Friday, January 27, 2017
Friday had me headed so South Mountain with the big bike to hit Geronimo. To get there I went up Mormon to National on a fast good one. I can now say I can clean all of Mormon since I finally nailed the entire mid section! Passed a few groups struggling to make the climb. Reached the saddle at a personal record 7 minutes faster than previous record! Definitely feeling good I must say, then it was on to Geronimo which was a beating but soooooo fun. Seems my chain guide spit the chain out for the second time.......some chain guide that is..... Had only two sketch moments but cleaned the entire run. With the idea of hiking up 32nd st to see what the trail was like I pedaled pavement to it. It was a heavy hike a bike and my hips and legs are still feeling it. It was brutal but man it would be rowdy going down it. Keen on ripping down Mormon but now my legs were spent and to be honest it was not worth hiking up 32nd St. Looking to add some miles I got onto javelina and then climbed up Beverly Canyon and down to the lot. Solid Ride
Gold Canyon Primo
Pedaled happily into Gold Canyon for my Thursday taste of trail. Cruising on in I was feeling great, perhaps best I have felt in a long time fitwise. As I went in on Cougar and over to K trail I was figuring out my loop as I went. I had the idea of some Gila Monster at the end and as I made my way onto Jodi's Dream I was cooking along as fast as my legs and one gear could. What a difference I felt as I sped around the place and really enjoyed it well. After getting back near the car I went on a nice loop on Gila Monster to Vortex to Holly Hill a really really awesome ride this one! So happy to be feeling great, my body has taken soon long to adjust to the new low carb lifestyle, but 23 pounds lighter and feeling 100% again I have no regrets
San Tan Beginning
Monday brought me headed for San Tan, never a place worthy of my 6$ a visit but variety is king for me. Happily I went on a cloudy windy day, enjoying the cool weather and zipped around Sant Tan quite nicely. This loop was a keeper, it cuts my time close but it maximizes the joint.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
So when I was driving home Friday it rained pretty good, it got chilly and very windy, I loved it actually! A good storm rolled in and once again the forecast changed, by Saturday morning the air was chilled and white fluffy clouds were blowing by plenty of blue sky. The surrounding mountains were angry and still dumping rain and snow. It was a long shot to get the boy for a napper but I was going to try and if he did, Dad was going for a ride. Sure enough he was asleep and I ran out of the house knowing I would likely have 30+ minutes of trail time. My wife has to spend time studying and had no time to afford and I was ok with that. Hoping he would not wake much after I left I was 30 minutes down the road with a decision to ride NRA and Wild Horse. It was another absolute stunning scenery,the vegetation and the angry mountains and clouds were distracting to me eyes. I was enjoying the trail too, nice an narrow and flowing downhill for 3 miles and then turning around and going the same way back. I got notice he was awake and I had about 10 minutes to the car to enjoy before heading home to my duties. I very very much enjoyed this ride, as short as it was, very refreshing it was.
Here we are, I spent the morning watching the inauguration of President Trump, I must say I support him and believe he can help our country get back on track. I have for awhile now not been on board with Obama, I truly hope Trump can set out to do what he plans to and we can all benefit prosperity. Ok so the radar was busy and so far I did not expect to get a ride in Thursday but here I was looking at a good window for another ride on Friday. I had ambition on my mind and use of some suspension so I took the closest worthy mountain and west I went. I knew I was going to climb national and from there I would got Corona De Loma or Geronimo. I must say as I headed for the South Mountain I was seeing clouds over the summits. It looked like I might be able to reach them on my bike and ride in the clouds in hope. As I got pedaling up the mellow dirt road the desert was alive, colors vibrant without the blistering sun, moisture damp enough to feel. It was a pleasure as I climbed up and got to National. The climb was slightly more difficult given the moisture and I found myself getting tricked here and there for traction. As I grew closer to the clouds they kept getting further as I chased them. Then wen I hit the saddle I was just a bout 50ft from them but had to drop down to the Buena Vista parking lot. Then I made the call for Corona De Loma since riding back on dirt was far more pleasurable than pavement. It was a hairy drop but oh so gorgeous! Another overcast spectacle on the trail and it began to lightly rain. A speedy ride back on Desert classic was a delight. It had me wondering that if I would ride a XC hardtail I would really smash all my personal records on XC trails. Maybe one day, but for now I enjoy. Love this loop, January is turning out to be one heck of a great month for rides!
