Feb 27, 2011

Feb 22, 2011

K Trail - Apache Junction, AZ

So freeskier46, mentioned that he was gonna head on over and ride K Trail in Apache Junction, so I decided to tag along. A few utter riders, RNC, Eda, Dave and Matt also showed up for a little tour of the trails.

During my 50 minute drive from Ahwatukee over to A.J. I heard the radio dood say that it was 39 degrees out. Luckily, it didn’t seem that cold, cuz I just had a long sleeve shirt and shorts on. I think by the time I got there at 8:30 it seemed have warmed up a bit. The clouds looked pretty cool, and I’m kicking myself for not getting a time lapse camera set up. Drat!

The plan was head out of the north end of the parking lot onto Lost Goldmine Trail, climb the little hill, then do a short descent and then at the left hand hair pin turn where the trail heads due north, we hoped over a few boarder rocks then jumped on a flat but worn trail that headed due south (no, I’m not gonna shorten this terrible run-on sentence). About 5 minutes of this trail, we tied into the jeep road that headed basically due east. From here, we pedaled for about 20 minutes as the jeep road head east, but also a little bit north towards the Superstoopid Mountains. And from here, we jumped back onto K-Trail, which some schweet-schweet single track. It basically takes you throw a bunch of twisty turns and washes. It generally heads south for a while and then curves to the west. It made so many twists and turns that I wasn’t exactly sure where we were going to end up, until we got there. The trail also crossed over the road several times, it is a tough to figure, but once we got done with ¾’s of the loop it started to make sense. Its not like I really don’t get lost or anything, cuz the natural landmarks are pretty easy to keep track of.

It had rained the day before our ride, and in the dirt spots, it was a tad bit mucky. It was kinda weird seeing dirt and mud in the desert. Despite the momentum killing mud, the trail was pretty easy to ride. I think our 10 mile loop only had about 1,000 feet of climbing, and easy climbing it was. We only climbed two or three small hills. We didn’t include Quartz Ridge, but there is actually a hill to climb there, I guess.

Despite the hammerfest XC feel of this trail, there are a few really, really choice gnar moments on it. Nice bolder rolls and big 5 foot drop (which opted for the non drop b-line on). I’d say this trail wasn’t made for big bikes, but fun could still be had there, but if you are a single speeder, you’d pretty much dig this trail.
The views really amazing. It is tough to beat having the majestic cliffs of the Superstoopid Mountains in the background. I don’t think I’ve ridden in a place with a higher concentration of saguaro cactus.

I think the six of us were out for about 4 hours, and who spend that much time riding a measly 10 miles??? Well, when you are having as much fun as we were session on stuff, the you’d understand.
My only problem was that I messed up my Jump Stop chainguide when I bobbled on some techiness, and I wasn’t able to get it set properly. So for half the ride my chain would fall off. Drat!

Here is a MTBR link for further discussion about this trail.

Here is a vid of the day:

And here is an interactive Google Earth map of the area:

Feb 20, 2011

Pinal Mt. Ski

With the storm that passed through AZ yestaday, I need to see some snow, but I didn't want to battle crowds or the roads around Flagstaff. So I loaded up to XC skis to see if I could get a little repeat of last years most excellent short ski adventure on Pinal Mt.

I split from my house at 5:30 and was heading up the the FR 651 two hours later. Although I could see patches of snow up high I certainly couldn't see much. This kind of concerned me. The top of the hill was also socked in with clouds.

Last year, do to the low snow level, I parked really low. Not the case this time around, as continued up and up. I saw few patches of snow near the Sulphide Del Rey picnic area, but then as I head up the portion of FR651 that runs West to East (south facing exposure) for a few miles it was absolutely bare. I didn't count on snow being here, but I couldn't see any snow up higher, so the trip was looking like a complete bust. I continued on anyways, but about 1/2 mile below the Kellner Canyon TH, I the snow line just appeared, and once I got up the the TH there was several inches of coverage. Suhweet. Not only did I find snow, but it was nearing the top of the ridge, so no steep hills to negotiate with my XC skis.

The road was covered, and in primo condition for XC skiing. I was the first person up there, so no 4x4 tracks. It is actually pretty hard to ski with XC skis on a road that has been tracked by cars, cuz you need to use the whole road to kill speed and make turns. Double suhweet.

It was cold up on top, the winds were honking, and I was in the clouds the whole time, but it was all good.

My basic round was only to head up the road to Pinal Peak, which I did, but I ended up doing the Ferndell Loop up on top.

I'll need to calculate the full mileage, but I can just say now that it wasn't much. Prolly on only 5 or 6 miles, but it was nice to be in a snow setting again.

Here is a dorky vid, and please excuse my overload of ego shots, cuz there really wasn't much interesting to take pictures of

Feb 11, 2011

Bug Spring & La Milagrosa (Tuscon, AZ)

Hide your women and children as on of those evil Bandolero's escaped from New Mexico to ride some AZ gnar.

At 8:30, I met up with RCC Le Buzz (the base of the Coronado Forest/Catalina Mountains), and from there his wife shuttled us up to the top of Bug Spring Trail. But first, we left my car at the bottom of La Milagrosa trail (Off of Snyder Rd - Corner of De Suzenu/Horsehead Rd.)

Hmmm, things didn't start off so well, cuz I accidentally had RCC's wife drop us off at the wrong lot, 1/4 mile below the actually trailhead, and then within two pedal strokes of pedaling up the trail, I snapped my chain. Double Drat!

RCC dropped a quicklink on my chain, and while we were dealing with this little mechanical, Sundog of Tuscon rolled up with some utter Tucson doods and to escort some utter riders from IMBA down Bug Spring. RCC and I tagged along with this group for, but split from them at the bottom of Bug's.

La Milagrosa did not disappoint Gnar was slayed, and 6.5 hours later we peeled ourselves off the trail. Should it really take that long to do 14.5 mile shuttle ride? Well yeah, when it has some sessioning, and 2,000 feet of climbing (total down was about 5,200 vf).

Here is a little video of the day:

And here is an interactive Google Earth Tour of our route: