Monday, May 30, 2016

South Mountain Saturday

     Looking to get rowdy I headed off in the morning to a people packed trail head. I wanted to get back on Corona De Loma. This meant a pedal up Mormon trail, I cleared the big first pitch and way easier than expected, kudos to me! I actually could clean all or mormon now if i cared to I guess. Onwards to national, again enjoying gears and squishy making up most of it shockingly. Then to Corona, a chunky downhill to a wash and then a hike a bike for me to the top. Then one solid fun ride down, I need to do this more often! Loving the point and shoot on the bike but missing some of the finesse of my rigid, I could be a handful to even ride this trail rigid it's that coarse. Easy peasy ride back to the car on Desert Classic with a smile on my face, lovin it!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Usery Wednesday

   Looking to regain that fun run from last week I headed out to Usery in the morning to climb up and rip down the trail, I toned it way down this time since there were a few trail users out and I wanted to keep them happy. The rest for the ride was a pedal fest, flat and fast.
   This week marks the last week of free rides, Landon is done with pre school and I will now be taking to night rides during the week and saturday gimmes I hope. As the heat turns up nights will be better to ride but still brutal without a scorching sun.

Tuesday San Tan

     My Tuesday was another hot and dry day out at San Tan, I cranked pretty hard but didn't turn up much results, places like this I feel like are more like a ride on a road bike, just spinning and spinning, I found this works my legs a different way than sustained climbs. Fine by me, more miles I guess but a different sensation in the loggers for sure. I mixed up the loops nicely this day and made the most excitement I could conjure up. The sun was beating me down hard, not so much in sweat but  something was going on with my vision, plenty hydrated I think it was just the blinding sun on the tan trail.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monday Morning

      Landon's last week of school! Going to have to find new times to ride, mostly evenings I imagine. I headed out to Gold Canyon as I seem to normally reserve for Mondays. Starve fumbled on itself in the beginning of the ride making me loose a mile or so off my ride but I was glad I caught it before it bonked the whole ride. I opted for a quick spin and mix things up. I am still figuring out this network in my brain and its taking longer than expected but I am making progress. I made a really fun loop today spicing it up nicely.

Monday, May 23, 2016

McDowells O Awesome

        Got out on an early Saturday for an anxious treat to the north. It's almost an hour drive to get there and I was the first one there promptly by 6am. With plenty of morning light I headed out to ride the competition loops. I started with the long loop, a pretty uneventful but nice ride 7 miles up and down valleys and washes. Then it was on to the sport loop, this one was more fun as the halfway mark opens up to some berms and twists and turns. Still nothing to catch air on but pretty fun for the first time around. The onto the technical loop but not so technical at all for that name! A brisk tough climb and then a drop down the back side for a trail similar to Sport loop. With some time to spare but not enough for what I wanted, I headed over to ride scenic, really like that trail. Pretty easy ride, definitely a skinny area as most are. Still plenty to ride on the next visit there.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hawes decisions

      Finding myself really abusing some light pedaling areas, riding from the 202 commuter lot is no exception. Just roll on by some homeless camps and a fast 2 mile ride into the network. I went out on another fast stretch and took a turn off the normal loop which lead to a series of trail forks. I mean many many trail forks, I linked and made many decisions as best i could but I definitely need to get back to figure it out more. There really is some cramped stuff in there, I think an amateur trail builder went nuts to be honest. Thats fine really, I'm not the one to do it and new stuff is always fun. Really mixed bag of little trails, I actually found the train quite different considering how much I have rode nearby. I got pretty adventurous and ended up on a funky offload trail that lead to a pretty big rocky drop into a wash. It was pretty long, longer than any other I have found yet, this was a total gem! I cleaned it and took the pic from the bottom.
      A bit of confusion after the wash but I made it back to familiar trail and headed into the Hawes system for a normal route. By then I was worn, I put a lot of leg into the other night, with mellow trails I was spinning as to standing up and mashing slow climbs like I've done for years. I got a call from Landon's school and my heart stopped. They left a voicemail to have me call them. With shady signal I got the call thru and found out they had an fire drill last school and Landon had raised bumps that might look like allergic reaction. I knew they were mosquito bites from the day before so all was well after talking with them thank goodness. That was my cue and headed for the car. Solid start to the week with 50 miles and 4 rides. I should get one more in there and can't wait, almost a month till Utah!

Usery Rippa

     Was itching to ride, so I got out on an evening ride, might I say it is absolutely awesome to ride without the sun beating you down. I started by 6:15 and had my headlamp for when it got dark. I had 20 miles in mind and that should have been easy given the riding location is pretty mellow. I went up Cat Peak and onto Pass Mountain. I have ridden up this trail two other times and it gets real good towards the intersection with Maricopa. I had to trail to myself which was fantastic, a nice evening with clouds and thunderstorms in the background and 2 hours to spare I was a happy guy. I reached the turnaround with the Maricopa trail and had a really fun flowy ride down back into the network, felt really good to let looses and push the limits of traction and speed. Finally I got a decent descent. I have been missing this since in Utah, big climbs and long descents. Not that this was very long but was the most fun descent I have done in some bit, I guess it showed as strava rewarded me.
    I then entered the network and made bounced all around, ran low on time and miss just one tiny stretch other than that I rode the entire web. Fun and fast, just what I wanted, so happy to be out of the sun and riding.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Desert Trail Bike Park

     I like riding jumps, gaps and hard stuff, I don't do it enough, I ride a lot of xc almost always cause it keeps me out of trouble, but I never forget the thrill that comes with being challenged in an aspect of biking I don't visit often. I use to BMX a lot as a kid and grew away from it and took up skateboarding. I like to ride jumps and ladders and drops, I was excited to check out this place so I took me boy out to the play area and he absolutely loved it. While we were there we checked out the flow trails, they're more like dirt jumps, I don't know why but I never like lips jumps, they just don't feel great, these jumps were very lips with lips landings, bmx dirt jump style. Not that fun on my mountain bike I like more bigger gaps and drops but I gave it a go anyway. It went ok, I rode all the trails and was not feeling it, I much rather take Highland Bike park any day. But I was on a 29 rigid and it's been awhile so I will leave judgement to myself.

Goldish Area

   I guess I got adventurous and went and checked out a trail on the superstition foothills named Jacobs cross cut. It looked like a nice 5 mile run to Lost Dutchman and I could do some laps there and head back for a solid ride. I began on a decent trail that eventually reminded me most of a streamed of 1-5" rocks that made going pretty tough. I ket hoping it would get better and it did slightly but still was bouncing me all over the place and narrow trails bushed scratching and cutting me I had enough after 20 minutes and went for the car and decided to rescue my last hour down the rod at Gold Canyon trails. It was a short but enjoyable, a loop and then ran out of time and ran for the car. Felt pretty unfulfilled for whatever reason but lucky to be out riding. Just one more week of easy rides until me boy is out for summer and then I guess night rides are in order. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Browns Ranch El Diablo

     Been hearing buzz about this new tech trail at Browns Ranch named El Diablo, I desperately wanted some new trails and this was the perfect excuse to wake up at 4am. Arriving after an hour drive had anxious on my legs as the sun was not up this was the first day in a while I rode early enough to avoid it, it was not missed. It was a nice easy pedal out to Cholla Mountain where the trail got a little exciting and then it was on to El Diablo after a mix of easy navigating with Trailforks, Something I could not do without since I'm always pressed on time.
    Well El Diablo started off pretty tame as it winded up and down on some nice single track, then a few rocks, a few big rocks, and mostly easy pedaling and no problem for the Superbly SS to eat up. I followed all the more difficult signs obviously and cleaned the entire trail minus one awkward narrow climb up loose granite. Pretty good stuff, I have ridden browns only once before and it's fast and tame, this was indeed a good addition for the lucky nearby locals.
    On the way back I was anxious to hit Granite Mountain, something I avoided last time with lazy legs, it was a heavy climb, I felt like the pitch was more than capable for me but I found myself near stalling on my one gear having to put all my upper body into the climb and gave up. A good workout to push next time for sure but I put out all i felt like. I wasn't far from the top and once I peaked I had an absolute great view of the preserve. I saw the trail in front of me and found it surprisingly inviting! Fun turns and some speed down the mountain I am so so glad I rode it. Again short on time since LuAnn had a CPR course at 9am and I was home by 7:45 with ease. Good week riding, absolutely great but drooling to get to Sedona and Prescott if I ever will.

Usery Mornin

     Another nice Wednesday morning to sweat it out on a great trail network. I am not going to lie I am becoming worn out on my spots somehow, so I mixed it up nicely on the network riding basically all of it with some speed and tech. With 105F temperatures it's getting brutal out there, I continue to battle the heat with sunscreen and hydration just waiting for winter, bring it on!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

San Tan Buffer

Landon now rides the bus! He asked for it, he got it, my little guy is doing so good, it really is amazing to be with him each and every day. He leaves a little earlier for school now so I get an extra bit of time which is always good since I am always on time and plan to keep it that way. I headed for San Tan reluctantly, it's not really my favorite place to ride but it's among 4 nearby so it will do just fine. I rode at a comfy pace, no need for anything drastic, got baked by the sun on the first climb, 90f was the temperature and as usual no shade to be found. I decided to ride the loop counter clockwise to mix it up. Then threw in two hedgehog to Stargazer loops. I planned to to do two and was getting lazy and then I talked myself back into two and they both turned out to be pretty fun in the loop I made. I like riding the Hedgehog to Stargazer CCW thaqts for sure. I put some hurt on those loops and turned up a top 10 which surprised me. Then a pedal back to dynamite and a nice downhill to the car.


   Headed out to Gold Canyon to stretch my legs after a week of hard pedaling. The legs certainly felt a little lifeless but had plenty to give. Took the fast route in and sucked up many cactus on the trail. Tubeless seems to be doing it's job for now, I definitely cringe running over cactus but out at Gold Canyon it litters the trail everywhere! I got a good ride and mixed trails nicely, I finally am getting to learn the place, I think I looked at my trail map once. I cleaned everything on the technical loop, the on in the picture was a little hairy on my rigid but the big wheels filled in the gaps, not bad for not spotting lines. The week is heating up fast, looking for a good 3 days of rides and one more Saturday if all goes well.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Saturday Sneaky

   Wasn't expecting a nap for the kiddo but after realizing we'd be out late that evening I went into his room and by 1 he was asleep. It just so happened that my wife was asleep too, anxious to enjoy the cool cloudy rare day here in Arizona I jumped in the truck and grabbed the bike. I wanted to be close and quick since we were going on an off roading adventure later that day. I went for Pass Mountain area, they have a network that connects to that lovely Pass Mountain loop I ride.
    The trails were very fast, I found just a tiny climb around a few knobs but other than that it was a delightful fast spin. Another great place to take the kid once his skills are ready. He does't ride his bike at all, like most things he makes them extremely difficult so I am just waiting. Fun little place to kick off some easy miles, so glad I got out since I could't get myself out of bed for that 4:40am alarm. Three more weeks of school for Landon then my riding will turn to night riding I guess, not really looking forward to that but I guess it will be so hot I have no choice. Back at it Monday can't wait!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


  Headphones blaring and legs a turning I was off on another good one at San Tan putting out about as much steam as I could. Legs are holding up good for about 33 miles on them, bout to put on another 16 in 90 minutes. Felt good as I climbed up and over the hill and into the network, wind was hitting me pretty good, it was wiggling the front wheel back and forth but nothing I can't handle. Spun around a good while and luckily ran across no horses. Fun fast rip, nice to have it to myself.

