Thursday, April 24, 2008

Collapse - Jared Diamond

“With Collapse, Jared Diamond has written a fascinating account of the collape of civilizations around the world. … A reader cannot help but leave the book wondering whether we are following the track of these other civilizations that failed. Any reader of Collapse will leave the book convinced that we must take steps now to save our plant.”
- The Boston Globe

To all of you who haven't read this book yet, I strongly recommend you do. The authors research makes it hard not to wonder if we are on the same path as the many societies who didn’t survive. Combine this with our global economy and the scenario is even scarier. The key reason this book had a bigger impact on me then a lot of the other info I’ve read about the state of our environment is it wasn't written from a one sided point of view, the worlds coming to end, over-exaggerated perspective that many of the environmental books seem to be. Instead the author uses scientific/archeological examples of societies that have succeeded and have failed, building a strong case all the while being an extremely interesting read as he walks you through the history and cultures of multiple civilizations current and past.

Through this book the author analyzes civilizations/settlements such as; Easter Island and what seemed like a plentiful land when first settled, also exploring its many mysteries; The Polynesians and how the majority of their small and large settlements survived but the medium sized ones such as the Pitcairn Islands didn’t; The Anasazi’s in North America failing to survive in the South Western States with some of the most advance agricultural and political structures of the time; The Maya's collapse; The Norse Vikings settling in Greenlans and their inability to survive there while the Inuit did; Papa New Guinea and how they’ve succeed to survive for almost 3200yrs as a society, however the current involvement of western cultures will make it’s development interesting to follow over the next 10 to 20yrs; The Genocides in Rawanda and why it happened; A comparison of why the Dominican Republics environment, political structure, international trade and history of civil war are much more favorable then Haiti's while being on the same small island; China’s significance and its consequence leaving the largest environmental footprint on earth and what will happen if the reach current first world standards of living; The Australians and their current dependence on trade partners as their population is currently above a self sustainable level. Ultimately he tires to answer the questions of why and how these disastrous decisions are made and how we can avoid making the same mistakes repeated so many times in the past.

So do yourself a favor pick up a copy of this book to educate yourselves on some of the risks and challenges that face our society in 21st century which is bound to influence your views on our current situation.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 R6 Press Bike

This Sunday I had the chance to break in the 2008 R6 press bike at work. Boy my jobs tough. I’ll save you from another detailed R6 ride report because every motorcycle website and magazine will critique/review this bike. Hopefully I can give you a little something to ponder comparing my thoughs on motorcycle classes for a sport bike for everyday use.

I’ve spent a lot of time on cruisers and dirt bikes in my life but the last Supersport I rode would have been a new Ninja 636 in 2003 I believe. Well after about a 500KM day on the R6 I'm thinking I might look good on a black R6. For those of you that know the area me and Matt did a loop up and around the 404 to hwy 48, then across the Kirfield locks to the Hwy 45/503 and back home along the 507 and hwy 7A till I cut down to the 401 to head home. It's a great route to try a bike on as you get some nice winding roads, with a few freeway stints giving you a good feel for a bike with lots of oportunities for gas stops and food. We where greeted with the perfect day for the first ride of the season after the weatherman threatened us with a forecast of Showers. The sun shined all day with those perfect temperatures where you are comfortable in leathers, no complaints of being hot or cold all day. As result we had a chance to make the most of our tying together the countless turns on Hwy 507/503/45 at reasonably fast pace to ensure we’d at least keep our license if we ran into an encounter with Mr. Police Officer during most of our trip.

Personally I’m a big fan of two classes of motorcycles the 600cc Supersports and the 1000cc Standards. The 1000 cc Standards, à la FZ1 provide all the performance you need short of a track day machine, a useable powerband, combined with all day comfort and touring capabilities. On the other hand the 600’s provide cutting edge technology, razor sharp handling, with rider inputs being translated immediately and effortlessly to road, and ultimately a top end rush to keep you giggling to yourself under your helmet all day. If you are on a twisting road or a track I don’t think there are many bikes out there that provide the entertainment value of the current crop of 600 Supersport. As a result when contemplating my motorcycle purchase I keep going back and forth between the above mentioned motorcycles.

