Lokul Lore #6: Crazy Ivan by Barry Fenton
Editor's note: this tale is from the "gray era" before there was a trail construction protocol at Tokul. These days the land owner grants trail building permission via Peter Sherrill at Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance's Cascades to Sound Chapter.
We were walking out of the super secret entrance to our new trail in the very early days of flagging and brush cutting. We came upon a man with a thick Russian accent sitting in the woods beside the road. He was quite drunk and had a Christmas gift pack of vodka. Belligerent. He told us to get the hell off his land and don’t come back. Eric told him we weren’t on his land and bugger off. He said he was coming back with a gun tomorrow and we had better not show up. Dave said, see you tomorrow. By midnight our trail had a name. Crazy Ivan. A nod to the submarine maneuver of the same name in the Hunt for Red October.
Crazy Ivan was built in a hurry. It was built in the shadow of the Great Tokul Chainsaw Massacre of Ought Seven. The land owners discovered Flowtron shortly after it was built and destroyed all of the wooden structures and posted no trespassing signs for all of Tokul. Our local trail advocacy entity mediated for us and restored access on the condition that we clean up the mess the sawyers had left and that we not start on any new trails at Tokul. We'd already started on Crazy Ivan. We cleaned up the mess.
So Crazy Ivan was born in the cold war between us builders and the land owners. There was an urgency to get the trail done and get some laps on it before it was discovered and…...who knows what? Another reason for our urgency. Our de facto leader, social ambassador, Perpetrator, and visionary, Eric, had decided to move to Bellingham. So we put the pedal to the metal, all hands on deck, and didn’t stop.
All hands on deck, except Brian. Brian is a cat that can’t be herded. He saw a pumptrack at the top of Ivan. He hauled a wheelbarrow up the side of the mountain and almost single handedly built it while the rest of us built a trail.
So, one day in late June 2008 we had a beautiful new, forested and green trail from the top of Tokul to the SVT complete with a deep woods pumptrack. We cleared the entrance and exit, revealing our secret. That was also the day we hauled sleeping bags, tents, chairs, food, and other things we thought convenient for a celebration up Crazy Ivan to the pumptrack. Most of us made it to our tents eventually that night.
On a beautiful sunny morning, no worse from the previous nights debauchery, we packed out the mess, buzzing from the thrill of getting our masterpiece done under the radar and capping it off with the nights celebration. It’s a rare thing to feel the camaraderie we had from the whole Ivan experience. I’ll cherish and remember it for the rest of my days..
HLC. Legends in our own minds.
Listen: The Crazy Ivan Sermon by "The Reverend" Barry Fenton