Hot up in Hawes

     Got myself over to Usery on a ripper, I decided I have had enough of being creeped out on snakes so I put my headphones and set my focus to hammering those leggies. The music really took my mind off those trail critters and I felt really good out there. I pedaled pretty much full out and enjoyed doing it, it helped the first few trails are fast as heck. The weather is heating up, it was a hot 98F just about as hot as I want it to ever get, but theres plenty more where that came from. I had some time and had the though pop into my head to ride down Twisted Sister. I added it to my loop for a good mix and some pavement to make it clean. When I headed back into the trail system, my legs were toast, I struggled to get back on track as they gave out on me. Crossing a bridge I had a talk with a man who waved me down on his bike and continued to tell me he lost his friend right on the bridge when he was hit my a drunk driver while they were riding. It was an odd story and the man seemed pretty strange, wether his story was true or not I don't know but I chatted with him and it was pretty interesting encounter. On the way back I remembered how just last week I saw a homeless person settling into camp. With daylight I could see at least 3 camps seemed active with the homeless. It's a weird part of town to think homeless lived out there but somehow they do. I don't think I will ride this stretch anymore lol.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gold Canyon Puncture Testing

      Mighty good start to the week, the kiddo is in good health and back to normal and pops has just a few weeks remaining for those easy while Landon is in school rides. I'm lucky to have 4 riding locations within a half hour, but am slightly starting to get bored and really miss my Utah trails, especially ripping Corner Canyon. Phoenix valley trails are very loose at all times, there is no dirt to offer traction, I miss climbing in the shady green trails up in the mountains desperately. With that said I enjoy Arizona but am yearning for home, just another 4-5 years left :(
     I headed out for Gold Canyon with wonky legs and excitement to ride. As I rode in I opted for two trails I have not visited since my first ride at the trails. Holly Hill and Gila Monster were pretty fun, but find myself still loving the K Trail and Jodi's dream quite a bit. Found myself with some extra time and went to check out some trail I have not explored. Turned out to be some dirt roads that lead to single track for juts a little, littered in cactus I rode over them reluctantly as my new tubeless setup should do it's job. Luckily it did hold in there and so far so good. I managed to break a spoke at some point but no harm this wheel set has been bulletproof.
      I realized I haven't been pushing hard lately, I think my mind is too focused on snakes, kinda sucky but I really do fear them but no choice but to ride on and count down the days to a Utah visit in June.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ride Duder

   A local in the valley found me on social media talking about my YT Capra and turns out it eventually led to a ride. This Saturday we opted for South Mountain, a dope place to ride with a capra for sure. We were set to meet at 8am and I chose to get my wheels turning long before that with a 90 minute ride out and back on Desert Classic. A pretty bland trail for a while with some fun rollers, towards the end it gets a little technical and interesting. It was a Saturday and the trail was flowing with bikers and hikers. Busiest I have ever seen a trail, not my ideal place for a Saturday really. But I was happily pedaling around the Mountain on a good run. I met with Dominic my new bike homie and got the sweet pair of YT rippers rolling. I opted for Mormon to National but we ended up riding a sweet tech uphill out of Beverly Canyon that I cleaned as one of my best achievements here in Arizona so far, it was steep and rocky but I had grip and a mountain goat of a bike so it hauled right up beautifully. Then a nice rocky descent down to Desert Classic. I wasn't crazy about riding the trail I just rode with the rest of the mob but I had a riding partner and we were going to hit a jump he wanted to show me.
    We made it to the jump and it turned out not to be much, I wanted to go bigger but it could only offer so much, with a guarantee huck to uphill. A few hits and I was pleased with some pictures we got, wish I got more pics of me riding technical or catching air for sure, stoked to get some and his enthusiasm to make sure we got some. I was out of time since I said I could ride one hour with him so I could get home and hang with the kiddo while my wife got her studies done. I insisted he ride further and I turned around.
    Ran into a mechanical as the rear deraileur gave out somehow over nothing and got all twisted. Hanger totally fine I got things back the best I could and rolled home on a hard gear. Good ride, nice to have a riding buddy, hopefully we ride again.