Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I got antsy and called the Cactus Bike Shop in Phoenix where I ordered my bike, shockingly the owner was about to call me to tell me the bike was coming in soon. It sounds like the boat comes in this week and the shop should have it by next week. I am soon excited to get this thing up an rolling, I have some new Race Face Chester pedals I am looking forward to trying, they will be my first nylon composite pedal. Also need to get it going tubeless and I should be happily on my way down the trail, maybe by the weekend it will get it's first ride. I have realized how happy I am with my Trek Superfly, I love it for what it is, might I like another bike more, maybe but I am content. I am pretty sure I am done buying bikes for awhile since I feel pretty complete with my stable. I really am quite excited for this one!
Rolled out on Monday with the kid going to school and all. I was excited to be back to my rigid machine and went on a hero sand/dirt ride. It rained pretty hard the night before and with it being so cool it didn't magically evaporate. So when I attacked the soil it was already prodded on by horses and lacked that groomed effect it gets after it rains. No big deal as I rolled in to do my normal loop. Rode thru a few puddles and had a casual ride. The desert doesn't offer Hero necessarily but it has it's own version, nowhere near the effect you get in the woods but take what you can get right.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I have been wanting to go around the horn for a bit now, I knew it was a hike a bike over the mountain and I guess I put it off for some reason. So Saturday I had the big bike and rolled myself happily on over to Hawes on a cool cloudy afternoon to tackle this sucker. I hit Hawes a little after 12 and got moving. On the bike bike I was thrown off as usual, it felt her pedaling like my legs just could not do it but they warmed up as I went on. Then when it got to climbing up to twisted sister I remembered the greatness of gears as I stayed seated on the saddle my legs could push up anything with the traction and gearing. I will say for steep loose climbs I will take this bike any day, despite 160mm of travel and 30+ pounds it does it extremely well! As I was loving on my bike and thinking of how amazing these machines are compare to what they use to be I was happy I got a good one. In a few years I will want a newer bike but for now I am in the moment. Made my way into Twisted Sister and went thru it's technical bits before I could descend on a pretty fun but too short descent. From there it was onwards to Wild Horse, this trail I have ridden a few times and it was comforting as it's a straight forward mellow trail. It was then my crank arm was feeling funny, I continued on a 1/2 mile and found it worse, I knew the crank arm was loose. Flipped the bike over and got to looking at things, the crank arm was indeed very loose, I looked at it's locking nut and found that it was a huge allen key that I was not carrying. The other crank arm had a size that I had but it was of no use since it wasn't the one loosening. I managed to use my two tire levers to tighten it up but was far from tight. I was now 8 miles from the car and as it loosened again after a mile this was going to be an issue. I was pretty frustrated I could not tighten it fully and as I moved off Wild Horse and onto L'Alpe D'Huez it became a greater issue, loosening after a few minutes. Soon the trail became hike a bike, very steep at times as I went up the mountain, but I liked it! As I crested a part the trail narrowly loosely dropped and hugged the hillside. This part was sketchy but I had enough grip and skill to ride it. One last 200ft hike up Goat Trail and I was at the top. The view was pretty dang good, what I was looking at kind of scratched my head, I knew where it was but surprised to facing so South. I dropped into Cactus Garden and happy to be moving downhill without silly steep climbs. It was smooth sailing from then as I hit Hawes it became quite fun to rip down the trail. I never get going fast enough around here, this allowed me to let loose a little. I want to take this bike to the bike park so bad! Made my way easily back to the car and somehow the crank arm felt after the 10th time that it was going to be snug for the rest of the ride. That proved to be true as I got to the car stoked on that ride and crank arm in tact, now off to the bike shop!. It appears I lose a part of the tightening nut on the arm, apparently an allen within an allen, why Race Face...... makes sense to have a smaller allen so one could tighten with a normal multi tool in you pack, but allen within and allen, this I have to direct for it's reason.
Friday, November 25, 2016
This has been so long over due, but the stars aligned and the family set off Usery. It was a busy Thanksgiving day but this was going down. Landon as pumped to hop on and off we went. At first the trail a bike took some getting used to on narrow trail, especially laced with cacti, my sons safety was in my hands. That sucker swaying behind me was not an easy task but as we got use to it soon he was hooting and hollering as we went up and down the little hills twists and turns. He absolutely loved it, what a great experience having a little passenger with such spirit. My wife really like the trail, she was happy and that made me happy. It was over too soon as we began the gradual climb I realized I could not climb much of a hill on this thing. Calves burning we got to the car and all happy we were. Great family outing!
Monday came with some clouds, very very welcomed from the clear blue skies that I am use to around here. There was a chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon and as I drove I was picking where to ride based on the thunderstorm activity in the valley. The beauty of living in a big old valley I suppose, there were lots of activity and Usery was looking fairly safe and offered the biggest buffer form the big storms. Rolling into the trails it grew darker, the trail I was on was headed towards the thick of it, yet I remained under blue skies but right on the verge of some dark nasty clouds yet no thunder was heard as I continued. Then a few rain drops came down and man it was quite the scene to take in, absolutely stunning. As the clouds whirled the cell passed over the mountain and gray skies offered comforting shade and it was looking good for me. I sped around the park content. Still my stamina is lacking but I have shed some weight and feel like I am starting to gain ground just a little.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
MY wife has a long week and saturday, she was involved with a conference regarding a medical device she owns. She was gone A lot the last few days and when she came home Saturday she cold tell that I was worn out. She said I had two hours and off I went happily. I went for South Mountain since it's been awhile and might spice things up. I am glad I picked it, as the sun got behind some rare clouds and the evening was mine for an hour. It was quite nice out, I love the time of the day just before the sun goes down, the trail was rolling fast and it was really fun. I really enjoyed this one for the hour that it was, I felt a lot better.
