Thursday, March 23, 2017
I don't know how I managed it again, my wife got me a 2 hour window to go ride, I was ecstatic the weather was pleasant and was a cooler day. A I was pedaling in, I was feeling great! I was putting the power down and I felt really good, the scenery was absolutely wonderful, lots of wild flowers, nice light, I LOVE riding this time of the day, much better than 5am alarm clocks. I decided to push hard, see what I can do, I was really happy back on my Trek with 2.3" tires, it really feels better when I am not on this plus tires. I got a phone call from my brother half way thru so I lost my speed ambition but it was good to talk to him over the headphones. Actually talked to him for awhile, and by the time he was off the line I had 10 minutes of ride left, I felt distracted and lost some peaceful views but oh well. Turns out I broke all my personal records while I was on the gas, felt good!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Well I tried to run, I took off from my house and my legs just felt dead, without a mountain bike option I grab the road bike and hit to the streets. I have nice canal trails to ride, but riding my tiny wife road bike is obviously not a good fit but I make it work. Tons of pollen to the eyes and mouth on this one, but got about an hour workout and didn't have to deal with running for a workout.
As shock would have it, my wife said I could roll out in the evening for a ride, during finals week I never expected her to offer such a thing but I sure could appreciate it she did. I went with closest location to save time and that was Usery. This place sure doesn't bring excitement, I brought the Kona and that didn't bring too much excitement either as the cranks came loose on me. However it was a beautiful evening in the desert, lots of wild flowers and cactus even making their go at it. Uneventful scenic ride, hope to squeeze one more in before Utah, I am brining my bike but the forecast is meek. The lower elevation trails are plenty free of snow but there is a lot of rain in the forecast. Lets see what happens as next week unfolds.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Had to guarantee my wife I would be home at 8am was the only way I was allowed to get a ride in. I am always looking for those 50 miles and so far so good this year. I planned for Gold Canyon but found myself instead went to San Tan. It has been HOT, 96 was the high for Saturday, the morning is quite nice at 64F before the sun comes out to try to give you Melanoma. I am getting more bitter and unpleasant as the heat comes on. I just don't know how I am going to do another summer here. Oh well, on with the ride, standard loop for me, pretty quiet that early in the morning. I noticed a rider on me as I climbed Stargazer, I kept him off until the flats and he pedaled around me. Caught up to him on the climb up Dynamite and descent, the fact he was full race gear had me working a little harder to play with. Chatted with him in the parking lot, I guess he was chasing me down for awhile, older fella in great shape, was nice to have someone pushing me a little. I guess I can see why racers do it, but stuff ain't for me.
Oooohhh wheee, went out on early morning Friday, got right to it at 6am on the bike with new pedals and a new gear. I can't believe how much smoother the bike is without those sloppy bearings not he Spank Spikes, what a garbage product. I now have Race Face Chesters on which do the trick but I wish they were wider. I was lucky enough that lights aren't required at 6am now as we get further into spring, light came slowly as I rode on Escondido which is such a sweet trail. I was very surprised to find how lush it was, lost of grass and flowers and if there were aspens I would seriously take the landscape for Park City. I LOVE the smells, I can't remember it that well a year ago when I was here, but it reminds me of my Wasatch Mountains since they are somewhat similar. Once Escondido was done it was a way but long pedal on Pemberton out to Gooseneck. I love gooseneck I wish Pemberton was more exciting but no big deal. Thoroughly enjoyed goosenecks beauty and twisting narrow trail. I was enjoying ALL of it!, The Bluff to Wash and that was a fast fantastic ride!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Well the kiddo is off school, he's got two weeks off and then LuAnn is off for two weeks. I was wondering how I was going to get thru the week with a ride, I planned a night ride for monday which actually seemed like quite a good idea considering its 90F outside and it's filling me with rage. My wife assured me I had not need ride in the dark and I could do an evening ride which was absolutely exciting! I love riding that time of the day and was very thankful she was willing to look after me boy while I stretch my legs. Usery was the choice of ride and as the day would have it, I was hit with massive pollen overload. Never quite felt it like this but as I rode my eyes were the first on attack. The scenery was stunning, tons of flowers, lots of lovely light, it was distracting while hunting down possible snakes on the trail. I shredded the normal loop in fashion, it felt good being out there, that time of the day made it all the better to ride. Was getting crushed by the pollen but it was worth it. Man 27.5+ sure makes me feel slow, and the numbers show it too, kind of frustrating, but hope to get some skinnies on the kona one day. Across the road and more fun rolling happy and fuzzy, it was an absolute blast out there but paid the price by mother nature.
On friday I was off at 5am headed for a never ridden spot. I had arranged to help a friend with installing some windows on his home down in the area and I brought the bike to check this place out. With just enough light by 6:10am I was without headlamp and foggily headed onto unfamiliar trails. It started well and then went down the pooper, I decided to hit a fun looking wiggly trail but it turned into a mess of not so good trail. It took some navigating and I was very glad to be down with that trail when I reached to northern parking lot. Now on the Ridge trail things were looking up, pretty narrow winning trail along the hill side. It went up and down the hillside in fashion, some rough sections for sure but all worthwhile. I was moving slowly and didn't feel all that great so far, kiddo passed a cold onto me. I was making just fine time but was ready to be done for the morning. I made my way to the car via East Phricking Butte. Three Chihuahuas was a relief as I got closer to the car and then closed in on it. I can say I was not all that impressed with the trail system, but coming from what I have here in Phoenix I don't need to be, a good explore and adventure.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Well I did it again, found myself another rattler, this one went under the bike as it was too late and I needed to pass it. The situation of close threatening distance from a rattler is enough to jolt the body, this was nothing short of the other close encounters, usually fear and once in the safe anger and frustration. I snapped a pic as he coiled pissed off and spent the rest of the ride paying much closer attention to the trail. Standard loop and the clearing out a little cold my boy passed onto me, feel much better now. Off to a new riding spot tomorrow down in Casa Grande, going down there to help a friend on his house and going to catch a early morning ride before the work, it should be sweet!
