Friday, June 24, 2016

Somo Yo

Things worked out well this evening and off I went for South Mountain. A quick spin up the road and Down javelina, romp down and into Beverly Canyon. Nice ride on Desert Classic from there. I wish it had more of that flow in spots, I would love to ride that on a long downhill.

San Tan Beauty

     Wednesday called for a ride, quite excited to hit the trails I aimed for a first evening ride at San Tan. I have had plenty of afternoon rides there but I was not prepared for how beautiful things were going to get. Heading from the car I pressed pretty hard up the hill, heat blazing but feeling good, had some other bikers out there, 4 on the climb alone. I picked my route in my head and was looking for usual 90 minutes and that would do me dandy. As I looped around the cliffs and mountains around me were glowing, I forget how cool the desert sometimes until it opens itself up and reminds you how scenic it can be. The cliffs grew orange and it sure was a sight to see. That really made me feel good inside, some sort of joy and set the tone for the ride. It was nothing fancy in the ride, just good simple and easy.

    Heat wave hit Arizona, I guess they call it a heat wave, seems to me like these temperatures are quite normal for this time of year but I am guessing since it's the first blast of hot hot air they get all worked up about it. After plenty of boneheads were rescued over the weekend without water and few actually lead to their deaths, I hesitantly went out for an evening ride. I chose Usery area for some real easy cruising trails. I left the car at 111F it was definitely hotter than that, I got this stupid satellite temperature in my truck and not an actual thermometer. So rolling down the road was intense to the trail, the pavement radiating heat. My eyes were burning from the heat, pretty wild stuff. On the trail it wasn't much better but as the minutes counted down during the ride it slowly got more tolerable. I decided to see how 30 minutes went, then 60 and then looked like it was going to be a solid 90. Saw a few flashes nearby and ducked for cover under a pavilion. I read the weather and continued on as it calmed, another system further off was flashing plenty for me to watch but way off on my way back to the car.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gold Canyon Strikes Again

Saturday had me out the door at 5:30am to meet up with my new riding friend Chris. We met at Gold Canyon where I insisted he come and check out my favorite trail network so far. It's quite different for me to be giving someone a tour of a spot and having company in general, a nice change to have. The ride started off with sore legs, still from tues/weds Yt Capra ride, but I can pedal Gold Canyon all day. Made our way out via Cougar, then Gold Mine and a little of K trail and detour to Jodi's Dream and Transition. Things were going smooth and headed back on K trail and hopped on the technical loop. On the rock pile I had to go back and hit the line clean, walking my bike I turned to point it downhill and whammy, just every so slightly tapped a cholla. Picked up a good 3 pieces on the shoulder. It was pretty painful but I stood trying not to move much, and eventually my fellow rider came to my rescue. Pulled out the comb that I couldn't reach and had him remove them. Really painful, good thing I brought my pliers as my fingers could not remove them. Sucked so bad, but cleaned the line and we headed out of there.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mega Upgrade!

         I have pooped three spokes the last two weeks, It's becoming apparent these wheels aren't cutting it. I have been saving a little for awhile now, I decided Monday to pull the trigger on a new set of Stans Flow Ex. I rocked these good on my last bike that got totaled, they performed really well. As I was looking at wheels I forgot how expensive things get. I am amazed how well the Stans were for me when I used to have them, seeing how most wheel sets are still twice as much. Happily I pulled the trigger and had them in my hands next day. Happily they came with tape and valves so setup was very easy. With a clean swap all I needed was some sealant. Also got some other parts, the other day I was riding and was wondering why haven't I got wider bars....... So I had ordered Deity Black Label 15mm rise 787MM long 9 degree sweep and some chunky psi grips. Excited I mounted everything all up and thursday night was proving night.
      OMG the bike has transformed, so much more fun and comfy, the grips are superb, foam is light grippy and absorbing! The wheels are amazing, spinning so fast smooth and tough! bars comfy and opened up my position for breathing and leverage. Shortly into the ride I felt my camelback let loose but as I looked down it turned out it was a large puncture and that was tire sealant spraying me 5 minutes into the ride! It did eventually plug but it was struggling the entire ride. The ride was awesome, my performance felt pretty good but I can do better with worn legs.

Wednesday Weakness

Headed back out on an evening and looking for something different I opted for a ride along Wild Horse. I kicked around ideas and it was the best I could come up with, I wasn't feeling all that great for this ride and it showed when I hit the trail. My body was worn from the night prior, I guess I rode pretty hard on the heavier bike. The first mile of the ride was brutal, haven't felt like that in awhile, I just chugged on and got thru it. Looking forward to some jumps and stuff I headed up the jump trail and found some really nice work. Definitely large gaps over my head but it was nice to know they were there if I ever want to work up to them. I dropped in avoiding the big jumps but hitting all the rest. The bike always feels loose but today was feeling way loose. The trail was littered in cacti, I was kissing those tubes goodbye as I rode over so many. I wondered how far out should I go with doomed tubes I had no idea how long it would hold air, time to get this thing tubeless. Pretty bland ride with nice views, can't wait to get my Trek back, I got new wheels!

