Few things invoke the organizer in me like a summer road trip to bike trails. I make lists, plan trails, clothes that will show up best in photos and food to fuel the whole experience. This trip to Silverstar was no different.
We arrived Sunday night with visions of dry dirt trails dancing in our heads. We went to bed giddy with anticipation of the hot days to follow.
8am was a bit of a shock. A noise like brakes squealing started my curious eyes open in search of these riders who cared so little for the health of their bikes. To my amazement there was a lone bagpiper, hazily drawing notes through the drizzle in the heart of the village.
Iâ€™m not much for omens, I donâ€™t necessarily pay attention to them. However on Friday afternoon before our trip I was dazed and chugged a diet soda to keep me awake through the last few hours of work. On my pedal home, feeling like the only person on earth in the sunshine of the little country road I let loose a belch so satisfying and long it felt as if it came from my feet.
Itâ€™s reasonable then to see why I didnâ€™t hear the pink limousine pull up beside me and turn right in front of me. The windows were open and I could hear the kids laughing and being scolded by their parents.
Upon seeing the piper I though of this and accepted that this may be one of â€œthoseâ€ vacations.
Piper aside we finally got on the lift. The drizzle now replaced by puffy white bunny clouds meandering across the sky. The thing with bunnies though, thy multiply and soon the puffiness became drizzle again, which became snow at the top of the lift.
We laughed, we rode, we froze around 1pm and headed to the hot tub. We renamed it the warm tub because it wasnâ€™t as hot as we had hoped. We defrosted in the shower and hoped the next day would be better.
The next day was worse. It was colder and just plain raining which was good because we went winery hunting. I taw, I taw as tasting woom! I did, I did taw a tasting woom!
I canâ€™t really call what I do collecting wine, I have nothing to show for it but a few vague memories of yummy cupfuls. Another six pack for the â€œcollectionâ€ and we were off.
Wednesday we woke up to what we dream about all year. Sunshine bathing everything as far as my puny human eyes can see. Itâ€™s cool in the trails and all the dustiness has been washed in wetness, brought back to its virgin state. We started on LTG to get a feel for being on the bike.
The last section where it gets flowy on the way to the lift we realized something.
Oh, yeah, we can go fast!
The next round was a lap on Superstar. If your self esteem has been squashed by the likes of CBC and Cypress, a lap or two on Superstar will have you feeling a like Wonder Women. Its fast fat berms allow you to get a bit of speed and hit the jumps perfectly to clear them.
World Cup was next, wall rides and drops beckon from this trail. If anywhere this is the place to get comfortable on them.
First lap, low on the wall, giggling with fear and eyes as wide as saucers to capture what could potential be my last moments on earth. I survived and came in hot on the next one. Bzzzzzzzoooom! Hoots of laughter tumbled out of my mouth like a flock of pigeons up roosted.
Wednesday nightâ€™s Extended Play was in effect and we had to stop around 6:30. We could not physically go that fast much longer. We had exhausted our legs and the six pack of wine was calling me.
All we could do was eat and stare at the TV for a bit before bed. I stared at my mashed potatoes and wondered if they felt like I did. Another glass of wine and I became one with couch.
At 8am I heard that noise again. This time though there were 8 of them and before I could take up my sniping position in the warm tub I needed coffee. Dropping in and muscling through berms had worn me out for sniping pipers so I let them live.
Last day. Sigh. We decided to hit up each trail at least once. By 4pm we were so exhausted we could barely remember which trail we had just ridden let alone, which were next.
Silverstar is a bikerâ€™s closest friend. The people who keep the resort open is summer, understand your need to keep you bike beside you while you sleep. They see the trail love in your eyes as they serve up lunch and they never scold you for having you filthy gear in their mom and pop establishments. The staff of the resort listen to you in earnest, willingly goes out of their way to help you out and smile the whole time.
Iâ€™m already planning my next trip back, see you there!