I had the chance to ride around the Kootenay Krusher area a couple weeks ahead of the official event. Definitely was good for knowing what I was getting into, and thought i’d share a few things that stood out for me from the experience.
- Sandy single tracks and bright sun
One of the biggest challenges came on day one. I was riding on some dry and dusty single track. this was light coloured sand, with dry grass on both sides. Add bright sun and it was effectively like riding on washed out bright white trails. What helped? Sucking up my pride and stopping and slowing down when in doubt. There were a few spots that were just difficult to see where the trail went.
I thought riding with Photochromic yellow tint glasses would be the best. however these glasses resulted in my only crash of the weekend. 5 minutes into the first ride I was coming around a downhill corner which suddenly turned from bright sunlight to dark shade. I got distracted and/or nervous and went down. Luckily no big injury, but it caused me to switch to my helmet visor as main sun protection. Sunglasses just didn’t allow me to see any detail in the shady areas.
Bright sun to strong shade
As mentioned previously, these areas were the toughest areas to navigate. There are areas you go from bright sunlight to sudden tree cover and shade. I need time adjust to these changes. Be aware of this, and be prepared to take stops if needed. There are also tree covered areas where patches of bright sun can shine through, making it tough to see roots, rocks or ruts. Day 2 with some overcast conditions made navigating trails much easier.
Walk when not comfortable
There were a few areas I simply was not comfortable riding. Some of these descents were smaller than what I’ve ridden before. It may have been confidence, or lighting conditions, whatever the reason there is no shame in deciding a section of trail is better covered walking on foot.
Some were drops that end with a curve at the bottom that is hard to follow at speed, some were interrupted by shade/bright light transitions, some were simply above my skill level. Ultimately you need to decide what you are comfortable with.