The North Shore Ripper is a series of fun events (I can’t call them races as you have to take them seriously to call them races). The Ripper series is really a benefit for a local trail organization, the NSMBA, with which I volunteer and is meant to be fun. The Rippers culminate in the Triple Crown poker ride where you ride all three mountains of North Van in one day – best described in this article at NSMB. At certain checkpoints you get a playing card and at the end of the day, the rider with the best poker hand from the cards wins!
Really that simple. Each checkpoint is at the bottom and close to the top of Seymour, Fromme and Cypress mountains. Each rider gets to pick their own route but there are logical ways to get up and down.However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative as this story will show. Read the NSMB article if you really want to know the rules. The only real rule you have to know is that there are no rules. You can ride any bike, you can shuttle, whatever … as long as you make it through the checkpoints.
Here I am on Saturday morning intently preparing my bike. I’ve picked the oldest loudest jersey I have in honor of this occasion. Unfortunately my Monty one piece skin suit is with a buddy on the island or else it would have seen light of day.
Eating and drinking right is very important to base fitness.
Team Shuttlewhore in full glory. These guys have team kit, a barbeque, a 100 beers and mean business.
Of course, I am not the only one who brings out the old duds. Bryon Enns has perfectly good sedate clothing and a gorgeous Merlin ti hardtail with discs hanging on his wall but thinks that today is the perfect day for Bianchi celeste green
Sharon and Tammy hard at work signing up day of race registrants and passing out numbers. Thanks you two!
More getting ready after making sure that my glasses match my riding panties and outfit.
Rider’s meeting! Let’s explain the rules …. there are no rules!
Yes really, says James — there are no rules! Do what you want.
|Brian and I take off right up the road to CBC setting tempo. We get passed like we’re standing still by shuttlers in cars and then by JF and Stu and Rob who are actually riding motorcycles – their legs count as engines anyhow. We still have lots of energy coming up to the Corkscrew trailhead.|
JF, Stu and Rob are first non-shuttlers to the CBC trailhead. Five minutes ahead of us already! Must keep repeating — this is not a race; this is not a race ….Thanks to Johnny Smoke of BUSH PILOT BIKING for donating $75.00 towards The Lumpy Memorial PRIME awarded to the first riders to the top of CBC! This was donated to the NSMBA!
CBC is wet; my tires are at 50 psi and my seat is high …. good times
Somehow I manage to clean the Gerbil Cage extension clipped in and stay dry. We’re then off to TNT and down Dirty Diapers, which I see for the first time. Fantastic work from Jacques and crew. Then down Neds and Bottletop and off to Fromme. Peter Campbell is way ahead of us on Fromme and is stoked to gap a chase group of golden retrievers.
At the Fromme watertowers; we get another card from a checkpoint (James Wilson of Dizzy Cycles is here in the picture) and some welcome food supplied to us by DAVID’ CAFE ON ESPLANADE. Wonderful food supplied by a great guy – thanks Dave! Due to the rather hungry riders we had to get more food that was supplied by Tommy’s and paid for by COVE BIKES!
The next checkpoint is at the 6th switchback. Brian and continue on past the obvious trailhead to Executioner so we can bag extra climbing by heading to the Cut ski run on Grouse Mountain. Behind us, unbeknownst, Team Shuttlewhore are still alive! To get an extra card for the poker hand, Franco makes us trackstand. The whores have been hitting the beers hard – lets see how they do!
For a bunch of fat slow drunk guys they’re not too dumb …. lean on me!
|Johnny Smoke looking at his poker hand trying to figure out who he can bribe to get a royal flush. Or is Smoke trying to figure out a way to get lost on trails he knows like the back of his hand?|
It turns out that Smoke is all too successful in getting nicely lost; check out the rope on this old hiking trail as Vincent Beasse and Smoke make their way down. Vinny – I’ll bet you wish you brought crampons, ax and harness.
After going up and then down Fromme (or up Fromme and then up Grouse and then down Grouse in our case) its off to the next checkpoint at Cleveland Dam. Here Sharon makes Rob and Stu sing for our extra card.
Jim and Rob aren’t too far behind but also seem to be into dancing,
Then its Brian and my turn to belt out Bohemian Rhapsody.
Even the groups which just make the cutoff time (3pm) are in good spirits. Here are Megan, Dave, Penny, Andy and others who I can’t remember belting out a number.
Of course Team Shuttlewhore makes it there in time – not that they needed to bribe Sharon with beer or anything to make cutoff.
After crossing Cleveland Dam its time to ride through the empty sterile streets of West Vancouver up to Millstream trail and then to the Cypress Bowl Road. For a second I entertained thoughts of taking a convoluted route through Brothers Creek but my legs are starting to die and the trail and road climb is already starting to punish me. Its all I can do to focus on Brian’s rear wheel and weave up the road to the Blind Skier parking lot. As we climb up, JF passes us going down the other way on Millstream trail. So does Peter Campbell on the Cypress Bowl road.
