started visiting the Highland Creek system and have added trail. Apparently there is now 10k of singletrack trail in the system. With more in the future I have heard. The majority of the singletrack with the fun stuff is south of the Lawrence Ave E bridge. There is singletrack on the east and west side of Highland Creek.

Bridge with calves

Certainly it doesn't have the same feel nor volume as the Don Valley for trails. But the system is still in it's early years. And there is only  couple of trail workers working to create. I help when I can when am in town. But with the passing of my Mother in Law that will become even more infrequently.

While I do love the Don in the past few years it has gotten crowded in some areas. A by product of being central in Toronto but I have believed that more was needed. That more trail was needed in Highland Creek and Etobicoke Creek. Simply to spread some of the riding around. Because aside from the future conflict discussion the reality is not everyone can get access to the Don easily. Nor does those who ride have time every week to get there.

                                         Video by my buddy Charlie

I have spent more time in the last couple of years riding these trails. But what shows is more important benefit is the kids. I found out my Cousin Kemba takes her so riding in Highland Creek all the time. And he always wants to ride the dirt trails and loves to spend hours on them.  That is the best part of it all.

One day in the future one could connect this with the Rouge and Seaton Trail to create a 3 King or Valley Epic Day.

Rouge to Seaton to Rouge

Maps are from trail forks.

Lower Highland Creek West

Lower Highland Creek East

The nearest GO station is at Guildwood.

Guildwood Go Station

Beer , food, and Caffeine can be found at the mall at Morningside and Kingston Rd.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Bowl Exploration

With Monday March 6th being a some what warm day, well if you can call minus 3 warm. Decided on the way back from Toronto to check out a trail area I spotted in the Back Roads Map Book near Port Hope.

The Bowl ATV Trails Area Satellite Image

In theory there is potentially some track that would be good but based on the area my expectations where not high. I expected more of a spin and explore with nothing really stimulating. But it is worth the effort as one never knows what they might discover. Plus I have been over the last couple of years trying to find more riding areas in Eastern Ontario outside the already known.

Dead End Beginning

The entrance that I started at is at the dead end of Mail Rd and have no idea if this is a de-activated unmaintained county road that part of the area use. However as I explored came upon an interesting sign will cover later that gave me this idea.

Double Track

Initially the beginning was quad track which really is like riding double track. To an old RGMC type like me that is part of mountain biking.  Because especially in Ontario mountain Biking is more than just singletrack because if you don't include double track and some unmaintained road. You get less. There was some stuff down in a small ravine but it was wet and muddy so didn't go look.

Gravel Through Da Trees

On this exploration ride of double track connected back to the unmaintained road. Which led to the discovery of what I hinted at earlier...

Gravel Road

Gravel road with a storm drain???

Secret Gravel Shifter?

A storm drain in the middle of a unmaintained gravel road area? Is it a way to slowly shift sand and gravel to the local shore line to create a sand and gravel beach??

Wrong Bike For This

There is probably more to explore here but between the chilly temps and lack of time. Only go a brief time to spin around on the wrong bike for this.  There is possibly more rideable around as the BRMB  shows double track on running along the waterfront  on the other side of the old Wesleyville Generating station. So there is the potential to create a loop of some kind.

To get to this location you get off the 401 at Wesleyville, off ramp # 456. Head south on Wesleyville Road to Mail Rd. Turn right on Mail Rd and drive till you get to the dead end. Trail area starts here.