Last Chance to Dance - Part 2

Nov 13, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
A two-day Okanagan All-mountain extravaganza - A two-part picture story by Margus Riga

After a sound sleep and a slow start, it was decided that we would return to The Rock Oven to snag some shots we missed the day before because of nominal light.

Amazing pics inside!Incase you missed Part 1, click here to check it out.

DAY 2


The ride up to the start of The Rock Oven is quite a bit shorter than our previous day's ascent, but for some reason it still felt brutal climbing up the double track from the Skaha Bluffs' parking area. I mentioned to Smoke that it sure felt steeper than it looked. Smoke then mentioned that it's all to do with the high plateau we were on and the fact that the sparseness and the smaller trees trick your mind into thinking that it's not as steep as it really is. So a word of advice: Don't let the gently rolling slopes and apparently easy grade of the climbs fool you. This place is just as steep as any other zone in BC...it just looks easier.
The ride up to the start of The Rock Oven is quite a bit shorter than our previous day's ascent, but for some reason it still felt brutal climbing up the double track from the Skaha Bluffs' parking area. I mentioned to Smoke that it sure felt steeper than it looked. Smoke then mentioned that it's all to do with the high plateau we were on and the fact that the sparseness and the smaller trees trick your mind into thinking that it's not as steep as it really is. So a word of advice: Don't let the gently rolling slopes and apparently easy grade of the climbs fool you. This place is just as steep as any other zone in BC...it just looks easier.

Ryan Berrecloth takes advantage of about two seconds of down on the way up to the top of The Rock Oven. Sick.
Ryan Berrecloth takes advantage of about two seconds of down on the way up to the top of The Rock Oven. Sick.

Alright, we arrive at the lookout once again...this time with better light.
Alright, we arrive at the lookout once again...this time with better light.

Three Knolly Endorphins on standby, ready for action. According to Smoke, there's nothing better for these types of conditions. Ryan and I would agree...the Endorphin gobbled technical climbs, and hammered these burly rocky descents like a DH rig. Thanks Knoel at Knolly for producing such a sick all-mountain monster.
Three Knolly Endorphins on standby, ready for action. According to Smoke, there's nothing better for these types of conditions. Ryan and I would agree...the Endorphin gobbled technical climbs, and hammered these burly rocky descents like a DH rig. Thanks Knoel at Knolly for producing such a sick all-mountain monster.


Hwy <b>#3</b> the more relaxed route into wine country. Also, the more scenic.
Hwy #3 the more relaxed route into wine country. Also, the more scenic.

Ryan Berrecloth according to Johnny Smoke, according to Margus Riga.
Ryan Berrecloth according to Johnny Smoke, according to Margus Riga.

If you have the means to acquire one of these lakeside cottages, I highly recommend it.
If you have the means to acquire one of these lakeside cottages, I highly recommend it.


The Skaha Bluffs overlooking Penticton and Okanagan Lake. Penticton is so fresh that no-one's even thought about riding any of these majestic rock lines.
The Skaha Bluffs overlooking Penticton and Okanagan Lake. Penticton is so fresh that no-one's even thought about riding any of these majestic rock lines.


Back to the business of going down...fast.
Back to the business of going down...fast.



If you look behind Smoke and Ryan, on the right hand side of the shot, that's the lower section of the Derenzy DH. Looks like there's room for a few more trails up there.
If you look behind Smoke and Ryan, on the right hand side of the shot, that's the lower section of the Derenzy DH. Looks like there's room for a few more trails up there.


Skaha Lake, in all it's heavenly glory.
Skaha Lake, in all it's heavenly glory.

This zone reminded me of Moab and it's exposed cliffs. Throw in some teched-out, spandexed, cross-country freaks, a jeep or two, some de-alcoholized beer, and let's just call it Utah.
This zone reminded me of Moab and it's exposed cliffs. Throw in some teched-out, spandexed, cross-country freaks, a jeep or two, some de-alcoholized beer, and let's just call it Utah.

This here's where I hung my camera over the cliff and told it to take some good shots or else.
This here's where I hung my camera over the cliff and told it to take some good shots or else.

"You want me to ride this how many more times?"

Epic
Epic

After dropping down from the exposed cliff lines with Skaha Lake in the background, <br> the trail really ramps up, and you can just let 'er rip.
After dropping down from the exposed cliff lines with Skaha Lake in the background,
the trail really ramps up, and you can just let 'er rip.


