Throwback Thursday – Phoenix Days

Phoenix Days Or Wrecked and re-ridden Or New and old

Philip Diprose 

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Like the phoenix rising out of the flames; from trail destruction can come rebirth. Or at least enough new trail to forget the old one.

Utter devastation as far as the eye could see. I felt violated as I looked around at the carnage that lay in front of me. It looked a little like one of those enviro-horror films you see about rain-forest depletion in the Amazon. Corpses of trees lay fallen on the dried soil as the magnitude of this Somme-like massacre revealed itself. Limbs severed, trunks torn from where they once stood proud, roots like contorted hands grasping at the sky. And in amongst lay no trace of where the trail used to be. The final indignity was that whoever had caused this horrorscape had used what used to be the trail entrance to drive in. What once was a narrow almost bat-cave like entrance was now practically an A road.

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A short portage up the steepest part and this new trail seems to offer more than we originally imagined. Riding the trail in reverse we ascend along what is obviously not meant to be a climb. It’s like following a ball of twine that snakes through the trees. A log step that will be a log drop when we descend, some off camber turns, roots… all present and correct. We emerge at the top of the hill and after running parallel to a road we find what looks like the end. Or is it? A little further investigation shows that the road is just a break. A pause for breath as the trail restarts across the tarmac. Another little entrance and we’re back into the sweet stuff. What had originally looked like a quick 30-second fumble of a descent is now looking like a giant orgy of a trail. We are almost giggling as we make it to the top, it must be about a mile of new trail we’ve just discovered. All memories of the old dead trail are long buried. The circle of trails continues. All that’s left to do now is to catch our breath, cinch down our shoes and get ready to rip.

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