Dec 26, 2010

The Bear ( El Oso Rd.)

I was in need of little fitness ride, and I wanted to do a little exploring in the Mazatzal Mountains. I was also inspired by a ride Maadjurguer did last spring. My goal one day, is to pedal from the traverse the Mazatzal's from the Beeline Highway to Roosevelt Lake (Bee to the Bear and Back).

I believe there are a few trails open to bicycles in the area (outside the wilderness), but I'm not sure what the condition these trails are in. Here's a link to the trails that are open to mountain bikes in the Tonto Basin. If I get some beta that these trails are in rideable condition (not overgrown), then maybe I'll check 'em out.

The Bottom of El Oso Rd - Highway 188:
Roosevelt Lake in the background:

Anycow, I started my pedal up El Oso Rd. here, at 8:30, and ended up at the Lone Pine Trailhead around 12:00. It really shouldn't take this long to get up to this turnaround point, but I took my time once I got up on top of the ridge. I was also pedaling my heavy bike today, which was also unnecessary, but its all I had available. Plus I had the idea that there was gonna be some chunk on this road. BTW, the armor I packed up to the top did serve a purpose; it kept me warm on the rip back down the hill.

I'd say temps were in the upper 40's to low 50's when I started my ride at the 2,200 foot level. I was pedaling in shorts and just a long sleeve shirt, but I certainly wasn't cold on the pedal up. Once I got up on top of the ridge, about 3,500 vf higher in elevation, the temps were probably about the same as when I started(Lone Pine T.H. sits at nearly 5,700 vf).

Sitting on top of the ridge:

obelisk top of the ridge (near the radio tower):

El Oso Rd. (the bear), had absolutely no gnar on it. It was probably smoother than half the roads in Mesa. It did have an occasional water rut/bar. The biggest obstacle of this road, was the steep, steep grade. Even this wasn't as bad, as I had expected. Every single inch of this route, I could pedal. I had been looking at this road on Google Earth and did a few searches, and I thought it was gonna be chunky and to steep to pedal in some sections. Boy, was I wrong.

Once I got up on top of the ridge I turned onto onto Pigeon Spring Rd and decided to check out the Pigeon Spring and Loan Pine Trail-heads. This 2 or 3 mile traverse across the ridge had a few sections of ups and downs, so there is some elevation change. Pretty nice views though.

The rip back down El Oso was a hoot. It took me 45 minutes to get to the bottom from Lone Pine T.H., but most of that time was spent traveling across the ridge back to El Oso road, and fixing a flat tire. This was the first flat I've had in prolly 2 years; time for some new tires. From the top of the ridge to the bottom (about 8 miles) in reality only took about 25 minutes.

The big rotors on my 'barcalounger' were kinda nice to have, as I flew down the mountain. Even though the gravel road was in excellent condition, it wasn't totally brainless riding. It was fast, and slipping on the crushed granite/cinder was keeping me tame. At the curves of the road, the inside edge had a really nice berm to roll through.

Not the most inspiring ride, but the speed rawked, the views were of the lake and surrounding peaks ruled, and it was all new to me. I'm looking forward to rolling this again.

Here is a short and dorky little vid:

Here's an interactive Google Earth Tour:

Dec 19, 2010

Warpain Foothills

So this morning I got up and wanted to get some trail time in, but I'm fighting off a little bit of a cold, so I wanted to keep it pretty easy and brief.

My plan was to play on the small foothills at the Warpaint entrance to South Mountain (these hills are found immediately at the entrance of Warpaint - a bit to the south).

I've climbed the foothills few times before, but generally ignore them because I'm usually out to pedal more XC oriented riding (Desert Classic). Sometimes though, I will pull out the heavy big travel bike for some rolling on DC and the Helipad, and will include the little loop that rips around on these hills.

The terrain up on these foothills have some established yet not recognized hiker trails, and the trail composition is loose-gravelly gnar on a steep fall line. Although it is a hike-a-bike to get up on top, I did find one primo line off the top that is actually pretty freaking schweet. If you click on the Google Earth Tour below, it is the loop in yellow, and the really fun line is the north section of trail (in yellow). The yellow line loop is exactly 1 mile, and as I was saying it is normally overlooked because of the nasty HAB.

I did a little exploring, but instead of doing the normally little hiker loop, I wanted to drop off the west end of foothill and and tie back into Desert Classic/Warpaint. There is a little bit of a rogue trail that doesn't get much use that I was able to connect to Desert Classic/Warpaintw with.

I'd like to know is how hard would it be to get Park Service at South Mountain to allow this section of trail to be established?

I suppose if these trail sections are on private property, then that would stop this discussion in its tracks right now. But it would be kinda kewl to have an established connector to the west between the foothill and Desert Classic/Warpaint.


Below is an interactive Google Earth Tour (you need to have Google Earth installed and the trail photos may take some time to load up), and after the tour plays you should be able to navigate around the area and click on the pics.

Here a couple pics of my small adventure:

Dec 12, 2010

Goat Camp

Did a little roll on out to Goat Camp with the boys.

The sun was out.

I broke a sweat.

OTB's happened.

No flats occurred.

Goat Camp (West of Phoenix) did not disappoint in white knuckle riding.

...and here are the results:

Dec 10, 2010

Javelina Trail - 12/9/10

A dood I went to high school with, who is living in CO, came into town, and we managed to get a short roll in on Javelina.

Here's a short vid:

Dec 4, 2010

Snowbowl PreSeason

I sauntered up to Snowbowl for a couple of preseason laps on the groomers.

My plan was to skin up from the bottom of Sunrise Chair which sits at 9,200 vf to the top of Agassiz Chair which tops out at 11,500. Heading up the groomers was easy except a couple the steeper slopes hadn't been groomed on my first trip up.

I ended up doing 2 laps, for a total of 4,600 vf. Turning around for the second lap was a test of will power. Ya see the snow was pretty horrid, it was nice that the cats had mashed down the snow on most of the runs, but it was far from groomed. Not that this what I was looking for, but early season conditions anywhere in the Kachina Peaks were gonna be pretty awful. Fresh snow on no base aint fun skiing.

Anycow, I had driving had I drive a ways to get to this snow, so I was gonna get some fitness in even if the turns kinda sucked. Not that I really do tele turns anyways, but today was strictly p-turning survival skiing.

Here is a little vid of the day:

And here is an interactive Google Earth Tour of the route (just click the play button and let it run out):