More DH Training at Left Hand Canyon

Yesterday, for session No. 4 in Terminal Velocity Racing’s pre-season program, we hiked and rode, hiked and rode.

Hiking makes you strong like bull.

Place: Left Hand Canyon OHV Area, near Boulder, CO — the only place in the area where DH training is legal and ethical. Big bikes and full face helmets in Boulder open space parks — not cool.

Terrain: Very steep, very rocky.

Weather: Sunny and about 50 degrees. Perfect.

Duration: Three hours.

Hiking: Not as long as last week, but much steeper. All of our calves were screaming, and some sections were so steep we were basically pressing our DH bikes above our heads. This is the original total-body workout.

New trail: The newly re-opened Trail 844 drops to the dirt road near the park entrance. The top is very steep, loose and exposed. The middle gets rooty and turny. The last three turns — such sweet flow!

Focus: For everyone, it was about trying to pick good lines, but riding whichever line you bounced onto. For some, it was getting low. For others, it was rolling back on your pedals, so your weight drives into your BB rather than your handlebars. That’s key, especially when the trail is this steep.

Photos by Matt Ripley and me.

Zach is on fire. Check out that attack position.

Matt lines up for a bold line. At this angle, the sun flattens the rocks — it’s way gnarlier in person!

Luke and his dad used to ride moto, and it shows. This is the penultimate (second to last) turn. So sweet.

Last week, Yosei’s Socom was all balled up in the mud. This week, it’s railing in the dust.

Brendan pushes into the bank for a little extra braaap.

After spending the winter on a BMX cruiser, I’m giddy with traction — and possibilities!

10 replies
  1. Walt says:

    Why is “it the only place in the area where DH training is legal and ethical”? Are there actually rules that distinguish a DH bike from any other bike? It seems like you should be able to ride your DH bike on any trail mt. bikes are allowed. (without running somebody else off the trail, of course.)

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Legal = Not riding private property. Not poaching singletrack. Not exceeding the speed limit.

    Ethical = Not rocking a full face helmet amid hikers. Not pinning it on a trail with civilians. Not scaring the townspeople. I don’t care how controlled you are; if you’re riding a crowded trail DH style, you are freaking people out.

    None of these are issues at a OHV area. The Jeep drivers and gun shooters are a lot more tolerant than the average hiker!

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    There was plenty of shooting yesterday, at least at the spot near the main park entrance.

  4. esteban says:

    since when are you on rockshox?
    anyway sweet riding!we should do some dirt exchange: dust for mud!

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    Ah, you noticed!

    Last year my 40 was out of commission (my fault; I let a small leak go too long), and John Dawson from SRAM set me up with the Boxxer.

    They are both great forks. I plan to publish a comparison.

  6. esteban says:

    sweet, looking forward to see the comparative review. any chance they might hook you up with a boxxer team? I got a team last year more as a plan-B fork for a few months and now I’m wondering if it’s really worth the upgrade to a WC or a 40.

  7. Jack says:

    So did you guys just hike 844? That one section that goes up from 286 to 286C is pretty gnarly!…but short.

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