2017/04/16 – Scout the Williams Creek -> J40 connection (Brendon, Francois, Gerry, John, Luke)

A good turnout and for a route that was mostly mainline, we rode pretty hard.

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In fact we rode hard enough that even on the easy parts we had a couple bikes low-side.  I should mention that Gerrit did a fine job of “keeping up”, the lighter bikes did separate from his F800GS, but not by much. And of course there were the normal low speed drops in the tough terrain (that trail we were scouting was steep and loose).

The scouting? It turned into far more of a clearing exercise than I expected/planned. Two or three of the party had small hand saws, with those and the other sets of hands we did fairly good job of clearing the middle section of the trail. We rode up the bottom 500m or so, so that didn’t really get cleared, and some of it needed clearing pretty bad. And the top of the trail was blocked by broom when I was there last august… but it can’t go all that far, as we got to within 250m of the end before getting turned back by snow … and at that point the track was pretty open (probably why it was in deep (3+ feet) snow, it likely got blown in).

I’ll leave this for right now, pix are uploading, and video is being stabilized (nothing special to see)

Rendezvous in Shawnigan. Waiting for a Rob to show up, and waiting for Francois to do whatever. John, Gerrit, Luke’s back and Brendon’s butt.
This was as far up the trail as the bikes got. This was likely a rest stop for the leaders as the climb just below here was difficult (steep and loose). This was were we really started making an effort to improve the trail.
Before… e.g. looking ahead
one example of AFTER… Looking down the trail.
Looking up towards the head of the Williams Creek Valley. Landslide visible to the left. We rode a different branch to just below that point later.
Blurry shot (camera doesn’t do telephoto well) of said landslide.
Top of the trail was still covered in snow. I imagine this was a snow drift, as it was still over 3 feet deep. I walked up it a bit, but it was hard going and the others had turned back. I was about 250m from the intersection according to the GPS.
A better example of AFTER.
Another blurry zoom, same scene. I imagine this will grow over again fairly quickly, but if we are lucky, it may end up as a tunnel.
blurry… Francois on the trail, with Todd Mt in the background.
This was down on the Walker Creek Main spur that went as far up the valley as we could go. There’s a bridge out here. I don’t know if it was messily decommissioned, or wiped out by a landslide, but in either case, it is the end of the road. Francois, Luke, John, Gerry and Brendon in the shot.
John, and brand new Husqvarna 350.
Same scene.
Gerry at what we’re likely to call Gerrit’s connection and Gerrit’s pond. It took Gerry, Brendon, and myself to get him out of that puddle in the background. Gerrit’s connection is the trail that connects Butler to East Main, since the logging co did a thorough job of blocking the old intersection.
Pano. Click for big. The phone actually did a reasonable job on this. Williams Creek valley on left, San Juan River in the distant center. Francois, John, Luke and Gerry on right.

I have a little video which I will edit, nothing special. Me riding up the trail until a branch hits the camera and points it at the sky. Me tailing a few of the other riders. I missed John’s low-side, despite being in the right position to have filmed it.

I should comment on the riding. From the turn off of Kapoor/Renfrew, the roads were in pretty good shape (e.g. not muddy), and we picked up speed. Given that I was leading, perhaps I should explain. I’m still a bit fascinated by the DRZ, and learning what it will do. Further, this was all terrain I’ve been over a couple times before. The climb up from Kapoor/Renfrew to the Walker Main intersection is a funny road, it just screams to be ridden hard, it is a gentle climb, with the road in good shape, fairly straight, and some really tight hairpin switchbacks. Even on the KLR it was fun… the turns were tight enough that you got down to first where the KLR could break the tires loose…. But I should have remembered to tell everyone to “just stop” if there was something they wanted to look at. We’re an hour out into the woods, taking two minutes to enjoy the scenery only makes sense, compared to “I should remember to come back and check that out”.

And for anyone who say’s “that kind of riding isn’t for me”, I _do_ have the ability to turn it off and ride like a mature adult… this was a ride with a bunch of other hardcore guys :)