Dec 21, 2008

Alta Loop: South Mountain - Phoenix, AZ

It had been several months since I've been on Alta (South Mountain),and I felt the need for some chunk. Scotty proposed and lead the ride, and the other attendees included, Dgangi, Carmen, Lynette, DurtGurl, Zort, Jeffro and Su Ling.

It was a beautiful morning, as we rolled outta Scott's place at the wee early hours of the morning (about 10:30 am). His place is the north west corner of the park, so we entered the park thru a trail he built. We then bombed down Maz Delta, which was actually in pretty good condition. From there we kicked it on Bajada for about half mile before making the long climb up Alta.

The climb up Alta is never easy, but it went fast enough. For some reason, I wasn't feeling it on the ride down. I chalk my under performance up to a couple things: 1) I wasn't seeing the trail really well; my contacts we giving me grief 2) I was not feeling super ambitious 3) The trail was uber chunky. I actually walked a few sections that I had cleaned before on prior rides. Alta can be an unforgiving trail where even minor slip could cost you a major penalty. This saying has been coming up a lot lately, but "Choose Life" really fit the bill on this ride. The exposure is way big.

Anycow, everybody else was on, and I gotta ride a new section trail as we exited stage left at the end of San Juan Road.

Scott's wife, Bisera treated us all to an amazing apres ride feast.

Here's a vid of the day:

And Here's a Google Earth Tour of the Loop:

Quicktime Hi Res Versions of the Vids can be found here: Alta Loop & Google EarthTour: Alta Loop

Dec 20, 2008

Sun sets behind the Sierra Estrella 12/19/08

Here's a 38 second time lapse vid, as the sun sets behind the Sierra Estrella.

Here's Google Earth Tour of the Seirra Estrella:

Dec 15, 2008

Double Bypass: McDowell Mountain Preserve 12/14/08

Yesterday a rather large crew of MTBR riders (about 25) meet up in North Scottsdale for a chilly, but epic ride around the McDowell's. WaltAZ suggested the route should consist of riding up and over Sunrise and then returning over Windgate or Bell Pass; hence the name "Double Bypass". This is a shake down ride, in preparation of the third annual Quadruple Bypass (Windgate, Bell, Sunrise, and Windgate again) slated for January 2009.

We met up here at 8:00, on the coldest morning we had for long, long time. Actually it wasn't that bad, prolly about 50 degrees. It was supposed to be cooler and a chance of rain. No rain materialized, but the temps did drop a bunch as the ride progressed. In just shorts and a long sleep biking kit, I felt pretty comfortable through out the ride. It was pretty interesting seeing the Arizonans all dressed up in there cold weather clothing.

After a long climb up to Sunrise, Tecate and Foster's oil cans were abundant, but I opted for the Sparks (a malt liquor/caffeine enhanced energy drink). Mixing my stimulates and depressants sent me sideways instead up or down. Proper nutrition is crucial on a long and demanding ride like this. A few riders turned around at this point and went back the what we just climbed up, leaving us with 20 riders continuing on. The flight down the backside of Sunrise was hoot - fast, swoopy, curvy and long.

At this point, a few more riders bailed, the rest of the crew headed off like a herd of turtles up the jeep road on the backside of the McDowell's (Fountain Hills). This part of the ride is deceivingly hard, because you do end up climbing about 1,000 vf without much reward. And this jeep road actually gave us a couple crashes, the left one rider with a bashed up leg and hand. The other dood wasn't so fortunate; at the time he thought he just sprained his wrist, so he continued on. Apparently, he actually had a broken hand. Which is pretty amazing, cuz he suffered up another grueling climb and a pretty demanding downhill run.

After licking our wounds, we made the long slog back up to the next pass. Fellow MTBR rider, DurtGurl, had a nasty spill a few weeks ago that left her with a broken scapula, so her combination of not riding the past few weeks, fighting off a nasty cold, and pedaling on flats left her looking for a slightly shorter option of going up and over Bell Pass instead of Windgate. The rest of the continued on to Windgate, so not wanting Durtgurl to feel alone, I road up and over Bell with her. This trail is so freaking fun. It's steep, with nicely designed switchbacks that allow you keep your mojo going. This decent goes on for few miles.

We rallied up with the rest of the group at the bottom of the Gateway Trail, and completed the loop with a few miles of XC single track on Paradise trail.

