Jul 31, 2008

The Dirtbag Diaries - Showcase the Hummel's, Sky Sjue & Ben Manfredi

You gotta check out this post over at The Dirtbag Diaries. It showcases some buddies from back home. At age 29, twin brothers Josh and Jason Hummel, are gathering some big time attention for some pretty amazing backcountry ski excursions. The trip reports and photography located at Cascade Crusades are web 2.0s resource for going big in Cascade ski mountaineering.

The story told on this video documents the relationships of the Hummel Twins, Ben Manfredi,and Sky Sjue, and how they've skied some historic lines.

Jul 21, 2008

Fat Man's Pass: South Mountain - Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain showed me a different side today, as we took an alternative route down using Fat Man's Pass, or Phat Man's Pass.

We started the ride off from DurtGurl's house at 5:45 under cloudy skies. The humidity was prolly about 60%, so it was pretty nasty. Our group consisted of DurtGurl, Chongoman, AZMike, Juan, Carmen and Lynette. And once we got to the Pima Canyon Lot, we picked up bike=good and Mykhelle.

We strolled on up Mormon Loop and then on up National to the pass before, Buena Vista. The we strapped on the armor, and blasted down. Lynette, mangled here dérailleur, just before the waterfall. I'd never seen on so twisted. Mykhelle, pulled it off and we continued on to the Hidden Valley trail, for a little free riding. Well not so much free riding for me, but Mykhelle, Chongoman, Carmen and Lynette, put on a show rolling of the big time boulders. Pretty neato day.

Update: Durtgurl posted up another write up and vid located here:

Here's a vid:

A High Res Version can be found here!

Jul 13, 2008

Hawes and Pass Mountain - Mesa, AZ

Met up with few MTBR riders at Six this morning at Walgreen's Parking Lot for tour of 26.7 mile tour of Hawes and Pass Mountain. DurtGurl lined up a nice summer time route that knocked about 6 miles off the normal ride. We skipped the circumnavigation of Pass Mountain, which normally includes the uber-fun gnar. But the counter clockwise decent was actually pretty fun. And on the return we went right by the big PHOENIX mountain; and went up and over the towers. Actually the decent was pretty freakin' gnarly, due to the storm last week which created some nasty ruts and move some big time rocks onto the trail. Couple this with the sensation of riding on ball bearings, you have some pretty thrilling decent. However, I wouldn't suggest this after riding about 20 miles.

I felt good during the whole ride. The climbs were an absolute breeze, and the weather was a lot less painful than I had anticipated. I was actually a little concerned about trying to do such an ambitious ride in the middle of summer. But the temps cooled down, and we had a persistent cloud cover up until the last hour of the ride. We really lucked out cuz the way I see it, when you ride in AZ, you are messing with death if you are on the trail after 9:30 am in the summer. And today, we didn't finish the ride until after 12:00. Phew. Here's a link to surfndav's ride stats, and here at MTBR is some more discussion about the ride.

Anycow, I shot some vid today, and I used helmet cam 2.0. Unfortunately 2.0 needs a little refinement. And we ran into the international mountain biking Celebrity, 'Hucking Kitty', on the trail today. Here's the vid:

Jul 5, 2008

4th of July on National: South Mountain - Phoenix

Maybe it isn't such a good idea to start a ride off at 7:30 am in July. We got about a quarter inch of rain the night before, so it was really steamy, and way uncomfortable. 'eatdrinkride', his buddy Ted, and I road up to the pass just before Buena Vista on National yesterday.

The heat was rather oppressive. I climbed some of the difficult sections, while stumbling on the really easy stuff on the way up. I did manage to clear the upper 'waterfall' on my first try.

On the way down, I did a good job on the spine of the waterfall, and I lined myself up well for the rock-garden at the end of the run out, but I ended up bashing my front disk brake rotor on a rock. So out came the leatherman to bend it back into shape, or at least so I could spin the wheel around. Time for a new rotor. Boooo Hisss! At that point I took it pretty cautious on the way down.

I didn't bust out the camera much today, considering it was way to hot to dink around shooting and my rotor was all messed up. I'm a big dork, cuz I snaked a few distorted pictures of Johnny Rotten from one of my favorite websites Distortrait, and dropped into my vid:

Jul 1, 2008

Get on the Bus, Gus

Not much of an adventure here, but I did get in get a quote in the neighborhood newspaper today. It can be found here, in the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

I've been taking the bus to work the for exactly two years, and just to show that I'm an uber-dork, I've kept track of the mileage I've traveled. A week or two ago, the day that I counted as my 10,000 mile on the bus I got a heads up from my bus driver that Valley Metro is planning on making some pretty drastic changes to my bus route. Boo! Hiss!
Anycow, the story came about, because I contacted the journalist to see if he had any info the bus route changes. He was interested on how much I saved by taking the bus verse driving in to work.

The way I see my monthly bus pass costs me $45, but I average over 415 miles per month on the bus. The current IRS mileage reimbursement rate is 58.5 cents/mile. So by driving my car in it would cost me about 245 bucks a month. Net difference of $200.

Plus, I'm not getting any gray hair by driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-10, and my car is keeping nice an protected in the garage all day.