Kicking Horse Bike Park - Trail Crew Update #5

Aug 13, 2009
by Steve Crowe  
The straight goods on Kicking Horse Bike Park, straight from the trail crew's fingertips.

This one goes out to our man Bruce Lessor, who is staring the biggest gap jump of any of our lives straight in the eye.

Learn how the trails are holding up inside,This was going to be my introductory paragraph when I wrote this yesterday, frustrated and full of scorn for the sun: Do you ever get that parched feeling when your skin dries up and cracks, your throat burns from choking on dust, and each and every cell in your body aches for water? Well, the earth around here is feeling a bit that way. For a human, this condition can be cured with a tall glass of sweet water. For a bike park, it takes numerous days of constant drizzle. But then it rained all night last night and a weight was lifted off my chest and angels sang and peace reigned throughout the world. So now this is my introductory paragraph. Keep in mind while reading the rest this was written before the rain (also keep in mind it only lasted for one long night, so the deep soil is still dry), and I’m not going to rewrite this whole thing.

What do you do if you are a bike park trail crew and there is nothing you can do with the dirt that is baking into dust? Well, at Kicking Horse we build with wood! After a brief hiatus, we are back at Stickrock III, or Y-Not, or Why-Knot, or whatever its final name will be. We will continue to develop her for the rest of the season, so it may be open this year. But if it ever rains, then we need to go spend some quality time with our poor, withered dirt trails and patch some gaping wounds. Those trails would weep from neglect if there was any moisture left in them to make tears.

To warm up for Stickrock, to get the ol’ creative juices flowing again, we spent some time on Rock Garden and Blaster. Rock Garden now has a new blue line entrance that runs alongside the existing, intimidating boulder climbs.

Blaster got a new exit option to replace that rock drop to flat that used to kill flow and bewilder the uninitiated. This new TTF has been labeled “Horsefly” in honour of the flock of miniature airborne dinosaurs that joined us there daily to ensure we never sat down to relax. A word of warning: after the initial step-up, just roll into the creek bridge. That’s all the speed you need. It has a sniper landing because we had to hide this beauty from the voracious appetite of wood-eating snow groomers that nocturnally prowl the area in the winter.

A new little bridge has replaced the decimated skinny after the first berm on Showdown, and the bottom of Northern Lights was improved with a much better bridge. Speaking of Northern Lights, the patrollers have been putting good efforts into the berm on the one wacky corner. Have you ever tried riding downhill with a pulaski? Me neither. Those guys are hardcore.

After a few weeks of getting ridden, we realized the new DJ line needed tweaking. The landings on the black line were too narrow and short. So the heavy machinery is back as I’m writing this (waiting patiently with my rake), adding truckloads of more dirt (19 more!). The blue line is going to get love too. Here’s a word to the unwise: if there are Closed signs in the jump park, that means that it is not open. ‘Not’ is the important word. That dump truck in there is not a transitory hit. You know who you are.

Final thing: the Terminator Endurance race had to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunate yes, but we’d rather not hold an event than hold a crappy one. Next year hopefully we’ll have more time to properly develop it. But if you have your own stopwatch, have at ‘er.

Ride on.
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  • 4 0
 "if there are Closed signs in the jump park, that means that it is not open. ‘Not’ is the important word. That dump truck in there is not a transitory hit. You know who you are."

