'Bent and I headed out after 3 p.m. for a "race against sunset" mountain bike ride in Kolapore. Google said the sun would disappear at 4:48.
We decided to ride the trail to the back of our property at Tree Hugger ABC for the first time. It could use some raking but it was fine. Then we had to lift our bikes over a fence with barbed wire on top to get onto Crown Land. (There's a hole in the fence just big enough for a person to squeeze through.)
After that, we expected a fair amount of hike-a-biking on our 600 meter flagged route to the Bruce Trail. We've pruned and cleaned up the biggest obstacles but it's still basically bushwhacking. We weren't really thinking of using it for biking. Turns out it's surprisingly rideable already! It still needs more work to earn the designation of "trail" vs. "route" but we were quite chuffed by this discovery.
We can't ride on the Bruce Trail so the next step was a 2-minute unimproved bushwhack to the Kolapore Church Trail on the bike trail network. Except for the low sections, the trails were dry and the riding was excellent, if rocky. I'm getting braver about all the off-angle rocks. On the Oak Ridges Moraine where we live, we get lots of practice riding over roots but there aren't so many rocks. P.S. I love my Pivot 29er - yes, the same bike I was ambivalent about when I first got it. And I was soooo grateful to be clipped in.
There were some decision points where we looked at our watches, the map and the setting sun. This may be our last ride here this year so I was keen to get as far as we could, even if it meant bailing out to a road later. We detoured around some technical trails by taking 10th Line and climbing a very impressive hill then we headed back into the trail network.
The sun disappeared but we decided to take a chance and ride into the middle of the forest so we could return home by our new forest route.
Our gamble paid off. All went well and we arrived home in the warm glow of twilight.