Thursday I went out with flat speedy riding in mind, I can say for the first time in a very long time I didn't even feel much like riding. I have not been feeling great lately and was not sure I was in mood for a ride. But with 2 hours I didn't see myself hanging out at home. So I was off at Usery and making my go around, feeling ok I got half way around and decided I would not do my normal spider web of trails and just kept it simple and as I grew to an end I noticed a jet engine sound over my headphones, as I looked above I found 4-5 RC jet engine rc airplanes flying around. It was neat so I watched them for a minute and then went along to the car and all was mercy.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
With a heavy Monday my legs seemed to be in working order as I prepared for a Thursday ride. When tires went down at Hawes and crank got turning something did not feel quite right. My legged just felt really funny, I wondered if this was going to work. I can't remember ever feeling my legs so foreign. I guess they were just getting warmed up since it faded away quickly as I continued. I love the fast way into Hawes it never gets old. It's no huge drop but it sure fires up the stoke early in a ride. I planned to do something different and went for Upper Secret. Forgot this one needs to be ridden via Saddle but none the less I hiked the bits and made a loop and then onto Secret. It has been too long since I've made my way back this way sadly. All the better when I got to it and enjoyed it well. My legs by now were on par with normal and I was tackling climbs and having some fun. After Secret was over I made my way Saguaro Trail. It was some work and traction was lost but got up nice and high for a fun downhill. I was pressing time now and made my way back via Granite and others. This was a refreshing mix at Hawes, on with the rest of the week!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Well it happened! My mother in law was in town and the boy was well looked after so I left the house 5am on Monday. It was about a 2.5 hour ride to Prescott which I enjoyed and this would be my first time visiting the area. I found the trailhead and was pleased to be in the upper elevations in the pines for my start. As I prepped I realized it was chilly and I was under dressed for the moment but I would live. I was armed with 3L of water and some beef jerky for the 6-7 hour ride. As I swung a leg over the bike and got pedaling I was filled with excitement, it began on a nice uphill single track. I started at the Goldwater Trails which is one of the best sections of the trail. It was pleasant as it twisted dropped and rose on beautiful trail. I got glimpse of the lakes but never got down to the waterline which was fine I was on a mission. I was now consistently climbing and honestly my legs were not feeling great. I have been on a low carb diet for a week now and weight has come off rapidly but I have noticed some weakness in my legs last week riding. I continued on as I crossed the road and the climbing continued but now on loose rocky grown in trails. I climbed forever in wonderful Oaks, I was so happy to be back in the woods! Then I got the Boy Scout Trail, this would have been fun on a suspension bike, for me on the rigid it was terrible. I can ride a lot of rough terrain on that bike but this stuff was very very rocky along a stream bed. It went on for quite awhile and was a bit bummed that was my first big Dh of the morning. Badger Mountain was next, this began as broad newly cut trail uphill, it was a kinda tough grade for me and this is where my legs just crapped out, I began to question if my body would allow me to do this, I knew for a fact it was related to my new diet and I was feeling robbed. After the steep bit I really enjoyed this trail, it wrapped around the mountain and dropped on a nice fast and flowy trail. Into little stream and light was aglow on a cottonwoods leaves and that was the first sun of the day. Now out of the cool pines and into the high desert, exposed among the grasses it was back uphill on a nice path. As it crested I saw Watson Lake and it's awesome, I made my way down a nice downhill until I hit bored trail leading me into a riparian preserve filled with towering cottonwoods glowing leaves, it was absolutely beautiful. Next step was onto Watson Lake, what a cool place, I am interested to find out how the formations were made and look forward to getting back. This was mellow trail by the lakes, I was loving it since it was a nice break from the climbing. I threw in an extra 4 miles by the water since it was just so awesome and I needed it to get to the 60 miles. Once I reluctantly left the water, it was onto the northern section, the trail was very very nice for awhile. I began to climb at a comfy pace, I was now warm. Legs still on the edge but moving. I hit road and had to spend about a mile as I navigated a neighborhood and in the Forest Service Land. By now I was still not hungry from my breakfast but took a bite of beef jerky anyway but found it to not taste well and speed up my thirst which I only had on my back. The trail ahead sucked, it started off on unridable climbing so I hiked a bit in the warm sun, I rode a little and hiked a little more until I could pedal. By now the legs were really sucking, I was cursing my body for giving up on me. I was on mile 40 or so and just had to keep going. I entered the pines and the sights began to grow merry again, the trail got nice too. I began to climb again and this time it went on for a very very long time, I was weak, my legs were completely toast which they should not have been. Very annoyed at the loss but I rode as much as I could and enjoyed the way up up and up! After reaching the top of Cold Springs I was now on my final descent down Wolverine Mountain. It was chunky but very good, it went down for a long time until I comfortably arrived at the car after 7.5 Hours. It was a good day, absolutely amazing how they could link that much dirt around the city in Mountain Bike bliss!