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A shallow beam of light illuminates the forest ahead of me. It’s just enough to pick out the gigantic shadows of a handful of trees towering above, a narrow path of wood zig-zagging underneath them, fading into the blackness ahead. The slick wood is like ice underfoot, with only certain sections covered in chicken wire to give that much-needed traction.
I look back into the glaring headlight of one of my riding buddies. The light illuminates the snow falling from the sky, melting as soon as it hits the ground.
“Alright, let’s do this.”
I swing my leg over the bike and throw a few pedal strokes in, getting onto the first slick skinnie of the night. Around the bend, onto a teeter-totter, my front wheel wanders off the chicken wire and immediately slides off. I fly forward off the bike, landing hard on the ground.
Back on the bike, I recollect myself and continue snaking down the wooden lines. I expected the trail to become easier at night; I thought tunnel vision would make only where I wanted to go visible, but it quickly showed itself to be the opposite. Simple sections that I didn’t even think twice about during daylight became challenging. I was second guessing every section I came across.
The wood narrowed, and I came to a halt after losing my balance on the 6-inch-wide feature. It took more attempts then I’m happy to admit, but finally I cleaned the section. Chalk it up to typical mountain bikerider stubbornness.
We continued down the trail, with more mishaps then not, until coming to the recently rebuilt sideways teeter-totter. A unique concept that is a rarity on even the most advanced wooden feature trails, the teeter drops and twists roughly 25 degrees to the side before sending riders on their way to the rest of the trail. I had already tried, and failed, a handful of times in the daylight, so I had no expectations to clear it at night. It was a good thing, because after another handful of attempts, I still couldn’t get it.
I relegated myself to the sidelines to egg on the others attempts. It only took a few bail-outs before it was cleared. Nice!
And with that, we started walking through the blackness back up to the car. Another successful night…
For those that don't know, Cunning Stunts is a one-of-a-kind wooden feature trail on the Sunshine Coast up a local shuttling road. It features a seemingly endless amount of wooden features, including teeter totters, suspension bridges and drops. If you ever get the chance, it's definitely a trail worth checking out!