A little on my riding style and you'll understand my dilema, I’m looking for a bike that will be comfortable enough for at least a half dozen to dozen 800KM days (a few of which will probably be 2 or 3 back to back days), a few track days, and the rest would be commuting and 300 to 500KM evening/weekend rides. When the R6 is doing what it does best, there aren't many bikes I'd rather be on (the only other two bike I would consider is the Ducati 848 or the GSR 750) . But you pay a penalty with the riding position for day to day riding. Can I deal with those few short commings? I think so! The low bars and hunched forward position aren’t as bad as lot of people say. If you are under 6ft, with some good core strenght, I don't think back pain is much of an issue. Plus if you are going over 110KM/h the wind blast takes a lot of weight off your wrist and I don’t plan on spending much time cruising around under 100 unless it's a really twisty road. The other usual complaint is the lack of bottom end torque, which didn't bother me either. The top end rush is a blast when you can use it. When you need to pass drop 2 or 3 gears till you are over 8,000 RPM and let her rip. I even found having a little less bottom end an advantage keeping my speeds down, since cruising around outside the powerband at 4000-6000RPM doesn’t have all that power teasing you to go faster. My only concern is I don’t have the greatest knees and just shy of 100KM’s my knee starts to cramp up like clock work.

The FZ1 on the other hand is still a blast on a twisty road, could still be taken to a track day even though it wouldn’t be as fun as an R6, but the trade off is you get a bike that’s much easier to live with everywhere else. Personally I find the riding position too relaxed and upright, taking away some of the responsiveness/feel and I even find this position puts a little more pressure on my butt/back. So the solution is probably a little modification to one or the other in the form of either an FZ1 with a set of clip-ons, (I have heard that the Harris Performance high clips or Heli-Bars for a CBR600RR mount quite well), some rear sets, a gel seat, and a Yoshimura Slip on (I just couldn’t live with the look of that big can). The R6 on the other hand would see a seat swap as well and an attempt to find some adjustable pegs that would give me the extra room for day to day, as well as some extra clearance for track days and posibly an Akrapovic exhaust and power commander to liven up the bottem end a little. After a few months if the weight on the wrist thing became an issue for commuting or long trips a set of Heli Bars could always added, but I don’t thing it would be necessary. Only time will tell what I'll eventually buy. Tonight I’m leaning towards the R6, it’s just too much fun to pass up on, yesterday the FZ1 made more sense. Either way I know which I choose as a next bike would provide countless hours of fun.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2008 Mountain Bike Season Update 1 - Let the Season Begin

Well the snow is gone, sun is shining, I've been out for two rides and I'm stoked for another mountain bike season. Hope you will all forgive me but my first ride was on the road (65KM) because things where still a little wet. Last night I went for a short ride down the Ridge, Catalyst and the Flats of the Don Valley for my first venture into single track for the season and trails are good to go. Tomorrow nights plan is for a good MTB ride afterwork and the sesaons going again.

So with all this good weather the wheels are turning and I figured an update on this seasons plans are in order. This season I wanted to concentrate on downhilling and I scored a spot to ride with the guys from Poisonfrog Promotions for the season and I'm excited to be riding with such a strong group of riders and Lee (owner of Poisonfrog Promotion and team manager) has been awesome, the teams seems like a good mix. Things are looking like it's going to be ripping season. (visit and make sure to check out the racing section of the site.)

The plans for this year includes racing select XC Races hopefully about 5 O-Cups and is still going to be about building and getting my times down. I hope to pull some top 20 finishes in sport (at least being in the top 50% of the field) and by the end of 2009 I'd like to be turning times close to the Expert Class. Also on the XC side of things I'm planning to ride the 24hrs of Summer Solstice and Paul's enduro. Paul's is an awesome race I suggest you check out if you haven't. It's a 100KM enduro (with 40 and 60KM options) and I'd rank it as one of the best races in Ontario. I'm looking to come in under 8 hrs for the 100KM this year. But ultimately the big push is going to be on the DH Scene, being my first year I hope to race mid-pack sport and next year running in top third in sport. Definately pumped to be spending the extra time on the DH bike and can't wait for the first race at Kelso.

The other questions all of you riders will have is what am I riding this season?

XC will see the ol' Commencal Supernormal - with A new set of FSA XC 300SL's (they must be one of the sexiest looking wheelsets out there) weighing in respectively a 1.65KG complete and hopefully strong enough to deal with my not always smooth riding. A Thompson seat post was added Sunday (not by choice as I snapped my post on my first ride of the sesaon) and a Thompson 110mm stem was added to shorten the reach a little. The wishlist for upgrades as the funds become available is long; hydaulic brakes -Magura SL's or Shimano XT (the feel of the mechanical Juicy just aren't cutting it and the bike could afford to loos a little weight), seat Selle Italia SLR, FSA K-Light cranks, some Scwalbe Racing Ralphs once my tires need a change and maybe a new set of Candy 2TI pedals, but all this is on hold because of the investment in a new DH rig.

