B-Team dirty dog adventures: Operation Rossland, Part I

Aug 12, 2002
In true B-Team fashion planning for the August long weekend was complete and utter chaos. None the less the plan was set. We’re headed to Whistler….right guys? Wrong…Rossland …no Whistler…Rossland…after some arguing Rossland won out... “It’s cheaper, less driving, less gas and we can camp”. It didn’t take very long to get everyone on board with this idea. As usual, our roadtrips begin on the Thursday of a long weekend (to be a true B-Team member one HAS to take off the Friday in order to lengthen the riding as much as possible). So, Thursday comes and we’re all packed up and ready to go right???…..not so fast cowboy! Robb decided he was going to get his hand checked out after a long rowdy night of drinking a week ago during a B-Team bender, resulted in a busted hand. He just wants to make sure its good to ride on and no further damage will happen. So the verdict comes back…broken knuckle, 4th met-carple! Robb’s the casualty of this trip (so far one B-team rider has been knocked out in every road trip but one!). Well its now Thursday evening and the three remaining soldiers head out, Gord, Nick and myself. The plan is to drive to Fernie, home of the Canada Cup DH/XC races, and stay the night. Once we got to there we were greeted with open arms by some of the Pinkbike racer team boys. Thanx to Porter and Savoie for some laughs that night.

Friday morning comes and we head out bright and early to Rossland (we ditched out on breakfast plans we were so stoked to ride). Upon arriving in Rossland we make the usual “scoping” round down the centre of the town. We then pull into the Sacred Ride bike shop. Here unfortunately we were greeted with nothing but attitude. The guy didn’t seem very friendly but, he did draw us a map and give us some vague directions. All in all I was not impressed whatsoever with the shop. The location in Nelson has been nothing but great to us so we were a little surprised. We then decided we needed to get fuelled up on coffee before we where going to ride. I spotted a quaint little shop across the street called Clancy’s. Kim (the waitress) there was super cool. She and another girl actually built a rad trail in town called the gobstopper hehehe (leave it to chicks to name a trail with all sorts of hidden meanings). Kim gave us directions to trails and then later invited the three of us to a rippin BBQ later that night.

So we’re packing up to ride when we ran into some local Calgary folks from Pedalhead, Clark and Dr John. They were hooked up with Summit Rides for a shuttle up to a trail called Stunted Growth. We decided to jump in on this and hook up with the shuttle service. Andrew was the main guy who does the shuttling. At first glance he reminds me of many friends I had back in my long hair hippie drug infested youth. Once you get to know him though he is just a laid back Rossland hippie who drives dudes with bikes up the mountain for a living. Costs range anywhere from $4-$12 to get you up the mountains, not bad if you’ve only got one vehicle. So up we went along this crazy 4x4 road that Gord would never dream of taking the F150 up. We get to the top and are told, “now there’s just a little hike a bike here. About 20mins”. YEAH RIGHT!!!! I’d say close to 45mins later we arrived at the trailhead, all tired and burnt from a steep relentless climb (we ain’t used to that kind of a workout before the ride!) Now I’m coming off a fractured tibia and a torn MCL so this isn’t my cup of tea. Once the trail pointed down though it was good to go. It didn’t take long to figure out that Rossland has some cool terrain. This was a short trail with some moderate stunt work. We all had a good time but agreed that it wasn’t worth either the shuttle or the climb up. Once we got back to town we decided with the Pedalhead pair that we’d combine our vehicles to shuttle a run called Whiskey on the Rocks. Now this trail RIPPED!!! Again there was a “little” push up, but not as bad as the last. This trail was littered with rock rollers, kickers and all sorts of hits! Somehow my knee seemed to hold up to two trails in one day! In true B-team fashion we dove into the cooler of beer right away. We told tales with Clark and Dr. John and let the debauchery unfold!! We ended up hooking up with Kim (Clansey’s Waitress) and friends back in town. Beer was drank until the early hours of the morning and I believe we even went to the town bar that night and watched a band play (I even went to high school with the lead singer back in Toronto!). Somehow we managed not to anger the locals “too” much with our tomfoolery. So its super late where does one find a place to stay in Rossland…? I don’t know….We woke up the next morning in a farmer’s field, and yet…somehow we managed to brush our teeth? Strange eh?

