Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Mostly nonsense. Also riding bicycles inappropriate for off road terrain, off road; GIFs

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Claire
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Saanich

Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

Thanks, JT. Although your record of maiming your ride companions is...disturbing.

Week Three route: https://www.strava.com/routes/2819080931869163564

It's a fairly classic "Claire goes round Elk Lake" route but I love it and it's got variety, speed, a little climbing and a WHOLE LOTTA DAFFODILS right now that you simply mustn't miss. I probably don't have to explain cuz they're super obvious, but just in case you're hammering your brains out and not observing your surroundings (who does that?), keep at eye on the left/downhill side of the trail as you're entering the Camosun property. There's a low swampy/pond area in the depression and between that and the trail...DAFFODIL EXPLOSION. So cool.

Watch for the stairs in Broadmead as you climb out of Beckwith Park (there's a warning sign as you approach). Don't feel bad if you have to carry your bike down them (haha). Grant Park trail grunts are optional. Adjacent roads work, too. Also, a lap of the trails in the Cecelia Bike Park is practically mandatory -- in one or both directions (assuming a Selkirk Trestle start/finish). So fun.

Note the route runs counter-clockwise...though feel free to get crazy and go the other way.

I'll work on a longer route for those with more time and/or for weekend outings in the next couple of days.
Claire
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Saanich

Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

Here's a 60-ish-km gravel route to add to this week's mix. It starts and stops at my house, so feel free to adjust as needed. :wink:

It uses my usual/favourite route to get to Royal Roads, hits much of the RRU yummy singletrack (feel free to make your own embellishments there), blasts out to Langford Lake then climbs up the backside of BM (paved). I took some funky turns through the golf cart paths, which one could ignore or edit as desired. Eventually it gets onto some of the Canada Cup and Valley Trails before descending to Millstream and punching into Thetis park via the mentally exhausting Electric Ave. [thx to RW for trail name correction]

The rest is fairly standard Thetis fare and back to town on the Goose.

Enjoy this Mixed bag gravel route as week three's longer, extracurricular option.
Last edited by Claire on Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rolf
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Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Rolf »

Neato, Claire! A healthy mix of different stuff. I see some familiar Bear Mountain Valley Course paths, but the trail coming off the BM "summit" and going through the Mountain Course is new to me and just might get me to suffer all that gross climbing. :wink: Is that riding trail, or will we be dodging irate ball-golfers?

Also: this route's got Electric Avenue (uphill :shock: ) but no Lighthouse...?
Claire
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Saanich

Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

There was one little undeveloped lot I crossed behind a dirt pile off the end of a paved road. Other than that, I was on paved cart paths and only had to dodge one cart-load of drunken (but friendly) golfers!
JamesB
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Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by JamesB »

Another fantastic route Claire! Rode it on Wednesday with a crew of willing accomplices who patiently put up with me and my uncooperative Garmin. ... Map update req'd upon my return ... "quelle surprise"! Planning to save the MBGR 60ish for another time though. Thx again - awesome fun in the trails. :D
Claire
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Location: Saanich

Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

Welcome to the fourth and final instalment of April's weekly pre-fab gravel routes. If anyone's inspired to take over for May or beyond... don't be shy. I know there are folks following and enjoying having a route to follow during this last (?) wave of antisocial riding.

This one starts/stops at Harbour Rd Fantastico and runs counter-clockwise over approx 32km.

There's a little overlap with previous routes but hopefully switching direction and assembling the trails in novel ways will keep it fresh (and keep you veterans from lapsing into autopilot on old standards). Watch for non-usual little diversions like the Layritz Park summit (good for photo ops), and my perennial favourite, Hector Connector.

Other tasty viewpoints/novelties include Esquimalt's Highrock Park, View Royal's pump track, unexpectedly cool trails around VGH, "Ron's Trail" at Camosun and the Panama Flats bisector (hopefully dried out from the weekend's deluge).

April's week 4 cross route.
Claire
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Saanich

Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

Also, to make good on my earlier promise to provide a longer, more technical option for the last two weeks, I've cobbled together this:

Week four longer route

Full disclosure: I haven't ridden this all as one route and I'm not at all familiar with the Hazlitt Creek area. But, I've based most of it on a route that someone I follow rode a while back so they are all trails that folks on gravel bikes have ridden. The route is ~40km with a start/finish at The Nest (Burside & Watkiss) so use your own favourite route to and from that point.

It could be done (and fun) in either direction, though this one is built in a clockwise fashion, with a midway 'kiss' where the outbound and inbound overlap (tho it remains clockwise for its duration).

Usual disclaimers apply re: legitimacy of bikes on trails (i.e., if there's a "no bikes" sign, don't bike there).
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Rolf
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Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Rolf »

Another winner, Claire! That's a whole lotta fun packed into a 40K loop from the Thetis parking lot.

Two notes for those who may ride this.

1. This connector from the Canada Cup trail on Bear Mountain Resort land to Finlayson Arm Road passes through Goldstream Park. Cycling is mostly restricted throughout the park, so please don't be erosive and act with courtesy to anyone you encounter (e.g. stop, pull off the trail, and let them pass.)

Image

2. This stretch from the end of Blacktail Road to the south border of Hazlitt Creek Park is all on private property. It's a wild area with minimal development and the well-based (ie. non-erosive) trails do not go near any homes. The north part of it is called Kindwood Forest and it's owned in part by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (and previously by the TLC.) I understand they're currently discouraging access, though I haven't seen related signs. I and other riders have also encountered landowners in the southern stretch who have requested cyclists not use their land to connect to Hazlitt Creek Park. A possibly less problematic access point to the Park is off Millstream Lake Road at the south end of First Lake (right by the upper arrow below.)

Image
Claire
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Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Claire »

Also, as the month wraps up, please self-report here your (and your buddies') tallies of completions of the routes. Either add to your previous post (thanks, James and JT) or give me a grand total of all route completions for the month.

The hypothetical promise of beer and cookies is no longer hypothetical. So, if you'd like to be in the running for such things (one beer and two loads of cookies are in the wings), cough up your stats.

Indicating preferred cookie type is optional but encouraged. And if cookies are your jam but contact during Covid is not (and you win), I'm happy to defer until there's herd immunity and group riding impunity.
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Rolf
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Re: Weekly cx/gravel routes (solo/bubble) for month of April

Post by Rolf »

Thanks again for all your work planning and sharing these routes, Claire! They let many of us explore new areas and expand our trail knowledge. I'm riding solo for a bit to follow self-isolation directions and I appreciated the sensation of participating alone in a group activity. It takes time and effort to assemble segments into new and interesting configurations and I really appreciate it.

I rolled through your great final "short" course yesterday, enjoying some new sights on another gorgeous Sunday morning. Here are a few video snippets captured (a bit shakily) on my phone: https://vimeo.com/544356762 (I'm gradually getting better at riding the Hector Connector one-handed. :lol: )

Happily, I passed through the Eagle Creek Park trail without encountering the black bear sighted in there just a few hours later :shock: : https://www.timescolonist.com/news/loca ... 1.24314284
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