For those of you who haven't check out Banshee Bikes and still think of them as a big huck brand you should visit their site ( and their Blog link. They've got a really tight line up this year covering everything from XC to AM to DH with a few things comming down the pipe in the form of the new Legend MK1 for DH which the bikes first races resulted in wins and apparently something for the weight conscious XC rider.

With that little lead in I'm sure you guessed my new bikes going to be a Banshee? I have new grey Banshee Scythe w/DHX 5, a Boxxer World Cup front, Gamut P40 chainguide, Crank Brother Mallets and the rest will be transplanted form my old bike for now mostly Bontrager Big Earl stuff, SRAM X.9 shifters, rear deraileur, LX front deraileur, and an XT cog. I'll be sure to add some actual pics when everything is in (frame should be here next week). Also as always the guys from Cycle Solutions have been awesome as well with help setting up the 2 bikes this season. If you haven't stopped by, check them out. The shop may seem a little crowded at first but the guys are awesome, great vibe, good mechanics and an awesome line up of brands.

Here's my pre-lim schedule for the season.

-Sunday, April 27th XC O-Cup # 1 - Mansfield
-May 3rd -May 4th DH O-Cup # 1 - Kelso

-Sunday, May 11th -XC O-Cup #2- Albion Hills
-May 17th - 18th Canada Cup Bromont (DH)
-May 24th - 25th Canada Cup Mt. Tremblant (DH)
-Sunday, June 1st XC O-Cup # 3/Canada Cup - Hardwood Hills
-Sunday, June 8th XC O-Cup # 4 - Kelso
-June 14th - 15th DH O-Cup # 2 - Kelso
-June 21st - 22nd 24hrs of Summer Solstice
-June 28th - 29th DH O-Cup # 3 - Horseshoe
-July 19th - 20th DH O-Cup # 4 - Camp Fortune
-August 10th XC O-Cup # 6 - Buckwallow
-August 17th DH O-Cup # 5 - Blue Mountain
-September 7th XC Provincials - Mountainview
-September 13th - 14th DH Provincials - Camp Fortune
-September 20th - 21st Pauls Dirty Enduro

A quick update my frame came in yesterday (April 24th), and the grey looks sick, almost has a copper undertone shining through it. Here's a pic, I should have her built up Sunday after the Mansfield race short of the Boxxer I'm wating for. I'll add a few picks of the build at that point.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Near North Epic Snowmobile Adventure

What makes an Epic? Adventure, adversity, the unknown, feelings of triumph, times of reflection, its definitely has to be out of the ordinary and unforgettable. We could spend our time debating these qualifications, but I think the answer is depending on the situation the recipe can vary wildly. Since I’m a mountain biker where the term is with out a doubt overused I get kind of annoyed whenever I hear “that was Epic”, because really… It usually wasn’t. (Except when Dave says it, I just seem to laugh). How Epic can another day riding the same trail as yesterday, taking a lift up and riding 800ft of vertical at blue mountain for a day or two laps around Albion hills really be. Now I’m not trying to harp on Ontario’s mountain bike scene, there’s definitely good riding and potential for epics. They could even include a stop at the above mentioned locations during a trip, however unless a trip includes the majority of the descriptors above they definitely don’t qualify in my mind. As a result Epics are ultimately quite difficult to plan and more often then not just come about when you are on what is seemingly going to be another traditional adventure. So why was this trip Epic? Well lets see, what was a simple trip for 4 Guys on sleds, doing two easy 6 to 8hr days on groomed trails, turned into 3 days, of adversity, testing our limits, with nothing going as planned as we rode for a 10 and 12 hour days, questionable trail conditions, crossing rivers on beaver dams, nearly being stranded without gas, going down a hill more suited for ATV's, trying to find our way down a closed trail and cold night riding without a windshield! However, it was filled with exactly what we where looking for, excitement, adventure, an escape from daily life, some fast paced riding and multiple evenings filled with laughter, beers, good friends and ultimately the three best days of my winter. Yes it was EPIC!

