Dec 30, 2007

National - Phoenix

I met up with a big crew of MTBR riders at the ramadas near the base of Pima Canyon for a little Eve of New Years Eve ride up SoMo's National Trail. We split around 11:00 am with temperatures nearing 60 degrees. We did a little sessioning to practice climbing the big time obstacles on the way up.

Chongoman had a quite a spill on a set of gnarly stairs on a shot down hill section. He's okay, but it was a high altitude fall.

Once We got up to the saddle, I turned around and headed down, while everybody else continued on.

Heres a vid of the ride up:

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Dec 24, 2007

Black Canyon Trail: Arizona

I have been riding in other places around the valley, but for some reason my most recent posts seem to focus on the Black Canyon Trail. The trail is all connected together now, and it starts on W Table Mesa Rd, and we did an out an back to here. We basically did about 26 or 27 miles and about 3,500vf of climbing.

GeeDubb posted up a topo of what we did here and here are some more stats

I started off the ride in t-shirt and shorts, not bad for the second day of winter.

If you head out on this trail be sure to check the how fast the Agua Fria river is flowing. It is recommed to not cross this river if it is flowing more than 100 to 300 CFs.

Here's a vid of the ride:

Nov 18, 2007

Black Canyon Trail Building - Arizona

Yesterday the equestrians, hikers and bikers all got together to continue the work on the Black Canyon Trail system north of Phoenix. We had about 20 people show up to bash on rocks and lay down some really great trail. We added about 1,300 feet of new buff trail.

Not the most exciting way to spend a day, and the cramps in my arms weren't all that pleasant. But truth be told it was a great day. The cooperation and guidance leads me to believe we are creating something very kewl.

The most interesting part was routing the trail around an archaeological site that contained pieces of broken pottery.

Here is a vid that shows the pottery, and some other hi jinx.

Nov 12, 2007

Pass Mountain & Hawes: Arizona

I met up with a couple other MTBR riders to ride Pass Mountain (Usery Mountain Park) and the Hawes Trails system. Shaker came down from Vancouver B.C. and was rolling on the his heavy all mountain bike, and CSTuttle is visiting from Moab, Utah.

We met up at the Wild Horses entrance at about 8:30. We headed out on and up Usery Pass Road for about a mile, where we entered the park to climb and circumnavigate Pass Mountain. The wash we came in on had deep sand for about half mile, but then we tied back into the main trail. The climb up took no time at all, but as we neared the top the trail composition changed from fast cinder to dirt and head sized rocks. We took a little brake to put our crash pads on, and then we bombed down the highly technical top section of the trail. This was a blast. Way fun.

The rest of the trail flowed nicely, as we casually finished up the loop. After exiting the park the way we came in, we headed back to the cars to fill up our camelbacks. Shaker called it a day at the point, and CSTuttle and I rolled into Hawes. The kewl part about where we entered was that is starts off downhill for about 3 miles. The trail here is fast and flows nicely. We made our way around to the Hawes Trail, and at the about the 22 mile mark I was feeling pretty fatigued. Knowing I had about 9 to 10 miles back to the car I wished CSTuttle the best of luck and headed back to the car. I took it really slow as I began to feel the twinges of cramps settling in on my quads.

About 100 yards before the last major wash (Power Road Bailout)out of the corner of my eye I spotted a big white mass climbing up a rock. I hit the brakes and it blew my mind to see a silvery-white horse grazing in such a inhospitable spot. I'm hearing from Chollaball that there is a group of about 10 horses that inhabit the area near the Salt River, and frequently meander into the area I was riding.

Anycow, heres a short vid of the day:

Grand Canyon - South Rim

We've been here about 18 months,and we hadn't taken the opportunity to see the Grand Canyon. So my wife, mother-in-law, and her friend from N.Y. decided to drive up there and see what this place is all about. I can truly say that I was amazed.

Our first destination on this road trip was a quick stop to Sedona, where we visited the Chapel of Holy Cross, and then we hit up a couple of shops and grabbed a quick bite to eat. It was a little over cast and hazy, but the rock formations were remarkable.

From there we continued up scenic 89 and interesected with 40 at Flagstaff.

We pulled into the Grand Canyon (Mather Point) at about 5:00 pm, anticipating that the sun would set about a half hour later. Unfortunately, we had high clouds and it was hazy from a controlled burn on the other side of the canyon. So no amazing sunset, but the view was still incredible.

