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Thread: Go to hell!

  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Go to hell!

    That's not an order, but I strongly encourage it.


    First four words that come to mind when viewing these pics, with the ride still fresh in my mind:

    Epic.


    Unbelievable.


    Stunning.


    Wowwwwwwwwwww.




    But, believe it--it really does look like that.


    Where's Wixom?




    The trail is called 5 Miles of Hell.




    Why haven't you heard of it before? Or, more often?

    Mostly because it's an ass kicker. Unless you're a grade-A, top-notch tech rider *and* having a great day, it will kick your ever-loving ass back to wherever you came from.


    Don't like tech? Don't like throwing yourself at a move 4, 5, 6 times before either bleeding, succeeding, or giving up? Don't have dawn->dusk to (hopefully) cover 20 miles?

    Then don't bother.


    Everyone walks on this trail. Everyone. It's not about whether you can "clean" the whole thing, because that is simply not possible for any human.






    It's about immersing yourself into a spectacular landscape, testing your current skillset, and emerging out the other side having learned and seen... more.


    Greg, Skippy, and I spent most daylight hours out there yesterday throwing ourselves at the trail. I tweaked my knee, lacerated my shin, and bruised my other knee going over backwards, then torqued my lower back, bruised both hands, and dinged my shoulder going over forward.


    After each of these incidents I felt more humbled, blessed, grateful to be where I was.




    Skippy gacked his ankle between a rock and a hard place. Dunno that he was feeling grateful at the moment I snapped this, but I'm sure he's permagrinning today.




    Pretty much anyone (like you, right now!) that sees these pics assumes that the photog went hog-wild with the saturation slider when post processing. I assure you that nothing of the sort has happened here--if anything I have desaturated many of them to make them look more believable. It really is that stunning out there, helped a bit by low-angle autumn light.




    Most of my trips to ride this trail have been in springtime, and difficult though it may be to believe, coming out of winter with more moisture in the soil and rock, the color is even more stunning than what you're seeing here.


    Very, very few mtb'ers that I know think of this kind of thing as "fun".




    Brutally technical is the best way to describe it--some of the climbs are so relentless that you simply cannot make it over even one more 1" ledge. Just out of gas.




    And then you walk the rest to the top, remount, descend, and start again minutes later.




    Some of it is the steepness of the climbs. Have to see 'em to believe 'em. The sandstone gives perfect traction, so if you have the leg and the desire they *are* makeable.


    Some of the difficulty lies in the heavy bikes we're slugging up those climbs. Pigs, in a word.


    But you'll ride *far* less on anything else. When I last rode it (6 years ago?) I was on an otherwise capable yet very light 3" travel bike, and I did not think it was much fun.


    I won't go so far as to say that you need an FR-type bike to *ride*out there, but I do think you need something FR-ish to *enjoy* it.


    But how many FR-type bikers enjoy steep climbs and hike-a-bike? For hours?!

    And how many moto-geeks have the skill to pilot a ~300# sled through here?

    The answers to both of those questions explain why in ~8 trips through, spanning ~10 years of time, I've not yet seen a human other than those in my own group.


    If you're technically inclined, like to be challenged, and don't take yourself too seriously, get out there--sooner than later.




    Take more food, water, energy, and spares than you think you'll need.


    You'll be richly rewarded.


  2. #2
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    Nice pics and description! What a fantastic landscape!

    Thanks for sharing for those of us who are highly unlikely to venture to a place like that. :-)
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  3. #3
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    Wow!

  4. #4
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    it's why we suffer on these damn two wheeled beasts...breathtaking!!!

  5. #5
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossluzz View Post
    Wow!
    Double Wow!

    Thanks for posting those great pics and rides Mike.

  6. #6
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    Great pics and write-up...Thanks!

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  7. #7
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    wow, this is awesome.

  8. #8
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    Great pictures and write up. But where is this ?
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  9. #9
    oh crap...
    Reputation: farmerfrederico's Avatar
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    Grow some food for yourself.

  10. #10
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    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Oh, I've GOT bike money
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    I fell for the subject line and took a look. Turns out it was well worth it. Wow. Just wow.

    I'm already planning on going to Park City next summer. If so....maybe I'll give this a shot.

  12. #12
    Prime
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    Simply amazing.

  13. #13
    I <3 NM
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    Mad bike & photo skills, well done!
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  14. #14
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    That looks like great fun. Type 3 fun that is...

    The Dirtbag Diaries
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  15. #15
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    Done that ride on a dirtbike (gasp) and it was exhausting. Kudos for you doing it on a bike!

  16. #16
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Great post. Thanks for sharing

  17. #17
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    Awesome shots and scenery as always!

  18. #18
    Powered by ice cream.
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    You have so talked me into this.

    Not just on the list. Top of the list.
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  19. #19
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabiker3576 View Post
    Great pictures and write up. But where is this ?
    Five Miles of Hell. We camped there 2 days and did a ride one day there and at the wash on the other side in the neighbourhood. Both times on a busy weekend and there was no-one around too.

    Ditto the 2nd time we went back.

    Mike you forgot to mention the piles of sand.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  20. #20
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Mike you forgot to mention the piles of sand.
    Pics of walking through ankle deep fluff weren't enough?

  21. #21
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Pics of walking through ankle deep fluff weren't enough?
    Gotcha. We rode that last bit pretty much pushing through moondust. I enjoyed trialsin the rock slabs but it did get a bit much i agree
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabiker3576 View Post
    Great pictures and write up. But where is this ?
    Hell

  23. #23
    cowbell
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    ....and now I want to go get on my bike and ride something that unbelievable. Awesome pics, great write up. And...just wow. Thank you.

  24. #24
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    Excellent write up and pics!! Looks like something I would like to do before I can't ride anymore.

  25. #25
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    I like the part about the relentless climbs that make your soul hurt. the place is beautiful.
    Here's to sweat in your eye.

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