Hello fellow riders! I hope you had a funtastik Holiday Season and you are enjoying a recharge for the upcoming riding season.
Welcome to the 5th year of the ‘Dreaded Update’. With so much going on during the year I have tried to keep y’all updated through my Facebook page and send out periodic articles on projects, however my 11 month long season has flown by and it is wicked cool to look back and see all the great things that have happened. With the perpetual spring rains of 2011 and long standing snow it was difficult to get my early season ride on…
Apostilific good-ness on a windy day!
This set the stage for a trip with The Ride Guide to Australia with Ryan Leech. Landing in Tasmania, we explored every nook and cranny and then headed to the Melbourne area and wrapped the trip up with fabulous riding at Mt. Buller. What a fricking rad time! Australia is an amazing place to visit and their trails are world class, it’s no wonder some of the fastest riders on the planet come from here! If you want to ride wicked trail, see tons of cool stuff and hand pick your weather, book your flights tomorrow!
With a tan in hand from down under, I hit Canadian soil just long enough to load the moto to go explore 1300km of AMAZING trails over 6 days in Death Valley.
Braaap! I was actively researching trail building techniques in the desert!
Upon returning I rolled into the last semester of Trail Building for the MBO program at Capilano University. April is the advanced building class, the students designed and constructed a dedicated DH trail in the Sprockids Park that is fun, flowy and sustainable! Great work class!!!
Opening trail with Doug Detwiller
Roaster Coaster kinda fun
The clear weather in June (finally!) set the stage for our first project and opportunity to get some shred on! The Hoots crew made a trip to the Vanderhoof Bike Park to work with local riders and volunteers to do some desperately needed maintenance work.
The pump down!
Help came out from all angles and we got this park proper! We were able to modify and upgrade features, including building the progressive jumps bigger, reshaping berms and the ‘big set’ and removing the dirt spine to create a series of rollers you can double on the return route. Yeehaw!!!
Spreading the butter.
The Hoots crew packed up and made the trip to the Hinton Bike Park where we had an opportunity to do full maintenance, including a rebuild of the progressive jumps in preparation for the Beaver Bike Fest,.
Prepping to Send it!
A ‘pump track’ face lift and a tuning of all berms and rollers on the ‘Flow Master’ trail made riding oooh soo good! For some background check out this Ride Guide episode…
While in Hinton we completed the Happy Creek trail revamp where we took a rooty, gnarly, muddy 6km loop that had steep, straight, technical hills with 8 water crossings and transformed it into 7km of flowy, sweet, sultry singletrack with brand new sturdy rock and wood bridgework, and proper drainage.
Happy Divert – Dig-in-it!
The Hoots crew built roughly 30% by hand and the remainder by machine with a finished trail of 2’ wide. Yummy!
Happy Hand section – test ride at work, yes!
With Hinton ready and set, I made my way to North Vancouver and Whistler for a week of riding for the 2012 NORCO Product Launch, where Norco ‘SENT IT!’ with the new line up of amazing bikes! Check this link for a quick vid I did while at the launch.
Since I was already in the neighbourhood I decided it might be a great idea to hang around Whistler for a little event called CRANKWORX!!! It was awesome.
I did not compete, however, I managed to ride fully fun packed days with soooo many people and even got to ride with my teammates!
Smooth talkin’ the girls into what trail?
While in the Vancouver area I headed to Ryders Eyewear, www.ryderseyewear.com where we worked into the night putting together this funny promo piece – check it!
The next day was a rad film-shoot up Seymour Mountain for 6undZwanzig Magazine, out of Koblenz, Germany with my teammate, Angie Hohenwarter. I immediately caught a ferry and hit up a wicked, steep trail, filming a segment for Norco, shredding on the Norco Truax 7” Freeride bike with Alex from Alias Cinema. Check it here…
It was back to the Shore where I went out with Margus Riga www.margusriga.com
for a sweet shoot in an incredible downpour of rain. One of his shots ended up in my TEDx presentation at minute 1:52 and some of the other shots went to Norco promo brochures. Man, Margus shoots reeee-al good!!!
Tip tickling tingler. Photo ~ Margus Riga
Hooty Hwy. Photo ~ Margus Riga
After finishing up with the boys I split to the Crowsnest Pass with the Hoots crew to build 5km of flowy singletrack and a bike park with the United Riders of Crowsnest Pass. All the trails tie into existing trails that summer students and the club itself had already built.