Hopefully metrics on the ride will be made available, but we road the 20-some miles in about five and half hours.

Good Times.

The run up to this ride can be found here: MTBR Double Bypass Post

And the post ride comments can be found here: MTBR Double Bypass Post Ride Report

Info on the January 2009 Quadruple Bypass

Here's a vid of the day: McDowell Mountain Preserve Double Bypass

A high res (Quicktime)Version can be found here: McDowell Mountain Preserve Double Bypass

Dec 7, 2008

Six Shooter Canyon (Pinal Mt): Globe, AZ in December

This post is mostly for me as a reminder of what it takes to pedal up to the top of Pinal Mt and down Six Shooter Canyon.

I left Phoenix at 5:00 this morning. I got into the parking lot in Globe at 6:30, and was pedaling by 6:45.

It was a little cool, prolly between 35 and 40, but I warmed up quickly as the sun came up around 7:30.

I did the 14 mile (4,000 vf) climb in 2 hours and 45 minutes. With one stop to adjust my seat and another stop to eat a candy bar. It was no land speed record, but it was my best time yet.

The mud puddles up high had ice, and there was a small trace of snow.

The Six Shooter was in great condition, except for a the leaves kinda obscured the trail. There were four pretty good sized trees the recently feel across the trail.

I got back to my car at 11:00, so the total trip time was 4:15.

Past Trip Reports and videos can be found here"

Six Shooter Canyon: Pinal Mt.

Nov 23, 2008

House of Ruin: South Mountain

I got my bike back, but all is not well. Life is good again, but today's ride I could've done with out showing up to the trail with a flat tire and dropping a paper thin Performance Bike's special tube I knew was going to bring me trouble. That and my derailleur needs to be replaced. On top of all that, I need some new tires. Enough about things that should be done; my Lefty (fork) is feeling good again. Woot Woot!

I met up with MTBR's Kortface and BritMtnBiker at Warpaint at 8:00 for pedal up to the helipad, out to the end up Desert Classic, and then on to new trail to myself to homestead of where just the fireplaces and foundation remain.

Although I've been getting my commuting miles in, it had been four weeks since my last ride on the trails. I really was looking forward to mountain biking again, but legs need a little getting used to differing levels of exertion.

I've been up to the helipad a bazillion times, but I've only ridden the approach most people take a handful of times. I usually ride up the Goat Trail, but today we road up the Helipad trail, and down the Goat Trail. These stretchs aren't ferociously long, but you do end up gaining about 400 vf. The ride down the Goat Trail was a hoot. I thought it was gonna be sloppy, but actually the drops really let you flow down this thing.

Next our destination was to get to the end of Desert Classic and leave the park at the Desert Foothills Lot. We took right and on Desert Foothills Parkway and continued on for about 3/4 of a mile. Kortface lead us into a wash that connected us with a trail that took us out the the ruins of a home from long ago. Actually this trail prolly doesn't get much traffic, but it kinda reminds me Trail 100. Actually it was pretty fun.

My derailleur had been clicking the whole ride, so just before we left the house I decide to see if I could remedy this. This is when I noticed my tire was flat. Boo Hiss! This is the first punctured tire on the trail in about 2 years. Thin tubes suck, are are worthless in the desert. I threw a patch on and we rolled on back home.

Here's a vid of the Day:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: House of Ruin 11/23/08

Nov 15, 2008

Boyce Thompson Arboretum 11/11/08 - Superior, AZ

Not much to post lately, with my mountain bike still waiting on parts and other stuff happening. But I did take my mother-in-law and her friend out to the Boyce Thomposn Arboretum on Veteran's Day, for a little stroll around the grounds. Things are alive, but obviously not blooming.

Here's a vid of the day:

A high res quicktime version can be found here: Boyce Thompson Arboretum 11/11/08

Oct 18, 2008

Black Canyon Trail - North of Phoenix, AZ

What a beat down today. A huge group of us from MTBR did an epic ride out on the Black Canyon Trail. I knew the forecast was gonna be hot today, but I figured we'd have a few more hours than we got of coolness.
We were off like a herd of turtles from the Black Canyon City Trailhead parking lot at about 8:30, and it wasn't summertime hot, but it was plenty warm. And before long it got pretty uncomfortable. In the past, when I've ridden this trail, we started at Table Mesa Road Trailhead, and it was a nice change. The flow was so much better. Starts off with a nice decent, and then we get the hardest climb outta the way.

