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Feb
19

Mont Jovet

Sat around the dinner table in the Goat Shed, the "standard" accomodation offered by Trail Addiction, luxurious by any, well my standards, the guides are trying to convince a bunch of us into forgoing a day of uplift in favour of pedalling uphill for 10K tomorrow.

The down more than compensates for the climb they say, endless killer singletrack, huge views, we're in.  Next morning instead of heading for the nearby lifts we load the bikes into the TA trailer and shuttle to our start, a steady away 20 minute climb under cloudless skies, all good so far.

 

A re group at the start of the first down, steady away doubletrack before the start of the singletrack, steep, exposed with a couple of hairpins that it's recommended to walk and for once the guides have not over egged the difficulty, the first switchbacks are steep, tight and a couple are just too dam risky to ride, brilliant!

 

 

 

 

Nearly at the bottom of an awesome descent, the gradient has lessened, the speed has increased and the smiles have widened, unfortuantley though this means the start of the climb, its bitching hot and I hate pedalling the patriot, it had better be worth it, as I recall last nights conversations!!

Some time later……………… big vistas!

 and the fun begins, heading down!

 

 

 

As we head into the trees, the trail just gets faster, off the brakes, on the brakes, its the forest moon of Endor, blasting through the trees, alternate switchbacks, pedalling hard, arms pumped, shoulders dropping in, looking ahead, later and later on the brakes, how long does this go on, more, more, more and then the inevitable happens, I feel the front break away, too much brake and the tyre looses grip, tucks under and its hello to air time, the bike remains mid track as I take my ticket to somewhere down the hill, the gradient eases the thud and I roll through the undergrowth, a quick dust down and head back to get the bike out of the way of the next rider, a quick survey of man and machine reveals only wounded pride on both parts! that was fun. 

The longer part of the ride is done, we stop, refill our camelbacks, Mansell tells us there's 3 sets of switchbacks coming up worthy of some respect, he can't remember or isnt telling whether they get easier or harder, whichever they are ahead somewhere.  My pea sized brain immediatley forgets the warnings and all too soon I am into a switchback, too fast, no time to formulate a plan, I drop in and out, clean, cool.

Now unlike the earlier crash I don't really recall what happened next, the second set of switchbacks and I am waaaay toooo fast, no time to scrub speed, I "see" the line, straight through and down, I can see my exit, I swear the line is there, even now, however!  This is going to hurt, surely.  I'm still clipped in, upside down, a few feet off the ground, this is happening very fast. I land first with the bike on top of me, all tangled up I then drop off the trail and start making progress down the hill, I manage to grab a tree branch, stop the slide, branch in one hand, patriot in the other.  I haul the bike over my head and on to the trail above.  I can't believe nothing hurts, dragging myself up and dusting myself down, a quick look round, no one saw a thing, brilliant! 

……………and its pretty much done, looking back to the last of the steeps, there's only one technical set of corners left to negotiate, only Ash, founder and trail guru of Trail Addiction has cleaned the remaining switchback, where are the photographs? I was too busy falling off to get the camera out, super steep, suber exposed, super loose and uber hard!

So is it worth taking a day off the lifts to take in this ride, you'd better believe it!  I have to rate this as one on THE rides I have done, two of the biggest stacks I have ever had, launching over the bars on both occasions, thankfully completley unscathed.

This is alpine singletrack at it's very best, riding simply doesn't get better than this. Trail Addiction pride themselves on lift assisted downhill and I note that their website this year features this ride and rightly so.  The Chilcotins are perhaps the only place I could place above in an order of merit but save the airfare and the float plane flight and here you are, the best singletrack you will probably ever ride!