I brought in a couple of young guns… Sam Dueck and Simon Garstin, to help with the project. We designed and built a super kick butt park inside a forested area with jumps for everyone, including Sam’s signature big line.
Come on in!
A pumptrack with endless lines, a full drop zone and skinny lines complete the park. Check out the full Crowsnest article here!
CrowsNest BP Back – Tight in the trees.
While the crew was busy, I slipped out east where I worked with project partners to develop the very first Hoots bike park in Ontario at the ROC in Georgina. The park is BIG and includes a huge wall ride and expert jump line.
Jumps at Georgina.
Progressive jumps, a skills area,drop zone and of course log and ladder rides with multiple lines.
The skills area at Georgina.
Coming back to BC, I was invited to present at TEDx in Sechelt. The theme was ‘The Nature of Creativity’ and I found myself challenged to pull my presentation together. Being a huge fan of www.TED.com, and having been present at the very first TEDx event at USC in California I found it hard to believe I was suddenly in the same league as all the inspiring speakers before me… I was nervous and had a couple technical blips but managed to pull it together for a well received presentation. Check out my thoughts on designing parks and the creative process as a rider, builder and instructor…
After the presentation I joined a fresh crew of Mountain Bike Operations students from Capilano University to head out on a field trip to Squamish and Whistler. Presentations and tours from both municipalities and Whistler Resort opened the students eyes to the world of trail building. It is always so inspiring to see how Squamish is embracing its awesome trail network and of course how Whistler remains second to none, on all levels of trail, from resort to municipal and club. After walking down A-Line, we all had some really good perspective on how to manage water and build jumps.
Has anyone seen our instructor?
With the field trip over I met up with the Hoots crew and we headed to Bike Town, Alberta where we started Phase 1 of their bike park. Local Devon students lobbied and made submission to the KRAFT Celebration Tour and they won $25k!!! On top of that, the local ski area, Rabbit Hill donated their wooden ”bike” feature, complete with labour to get it set up at the new park.
Devon locals getting it done.
The Bike Park is located in the river valley and has many cool opportunities for flow trail and other feature areas. Dirt was on hold so we moved forward and built all the wood lines and skills area which is in the shape of a giant bicycle.
How Sweet is this!
With Devon in the ground and November well at hand it was time to head back to Sechelt to move forward with Semester 1 of Trail Building at Capilano University with the new group of students. The students excelled under the heavy timelines and were challenged with their very first trail building project. They busted it to get finished just in time and did a very sweet job, 2 thumbs up y’all!
Working on their first trail.
The Hoots crew took advantage of me being away at school and took on a sweet hiking trail project that diverted Chapman Creek Trail away from the creek’s edge up onto a steep side bank. Everyone loved our finished product, even before it was covered with mulch by the muni…what a sustainable option! My crew did an ACE job with a very technical project, awesome!
Detailed and ready to rock! I mean walk!
With weather holding, the Hoots crew moved to Tofino where we worked with local contractors, the muni and local riders to design and start building what will be a sweet bike park.
The west coast plan man.
The forest is so SUPER BURLY GNAR we had to open the site up, build rock lines and figure grade but eventually the rain came and sent us home just in time for Christmas.
Stay tuned for a huge wooden pump track, progressive jump line and tons of tech ride lines next year…
So there it is, a dreaded snap shot of the big stuff for Jay Hoots in 2011. Overall this year was HUGE! Lots of learning and a stellar year for riding.
What am I learning?
- I managed to pick up a few new tricks DIRT jumping and feel my trail riding is vastly improving, especially cornering.
- My communication with riders, students, parents, municipalities and my friends still continues to need refinement and patience but is growing significantly stronger every day.
- Maintenance is still the single most important thing on trails and in parks.
- People hold me accountable for parks and trails even after I have left it in the care of very capable people who own it.
- I love riding my bike more and more!
I have hit some of my career goals with over 40 parks built now and my 50th park coming up in the very near future. Being able to instruct a professional level trail/design/build course as well as having presented at TEDx in Sechelt still takes my breath away! My professional riding career spans well over 10 years which is the best thing in the whole wide world!
Huge thanks for a super successful 2011 to my family, friends, my sponsors, my mentors, and all of the dedicated volunteers and businesses that have come to the table to get projects done. Special thanks to all my fans and riders out there who give positive feedback, support and appreciate the fun we have on bikes.
Have an amazing 2012!!! See you on the trails…