I don't know what it is, but this thing can be pretty harsh on tires. We had several flats today. Luckily, none for me. No real other mechanicals to speak of.

As the day wore on, the heat killed us and our pace was incredible slow. Lotsa people were hurting. I tried to keep a good mood despite my patience being tested, other than that I felt pretty good.

Here's a post ride discussion over on

Here's a vid of the day:

A high res Quicktime version of the vid can be found here: Black Canyon Trail 10/18/08

Oct 13, 2008

Canyon Lake - Kayaking

Because of Columbus Day, I didn't have to got to work today, and I've been feeling the itch to get some kayak time in. I hadn't been in my boat since April, when I paddled the Blue Ridge Resevoir.

So I got up early, actually earlier than I planned (I had posted up on The Phoenix Kayaking Meetup Group, that I'd be at the marina at Canyon Lake, at 8:00. Since it was looking like a solo trip, I was on the water at 7:00, and the conditions were perfect. Nice and cool and calm.

I took my time heading up the lake to Horse Mesa Dam, and I pretty much had the lake to myself. One jet ski and one pontoon boat, was all I saw until 12:00. After that I saw about half dozen other boats (not including the few boats playing on the main part of the lake).

Not much wildlife to be found today; not one stinking eagle. Boo Hiss!

I am a practicing Catholic, and the few times I've been on Canyon Lake I never fully understood why they call one of the inlets Crucifix Canyon. I just kinda noticed a combination horizontal hole with black vertical water stain forming a cross, and figured that's what they were talking about. And on today's paddle that's all I saw, until I reviewed the video clips, that's when I noticed as a resemblance of the countenance of Jesus suffering during his passion. I could see this image just to the left of what appeared to be a the cross. I believe the image of God is all around, but lately I've been so self absorbed to even look for it. Some times things like this are dumbed down for me. Perhaps from this picture you might see what I'm talking about:

Of course if you look at these rock faces long enough you might see your long lost dog too.

Here's a vid of the day (with a few shot's for my own vanity):

A high res Quicktime Version can be found here: Canyon Lake Kayaking-

Sep 27, 2008

Technical Unicycle Riding: South Mountain - Phoenix, AZ

A few us headed us Mormon Loop/National for little ride, and we ran into two doods at the waterfall doing a little sessioning on their unicycles. Chris and Marc were throwing it down on some really, really technical terrain. I was impressed they were hitting stuff that is hard an a mountain bike, but then Chris scrambled over to some boulders that were off the hook. It made for some pretty impressive shots.

Durtgurl has a second vid on her blog: Durtgurl's Blog

Here's a vid of the day:

Here's a link to the hi-res Quicktime version: Unicycling at South Mountain

Sep 16, 2008

Rattlesnake on South Mountain - Phoenix, AZ

On my way up the Fire Road, about halfway up between Pima Canyon parking lot and the trailhead for National, I spotted good sized rattler just kicking it on the side of the road.

Its not like I see a snake around every bend of the trail, but I've seen quite a few this summer. I'm thinking this due to the abundance of rain this year, providing lots of tasty morsels for vipes to eat.

Update: Bigrigmig made a comment that the snake appears to be a Black-tailed Rattlesnake. It sounds like a good call to me. Now I know. Thanks Bigrigmig!

Here's a short clip of the Rattlesnake:

Sep 13, 2008

Phoenix Mountain Preserve - Phoenix, AZ

I meet up with a dozen or so other buddies at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve to ride Trail 100 and other variations. I don't ride up there much, but it is an excellent trail system. Its the sort of system, that is really helpful to be riding with people who know the all the little loops and offshoots that can be done. We started outta Dreamy Draw, and stuck to the west side of the 51 (Piestewa Freeway - formally known as Squaw Peak Parkway).

Everybody recognized that temperatures are slowly becoming more tolerable. And the summer storms may have changed the look of the trail to frequent users, but from my perspective the trail look pretty intact. Of course my opinion is meaningless, as much of the trail we road today was my first time on 'em. The progression of these trails flows really well, as the climbs aren't terribly demanding, and the downhills are fun and swoopy. This a pretty kewl system of trails, considering they are surrounded by major arterials and houses.