Tuesday Raw

       Monday came and I passed on a ride, I happily helped my wife with being a test dummy for vitals practice. It's crazy how I forget how she is in Medical School! She's extremely stressed and over worked all the time, I hate to see her like this but am also glad she has 3.75 years of school left and she can be out in the field and accomplish whatever she wants to next. I on the other hand am very much enjoy each day with my kiddo, sure we have our rough moments but at the end of every day I could't live without him.
    So anywho, the trek is out of order so I climbed aboard the YT for this one and rode out at South Mountain. It's always a drastic change from rigid to Endure machine but YT does a good job making it easier. I rode up the road and tore down Javalina on what I thought would be faster but I found that the Capra is not cornering well, it constantly feels loose and I got to sort it out. Then a speedy ride back up and up Beverly Canyon and down that nice chunky section. As much as I feel 150mm is overkill it sure is nice to have it when things get really rowdy and that's why I got it right! A short stint on Desert Classic just cause and then back into Beverly Canyon. Explored two routes that actually led to some goods, a technical climb up to a ridge that offered great views of the valley and a roller coaster look and feel to the land. After an up and down I saw a very steep loose rocky trails and dropped, bout as much as I could handle without stepping off the bike and happy to clean it in the darkness. Onwards a quick route back to the car on another great section of trail. Bring on the week!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Company at Usery

So my wife met someone at school who supposedly has a bike riding obsession like myself, so we figured out a time and went out for a go at Usery area Saturday morning. Turns out we are a pretty good fit, which is nice, as much as I like riding by myself and my rules but it's nice to have fun with others. He's a good rider as we rode into the trail system with quite a few other users, not used to that. Being I have rode a lot of weekday mornings. We did a good loop, pretty much all the goods, starve quit on me halfway thru for some reason, maybe cause it's not use to me stopping and chatting lol. Really good ride, look forward to more with company.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

SOMO round 2

Headed back to SOMO since my wife wants me to ride safely as she has exams in two weeks and I need to be in top shape taking care of the boy and myself so I don't screw up her first round of exams. So with little cacti and critters and risk I have chose to ride South Mountain twice now. Happy to do it anywhere with dirt so I headed out for my third night riding. Legs were a bit sore after cleaning a tough climb at the beginning of Javalina, but they loosened up as I went. I decided to clean up my loop from the other night which had me ride the road up to Beverley Canyon and ride it's entire looping around the mountain and heading off for more Desert Classic. I debated on fooling around more on the south end of the mountain but easy sometimes fun miles lay ahead on Classic so I bit into it. Absolute beautiful sunset, pictures can do the talking for me.

Somo Round 1

    Well after a critter night in Gold Canyon I was looking forward to not so much cactus filled and more friendly area that is South Mountain. I decided this trip to do something a little different, I headed up the Pima Canyon Road. The hopped onto a piece of Mormon and down javelina for a fun easy run down. It's a nice bang for your buck in the beginning of the ride, then I linked a few trails. I got clustered real quick, trails spat out left and right, most not marked on my map but looked like fun. I headed up Beverely Canyon which I have never rode, it was soon nice to be on something different. Then I headed down on a ridge and missed what I wanted but got a good loop in and headed for Desert Classic. Desert Classic was bland as usual but still happy to ride it.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Well I got the down low on Geronimo trail that runs off the top of South Mountain, figured I'd climb my way up to it from National and give it a go. I attacked the mountain in the evening, a blistering 110F at 6:30pm evening! Hopping on my bike I felt the frame radiating heat, I really questioned if I should be riding. But with eagerness I chugged up the road to find it not all that bad. There was a strong breeze and that with the heat I didn't really sweat for awhile. I think it's so hot you don't get the chance to sweat like you do with humidity, it's dry as can be. I was going up Mormon scratching my head as to how I made that climb the other day, not that I desired to this day but still.... after about an hour from the car I was at the top of Geronimo. I dropped in and loved every inch of that 2 mile run down the mountain. I was hoping for something more high speed but the difficulty was there which I like. I made it the mission to link the roads once I got down to bike up the other side of Mormon. Not knowing what to expect, I was stuck with a brutal hike a bike. I mean so bad I could barely get my bike up the thing, would be an interesting ride down it for sure. One I made the ridge I happily rode over to national, still not as great of trail as people make it to be. A slow headlamp lit ride down and I was on the home stretch. Really fun night out on the bike, still looking for something different but that will have to wait till Sedona of Prescott.

Friday, June 3, 2016

South Mountain Showdown

      Snuckered on out after the boy went to bed nice and early for a pm ride into the dark. I chose South Mountain mainly for a mix and popularity of users for company I suppose. I headed out on a tear for sure, set personal records the beginning of the ride, it felt really really good to be riding. I still wish there was more flowy trails but Desert Classic has bits n pieces. Plan was to do 10 miles and head back. I wanted to ride a trail named Goat and the trail that followed it. As I was nearing the 10 mile mark I ran into a snake, right out in the middle of the trail chilling, another diamondback, he didn't seem very concerned by me, certainly different than last three encounters. I decided to make this the turning point and back I went. Turns out I rode the wrong direction up Goat, a rough hike a bike but man it would be nice on my YT in the right direction. A nice ridge ride from there back to Desert Classic. Threw in some other trails along the way home to rub out the monotony. Fun ride, nice to ride as the sun goes down, I should be doing this more often since school is over and the sun is the devil!