So i finally purchased the Parks Pass, never coughed up any money to ride but 3 spots I like to ride require it, only about two I frequent every week. So I for once had paid in full parking as I headed for San Tan, feeling like a sucker I hung up my tag and off I went. The Lot was bumping, I had plenty of people going up and down Dynamite, eclectic mix of peoples out there. This was the busiest I have seen it yet, plenty of users out there, lots of people rapping the states where they are from, what sup with that. Cranked along fast enough to get the 16 mile loops done and Monday accomplished. Two weeks to Utah, hope to ride my bike there, let's see how the wife feels about it, also wasn't to ski, and will definitely be backpacking for 4 days :) I don't know how she will feel when I tell her I am not going back to Arizona:)
Sunday, March 5, 2017
After such a great experience last week, I got the boy to come with me for some riding on Sunday. These are days I don't ride, but since it's with family I am ok with it. My poor wife was buried in her schoolwork and so we headed for Usery for some smooth fun pedal action. We did the first loop quickly and then headed for the little playground. My kiddo loves playground and socializing so surely this is his favorite part and we spend as much time here as we do riding and that's just fine. I am so lucky, raising a kid is hard and I take it for granted and complain way too much sometimes, I friggin love this kid. On our 2nd loop, we were about done and saw the black and white tail of a Wester Diamondback Rattlesnake. I put the brakes on and we were comfortably 20 feet from the snake as he crossed the trail slowly. I was calm and put my boy on my shoulders and we watched the snake as he moved out off the trail and I explained to him the facts about the snake and we calmly got back on the bike and nervously proceeded. I was a little shaken by the experience but was happy it was done. So happy to be out there with my soon having a blast on the trails behind me, I need to get him on GoPro.
I am not sure how but my wife agreed to give me the morning on Saturday til noon. My friend Chris had asked me to ride National with him, and not just the normal bit of national, all of it. So with 40 miles under my legs this week but feeling good, I was not going to have my YT since it's in the shop getting the Sram Guide levers replaced. It seems rams third party internal parts distributor goofed and screwed a lot of peoples brakes. I grabbed the Trek and was fully aware the abuse the bike was going to take on this ride. Rigid and SS is just not something you see on the trails other than Desert Classic. But with that said, I can pretty much ride anything on that bike and was welcoming the challenge as long as I could do it without breaking the bike. It was a smooth ride up the road to Mormon and onwards along National. I was not missing my YT at all, I actually cleaned everything on national as I do on my full suspension except the first ridge. It was clean all the way to Buena Vista and to the towers we went. With a nice breeze and the sun just hitting us it was a mellow moving and quite a nice morning. Passing the towers and then a sweet descent to Telegraph Pass. It was nice to have the company up there for sure, it's been a long while since we rode last. We hiked a bike up the hill and then it was up and down wonderfully open pristine ridge top single track. Time was closing in fast and the plan was to Ride National to Bursera, but my time window was closing in. We talked it over and I shared with him that we could drop one of the red trails down the mountain and that we weren't missing anything by riding more of national. Luckily he agreed and we had three options, all red and going down the mountain fiercely. We opted for Lost Ranch Ruin and rolled the dice. it started of as barely a trail and didn't change much from there, it dropped a steep winding section and then around a corner into the abyss. The trail was just barely a goat trail at timed hugging the loose mountain side. I maintained control of the bike almost completely but this was probably the most gnar thing I have ever ridden. I stopped a few times to assess the trail and make sure Chris was alright. Sure enough he was right there and we hit the valley floor and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. Now safe trail ahead of us it was onto Pyramid and then a little pavement and Desert Classic. It appeared we were both feeling great and we charged the trail hard as the worst was over and it was one fun pedal fest to the finish line. It was at this point I was tremendously happy with my fitness, I had plenty in the tank after a brutal 3k ft climbing and 3 hours of heavy riding. I feel crazy for saying it, but I wish it wasn't over. That was absolutely amazing! Put an absolute beating on the Trek, wonder how much abuse it can take, but so far so good.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
I couldn't quite figure out where I wanted to go Friday but as I got on the highway my options began to shrink, after missing my exit for an eventual decision I was left with Hawes. I grabbed my Trek and off I went, spinning mad on the 32x22 but going to enjoy it on the climbs. As I zoomed down the trail I already felt how much faster the bike was over the Kona. I also noticed how much better it cornered. Slightly bummed about my 27.5+ experience but still pleased with all my bikes. I took the climby rougher route and then added in something different and made a solid good ride.
A sunny shiny day on Thursday, the pick was Gold Canyon. Armed with sunscreen and a laid back attitude I pedaled cozily into the trail system. Onto Cougar and over to the K trail I decided I wanted to get some Phantom trail action since it's been awhile. I extra cushion on the koans 2.8 tires were nice, I hit a trail named "where ya from" I scratched my head since I had no idea and sure enough on trail forks there it was. A short mini loop had me winning up the hill side for a quick heart rate attack. Then a really fun and too short rock strewn way down and back onto Phantom. I really enjoyed this as I headed back for the car fulfilled. On the way I saw a stick in the trail, turns out it was a snake and I ran it over. I stopped to examine what I hit and turned out to be a Gopher Snake which I actually felt pretty bad I ran over by accident. Had it been a rattler I might not have felt as bad......