Fun day!
Here's a vid:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Phoenix Mountain Preserve Ride

Sep 6, 2008

Pikes Place Market - Seattle, WA - 09/01/08

We had a few hours to kill before heading to the Sea-Tac airport for our flight back to Phoenix, so my beloved wife and I took a spin into downtown Seattle to dink around the Pikes Place Market.

What an amazing place. I've never been there when there wasn't buzz going on. It is a cacophony of hustle and bustle, interesting people, amazing colors and smells.

Since it was Labor Day, several of my go to shops like Delarenta and the world famous Pikes Place Fish Market were closed. World Spice was open, but I never put together a list of spices I was running low on.

We did have a couple of tasty crepes at Crepe de France.

Anycow, here's a short vid of some of the sites and sounds of the market.

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Pikes Place Market

Sep 5, 2008

Harbor Days - 2008 Tugboat Races - Olympia, WA

My beloved wife and I headed back home to Olympia, WA for the Labor Day Weekend for a short visit to celebrate my dad's 75th birthday, to catch up with some friends and family, and to see some tugboats.

Olympia hosts the annual Harbor Days festival down on Percival Landing, which includes tugboat races on Budd Inlet. Good times. Big Brother Scott is an operator on a number of tugs, but today he was driving the Cedar King. The Cedar King which is still a working tug, routinely shuttle rafts of logs from out in the front of my Dad's condo, which overlooks the bay, over the the ships at the port of Olympia.

It was great to see everybody again. Loads of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and friends. And for 75, my old man is really enjoying life.

Happy Birthday Dad. We love you.

Here's a vid of the Tugboat Races:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Harbor Days 2008 Tugboat Races

Here's a vid my dad's Birthday Party:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Dad's Birthday Party

Aug 24, 2008

Not the Phat Tire Fest: White Mountains, AZ

Before I came to Arizona two years ago, there was an annual event in the White Mountains, called The Fat Tire Festival. Whelp, this year a collection of riders from Phoenix, Colorado, and Eagar, AZ, got together for few rides. This event was dubbed the "Not The Fat Tire Festival", and we got some schweet riding in, some good food in, some good conversation in, and some great views in.

The dealio started off officially with on Friday (8/22/08) with a night ride of Murray Basin. I got a late start, and I actually passed the group blazing back into town with their headlamps on as I was rolling into town about 10:30.

I found my camp spot at the South Fork Campground, which was about 15 minutes from town. It actually worked out really good, cuz it the first ride we did spits you out right into the campground.

I woke up around 7:00 on Saturday morning (08/23/08), and I was actually chilly. Not freezing or anything miserable, but it's been a while since I been in temperatures around 60 degrees. I pedal outta the campground about 8:20, and met up with Paul B. and everybody for the shuttle at the intersection of 260 and 261. From there, we headed up 261 to Mexican Hay Lake Trail head about 8 miles up the road. At around 9,000 vf, we had a tremendous view of the valley below. I was really amazed at the high plains the part of Apache country has. We headed out headed out across the highway to trail for some very kewl riding. Although we shuttled up the trail, we actually still need to pick up a few hundred more feet of elevation before our descent down to South Fork trail. The trail was a blast, especially the last two miles into the campground. As the trail hugs the Little Colorado River (although its more of creek.

After chilling at Rhys house in Eagar, we gathered the steeds again and headed back up 261. We could see the gray storm clouds quickly gather, and once we got up to the high plateau, we new our original plan was in jeopardy as the storm was sitting right on top of Indian Springs. So we opted outta the Indian Springs plan, and decided to head back down to the valley and ride the Murray Basin trail. Which is an eight mile cross country route. I gotta say I didn't think it was gonna be all that exciting, but it turned into really, really enjoyable ride.

We knocked off the trail about 6:30, and headed back into town. We kicked it at Rhys house for a little bit, before rolling on up to Billy's amazing new custom home. Dood, this place was really, really kewl. It sat on top of small hill, where it had 360 degrees of amazing views; encompassing all the other much bigger mountains around. Bringing our own protein we took turns cooking on the grill. I rolled back to my campsite, and quickly conked out.

After a great night of rest, I split outta the campground and meet up with Paul B. and Dave. Out plan was to head up to Los Burros trailhead a little before the group to do a little scouting on another section of 4 Springs (aka: 5 gates) that was recently re-routed.

