Last Saturday Eric Kvamme organized a great ride in Santa Cruz where we
checked out a great new trail (Dead Camper) - but as good as the ride was,
the best part turned out to be meeting a local biker at the end of the day.
He told us about several new trails, including one enticingly named "Better
Than North Shore". He assured us that it was "Really sick, man".
So today at 7:30am, we were off to Santa Cruz. Bruce Bundy had scoped out
the area and found us a better access point so we only had a 1 mile, mostly
level approach to the top of the trail. Our directions were to take every
right fork possible, so we did, passing at one point a beautiful trail sign,
North Shore style: "Sidewinder Trail". Soon we found the first ladder
bridge, the start of "Better Than North Shore". It was a little depressing,
because there seemed to be only two main structures, and we couldn't really
ride either (drops too big and scary). I managed to fall head over heels,
grinding dirt down my shirt etc. But we headed down the hill to see if there
was more. This trail would be well worth riding without any structures
because it is VERY steep and beautiful. A few wipeouts later, we found quite
a few more ladder bridges, a long log to ride, etc. There was a
teeter-totter, but it was so rickety we didn't dare try it. Thanks to Megumi
we got 20 minutes of pretty entertaining video, but overall, our skills are
too little and our fears too big to really ride all of this stuff. We went
all the way to the bottom of the hill and found that it came out on the road
0.15 miles from where we ended up on last Saturday's ride. So now we have
instant drive-up access direct to the bottom of the trail! And there are at
least two others there we didn't have time to ride today.
We hiked/rode it back all the way, taking still pictures (some riding, some
posing) and having a blast. Near the top, we met the creators, two nice
young local guys. It turns out they've never even been to Vancouver, but
have seen all the videos and have been out there constructing every morning,
and all day every weekend, all summer. They were finishing up a structure
(likely unrideable on unicycle due to the slant of one short section) and
were very psyched to watch us playing on their creations. When I mentioned
that they are missing the long skinny trees to ride that the real North
Shore has so many of, they said that was next on their agenda.
This area is actually in a State Park, and thus the construction is probably
very illegal. But it's a small area of a large park that sticks out on the
"other" side of the road - basically nobody goes there, so I think there's a
good chance the area will be around for a while. I sure hope so.
I have a few photos up at http://www.movaris.com/nathan/photos.html and am
thinking about getting a firewire capture card for my computer so I can put
up video clips.