This is chapter three of our video series from our amigo Illya Rudkin. We interviewed Illya on Fat-Bike Radio and you can listen to the man behind our series here (Starts a 18:20). I always ask Illya to share a few thoughts about his videos and this is the cliff notes version of what he had to say about this chapter.
Your Favourite Place To Ride Yet Has More To Reveal
You know when you think you know a place? A place which is a few hours away from home but you have ridden there enough times to think you have totally covered it? A place that whilst you have thought you have covered it there is a set of woods that you look at every time from another hill thinking “I wonder if there are trails over there” but you never quite have enough weekend time to waste looking for trails that may or may not exist so you continue riding the old favourites? Well the trail in this video is one such trail.
Like many people I expect with a similar experience I was looking at YouTube videos of riding in the ‘area’; which in my case is Aviemore. Many of the videos would not reveal any clues of where they were taken. Tantalizingly close but not close enough! One video however did let slip; it mentioned the words “Upper Burnside”. That narrowed down my search to a narrow chunk of forest which I had not visited before. It took a couple of trips along with very rough directions from the local bike shop. You know the kinda of instructions “You go up the track, take the 2nd left, next right then right again at a big tree, follow it winding uphill a few hundred meters and there is the start by a log” and you are totally lost! I had entered the woods and quickly found the trail exit first. Result! I’m in the right area but where does it start? I would still need to navigate further more of the forest fire roads using my best and obvious clue being if they climbed up they must be ok right. It would take another trip to suss out where the start was. It is amazing how one block of trees looks like another! After another visit to the local bike shop (who you hope do not recognize you from your previous visit) gleaned more clues. Its not that they were unhelpful, they genuinely wanted to help but you have only a small allotted window of time to talk while nodding.
On a warm dry day in May I finally found it and it was good – “Ah yeah!”. The perseverance payed off. The video is taken on my second visit. It will take a few more runs to perfect the twists, turns and nuances but this is one trail I will happily enjoy learning.
I’ve always loved the exploration aspect of mountain biking. There’s no better place to explore than in your back 40 when the snow’s coming down like you’re in a movie, all is right in the world. Keep the faith brothers and sisters, the bike will never let you down.