Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Linking trails SNAKE!

        It's Monday and I had sore legs from a good week riding but as usual my son went off to school and I Wanted to get out and explore two trails in between two places I have rode so I did some intel. The two trails were name Wild Horse and Pass Mountain Trail to Bulldog. I found a nice place to park right in between them and started on the west side of the road for Wild Horse. A narrow short climb and I was on my way on a really fun twisty trail. I heard the infamous rattle and my heart stopped, I located it to me left and behind me as I came to a stop realizing I just passed a rattler. It's a terrible feeling when your body gives that reaction, the feeling on certain fear. The Diamondback was coiled up 20 ft behind me and I muttered some curse words for the snake but at the end of the day I'm on his turf it certainly has more right to be there. I snapped a pic and off I went hoping to never see another rattle snake again but we all know there will only be more encounters and hopefully far from me! I pedaled on in complete chaos as every turn hid a snake and every stick moved. It was frustrating but I slowly got over it but the entire ride I was fearful. The trail split and I took the jump line trail, a series of funky little gaps and jumps, a nice change since I have been wanting something like this for some time. They were on the small side but enough to get me airborne on me bike. Ran into a rider who turns out to be Cooper and we talked a minute and he telling me how this was his first time on this as well, we hit a jump and I was off. It was a fast ride down to the connector with Twisted Sister, a trail I rode the last week. Part of me wanted to keep going but I had to turn around. I did a little exploring and found a slightly larger jump line that needed some love and then apparently a side trail that allows you to ride up next to first jump line. I got back to the car and had not much time but made a go up Maricopa Trail to connect to Bulldog. Turns out Bulldog was not visible off the trail, maybe it was no more so I rode up Pass Mountain to get a nice view and turn around and head back. Nice ride can't wait for more!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Arizona Trail

        Got a bit adventurous and went to check out this sweet riding spot I have been hearing about. It was a 4:40am alarm and a nice ride East to the official Arizona Trail. Turns out it runs just east of Phoenix and I am glad it did cause this was one sweet ride. It's as big as you can take I guess, the start point was Pricket Post and it's a 45 mile section or so with about 12 miles in you reach the peak and drop into a massive downhill and point of no return without a shuttle vehicle. I began on a comfy trail that soon went technical and then a awesome blend of twisty narrow single track with some tech and climbing bu mostly mild climbing. The environment around me changed with every bit of elevation it was really cool. The trail was way less difficult than I expected, plenty of climbing but lots of downs and mellow sections to rest what I needed. As I climbed I got large views of the mountains around me, the change in scenery is welcome, It really feels far out, however there's never any shade offered since I was still in a hot ass desert. A round Mile 9 the trail went thru a nice area that had a bunch of flowers and a really nice easy pedal section before a good climb to a viewpoint at mile 10. I had my fill and reached 10 very comfortably to fit my 3 hour rides time so I headed back for a good run down. There was a lot more pedaling than I thought there would be on the way back, but I guess that made getting up there all the easier which is ok. I was looking to get more savage on my full suspension but so far I am really missing jumpy flow trails from Salt Lake City. Such a good ride, rivaling my other favorite Pass Mountain, but I still have to get to Prescot and Sedona before I make any final decisions!

San Tan Lazer

           Lazer for lazy I guess, another hot cloudless shadeless morning on the bike, got to the trailhead and helped a fella biker stranded with his car and we got him back running and on his way. I sped off into San Tan surprised to see the lot full of cars and hoping to not run into much of them. Turns out I ran into more horses. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't believe these beasts and their owners really should be on heavily used trails dumping all over it and not in control of their animals but I guess who am I to say I ride a bike right. Well it was a good ride with solid loops minus the 10 or so horses I ran into with their owners. I had to each time give them tons of distance and feel out the situation and wait for instruction from the wannabe Cowboys, all were pleasant and uneventful despite one horse that was apparently scared of a big rock on the trail. I hate seeing horses acting up on the trail I get really nervous for their owners since getting bucked or crushed can have serious consequences. Luckily all parties were fine and this I all watched from 50 feet away. I don't think I will go back there during popular hours, I just dislike sharing trails with horses.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pass Mountain You Gem!

Dropped the kiddo off per the normal and picked a spot to get my endure bike out proper. Headed for Pass Mountain which would be a nice change since bringing my rigid there last time. Pass Mountain is absolutely stunning ride, half of it it spent on gradual wide path and then it narrows into wonderful twisty narrow climb. So far this is the best ride I have found in the valley, it's nasty and technical as you climb towards the pass the last mile. Pedal strikes were common in this ride, sucking out my confidence while trying to pedal between nailing rocks. The YT Capras bottom bracket is low, I am really not liking that about it. I nailed down a good run down the pass and had a blast doing it. Still need more practice on the bike and trail but it's nice having it after doing it on the rigid a few weeks ago.

Gold Canyon Goodies

     A proper loop was in order and fresh legs looking to turn had me headed for Gold Canyon Monday afternoon after dropping the kiddo off at his school. Pretty lucky to have some afternoons to ride while he is in school, I could probably be more productive with my time and not ride but I am a addict, fully consumed I guess. I started off headed for Cougar and then onto Lost Gold Mine for a familiar crank. Then onto K trail for a good run, forgot how it has a few spots to let loosen some technical and ups and downs. I love this trail system, little less DH than I'd like but a funs place to spin with some technical. A short spin off of a really sweet trail named Jodi's Dream, one I frequent. The goal was to hit Quartz ridge to see how it was, when I made my way finally there after pulling a lot of cactus off my whole it was a nice climb with hard switchbacks, once reaching the ridge it was a sweet ride, some easily pedaled and some hiked due to tough technical ups. Worth the pedal but not sure i'd frequent it much.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

San Tan

            Come Saturday I wiggled out a ride and headed for a new to me ride just south of me at San Tan Park. It had a parking fee that I wasn't much of a fan of. It was not an area worth a fee since I have ridden world class trails and never paid a fee in my entire life. Not a big deal so I coughed up the 6$ and began a nice climb. The trail was wide, but the area was really cool with lots of views. Once the trail peaked it dropped down into the valley where I speedily spun as hard as I could with my one little gear. This was ride was major mellow but it was a lot of fun. In places the trail narrowed and swooped and banked it was a lot of fun. I think my favorite was San Tans most southern section. Nice to be able to add this into the rotation, I guess I will be getting a season pass here.

Golds Calling

      LuAnn has a mellow Friday school schedule so I ran out in the morning out the door before 5am, I know massively early but I didn't mind. I had enough light to see in front of me as I cautiously remembered my run in with snakes recently and was realizing I was very fearful of another encounter. Every stick or root was some kind of snake in the lack of light and a few times my heart stopped. It was nice and cool out, I am loving this weather before things get nasty. I rode Lost Gold Mine almost all the way out before I realized I missed a critical turn off. The ride along the foothills with the sun rising was absolutely stunning. Just how I like my mornings to start! A speedy and speed inducing run along Don't Fence Me In and connected a few others and this time had time to include Technical off of the K trail. It did have a few good spots and my 29er ate them up with ease. I must say I was hoping for more but the terrain can only allow so much. I headed for Quartz ridge which is about the last trail I have not rode. Started my climb and look down and sucked up 3 pieces of cacti into the front wheel. I instantly pooped my pants and headed for the car as fast as I could.
     I have ran over a few pieces in the last weeks and found that the needles I have rode over were so fine that it took days to lose sufficient air. But this was a big hit, I removed them and they left made needles in my tire so I had to run in case I lost air fast and low on time for trail repairs. I reached the car just fine with plenty of air so next go I will hit Quartz Ridge!