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.