On Sunday morning, despite my hesitations after hearing the news about the barbed wire booby traps I took the short 35 minute trip west to the West Bragg Creek trail center.
After my wonderful drive, where I came upon a mother deer and her very adorable fawn, I arrived at the temporary parking lot during construction of a brand new lot (which should be amazing when it is all done).
The lot was relatively quiet, with only around 15 to 20 cars in the lot. I took a quick bathroom break, then got my bike off the car. As I have never been here, I was looking for people to lead me in the general direction. I noticed a few riders head over to a bridge where I found my first trail sign. It was clearly marked with trails laid out, and a clear “you are here” marker. It was the first of many, many of those signs I would see, which was awesome.
I headed left off the trail head and followed a group of three ladies, which I quickly passed. I was on a road that had lots of rolling hills and some nice scenery. After I got to the top of one decent hill I took a little break to take a few photos. I carried on and started climbing up the mountain. At one particular intersection I decided to get off the road and start climbing some more technical trails (it was Boundary Ridge). Things were going well. About 20 minutes in I decided to pull off and have a snack. I saw a few riders go down, and up past me as I sat on a log eating. Everyone was really pleasant, which will be an ongoing theme. I continued on this trail until I was getting tired, and decided to turn around and go down. That was fun!
I am quickly noticing that my bike is not really suited to down hill rocky and rooty descents. The front coil shock is not all that plush, and the rear end sounds like it is going to break off. So much chain slap! But regardless, my brakes held and I made it to the bottom just fine.
This is where I met Bob. Bob was a middle aged dude on a super cool fat bike. I asked him about some of the trails to get up the hill and he suggested Ranger Summit. He was super helpful and very nice, which was almost everyone I met there! We both headed up the trail and started climbing. I need to work on climbing. About half way up I was gassed. Although I was just as tired as the two other guys I met climbing up were. We all traded spots leading until we all got to “the view” at the top. Man that was gorgeous! I ran in to two nice ladies who shared some more local knowledge. I decided to head up a bit more until I got to Strange Brew.
The climbing was tough, but not overly long. Once I got to the top the real fun began. I bombed down Strange Brew at a pretty good clip. I am getting much more confident at picking lines and riding berms. Everything was going super smooth (well except my chain smashing in to my bike…). I was having a blast, only having to stop once for a lady hiking up the trail. I finally got to an intersection, where there was a group of six deciding what to do.
I decided to ride down Boundary Ridge, which I had done about half of earlier. It was super fun. A little less rocky and roots and more flowy descents. It was amazing, the trails here really are fantastic. I shot out of the trail on to the fire road, let out a small whoop and was done for the day. I rode my bike back to the car and started getting ready to go home.
I extremely enjoyed my riding in Bragg Creek. All the people I met were super friendly, helpful and polite. The trails were amazing, really technical, but also fun and rewarding. I am going to be coming back here as much as I can to enjoy this great playground just outside Calgary. Hopefully I can convince the wife to let me get a full suspension, so that I can enjoy these trails even more!