i want some form of video of that please?
  • 1 0
 haha i went back and looked at the pic when you said that and noticed something... a dump truck jump would be inSANE with some ratty old dump truck that doesnt work then build a wooden kicker right inside it or fill it with dirt... just an idea... anybody got a spare dumptruck somewhere??????
  • 1 0
 That was one of the features of the Adidas slopestyle a couple years ago: a big dump truck that they jumped into the back of and launched out and over the front of the truck. I think it's in a Cowan video segment too.
  • 2 1
 you wouldn't have to fill it with dirt, just knock the end of , where it comes over the cab, actually it would probably look better with the end on... we have a table feature where its lterally a table, but with 2 ramps either side so its turned the table into a table, and we get people to table the table
  • 2 0
 I'm a temporary local for the summer. My season pass has long been earned. I have been apprecieating all the hard work the trail crew has been doing. The new trail tweaks, added wood features and continuation of STICKROCK keep me excited for more. I think of myself as more of a racer than a freerider also brycewd; I really don't think that there are enough wooden features on any particular to take away from the "racey feel." The wood that is there is either necessary or added as an option to increase the fun factor. Imagine that is is your first tim on a DH bike and you ride the bridge on Showdown! I tell you that my my first time rider friends thought that was pretty rad. I knew it was safe, that's why I didn't take them to ride the features on Time Travel. I apprecieate rider preverance for trail style, but complaining about a few hundred feet of wood on trails that are abound 8km lins is silly. My 2 cents. Also I'm disapointed that the Enduro race was cancled; although now we can all get in on the mass start race at Whistler the same weekend!
  • 1 0
 Man I can't wait to get up there and ride. I've been trying to get there all summer but other destinations keep calling. I just hope that it's not wet when I'm there because of all the apparent mandatory bridges that are sure to be slick.
  • 1 0
 KKHR in the rain is a blast. I rode there early July for two days in the rain and I had nothing but fun. Sure, there are some things that are probably best just to stay off (stickrock and Rock 'n' Roll), but everything else is just wet muddy fun. Although I do recommend tires with aggressive, widely spaced knobs. Certain sections of Blaster get pretty greasy, so it's nice to have a tire that will bite in and still clear mud. I'm got an intense 909, and I'm now buying an Intense Intruder 2.7 for the late season at KKH when I'm actually hoping it will rain/snow.
  • 1 0
 2.7 in the mud, sounds not so great..
  • 1 0
 Your right, it sounds awesome. You have to understand, it's a certain type of mud.... it might be different soil conditions from where you ride.
  • 2 1
 " suicidedownhiller (7 hours ago) (Below Threshold) show comment
Well considering 90% of the riding world rarely gets to ride wooden trails, and with them being a resort, it seems kinda smart on their end to make alot of wooden, or north shore, style trails. It may not float your boat, but for us tourist, we love it. I can also say it DOES get boring after a while. They just need to mix it up. Think of it as a break from normal DH riding that's everywhere. Not too many places have the materials neccessary for this kind of riding. So enjoy it for what it is! DH trails are everywhere, wood, not so much. At least not in the desert where I am.
I'm sure everyone has different opinions, but thats my 2 cents"

It doesn't happen often . . . but I totally agree 100% with suicidedownhillers comments on this one.
  • 1 0
 Quote from a World Cup DHer friend of mine:

"Riding bridges is really useful in case one day you are out riding and you get attacked by a ladder!"

Personally, as much as I love riding natural terrain, every time I get to the end of Fatcrobat at Whistler (which is almost totally timber) I have a huge grin on my face!
  • 2 0
 i don't know about the rest of you but i'd have a bi$#%ch of a time getting onto some of those 8 foot boulders without the woodwork.
just going around them would get kinda boring.
  • 1 1
 That rock garden is fun to ride to.Anyone who has been to KHMR knows it's plenty steep and fast and a long way down,plenty of dh opportunities even with the wood.
  • 1 0
 I personally love all the wooden features at KHMR. I really, really like Stick Rock, I would have to say it's probably one of my all time favorite trails. A big thank you to the trail crew for all the fun trails they've built for us over the past couple of seasons and for all their hard work! In fact when I was there last week, I was really impressed by how cool and nice all the staff was there. Everyone from the ticket agents, to the gondola crew, to the mechanic who helped fix my brakes, to bike patrol who gave us tips when we were hitting Stick Rock for the first time. Once again, THANK YOU!
  • 2 0
 I think they just took pics of the bridges and not the DH trails. I also sort-of agree with brycewd though...
  • 1 0
 Too right. I've only been taking photos of new stuff or improvements. The DH trails have been around for 10 years and they don't change much.
  • 1 0
 Looks awesome, might hit it this weekend... should have bought a seasons pass this year as I will soon have paid one off, doh!
  • 2 0
 I love what you guys have done at Kicking Horse in the last few years...Keep up the good work!
  • 1 1
 brycewd maybe you should start riding bridges instead of crashing in the rock gardens and landing on your head. Obviously you have hit your dome enough times to ruin your grammar skills completely.
  • 1 0
 Great work Crowe and Crew! Hope to make it there this year...
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