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20081026 Comox Mud Festival

This time of year, it has become something of a tradition to visit Marc, Nikki, and friends on Vancouver Island to ride in driving rain, axle deep mud, and with any luck, snow.

This year, so many people got invited along we decided it must be a mud festival, not a ride. (Un)fortunately the mud completely failed to show, replaced instead by blue skies and sun. Must be Global Warming, except it was cold.

As we left on Friday, the fall colours were still showing well near my office:

Saturday morning, after a particularly epic toaster queue, we headed up to Cumberland to try some new trails that had been built since our last visit. Marg approved of this one:

Tracy’s bike must be good, Angie was even smiling going downhill:

Lower down the woods were dark and mossy:

Occasionally a shape would appear from the gloom:


and resolve into a rider:

New trail, old trail, familiar trails. All lead inevitably to the Chocolatier in Comox for the Island’s best hot chocolate!

Back at Marc&Nikki’s the sun was starting to go down so Angie and I walked down to the Harbour.

Colourful boats:

We came across this amazing tree with multi-coloured spiky fruit:

The tree with marina behind:

Down at the water there were tons of little jellyfish:

Angie enjoying the sunset:


Looking through the masts:

Nice evening for a cruise:

Back at the house we were greeted to a kitchen full of fantastic smells as the traditional pot-luck was underway. No-one brought dog food though, poor Mattie:

Next morning we headed to Forbidden plateau for more riding. Andy, Angie and Lina wanted to ride up the mountain rather than shuttling, and I was bullied into joining them. I’m sure it was good for me. Meeting at the old ski area, we had a huge crowd. Marg counted 19 setting off down Two Sheiks!

Andy hit a ladder drop up high:


And lower down he rode the (very greasy) Sky Bridge. This thing is about 12 feet high with a gap drop off the end. We could barely watch, but he made it unscathed:

A clearing in the trees gave a view of Comox lake:

Further down, a big stunt had been build in a clearcut. A couple of people couldn’t resist. Crista was first up and made it look easy. Gap onto the bridge:

Roll the bridge and drop off:

Next victim:


The rest of us were happy to watch, pretending it was just because we brought our XC bikes. Crista liked it so much she had another go:

Fall colours further on at the "Drop of Doom":

Marc and Nikki:

What you need to be a Cumberland local is some good facial hair:


Andy enjoying some more mellow stunts:

Mattie couldn’t ride with us this weekend as she is still recovering from a surgery on her foot, but she was pleased to see us when we got back to the cars at Nairn Falls:


A quick stop back at the house for some pot-luck leftovers and it was off to the ferry. We stopped for coffee on the estuary as the sun began to go down:

A fine end to yet another sunny fall weekend. How long will our luck hold out?


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