Don’t bring your bike they said; it’s going to rain all week they said

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Each year it’s the same deal for us Calgarians and with winter in full effect I was itching to ride.  My mom and her boyfriend have the right idea…they spend the winter down in Phoenix, Arizona and each year I have the pleasure of spending some time down in the sun.  The past couple years I’ve been kicking myself for not bringing my bike down; this year things were going to be different.  After speaking with my mom the day before I left things were looking grim with rain in the forecast everyday I was supposed to be there.  I decided to go ahead with my plans as I would have been way more dissapointed if I didn’t have my bike and the weather held off than to have it just in case.  I picked up a disposable camera to document what I hoped would be a good trip.

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Everything boxed up and ready to hit the trails.

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Welcome to America

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Ready to go

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White Tank Mountain park was on the menu for the first day.  Only a short drive from the condo it proved to be a good place to get the legs warmed up.

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White Tank is quite flat with a few dips and valleys along the trail.  With a few loops to choose from I checked out a couple but was feeling I wasn’t really able to ride my bike how I was wanting to.

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From the trail I spotted what I thought was a line way up in the hills.  After hiking to the bottom I realized it was nothing other than a run-off channel but decided to try hiking up anyways.  I found myself on top of a loose rocky slope with loose boulders ranging from fist size to beach balls.

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Double flat at the bottom….

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The Following day after some searching the internet I came across the South Mountain Trail system.  The original plan was a lazy one with the hope of being shuttled but this didn’t pan out.  On the last Sunday of every month, the day I was there, the park shuts the road down to eliminate the noise of vehicles in the park.  I had to put my saddle up and make for the top and about fourty five minutes later was greeted with an amazing view.

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The first trail I rode was a fast descent down a ridge into the valley below.  A few steep and loose sections were along the way and this trail proved to be exactly the kind of ride I was hoping to find.

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This is a shot from the second ascent I did.  In this section I found the upper half to be high speed single track and the lower was some classic free ride, as seen below, with sharp loose rock and a tonne of line choices.

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 Pick a line….

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 At the very bottom I found this rock roll that was worth a couple trips up

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 My precious

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 Wide bars tall cacti

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This trip proved to be a great chance to explore a new region I’ve never had my bike before.  Knowing what I do now will only make my next trip that much better.  Although I didn’t experience much of a mountain riding community I met a couple friendly people along the way who were able to share a couple things with me that helped me along the way.  Next year the plan is to hopefully get in a couple more riding days and to put a bit more time into researching the areas near by.  The weather has been holding up since I’ve been back so my bike is back together and I have been lucky to already have a snowy ride in the books.

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