Saturday morning it took a while for the fog in our heads to clear from the night before. I think that was the hardest we’ve ever partied on a road trip. Nevertheless we got a relatively early start to the day. A buddy of mine Jerome Pageau was in town so we met up with him and his friend Darrel and Don. We rode a trail called the Flume. Again it was a long hike up but one hell of a trail! Steep rock sections that made me second-guess whether I should be riding it healthy, let alone with a bum knee. Nick, Gord, Jerome, Darrel and Don styled out the trail out the trail hitting all the big stunts. Me, I was stuck to the ground this day. I didn’t want to push things this early in the trip. After the Flume it was off to “Lakeside” on one of the nastiest shuttle roads we’ve ever seen! Again with the hiking… but once again it was worth the work! Rocks, rollers, skinnies and kickers were the norm for this. Once we finished up here we met up with Danny, Julie, and Richard and headed to the Lions Camp Ground, home of (NP) Susie the meanest, knarliest, nastiest grandma you have ever met. Despite her presence, this is a one nice campground, just watch out she doesn’t rip you off! After a nice bbq dinner, which finally got rid of the beer filled guts, we were riddled with all day we decided on a quick easy shuttle up a trail called Dirty. This was one kick ass trail. Rich beat the shit out of his truck getting up to the trail and there was again a quick hike (at this point I’m thinking my knee is gonna hate me!!) and steep loose rocks! Ohhh rad Rossland strikes again. Well back to the campsite for some more food and drink and a good night sleep.

Sunday morning brought on some cooler weather, which was great for the epic climb that was in store for us. We rode a trail called southern exposure and man we climbed for an hour it seemed. The run down was once again littered with rock slabs and techy lines. We linked up with a new trail that the Rossland girls built with sweet ladder drops. They called it “gobstoper”, we for some reason began calling it knob gobbler, and I’ll leave it at that. The afternoon brought on my favourite trail EVER! PR-Oasis. It is actually two trails linked together to give you the best ride of you’re life! The trail starts from the top of the road (woohoo no hiking!!!) and flows right into multiple drops, gaps and a surprising teeter-totter that’s one hell of an ankle buster if u assume it’s a drop. There’s a little road section that rips and flows into a fast tight single track. It reminded me of Rose Hill but way faster and longer. We hit speeds of 60kph and faster and Nick and I decided to bail in the same spot! Luckily I was ok but Nick took a pounding. He earned the name black balls for a reason! The trail ended up on this rad sand chute that was like surfing though the trees. It was a 45 degree pitch and tight. One of my all-time favourite sections of trail.

Well Monday came faster than we could have imagined. We still hadn’t hit nearly as many trails as we wanted to. We were down a rider due to a severe case of Swollen Members so we had our shuttle bitch. Nick ran us up and met us at the bottom in true cripple form. For those that are injured, try shuttling your bro’s when you’re hurt. It builds great karma, I had first hand experience with this trip. Being able to ride with a messed up leg was the work of a higher power for sure. Gord, Danny, Julie, Rich all and myself ran Whiskey on the rocks a second time. This time I decided to hit the big hit on the trail and give the knee a true test. She held up and was good to go. Now Rich had no excuses! Needless to say he hit it up and he was stoked. Being a physiotherapist he told me many times through the weekend that he was amazed that I could ride with my knee in such piss poor shape. Later my physio back in town gave me shit for riding all weekend but I was prepared for that and had to deal with all the extra swelling that ensued. Once we finished the trail Danny and Julie departed but Gord and I hadn’t had enough yet. The trails were too sweet to leave this early. We pursued the infamous "Swet" drop in Kranked 3. As poorly marked as the trail was somehow the two of us were able to navigate our way and find the big rock slab. We escaped the trail with only a minor crash by yours truly. This brought the weekend to a close. Rossland has some of the best trails in Canada that I have ridden to date. We’ve travelled all over B.C and we agreed that we were going back September long weekend. The B-team rarely hits the same place twice in a row, but we were missing a few vital members who need to experience the intensity of this town. Steve, Robb and Dave are in for a treat, Rossland is unlike any other trails that we have ridden as a group. (NP) Susie better watch out, we’re coming back and want redemption!!!

Look for the B-Team’s dirty dog adventures in Rossland part II following the September long weekend. If anyone’s looking for a place to stay in Rossland, winter or summer be sure to check out Darrell’s bed and breakfast called the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast http://www.blackbearbnb.com. Great winter and summer rates and run by one of the hardcore locals.

Questions/Comments? freerider21@netscape.net

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