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Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Sep 3:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Mountain Biking5 8:58:12 55.39(6.2/h) 89.14(9.9/h) 1775
  Trekking1 2:06:39 4.98(25:27) 8.01(15:49) 494
  Total6 11:04:51 60.36(11:01) 97.14(6:51) 2269

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Sunday Sep 3 #


Long drive home from Vermont after a fun week away. This autumn is going to be extra busy so the change of scenery was nice.

Saturday Sep 2 #


We started biking late because I was watching UTMB live coverage. It was an emotional moment when Jim Walmsley got the win on his 5th attempt after moving to France 18 months ago to focus on this race.

And what more is there to say about Courtney Dauwalter, the first runner to win Western States 100, Hardrock 100 and UTMB in the same year? She got course records in the first two wins and already held the course record for UTMB. When Jim was asked at the finish line what it felt like to be the first American to win UTMB, he correctly answered that the American women figured this race out years ago and he was just standing on their shoulders.

P.S. Funderstorm and I gave Jim some pro tips before the 2018 Western States 100.

12 PM

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 1:05:33 [3] 9.06 km (8.3 kph) +242m

'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.

Friday Sep 1 #

12 PM

Trekking (Trail) 2:06:39 [2] 8.01 km (15:49 / km) +494m 12:05 / km
shoes: Salomon XA Pro Grey

For a change of pace, 'Bent and I hiked up Mount Pisgah in Lake Willoughby State Park. It's a steady climb. It would have been great training for UTMB, back when I was doing that. (The race is happening as I write this, so it's on my mind.)

Lake Willoughby looks more like a Norwegian fjord than a lake in Vermont - very pretty.

We hiked from the north so we reached the best scenic viewpoints before we reached the summit, which has no view.

Then we went down faster!

My original plan had been to paddle SUPs on the lake until we reached the Lake Willoughby General Store, which sells ice cream, so that was our post-hike plan for today. Shockingly, the ice cream window was closed due to a supplier shortage of ice cream! It would have been much sadder if we'd gone there as the main goal of a destination paddle. Luckily, I had some Ben & Jerry's in our fridge.

Thursday Aug 31 #

9 AM

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 2:35:13 [3] 26.0 km (10.1 kph) +530m

Storm and Browner wanted to ride the Kingdom Trails this morning before continuing another 40 km on their bikepacking journey.

We explored a new part of the network, then went back to the area west of the Wildflower Inn, where we rode different trails including the fun, swoopy bike park. Our favourite trail so far is still Bear Back, which we rode again today. We also rode Hog Back and Piggy Back, which are fun in a similar way. The trails were wetter after yesterday's rain so I felt a little less bold on the roots.

It's all fun and games until someone loses a hub - and eventually a derailleur. Luckily, we were near the high point of the ride when it happened because Storm had to coast (and jog) to the bike shop in East Burke. Luckily, they were able to repair his bike and make it better than it was before. By the time it was fixed, there wasn't time for Storm and Browner to get to their B&B after the full ride they'd planned, so we drove them partway along their route.

Great to spend time together on and off the trails!

(Bike computer distance)

Wednesday Aug 30 #


It rained on and off today, so it was perfect timing to meet Funderstorm, Timato, Kristen and Aubrey at Parker Pie for a pizza lunch. Then we moved on to Hill Farmstead Brewery - Funderstorm's favourite, which is saying a lot! Storm and Browner met us all there as they passed through on their bikepacking trip. Their planned campsite was only a few hundred meters from our cabin and we offered our extra bedroom, given the wet weather and dropping temperatures. They decided to take us up on it so we had company tonight!

Tuesday Aug 29 #

11 AM

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 2:20:00 [3] 21.0 km (9.0 kph) +426m

'Bent and I rode over to the Wildflower Inn and did a loop of trails on both sides of the road. Our favourite trail was Bear Back - so much swoopy sidehill fun!

Some of the trails on the east side of the road were less flowy but they were still fun. The grand finale was Heaven's Bench, a ridgetop trail with views to the east and west - and a couple of benches, of course.

(Bike computer distance - I missed part of the track at the end.)

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 24:53 [3] 4.88 km (11.8 kph) +82m

We shared a pizza at the Wildflower Inn snack bar, then rode back to our cabin on Herb's Hill, which we would recommend to friends coming to the Kingdom Trails. It's located on a quiet dead end near East Burke with a trail entrance right across the road and a gorgeous view. (Rock Garden Rentals - Cohasset cabin)

There is a secure bike storage shed ('Bent's favourite feature) with a repair stand, a bike wash, a fire pit, a BBQ and a hot outdoor shower for muddy bikers.

Monday Aug 28 #

11 AM

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 1:50:21 [3] 19.0 km (10.3 kph) +346m

First time riding on Vermont's Northeast Kingdom Trails! 'Bent and I headed roughly north from our cabin, following the White School trail to its end, then continuing north with a climb to White School Road. One of the highlights of our return was a fun descent trail called Farmjunk for what turned out to be obvious reasons.

The trails are well built, flowy and well maintained. We've been riding a lot in escarpment terrain around Collingwood, where mountain biking is rocky, difficult and not always super fun. These trails reminded me of Albion Hills-style trails - challenging but not too risky if the roots are dry. The trail network is much larger but it was easy to dive in and feel relatively confident. That said, I don't think we rode any black diamond trails uphill today - only downhill. So we may feel less confident later when we explore more.

We rode into town for lunch and lattes at Cafe Lotti. After that, it was tough to ride the climbing trail back to our cabin.

(Bike computer distance)
3 PM

Mountain Biking (Trail & Country Road) 42:12 [3] 9.2 km (13.1 kph) +149m

We needed ground coffee for breakfast so we rode over to the Village Sport Shop by the Wildflower Inn. They sell coffee beans, espresso drinks, bike gear and beer - a very Vermont kind of place. They have a stunning view too!

(Bike computer distance)

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