We stayed at a hotel back in town (just outside the National Park), and the next morning we headed back into the park, for day of awesome views and shuttle buses.
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Oct 15, 2007

Black Canyon Trail 10/14/07: Arizona

15 of us headed north of Phoenix off of I-17 to ride the Black Canyon Trail(N33º 59.076' W112º 10.063’). This is a new trail to me, and to many. We actually did some trail building the week before on a trail that is about a mile away from connecting to the loop we road yesterday.

We split from the parking lot (Table Mesa)at 8:00 am with temperatures at about 65 degrees. The pace wasn't necessarily blistering, but we moved surprisingly fast for a group this size. The nearly 3K of climbing we did, was spread out over 20 miles.

The climbs were gradual, and although the downhills weren't wicked fast they were a blast. The views of the cliffs above the river and surrounding mesa's are very dramatic. The special thing about this area is how green it is due to the river supplying the much sought after moisture.

Sep 16, 2007

National Trail: South Mountain (Phoenix)

Here we go again on National Trail (South Mtountain Park - Phoenix). This is a pretty sneaky trail, as the technical obstacles come outta no where. This trail is pretty sanitized, but there aint no way you gonna tame the "Waterfall"

No real owies, and the carnage could've been much higher. Although the list of broken parts included a bent dérailleur and broken break lever.

Pretty fun trail!

Here's a vid (no this vid wasn't made in '05 like it says) and some pics!

Sep 1, 2007

Mormon/National Trail on SoMo (Phoenix, AZ)

Two premier AZ trails in two days, WOOT! WOOT! This morning I rolled with some of the dudes with MTBR on National Trail on South Mountain. We rode up Javelina, continued on Mormon Loop, and took National up to pass before Buena Vista. Once again, the cloud cover to the east shaded us from burning spiky ball.

Here is a 2 minute vid of the ride:

Here is a short clip of a Dust Storm (Haboob)rolling in:

Aug 31, 2007

Dixie Mine up to Bell Pass (Fountain Hills, AZ)

My neighbor and I took this morning off, and we drove across Phoenix to Fountain Hills to ride up to Bell Pass (McDowell Mountains). It was about 6:15 am when we hit the trail, and it was very colorful morning to be on the trail. The light cloud cover that provide the spectacular sunrise, also aided in keeping us cool. The elevation of the parking lot was about 2,100 vf and Bell Pass tops out at around 3,200 vf.
We began the ride on the Dixie Mine trail, which is 2.5 mile stretch of slightly techy stuff. We took the intersecting jeep road up about 1/4 mile to the Prospector Trail, and from there we headed up to the pass. It was a pretty sustained but manageable climb. This pass always has a nice breeze honking through it to kewl you off. From the pass, you overlook into Scottsdale and the rest of the valley.

Time for the rewards of our climb, and it was soooooo worth it. This downhill section is a hoot. We bombed down the path to where it ties into the Windgate trail. We opted not to head up to Windgate Pass this time, so we continued down, down, down. The course of this trail flows so well and fast. We ended up tying back into the Dixie Mine trail, but before we made our exit, we took a quick peak into the mine shaft.

We definetly didn't set any land-speed records on this ride, as it took about 3 hours to complete the 11.5 mile loop.

Here are a couple of Vid's (using helmet-cam version 1.1 rearview)

Aug 28, 2007

HeliPad - South Mountain (Phoenix)

I like to do this ride during the mid-week before work, because it has a fun downhill section and it only takes about an hour. I didn't snap any foto's but I did catch the tail end of the Lunar Eclipse this morning when I jumped on the trail at O-Dark-Thirty.
Here is a vid coming off the HeliPad; just outside of South Mountain Park. This trail is a short variation off of the Desert Classic trail. It wiggles its way down the the ridge back down to the floor of the park. I filmed this using with Helmet-Cam 1.0 (basically a $75 DV camcorder dropped into a plastic electrical outlet box zipped tied to my helmet) So buckle in and take your dramamine cuz this is a bumpy ride with no camera stabilization.

This vid was filmed a couple of days ago just below the HeliPad, near the end of Desert Classic. That's why it looks just about the same as the the first clip of this post. It's short and it doesn't having a bunch of shaky camera work, but it does have a rattlesnake at the end. ooooh!