Smoke doing his best slithering snake impression.
Smoke doing his best slithering snake impression.


We were having so much fun, that even the dreaded,
We were having so much fun, that even the dreaded, "can you do it one more time" sentence was met with eager acceptance.


This is the actual
This is the actual "Rock Oven". And I thought the trail was called that because in the summer it's like an oven amongst the sun-scorched rocks.


Near the bottom part of the trail I wanted to wait for the light to hit the inside of this canyon...but an hour of waiting later, when the light poked through the clouds, it hit the wrong spot. This is Smoke giving me the
Near the bottom part of the trail I wanted to wait for the light to hit the inside of this canyon...but an hour of waiting later, when the light poked through the clouds, it hit the wrong spot. This is Smoke giving me the "I told you so" look. Always listen to your guide.

This is the light not hitting the sweet spot in the canyon. Killer section though.
This is the light not hitting the sweet spot in the canyon. Killer section though.


The day was coming to a close and it looked like the light was not going to show up.
The day was coming to a close and it looked like the light was not going to show up.


Ryan was being a good sport and working it regardless of the light not making it's evening appearance. Hell, with rock faces poking out in every which direction, why not have some fun anyways.
Ryan was being a good sport and working it regardless of the light not making it's evening appearance. Hell, with rock faces poking out in every which direction, why not have some fun anyways.

More fun.
More fun.

Finally, some evening light to light up the very last section of the trail.
Finally, some evening light to light up the very last section of the trail.


3-2-1 and light's gone. Let's hit it.
3-2-1 and light's gone. Let's hit it.

Goodbye Penticton. We'll see you again real soon.
Goodbye Penticton. We'll see you again real soon.


Big thanks go out to Johnny Smoke and Bush Pilot Biking for guiding and keeping us safe from the Black Widows, Knolly Bikes for making the perfect rig for gnarly all-mountain play, Travis Krochinsky for Beer and the shuttle back to our vehicle, and Ryan Berrecloth for posing down.

We will be back early next season for a new Epic that Smoke says ends at a winery...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

-Margus


27 Comments

  • 8 0
 all of those pictured are worthy of pods. not even mentioning how great the ride must have been, look at the pictures. wow.
  • 1 0
 Haha, thats what I was thinking. Loads of great pics in there, looked like such an epic ride, I have to get out there! Really enjoyed these 2 posts!
  • 1 0
 ALL those photos are pod worthy. looked liked one of the most epic rides ever. full stop. so jealous of you lot
  • 1 0
 Great photos, Pentiction area trails are some of the funnest i've been lucky enough to ride before i broke my neck 7 years ago. i helped with oldschool locals building trails like knuckleduster + bodo wayback.
  • 3 0
 Tomorrow's POD is here somewhere...
  • 1 1
 Absolutely epic, great photo story. tup

I only got to ride Kelowna in the Okanagan this summer but next year I'll be back for longer and can guarantee I'll be hitting more spots. Amazing place, with amazing people.
  • 1 0
 looks epic lads
  • 1 0
 Johnny Smoke, BushPilot Biking, the Okanagan and it's wineries are something not to be missed and getting them all in one go is a huge bonus!
  • 3 0
 awesome pics
  • 1 0
 could you ask smoke if i can come up next season and ride with him? im old school too....
  • 1 0
 Ask away, I'm easy to get a hold of.
  • 1 0
 he11 yea,i just might be that way next summer on a little upper west goast tour,i will keep in touch bro.....
  • 1 0
 wow, great pics!! i can agree, the knolly endorphin is a great all-mountain bike..
  • 1 0
 good to see that the okanagan is still holding its beauty after all those crazy forest fires
  • 1 0
 Proper 'take lights just in case' territory. Makes me want to A) go on a massive XC mission and B) go back to BC!
  • 2 0
 thats hwy 97 your looking at in the 7th photo
  • 1 0
 Was just going to post that myself
  • 1 0
 simply epic story!!! next time this happens LET ME KNOW!!! strait up what mountain biking is all about
  • 2 0
 ace!!!
  • 1 0
 thats amazing. that looks like itd be soo much fun
  • 1 0
 NOT EVEN FAIR, I WANNA GO THERE!!!
  • 1 0
 nice pics of my back yard...Smile
  • 1 0
 Awsome pictures!!!!
  • 1 0
 lucky boys
  • 1 0
 nice pics
  • 2 1
 stunning photos
  • 1 0
 HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!

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