Wow so weather was forecasted to roll in for a soggy Thurs, Fri, Sat and I was feeling a bit bummed but have not a thing to complain about. Come Thursday and things were looking up! Weather was expecting to roll in with light rain right about ride time but with no thunderstorms looming it was game on. Torn on trail to ride I ended up at Usery for a flat fast spin. Exiting the car I found my right rear tire about 75% deflated. I didn't really spend any time feeling down on my luck, but took the jack out and got the tire changed so I would be sure to have a proper return home as to pick the boy up from the bus. As I was changing the tire, the wind kicked on and then rain. It was pretty chilly on my desert bones, I took it as a sign of lazily calling it the quits and after the tire was changed I was heading home to take care of needed things. But it was on my drive when I began to question my decision, I fumbled around back and forth and even got on and off an exit and ended with the finally decision to ride, since if I hadn't it might put a damper on the rest of my day. I ended up down the road at hawes. I now had 45ish minutes to play and off I went. It was not raining and the overcast was extremely welcomed. I went on a quick loop, added in neighborhood pavement for practicing wheelies and 8 miles instead of 0 miles I was a happy guy.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Amazing
So Monday came and being a holiday the wife had off from school. I had an idea to be able to run out in the morning and wife could manage the boy and take him out. With many ideas in my head I hit trail forks and wanted to ride something new. Looking at the Estrellas I ditched that idea and found Phoenix Sonoran Preserve to the north as a tasty treat. I a little research and trails were well rated and plan was set. Morning came and left in the darkness of a strangely cool humid morning. Arriving I had just enough light to see what I was doing, I must say overtime I head North of 110 I really like the spaced out quality of living. Right so off into the misty darkness the clouds were gray but clear around me. The trail began quite mellow, plenty wide and wound around foothills of a set of lil mountains. The trail stayed wide, it was a nice trail don't get me wrong, just slightly missing that sweet narrowness. It wound up a pretty big climb which was laced in loose baby heads, seemingly more tough than it should be but awkward on a rigid single speed. As I peaked man the views were astounding, the clouds and hills around me were glorious! The downhill not so glorious but all is well. Some more magical views and began to loop around and onto Ocotillo trail. Then I had to hit my connector to a neighborhood so I could same the south. The preserve consists of two mountain areas a north section and a south. I wanted to get my moneys worth so the two sample was in play. It was a speedy connection and had options and just went with my gut and wound up a good climbing Dixie Mountains North side. Just when I thought the surroundings couldn't be more spectacular they peaked. Serious views of awesome were at hand, some of the best I have ever seen, so happy. Onwards to Valle Vista and the Great Horned Owl which was really good too! Then a nice comfy ride on the connector headed for the car. What a ride, really enjoyed this one, excited to get to more new ride locations this one surprised me in a good way! Just don't expect single track which is ok by me. Seems these trails are pretty new and were built by machinery as to why they are so wide right now.
Saturday Cloud Thrasher
Was monitoring the radar for expected thunderstorms dos the morning, and knew that if I could just get the boy to sleep for a afternoon nap which comes about once a week if we want, I could run out and stretch my legs :) It took 50 minutes but I was successful by 1:10pm and was out the door before expected weather headed in. I don't mind rain at all, I quite like it in the desert, but lightning is something I will not mess with. I have come pretty close to issues the last year and was happy to have only been close. With the best opportunity looking North I went for Usery for a bit of usual and Pass Mountain. I decided that it was looking mighty angry behind me but in a confusing order. Reading radars and visual storm conditions has become quite fun for me. Feeling extremely fit as I was spinning I put the storm at my back confidently and up Bell Pass for the right amount of time and kept looking back thinking it's going to rain but my radar wasn't quite saying the same. I turned around since it was looking a bit funky and I was done reading my phone and went with my eyeballs. It began to sprinkle and man did it feel good! I knew the thunderstorms were still a bit off so for now this was completely wonderful as I descended back into Usery for a loop. I pushed the envelope as clouds arrived and found myself racing to the car, not worried about getting wet but nervous about lightning. I got about 1/2 mile from the car and it began to rumble above me, then a flash of lightning a mile or so from me and holy crap did I book it for the car. I beat the worst of it which was not much as it rolled thru fast. I was content with my hour and home happy I went.