Aug 23, 2007

Javelina Trail - South Mountain Park (Phoenix)

Getting some morning wheelies in before work on Javelina, the trail down the road from my house. Yep, the weather is still hot, but the desert is so kewl when the sun comes up. We didn't see any javelina today. Heck we didn't even see Wile E. Coyote today, but we did see Mr. and Mrs. Roadrunner at the end of the ride. Actually this was only the second time since I've been here that I've spotted a roadrunner.

Here's a vid of the ride:

And this really isn't an adventure, but here is a short clip of the skies preparing to pound us, here in Phx.

Aug 12, 2007

Hawes out to the Pit, East Mesa

Hawes out to the Pit (Mesa, AZ)

Today hurt. This was billed as Sweatiest Ride Ever part II. Since I skipped 1.0 last year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The humidity, due to monsoon season, that’s been hanging around the valley the past few weeks disappeared, and the big time hot temperatures returned. We all met up at Walgreen’s off of Power Rd, and split from the parking lot at 6:15. Our group totaled about 23 riders.

Near the beginning of the ride, we saw one angry rattlesnake coiled up and ready to strike. About half the group had dwindled down before we made it to the halfway point of the turnaround. This trail rocks, I like long climbs and long descents, well this trail wasn’t set up this way, but it did have some fun and fast downhill.

The four hour ride had mileage was around 22 miles.

Here a vid’s and pics:

Jul 14, 2007

Alta Trail - South Mountain Park (Phoenix)

This was my second go around on this trail. Here is a little TR of my first ride last December My First Go Around on Alta. After that ride, I had pretty much written Alta Trail off as a hiking trail. But after talking with several people, I learned that heading from West to East is the wrong way to go.

We all met up around 5:00 am, this Saturday at the San Juan Gate. I think our group totaled about 13 very solid riders. It was about 5:45, by the time we hit the trail.

Today's ride did the the East To West method, and the trail redeemed itself very well. The climb up wasn't too bad, and the views were very rewarding. The condition of the trail was little loose, but it flowed so much better in this direction. Exposure on this trail is way high, and mistakes are not allowed.

Here are a few Vids and Pics

Here are waves 1 and 2 off the first saddle:

Here is a clip of DirtGurl's aftermath:

Here are waves 1 and 2 off the second saddle:

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Jul 8, 2007

Flagstaff July, 2007

Schultz to Weathford to Ricochet to Secret to Super-moto and Exit Stage Left (I don't know what the real name of the trail is).

Oh yeah, today was a good day. Elevation had my lungs bleeding, but that was the only blood all day. Jayem and Ross roared up the trail, while Jrock and I took our time. The trails were an absolute hoot. At the bottom, I was joking about wanting to head back up, but Ross actually did head back up.

Here are a few clips.

Jun 13, 2007

Canyon Lake, AZ – June 2007

Canyon Lake, AZ – June 2007

Jrock and I put our kayaks in at Acacia Picnic site on Canyon Lake at around 7:30 am. It was warm, and traffic on the lake was already crazy. We ended up paddling across the lake, and made a quick stop to extend the steering pedals a little bit.

We paddled from the main pool of the lake into the narrow canyon that snakes for several miles up to Horse Mesa Dam (Apache Lake). The tall, sheer cliffs are an amazing sight. They make you feel really small, especially sitting in a kayak. Just past Mushroom Point, we made another little pit stop, so Jrock could stretch his legs out. From there we continued on the south side of the narrow lake up to the inlet before Crucifix Canyon. This was a pretty kewl short canyon with green and clean water. Two mallards were hanging out at the end.

From here, we decided, it was getting much to hot and crazy out on the lake, so we decided to head on back. But not before stopping off at Beer Can Point for little lunch and to wade in the lake to cool off. This site has covered picnic tables and fire pits, along with an outhouse.

Our return home was less than serene, as the traffic on the lake had significantly picked up. I’m really glad there was no wind, cuz the chop was bad enough already.

Jrock and I battled our way across the lake, as we dodged tons of jet ski’s and speedboats. We got back to the car around 11:30, and at that point the parking lot was screaming hot, and crowded with picnickers.

I gotta say, this is a really kewl lake, but this is the last time I head up there on hot day on the weekend.