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Notes From the Wet West of Canada

26 juin

Greetings from your correspondent in a very wet Western Canada. Not sure if it's global warming or just a freak season we're having out here but it's wet. Wetter than a wet rainy damp cold day on MSA.

Since the weather has generally curtailed a lot of DH riding out here, I've been doing a bit more all mountain riding when I've had chance. Also got some spare time to volunteer as trail crew at Silver Star Mountain Resort. I've been a season pass holder for six years, so it was really interesting to see what goes on in preparation for the riding season opening weekend.

The resort had over 50cm of snow just a few weeks before the trails opened, so much of their hard work had to be redone. The one single thing that surprised me was the extent to which the trails are buffed and groomed. This is a bike park that is famed for its buttery smooth jump trails, and believe me it is more like a manicuring of the trails than a buffing. Props to Cam Sorenson and all the Silver Star crew who put in amazing effort and attention to detail. Not to mention a huge amount of hard physical work and long days on the mountain in all weathers. I met a great bunch of people - hardworking and knowledgable - even the volunteer crew had many years of trail building and trail maintenance under their belts.

My days consisted of a 4.00AM wake up call, a hearty breakfast and a few coffees to set me up for the day ahead, hitting the road at 5.00AM and a ten hour shift starting at 6.00AM.

Good times! Thanks Cam and crew. Also thanks to my buddy Scott who came in on the adventure with me and kept me stoked and carpooled with me. As a rider at the resort I feel much more appreciative of what goes in to running the bike park and how much work goes in to maintaining it to a very high standard.  

Below, dawn breaks over Silver Star Provincial Park. Not a bad commute, is it?
 
Dawn breaking over Silver Star Provincial Park
 
I've tweaked the Morewood Makulu this season, going with an even lighter build. Thanks to Lama Cycles for giving me the opportunity to try a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air. Initial feel is just like a DBcoil. I'm still playing around with it but it feels super crisp and sharp on the trail. Morewood dealer Sovereign Cycle (based in Westbank, BC) hooked me up with a pair of Easton Havoc 150mm UST wheels and they've felt really sharp. They roll fast, smooth and feel like they deflect really well off sharp rocks. After three years of serious abuse and over 1.3million feet of vert my The One brakes finally gave out. I could have nursed them through a season more riding but thanks again to the guys at Sovereign, I opted to try out the new Formula RO brakes rigged up with shiny new one piece rotors. I even stepped up from a 7" rear to 8", so this should give me some serious stopping power this year. I think they'll be setting a new standard for DH brakes, and the RO's will definitely make an impact on the market to the same extent The Ones did when they first appeared back in 2009. Anyone who attended MSA for the World Cup would have seen how many riders were running RO's.

The Makulu is sitting at 35lb 11oz right now without any crazy lightweight or weak components. I wouldn't like to go any lower, especially as bigger guy who rides some quite rough, rocky trails. The benefits in a responsive, airy ride are definitely being felt and it's definitely a lot of fun to ride a bike like this on a mix of rough DH and airtime trails.  

Gratuitous posing photo below.
 
Posing high in the hills above Oyama BC
 
Opening day "bonus weekend" at Silver Star. Watching the thunderstorms and lightning roll in from the south east. Despite some morning lift closures, there was plenty of riding and good times had by people determined to see the season off to a good start.
 
Stormy weather
 
Some artistic stuff. Oyama. BC.
 
Morewood bikes: the bikes that downhill built
 
Have a great season. Enjoy the ride.

Huge thanks for ongoing rider support from Lama Cycles, Sovereign Cycle, and Kali Protectives

Rich Deakin
 
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