Last weekend was the 2012 IMBA Ontario Trailblazing Festival at Hardwood Ski & Bike.

It’s funny how things come together now and then.  About a month ago I started seeing notices about the Trailblazing Festival and started checking it out.  I discovered that the IMBA Trail Care Crew was going to be putting on a Trail Building and Care workshop the day before the festival.  Oh, I’m so all over that.  Signed up straight away.  Shortly afterwards, the guys at Hardwood contacted me to see if I would be available to teach rider clinics on the Saturday of the Festival.  Heck ya!  What’s not to love about riding and helping others skill-up and overcome at the same time?!  Then (yes there’s more!) I had a couple Facebook messages from an old friend from Yellowknife, Steve Hahn.  Turns out he’s in Guelph (geographically next door compared the distance between us over the last 10 years) for a couple months.  We start talking about getting together for a weekend to ride.  Then I remember the Trailblazing Festival, flick him over the details.  Bam, he’s signed up, gone out and snagged a used bike and things are in motion.

Let’s step back a bit.  Last time I saw Steve was over 10 years ago this summer.  We were both living in Yellowknife at the time and we had come together through work and bikes.  Steve was a med-evac nurse working with Jen.  We were both cutting our teeth on the incredibly technical, unforgiving trails of Yellowknife.  Almost literally cutting teeth, too.  After a couple awesome summers of riding, Steve announced plans to move to Whitehorse.  Then we moved to Australia.  blah blah blah. 10 years has passed.  Then, both us picked up mountain biking again this year in a big way and, well, Trailblazing Festival brought about a reunion.  Woot!

After an awesome (and LONG!) day of riding at the Festival on Saturday, neither one of us felt like putting down the miles of either the 30 or 50k epic rides being hosted by IMBA, so we decided to do our own thing.

Chucked a few flashes, stands, a camera and some basic provisions into a rucksack and off we went into the local trails.  I have had a mountain bike photograph burned into my mind all summer and finally had the talent lined up.  “Game for launching a ramp, Steve?”  “heck ya!”  “over and over again?” “Bring it on.”  Well, something like that anyway.

Hooked up the lights and stands, framed up the image and the rest is magic.  Created these two images.  (As always, click for bigger, more awesome goodness!)

We moved on to an elevated skinny I wanted to work up into another epic image but a combination of raspberries from hell, rain and an impending lunch date sent us packing before we could execute that vision.  Well, as Wade Simmons would say “Gotta leave something for another ride!”