Although Wednesday was hot, and the smoke that had rolled in at dinner time was thick I still wanted to get out on my bike.
Since the first ride in Fish Creek had been early on in my riding season, I wanted to get back here and check out more trails. I headed over to the Votier’s Flat parking lot and started putting my gear on.
After heading down the hill to the trail head I struck off on the gravel paths heading East. I wanted to get on some trails fast and ducked in at the first bike trail sign I saw.
There are so many trails here it is hard to figure out which ones to choose. You could ride here every day for two weeks and still not see all of them.
Some of them are short and end at paved paths, and some are longer, narrow, and twitchy. It is also very busy here, and I ran in to many other riders and walkers/runners.
I mostly stuck to trails down by the creek for the early going. I ended up at the C-Train bridge by Macleod Trail and decided to head back west to the interior of the park. Once I got back to where I started I found some trails that were more in the woods.
These trails were a blast. They were very fun, with lots of turns that were not too tight but still got you moving your body. There were some small descents and some fun technical features like roots and rock fields, as well as bridges. I also found a neat lean-to just off the trail.
After coming out at the bottom of a hill I stopped for a break. I met a guy named Brian as he came down a trail. I started chatting with him while he waited for his riding partner. Apparently he runs a local riding group that does rides on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in Fish Creek. I asked him about good spots to ride and he didn’t hesitate to suggest a trail.
Brian actually took me almost right to where the trails started. Heading West through the park we went to the start of a hill that headed up to the ridge overlooking the park on the south side. I hiked my way up the hill and took a break at the top.
After riding on a little bit of gravel trail I hit the trail that I had been sent to find. What a view! It was amazing looking down in to the valley as the sun set. The views were great and the trail was turning out to be amazing.
It snaked along the edge of the ridge. It was both a little intimidating and fun at the same time. I am definitely hooked on the adrenaline rush you get from mountain biking. After what seemed like too short a time I was back in the woods. I found the trail that started heading down and back toward the car.
Something was wrong though. My back tire was feeling squishy, and it was getting hard to keep it from washing out. I stopped to take a quick look at what was going on, but I already knew what it was. I was flat. AGAIN. Two rides in a row ruined by rear flats. I was still up in the woods and on a bit of a gnarly descent though. I slowly coaxed my bike down the hill and came to a stop at the bottom.
There is nothing more annoying than getting a flat while riding. I wanted to keep going! There were a lot of good trails on the way back to the car, but now I had to walk back. Since I don’t have a pump of my own yet I thought I would ask the next mountain biker I saw if they had a pump.
Luckily for me two awesome guys showed up very shortly after I started walking back. They didn’t have a spare tube I could have, but they did have a pump. I started using the hand pump to get my tire inflated. That sucked. Hand pumps are not ideal, especially after riding for almost two hours in the heat. I got it to where it kind of passed the hand pressure test. I thanked the riders and they went on their way and I got on my bike.
It was immediately flat. It was no use. I would have to walk my bike back to the parking lot. I pulled out my phone and checked where I was. Luckily I only had a 10 minute walk back to the car. That is one of the awesome things about this place, there is just so many trails you don’t have to go far from where you park.
It was an incredibly frustrating way to end a ride. I threw the bike on the car and headed home, dejected with how my ride ended. The next day I got the tire off the bike and started inspecting. The source of the flat was a stupid 1/2″ nail that had punctured the tire! After pulling out the nail I put a new tube in and got the tire back on.
Hopefully my next ride is flat free and I can come home with a smile on my face. Maybe I should just focus on the fun I had instead of the flat. That would probably be the best thing to do, but not the easiest. Flats are something we all have to deal with eventually. I just need to fix it and get back out riding!