'Bent and I went to East Haven at the north end of the Kingdom Trails. This is on the same side of the valley as the ski hill and connects to the lift-serviced downhill mountain bike trails. We didn't know these trails had a similar character, i.e. a 3 km climbing trail followed by a long, fast, swoopy descent. I guess our western friends do a lot of this but Ontarians are used to riding up and down and up and down - not up, up, up, up, down, down, down, down. Anyway, it's always fun to try something new.
We met people near the bottom who said we should make sure to go all the way up to "the gazebo". About 3/4 of the way up, 'Bent's digital shifting stopped working so he was down to just two gears using his front derailleur.
We made it to the gazebo! And it was very scenic and sociable. Some riders from Quebec were fascinated by 'Bent's bike. One took it for a test ride and the other took photos.
There were a bunch of boys aged 7-10, at least one of whom was towed to the top by his Dad. They were rock stars.
This was the beginning of the Black Bear trail, which descended the hill we'd just climbed in a series of big switchbacks, huge berms and bumpy rocks and roots in the lower part.
Unfortunately, our first impression of it was marred by an accident just ahead of us, near the start of the trail. We waited while this single track emergency vehicle was used to evacuate a man on a backboard towed on a little trailer. He had the good fortune to crash in the vicinity of several riders who happened to be emergency physicians. We heard that he'd fractured his tibia for sure; any other injuries would be confirmed at the hospital. I noticed that he and his riding partner were wearing downhill biking helmets.
So we started downhill with that on our minds, then because it was the Saturday of a holiday weekend, I was passed by five men on the way down. I definitely would have enjoyed this trail more on Tuesday when we had the trails almost to ourselves. I also would have enjoyed it more if the descent had been 1-2 km instead of almost 4 km. It was fun at first but I'd rather mix my ups and downs. I think it's easier on the body too.
'Bent's gears still weren't working so we called it a day and went to the Wildflower Inn for a snack, a view and a bike shop visit for 'Bent. It was so much busier today!
Having obtained the requisite bike parts, we went home, shared a beer, then 'Bent switched his bike to cable shifting. Not the most successful day but it sure was beautiful.