At the Blind Skier parking lot, Christy tells us that you have to reverse your jersey and shorts to get your extra card. Some guy I can’t recognize, Steve and Stu will do anything for a bonus.
Rob and Jim evidently will also do anything for a card.
|Some guys came all the way from Washington state to punish themselves and to dress really funny. Way to go guys! Do they look tired? Its because they’re DESTROYED.
The Shuttlewhores are not the first group to get to Cypress but they certainly have the most style and the best tailgate parties. Big hand to these guys for their celebration of the fun of riding bikes on trails.
While the Shuttlewhores have their party, the apres – poker ride rages on at Raglans on Lower Lonsdale. Visit them for great eats and drinks too!
James gets the appreciation fruity drink.
Here’s a graph from a Polar heart rate monitor about this ride. Some notes to the below graph: Altitude is off by minus 40m as I forgot to calibrate the bike computer. Prospect Road is mislabelled as “Panorama Drive”. All I can say is that I’ve been riding for a long time and this is the most fun I’ve had on a bike.
and Draw Results From the Triple Crown:
Max Helmet – 4 –6’s – Euan Solburger
Magura Brakes 4-7’s – Connar Gillan
prizes went to:
Anthony King – most angst
Johnny Smoke – most lost!
Lee Lau/Brian Berg – Highest elevation
Bryon Enns – Old School – Cantilever Brakes, full rigid!
Most sportsmen like team – TEAM AWESOME!
Most SPIRITED TEAM – Team Shuttlewhore!
Ridiculous Route – Rob Mclachlan
Best Singers – Jamie Edwards
first to complete all three mountains was JF followed by Stu Boyce,
Peter Campbell, Lee Lau and Brian Berg.
Other Select Stories from Riders on the Triple Crown:
must write this in point form because my hand does not work very well
right now. The following will explain why…
1. 10’ header off slippery rocky shute at the top of CBC
1. $$ left wrist toast
2. $$ left elbow bloody
2. Climb to the 9th Switchback on Fromme (12:50pm) two trails available,
I choose right, they choose left – I loose we go left. I’m
the only one who crashes and we get lost for two hours
1. $$ left elbow bloody
2. $$ groin meets tree stump
3. Make it to Cleveland Dam at 4:05pm. After being dumped by the group
I was riding with, apparently having a groin injury, a non-functional
left wrist and right ankle is no excuse for being slow. While having to
hike the BP trail all the way to the base of the grouse grind! They are
about to leave me again but I arrive just in time. I spend 15 minutes
convincing them that we are not going to be able to ride from the dam
to cypress and back in the last hour remaining, yes my group was not the
most logical crew. Punish all of them on the road climb back to dizzy!
PS There was an excessive amount of foul language used durng this story
which I have choosen not to use to keep this PG. However when your nuts
are bing drivin into your skull by your bike seat, its either swear lots
or pass out…. All done… Anthony King
totally true account of team Awesomes’ triple crown race of wonder!
It started off with us forgetting about the whole “ have to pay
real money for insurance” but they cut us some clack and what not.
After that some ninja’s dropped down from nowhere to tell us that
some pirates had kidnapped the princess for some reason and that we would
have to shuttle up to save her. Then we biked for like, a thousand years
on Seymour, then we got bored and went to Fromme. On fromme we…
uh… rode around and stuff and we met a nice man with a mustache
and we laughed a lot. Then we got lost for awhile and I stopped paying
attention. Although I may or may not have seen someone riding on a bear.
But then they both exploded leaving no evidence so don’t’
ask me about it. Then we talked on a phone to a nicer person who said
they had food for us. Then we got lost again. After that we sang some
songs and we were at cypress mountain! Somehow, then, we ate some sandwiches.
And I dropped trou and a nice lady game me a playing card! Why do people
keep doing that?? Then we bike a tiny bit and some zombies ate food with
us in a tiki hut.Team Awesome
to Mercedes Benz
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a bike with disc brakes
My friends all ride squishes I just make mistakes!
Its hard to slow down, I can’t modulate
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a bike with disc brakes! Greg
part of today’s experience was that fact that 4 of my bros planned
to ride the whole route together. This was particularly striking as we
were riding various styles of bikes. To our collective disappointment
one of our group decided to go it alone. Decided to separate himself from
our supportive and collective group. He did not wait for us at any spot.
As for the rest of us we all worked together each person sharing the burden
of route finding and pace setting for the totality of the ride. We all
came in together, less one, Sharing the highs and lows of our experience
Maybe we were slower then our solitary friend but we shared things he
will never know. Ron Edwards
all three mountains AND The Lions Gate Bridge! Came back via Sea bus!
Wearing a full face helmet.Sean Gerke