I had been looking forward to a couple days of snowmobiling for a long time now. The last snowmobile I owned was an MXZ before I moved to Southern Ontario for school, and even though I managed to squeeze in a couple of rides when I was back home on friends and families sleds I really hadn’t done any substantial snowmobiling in about 6yrs. I arranged to borrow a pre-production Nytro from work to head out with the Preston clan on a trip up North. I met Luke in my last year of University he’s became one of those close friends that you know you’ll never loose touch with, so I was excited to head up to this home town to do a little sledding with Luke, his younger brother Chad and his Father, Don. The plan was to trailer up the sleds to Sundridge and stay at his parents place on Thursday, Friday was going to be a 6 to 8 hrs day to Sudbury on the OFSC Trails, Saturday come home on different route, and Sunday we'd head home after a short ride on the local trails. Simply put som good, fast, adrenaline pumping fun, topped with good times and good friends.

The week before the trip saw a warm spell throughout Central Ontario that brought rain to some areas up North in February. As a result we knew some of the trail conditions would be less then ideal and the only firm plans we had made where to book a Hotel room Friday night in Sudbury so everything else could be reviewed on based on the trail conditions. Unfortunately Mr. Preston informed us he couldn’t come along for the whole trip because he couldn’t get away from work, but we where still stoked for the trip and hopefully he'd meet us on day two. After a few Timi’s stops (you don’t get to travel very far with the Preston’s unless there’s Tim Hortons en route.) we reached Sundridge on time and where greeted with warmth as always. First by Kuma, the family dog which filed in for the 3 kids after they had all left for school (I’m sure Mr. and Ms. Preston will tell you he is much more obedient then the kids ever where), then by his parents and sister.

It didn’t take long till we where looking at trail maps and analyzing the trails conditions on the OFSC website finalizing the plans for the weekend. Our original thoughts where to go to Sudbury on the trail system south of Lake Nipising (C105D and C106) then come back down towards Parry Sound (along TOP trail D) and then back along one of the trail north of the Seguin trail back to Sundridge. However, on the drive up we decided to add an Audible and consider spending a second night in Parry Sound to get some extra KM’s in. Since the rain and winds turned all the lakes to skating rinks of glare ice without any snow pack, combined with the two warm spells some of the trails weren’t maintained along that route. So plan B was to head up through Powassan along SSR700, (Top Trail C was closed due to the conditions) to North Bay then across to Sudbury about a 500km day. We knew that the Powassan area the trails weren’t going to be great since it received the worst of the weather, nevertheless the OFSC Trail report said the trail SSR700 through to North Bay was open but icy and to ride with caution. So our plans where set for day 1, day 2 we where to meet Mr. Preston for a late lunch about 2/3rds of the way down from Sudbury towards Parry Sound where we could do a little night ride after dinner and then Sunday’s plans where to come back across the Seguin trail to Sundrige for a late lunch and to be back in GTA shortly after dinner.

So the next morning I got up as planned and got the machines unloaded and prepped, as the Preston brothers finished getting ready, and by around 10AM we where set to leave. My first impressions on the Nytro where awesome and I immediately felt at home on it. A lot of people still prefer the Apex/Vector Chassis for trail riding, but I’d much rather give up the extra wind protection and larger gas tank for the Rider forward position, suspension and low/centered weight. I’d even argue it was less tiring then the other sleds on the long days. Now I have a tendency to ride throwing my body into every corner, and the Nytro’s riding position and center of gravity made that riding style feel Natural and effortless. It begged you to come into the corner hot, brake hard, lean off into corner, pin it again, lean off into the next corner and repeat. A recipe for guaranteed fun. Oh and when the trails got rough stand up and pin it again and things just got more entertaining.

Crossing the lake behind Sundridge to get to the Trail system confirmed what we though and the lakes where glare ice. But once on the trails things where going pretty good for the first half hour, the trails where a little rough since they hadn’t been groomed for weekend traffic yet but we where having fun enjoying the sunny day and my love for snowmobiling had already been rekindled. However, as the trails converged with a side road through Trout Creek to get us across HWY 11 things where starting to look a little grim. This went on for multiple KMs at a slow pace which included me getting flung off sled when the sled went from a sand to loosing traction on ice, resulting in the track spinning a little sideways and connecting with dirt high siding me off the sleds, flying over the hood and then coming to an abrupt stop as I hit frozen ground at about 40KM/h. Fortunately the sled didn’t role over and aside from a bruised ego and hip from hitting the ice, the only issue was my boot caught the windscreen popping of the plastic rivets off and the rest of the day was going to be ridden with the windscreen neatly tucked in my jacket. Yes the medium windscreen is that small, but it’s amazing how much of a difference it made without it. As we regrouped and the Preston’s where chuckling a little about me suddenly learning how to fly and we got going with hopes of reconnecting with an actual trail. Now as the snow is getting thinner and thinner to our surprise we turn north on the SSR700 towards Powassan and are greeted with a view of pastures showing as much grass as snow and a trail that is starting to show a few patches of mud. So we consider our options of A) turning around, which we aren’t to interested in or B) progressing through as there is supposed good snow as we get close to North Bay. Well I’ve never been a quitter and we where too excited about the riding after North Bay so we decided to inch our way foward on the limited snow. After about 3 hours, we’d only covered about 75 maybe a 100 KM's, but things where starting to look up as the snow cover was starting to get thicker again.

