Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lantzville Loop II

Old man winter is getting closer, the sun is getting lower, and, worst of all, my insurance runs out in early December, so today Mother Nature provided us with a respite between systems and me with a bonus ride, albeit a short one.  Andy was locked inside in a self-induced purgatorial work-binge and Ryan had no oil in the KTM's sightglass,  Ouch.  So it was a lone ride today.  I like solo rides, and thought I'd stay local (Lantzville Foothills to Nanoose) and look for some new trails.  Found some good'uns!

Sundew Main: having a slash when I see three dirt bikes heading north-east, way below.  They take a curious trail that I've never seen before.  The elevation lets my eye follow them, and I listen to the throttle blips.  It sounds good. I follow.
Their tracks and lead to this gate, after passing several looking juicy looking trail junctions on the way.  Curious as to where I am, I get the trusty iPhone out.  Sywash Ridge Road it tells me.  Never heard of it.  But handy if you need another route into the foothills/Sundew main...Below, the gap is adequate...

Backtracking from the gate for 80 metres or so, and taking a partially hidden single track path to the right you hit some hydro-lines.  I turned left (north-east) and came out to Lorenzen Lane in Lantzville (I know, never heard of it either, but it's off Superior Road).  Could've gone right, but it had a more "civilized , dog walking look" , so I decided to leave that for another day.
Turning back, and taking some alternative routes into the woods on the west side of the hydrolines, you get into some great trails with some very tasty side routes...This is FAR steeper than it looks from the wide-angle elevation-flattening iPhone cam....

And another.

Above...Ingrid peeks over the ravine trail...You can see the memorial off to the right. Below, Ingrid-eye view from the top down.  There's a slight right hand descending trail across a creek and up the other side.  It's a great ride (vid at end of this drivel).  

There's a little footbridge across the creek.

Footbridge with trail down from the memorial

Above: Overview of the route; Below: Close up of the Lorenzen Lane and Sywash Ridge Road access routes
GPX File Here...

Side note.  I have to mention the memorial for a young man that I came across.  It's a moving tribute to newly married man (August, 2011) called Garrett Paquette who passed away 6 months after his marriage, on November 11th, 2011.  He left a grieving wife and an obviously loving family.  If you take this route, you will see the moving memorial to Garrett.  The memorial was erected for two reasons: one to remember Mr. Paquette, and to "safeguard others not to fall into the ravine below". The ravine is the one I rode down, pictured above.
The fenced entrance, maple tree, and bench serve not only as a tribute to Garret Paquette, but it was also designed to shepherd others across the ravine safely.  You can see that without it, it might be tempting ride straight on towards the gently rising and curving trail on the other side of the ravine.  This is what Garett did.  It cost him his life.  

Be safe out there.  Ride on the right, and slow down.  See you next season.

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