2018/05/20 – Search for the lost toolbag, found the “Tugwell Downhill” loop (with James)

So, I lost my toolbag on the Saturday ride. I thought it might have been stolen at the 17 mile pub, but James and I found the straps at the east end of the powerline track in Tugwell east… The conclusion at the time was that someone must have found it….

Click title to show track
Sunday - Downhill Loop
Saturday - Miles of single track

But I’m not convinced that it was found, because it _should_ have come off when we were headed up a mainline, and we promptly came back down it. But the second strap we found was up on a rock, quite like it had been placed there. It’s possible that it came off the tool roll as it bounced over that rock… but I had a darn good look in the immediate area… and the two straps were only about 100 yards apart.

Once we concluded that we couldn’t find the bag, we headed up to the northern edge of what I call Tugwell East. Luke had said there was a chunk of trail he wanted help clearing out. Well, I must have gotten mixed up. I thought the chunk he wanted cleared was the trail from the Demamiel Creek road (goes to Bill James Dam and the lake above it), to the SE to another small lake. We went in from the “low side”, up the road that Luke led James and I up earlier this year, but we got blocked by snow. Well we got to the lake (fairly nice), and found the track that goes up over the ridge. But it’s a scary looking climb up loose rock… possibly do-able on a DRZ, but if you lost your momentum anywhere, getting started again would be very difficult. Downhill on the other hand, probably wouldn’t be too bad, and the contour maps say the otherside shouldn’t be so bad… Combine that with the track down to Tugwell Creek that James and I _did_ ride, and which did need clearing (last bit is through slash), and you have a good chunk of “sometimes technical” downhill. The chunk James I did ride had one very steep bit in it. It was mostly packed dirt, so it might be climbable… but for a loop, you’d just want to run it going southeast.

The GPS track fairly clearly shows the bit we walked and cleared. Someone had been through with a chainsaw, but probably one guy, as he cut a lot, but didn’t move all his cuttings off the track… like he didn’t want to be putting down and picking up the saw.

Anyhow, it goes through some beautiful terrain. Recommended for good riders on lighter bikes.

Foot-notes:

No pix as my phone was in the crammed backpack.

I thought I got stung while going to the riding area, but it wasn’t really bad enough for a real sting. Well, I’ve certainly got the welts today.

This was the first time I rode with the Fox titan suit. I just put a shell over it for the road riding. With the exception of getting stung, it was GOOD. It seemed pretty effective at being cool. No crashes, so I can’t comment on the armour effectiveness :). Was cold coming back, changing to a dry shirt, and/or remembering to zip the jacket ALL the way up would have helped.

Davi got me a “water backpack” (hydro-pack, camel-back, etc) for my birthday, I’ve used that the last two rides, and it’s great. Today I had to carry what few tools I could scrounge in it as well. I won’t say it was great as a back-pack (very small), but it worked fine.

Might have some video later. (e.g. it might get edited, we ran the bit we cleared at a reasonable pace, me chasing James, could/should be good, but it won’t tell much of a story.)

Had a reasonable sized black-bear cross our path on the way out.