Then we came across the following downhill. Now I pull up, stop, evaluate the situation. I’m thinking if I come over that rock with my left ski just to the outside of it (you can't see it as you had to start going down about two sled widths over from the picture on the left.), my track will roll over it and as the pitch flattens out a little I can tap the brake slide the back end out, which should get my front end over enough to grab the line on the right around the large rocks, shift my weight to swing the back end a little and as long as I don’t touch my brakes down the icy pitch I’ll be at the bottom and off I go. Like clock work I get to the bottom stop and look up to see the Preston’s standing at the top conversing. I guess watching me crest the 75 degree pitch of ice off the start with smooth rounded rocks for about 1.5 sled lengths then slidding out the back end, straightening it out on the right side and coasting down looked a little more Kamikaze then how smooth I though I was and they where contemplating the other options down. After I hiked back up, (and fell back down 2 or 3 times) the discussion ended with me taking the other two sleds down because I was confident in the line I took. Now to Luke and Chad’s Credit this picture doesn’t do the pitch any justice as the first section you don’t see well in these pictures is the steep icy pitch of about 1.5 sleds long before you had to swing the sled 45 degrees to get the next line on ice in less then a sled length and straighten out again to coast down without touching the brakes and getting sideways on the ice as the risk of a roll over would have been high. After that things started to look good and we figured we would make up time on the abandoned rail line in towards North Bay. Nope, no luck again! The snow that was left was too thin and there was black railway rocks sticking out of the snow and we are moving at a crawling pace once again. Now finally after these two stretches of rail line we stop. Luke looks like he wants to call in the cavalry with a trailer once we get to North Bay and me, and Chad are frustrated as well. But then from this point the trail becomes solid again and as the pace picks up, so does our moral. We arrive in North Bay as the Nytro’s gas light comes on and we proceed in for lunch and fuel. Now we're about 2 or 3 hours behind schedule, but I’m optimistic about the rest of the ride to come, and Luke won’t say much but his expression says I’ve had enough.

So we leave North Bay and start heading west towards Sudbury and the trails turn into just what we needed, groomed smooth with some long straights to wind out the engines and when we stop, we all have grins from Ear to Ear thinking the rough stretch was more then worth it. We played tag with a couple groups of riders and things where great as we rode into the sunset, at brisk pace. Shortly after the sunsets we hit the old rail lines going down towards Sudbury and continue to make good time. Around dinner we pulled into what I believe was River Valley for gas, coffee and some stretching. We seemed to be the entertainment for the evening as all the locals stopped seemingly to buy a coffee and to say Hi to us. After a half hour and a little laughing about the scene we’ve caused we were off again. However, as the temperatures dropped I wished I had that little windscreen on and about every 30KM me and Chad would switch to warm up on the LTX. This continued till we turned off the main trail to go into Sudbury for our nights in Sudbury. We quickly brought our stuff in, showered and Boston Pizza was calling for a couple pints and some pizza to recharge and laugh about the day which was exactly what we needed.

The next morning we are waiting outside Sudbury Cycle for them to open so I could replace the rivets on the windscreen, with clear blue skies in anticipation for a great day. We where taken care of promtly with the friendly service we expected, I popped the rivets in and we were off. As soo as we left the trail that goes in and out Sudbury we where greeted by well groomed trails, and carried a casually brisk pace. After a few photo ops. we saddled up to meet Mr. Preston and Alisha for a late lunch before we headed towards Parry Sound. As we followed the trail signs towards Parry Sound for countless KM’s of tying together what appeared to be first tracks though wide winding corners at a flat out pace for while we where as excited as ten year olds in a candy store. However these first tracks at 11:30 AM on a trail that the groomer had obviously groomed in both directions already indicating it was groomed either the previous night or early in morning should have indicated something wasn’t right. But caught up in the riding we didn’t think twice as this was the first time things seemed perfect and we thought we'd be laughing all day.