We knocked outta couple of miles, and then returned back to meet up with the group. The route of Los Burros we rode was about 15 or 16 miles. This trail was a freaking hoot. It had a little bit of climbing, but for some reason I got the feeling even though it was loop, that we had a bigger payoff on the downhill than we paid for.

My first trip to the White Mountains was awesome, but I did have one bummer. After everybody except Dale and Sonia had left the traihead, I notice I had a flat tire. And to really things worse, it was on just outside of the tread, so it was deemed unrepairable. Boo Hiss! Thanks To Dale for Sonia, for assisting me with the tire, and guiding me back into the Walmart in Pine Top. Say what you will about Walmart, I really dig that you can get something like a tire change on a Sunday there.

I can't wait until next years full on Fat Tire Festival.

Here are a few vids:

Ride 1)South Fork Shuttle

High Res Version can be found here: High Res South Fork

Ride 2)Murray Basin Loop

High Res Version can be found here: High Burros Murray Basin

Ride 3)Los Burros Loop

High Res Version can be found here: High Res Los Burros Loop

Aug 2, 2008

Geronimo: South Mountain 08/02/08

Our group totaled sumpin like 14 today, as we split from Bob's house, for his Birthday ride. The 5:45 start had us heading up Javelina, then Mormon Loop and then National. Once we got to the waterfall, we came to the conclusion that Geronimo would be a great way to get off the mountain today.

It was a tad bit warm, but that wasn't bother me much. But was zapped me was that I donated blood a couple of days ago, and I didn't feel like I was at 100%.

Man, we had some most excellent riders with us today, and it was an utter hoot. I busted out my faux snake today, and laid it out for some unsuspecting victims. D'oh!

To top of this ride, Bob's wife, Michelle, had the most amazing spread. Mmmmmm, De-lish!

Here's a ride for the day:

Here's a High Res Quicktime version.

Kathleen has another awesome vid located here

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.

Jun 28, 2008

Baking on National

A crew that consisted of CactusJoe, Bike=Good, Chongoman, Durtgurl, Daugela, Yuri and I did a ride up Javelina, Mormon Loop and National this morning. I had a really great climbing day the other day, but for some reason, that confidence was spoiled by a skipping my in my favorite gears, poor nutrition the day before (including one too many beers), fatigue from this weeks workouts, and the heat. Don't get me wrong this was an excellent ride, but I wasn't totally on.

I've been having a tough time on the spine of the waterfall, and after about half dozen trips down it, I finally figured out that with my lefty, I need to hit it with much less speed and more control.

I left my camera on the day before, so I had no battery left. However, DurtGurl caught a bunch of really neat shots.

Here's her Vid:

Jun 14, 2008

Pedaling up Pinal Mt and down Six Shooter, Globe AZ

The heat is here, but that didn't discourage chollaball, Alex, skinnytire and myself from meeting up in Globe, AZ for a little pedal up Pinal Mt, and then down the sweet, sweet trail of Six Shooter. We split from the parking lot at about 8:20, under blue skies. We knew it was gonna be warm, but we also knew there would be nice long periods of shade and cooling from being about 4k vf higher than our starting point.

I did this pedaled this about month and half ago with Paul B., and we did the climb in 3.5 hours, but today with a couple stops along the way we managed to do the climb in 3 hours. Actually chollaball and Alex knocked it out in under 2.5 hours.

Skinnytire gets the guts award today for bringing the 40 lbs of Kona up the hill.

The trails were fast, but after the long climb up, I wasn't seeing the trail all that well. I struggled to track good lines down the trail. Today, we did some sessioning on some of the features on the trail. First tries didn't always meet up with success, but we also didn't get banged up either. I did take a stupid little spill, and cracked my knee cap on sharp rock. No blood, but it did kinda smart. I neglected to bring the bash pads up today. Last time I leave those in the car on this ride.

I got a 100 oz camelbak and sucked nearly the whole thing down on the roll up the hill, so I was outta water for basically the whole ride down. The bummer part about this was that it was getting hotter, and hotter again as we lost elevation. That and I had downed nearly my whole gatorade on the break at the top.

We found a new exit today, down by the windmill, thanks to some other doods that we came across that shuttle to the top of the hill. As hot as it was, I wasn't looking forward to the no momentum riding on the exit that I usually take, especially considering that it was prolly about 95 degrees outta water, and we'd been on the trail for about 5 hours.