Right so Friday is now a looser day, the wife has no school so when I managed to roll out the door with not so much of a time crunch since my lady could grab the kiddo off the bus. I ended up at Hawes and with limited options I went for the climby loops. It actually turned out just right, it was a moody day and man I really do cherish those, the desert will be scorching soon and this guy is not looking forward to it. Solid loops and enjoyed this one proper :)
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Gold Canyon, always good to get out and stretch the legs in peace out there. As I rolled in I felt the sun surprisingly warm and the landscape shockingly green. Could Spring really be upon us? Nature is saying so, and just like that winter in the desert has been amazing and 6 months of HELL are coming upon us. I went OG on my loop and liked it snappy and fast, felt a lot better than when I crapped out on nothing of a climb and nearly made it out. Feeling stronger these days but not pushing hard either just enjoying the bike and the scenery. Still not ambitious to get the kona dirty, 27.5+ just doesn't excite me like others.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
LOVING the cloudy overcast winter days, hard to use that word winter when it's nearly 70F, none the less I was optimistically joining a bustling San Tan. I have taken it off the radar due to the snowbirds and locals flooding some recreating spot, this one gets horse traffic and I am skittish of horse owners but worn out on my spots I took a risk and headed south. The parking lot was the busiest I have ever seen it and I should not have been surprised. Climbing on the usual I came across a few people, some friendly some not so much. Went for a loop and added in Hedge Hog and was out of time. It was smooth sailing around the trails, plenty of people and just two horses. Good start to the week.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
South Mountain National Loop
So I have been collecting the idea that I wanted to try and do this on my wifes break if I got the chance. I wanted to ride National point to point which was 15 miles one way. I have ridden about 7 miles of National Trail and it is brutal, I had no idea what was on the other 8 miles but I was aware it could be brutal. With that in mind and a a clear morning I set off with a plan to ride National and make a loop back with other trails for a big ol fatty fun loop. I left the house early enough that I could get a start as daylight hit. South Mountain was somewhat quiet but no shortage of people around as we all came to recreate on the hills. I can't say the beginning of my journey was thrilling, I had to go up National not Mormon trail to make it official. It however was a beautiful tempered morning to be hiking my bike up part of the trail. I was soon riding up the chunk of National Trail making fine time on familiar trail. The YT Capra was making ease of things as long as you focused on keeping it's front wheel pointed straight. I reached the lookout and downwards to the Buena Vista parking lot in at an hour. The next section was the towers to Telegraph Pass. I have ridden this the other direction and it was pretty rubbish. Riding the other direction was still a lot of work and minor hike a bike sections but once I passed the towers it was an absolute blast of fun technical to the Telegraph Pass. Now at Telegraph I was moving onto unfamiliar territory, I know the terrain chart said I had 1,000ft to climb and I could see a lot of it right in front of me. The trail went steep and so did me and my bike and I again somewhat enjoyed hiking my bike at this time. The views got expanse as I neared the top. Once I reached the top I could see the ridge ahead of me and was amazed my the views and geography of the mountain I was playing on. I was even more excited to ride the trail ahead of me and as I did I thoroughly enjoyed it. The trail as very well built and was completely different that the first half of the mountain. The ridge ride was spectacular, views falling off the ridge every which way you looked. There was not much of any descent but little bits of climbing and level riding. The time had then come for the descent, it was punchy but nothing too hard, I did let it loose a bit and had some fun but it was all over too soon as I found myself on the valley floor with just 3 miles to go. The trail from there was mostly flat and pleasant and then a brief mellow climb to the finish! A few goofy pictures and 2.5 hours into the ride I was heading back on the less ridden trails of the west end. I was happy to say my legs and body were feeling just fine. Awards on the Gila Connector which then turned to Gila and I found myself stuck in a valley with no way out but up it. I had two options here and that was Gila or Bursara. I wanted Bursara but it was black and Gila was blue and I thought maybe Gila was more ridable. I was wrong, they were about the same since I could see the trail just 50 yards from me across the wash. It was kind of frustrating but I did eventually crest my way over the top and drop down for a short ride over to Pyramid. The scenery was still fantastic and new. There was a bit of elevation on Pyramid and I can say I was ready for some relief, none would come really but I chugged along until I hit pavement. A mile or two on pavement and I was now at the Ramadas, a place I have been before, just a few miles climbing mild again and then a speedy ride to the car. By now I was ready to be done, I was 4 hours into a ride with no break, I had gas in the tank but just had enough. The next 5 miles were a blur and then there was the car! 33 miles and I was happy to have that completed, really fun ride!
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