Sure enough at the line where the Sudbury Snowmobile club turns over the maintenance to the French River trail system we where greeted with trail closed signs. Now we new the TOP trail was closed from the OFSC site however because it indicated the trails from Sudbury to Parry Sound where open we expected trail markings we couldn’t miss. So after a quick what now, we figured the trail was most likely closed due to the trail not having enough snow for the groomer but it looked like approximately 10 to 20 sleds had been through the trail since the last snow so what the hell lets go. The rough unmaintained trail was a mixed experience. It was rough and tiring and our average speed dropped to snails pace putting us way behind schedule. On the other hand the Nytro was a lot of fun to hammer through the bumps, which left me waiting for the boys on the vectors throughout this stretch. This section also provided some of the most memorably moments, crossing rivers over Beaver Dams, riding along a half frozen river, and some scenic views. We stopped after a while on the bridge below where it seemed like we where the only people within hundreds of KM’s and we just might have been. We finally made it too the gas stop around 1 or 2 and Called Mr. Preston who was already at our lunch destination in the little town with a about 6 houses a gas station at the corners of the C104D and C102D (Loring I believe). While we where still what turned to be about 5 or 6 hrs away through the ungroomed trails.

Things got better as we headed through the French River area. The conditions where less then ideal however the Scenery was phenomenal, and I vow to go back and ride that area. With a little more snow the scenic trails would definitely make the list of best rides in Ontario. Not having any indication of where we where in relation to the next gas stop the Nytro’s gas light came on again but we ended up finally arriving at our lunch stop around 8PM in Loring. Where we found Mr. Preston and Alisha had left hours ago (I can't blame them since we where 6 hours behind, and the gas station was closed. Luckily the population of Loring must be about 10 and the owner of the gas station lived right behind it and was happy to help us out an give us gas so we could make it to Parry Sound. We laughed at the resemblance our gas station owner had with Ted Nudgent and how he invited us up for a beer, and who knows what other substances. But we wanted to get to Parry Sound ASAP as we where burnt from 10hrs of riding, with some tough trail conditions. We expected the rest of the way to be quick and smooth as we clipped down the Hydro line into Parry Sound, but whomever staked the trail must have been drunk. I’m sure we traveled 3 times the straight line distance along the Hydro line, with trails that kept you on your toes as the warm spells meant there where numerous streams that melted through the trail.

Now for our last big decision of the day! Through our challenges we forgot to call ahead and book a room. There are two options going into Parry Sound, however you have limited access by snowmobiles, or going out to the old Jolly Roger (Travelodge) that has a reputation as a snowmobile get away with easy trail access, video surveillance, parking insight of you room, a bar, and a Golden Griddle provide all the amenities one could ever want. The only problem is it’s in the middle of nowhere and if they didn't have a room we'd have to backtrack a half hour to Parry Sound which we weren't in the mood for at this point. We decided to roll the dice and head to the Jolly Roger. Now at around 11PM we start meeting groups of riders meaning we must be getting close to our destination and as we meet at group of stopped riders we ask A) see if the need any help and B) find out how much further we had to go. Our face must of told the story of the day we had because the sledder said with sympathy only a couple more KM’s to go boys. Arriving at our destination with what felt like we had just finished Cain’s Quest (Probably the worlds most challenging snowmobile race) and where ecstatic that rooms where available. We walked straight into the Bar, Ordered a Pizza before even going up to room and we laughed at everything purely out of exhaustion. It must have been the best tasting beer I’ve had all year. We then demolished the XL Pizza between the three of us, and I fell asleep in my longjohns from the day.

A good nights rest, big breakfast at the Griddle and knowing that the trail condition where in top shape the rest of the way we where glad to be on the road home. We took the Seguin trail across from Hwy 400 to Hwy 11 which I must say isn’t a trail I’m particularly found of as it poker straight, has high volumes of traffic that ensure you keep your speeds down for safety and if you feel like throwing common sense out the window there’s always friendly OPP on the trail to give you a ticket. But it was groomed flawlessly, and we made good time till getting us to the trails heading back north back to Sundridge. These trails provided the perfect end to our trip as they where groomed meticulously, and windy allowing for a high speed adrenalin filled ending to the trip. But to top it all of the Nytro’s gas light came one while we where still a ways out to make sure the trip ended with a little nervousness as the final fill up showed only .3 Ltrs left in the tank but we made it back to the Preston’s where his mom had a wonderful lunch ready for us that we devoured, while reliving the weekend we just had.