Here's a vid of the day:

And for the patient, here's a high res - Six Shooter Ride Quicktime Version (it'll take about 3 or 4 minutes to load up)

Jun 8, 2008

Riding Prescott, AZ

Got some riding up in Prescott today with a stack of 15 other MTBR riders today. We meet up at a the outa business Chinese restaurant behind Costco at 8:00 and then shuttle our bikes to the other side of town near Granite Basin. Not your ordinary shuttle though, because I think we actually started lower than our ending point. As Dave, Ionmuse, put it; "today is the anti-shuttle".

The temps were nice, and being back into trees again was neato. We kicked off from the parking lot at about 9:00, and from the beginning, the trail numbers became a blur. We basically did a a semi-circle around Prescott. The trails were pretty tame, except we managed to do a lot of climbing.

A few minor hangs up happend, but the we did have a pretty serious crash around mile number 21, where Kennith from Prescott had a high speed crash on a rutted out jeep road. He hid really hard, and bashed up his face and shoulder pretty bad.

At this point, we got back down the Highway, and made some phone calls to see if he could picked up and taken back into town. And this kinda killed the mojo for me and bunch of other riders, so some Helimech, a Prescott local, called in for support, and had is wife pick us for the trip back to our cars. A few hardy soles did manage to complete the full meal deal, but I ended up with about 23 miles and 4,400 vf of climbing.

Anyhow, here's vid of the day and a link for other pics:

And for the patient, here's a high res - Prescott, AZ Ride Quicktime Version (it'll take about 4 or 5 minutes to load up)

May 31, 2008

Alta: South Mountain - Phoenix Mountain Biking

A group of MTBR riders meet up at 7:00 for a little ride up and down and up and down Alta this morning. As I've written before (here and here) this is a pretty sketchy trail . We started our ride at the San Juan - Telegraph Pass Rd Gate, which was fine, but I was oblivious to the fact that the gate was open. Meaning we could've started the ride at the end of San Juan Rd. This is nice, cuz you finish the ride with a downhill.

We've put off the heat so far this year, but I think all this coolness came to an end today. It is time to acclimated to riding in the heat.

The ride up was super fast, and it was nice to be on top. Except there was no breeze, and no shade.

The ride across the ridge over to the other pass pretty uber fun.

The ride off the second pass got turned a little sour about 2 minutes into the ride down, as NoelG took nasty fall on a switchback. His hand was really messed up. He kept calm, knowing his hand might be broken. And here's a look at his xrays. We still had a lot of riding down, so this wasn't a good place to have a hand out of commission. I didn't get to see him off, cuz I had my first flat tire in about year to tend to. Some how, I tore a whole at the base of the valve stem.

This wasn't the only flat, as DurtGurl, who was running tubeless went totally flat too. Forcing her to drop a tube in. The only problem was that her replacement tube freakin' a nasty whole in it. And I had used my spare. Her patch didn't take, so Dgangi road back up the trail and hooked her up with a spare.

From here, we made our was back down to the end of San Juan road. We then road National back to the other side of the hill. From here half the group jumped on the Bajada Trail, and the others (myself included) took the road back to the car.

Heal up Noel!

With all the carnage and flat tires, I missed some really choose vid shots, but here is vid of the day:

And for the patient, here's a high res - Alta Trail Ride Quicktime Version (it'll take about 4 or 5 minutes to load up)

May 25, 2008

Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Superior, Arizona

My wife, two doggies and I split from the house at about 10:00 for the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, located about 3 miles before the town of Superior, AZ. The drive from our house, in Phoenix, took about an hour. This was a later start than you can usually get away with in Arizona this close to the end of May, but today was an exception. The skies were clear, but the temp was a somewhere in the low 80s.

I've been wanting to check this place out after my prior few trips up to Globe, AZ for some mountain biking. That, and I knew my wife would really dig the place.

I was really surprised on how big maintained grounds are. Not big time mileage, but I'd say the loop we walked around, including the High Trail, was around 1.5 miles. Filled with manicured beds that transitioned to natural landscape. We kinda lucked out, because being it was late in the year, the blossoms were still out.

Anycow, Here are a few special pics my wife took and a vid I put together.