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Up the Rocky Way, and Down the 396 June 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Four of us made the ride today.  Me, Kent, and two newcomers (not to mtb, but to our ride group), John and Toby.  They had never met each other, but showed up on nearly matching Surly single speeds.

We rode up the Feldmeier Trail, and across the Telephone Line Trail and then down the 396.  It was a tough and rocky climb.  Today was the first time I had ever done Feldmeier going the uphill way…..rocky is always tougher going up.

It was a beautiful evening for a ride, and we saw 7 other bikers out on the trail which was nice. We stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes.  One of them was Steve that rode with us on Friday morning last week, and another was Debbie, who is a long time Prescott mountain biker.


  • distance 8.42 miles
  • riding time 1 hr. 4 min.
  • avg. speed 7.9 mph

Single Track Web Site June 21, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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I happened upon a neat web site that is dedicated to single track mountain biking.  It is called Single-Serving.com and is one man’s ode to single track riding.  He is from so-Cal, but I noticed that he mentions Prescott’s own Granite Basin on his site.

Check it out, he has some good tid-bits.

Half Day Hike June 21, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking.
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Josh and I left early this morning to get some trail hiking in.  We ended up driving some Forest Service roads and exploring quite a bit too.

All in all, we probably hiked about 7 miles this morning.  We took it slow and did some trail maintenance along the way.  It got hot by about 9:00am today.  It feels like the monsoon is almost here, although I know from past experience, it is probably at least 3 weeks away.

My Review of Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I have ridden a few times on my new Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle now, and I have to say I really like it!  It is very comfortable, and padded enough for my bony butt, but not so much so that I squish around on it.

The first day I rode with it, I kept sticking to it, because it was brand new and somewhat tacky especially compared to my 4 year old worn out smooth as glass OEM saddle.

I hope this one lasts me as long as the original did.  I have to say, I have been very pleased with every single Specialized product I have purchased over the years.

Mapping Trails in The Pines June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Mountain Biking.
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Kent and I rode this evening in “The Pines” see this post to know why I call it that.

It carried my GPS with me so I could track the trails we rode on.  We wandered all over the trails out there, and the way I figure it we probably tracked about half of what is there.  Now all I have to do is download the track to my topo program to see what we rode.    It was another perfect evening to ride, and we only saw one other person the whole time we were out there.  He was walking his dogs up one of the singletracks near the end of the ride.

The Pines is really a great place to ride, as it is so close to Prescott and has some very friendly and pretty singletrack.  It is also a good place to take shady day hikes in the warm summer months.

One section of singletrack in The Pines

  • distance 9.45 miles
  • riding time 1 hr 21 min.
  • avg. speed 6.9 mph

Strikingly Good Advice June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I am a Boy Scout volunteer and today I received an e-mail with some very good advice about how to live through lightning season.  I am passing it on to all of you.

Lightning Safety Rules and Tips

Before Lightning Strikes…

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.
  • An AM radio will pick up static from lightning strikes in your vicinity before you see or hear them.

When a Storm Approaches.. .

  • Lighting storms are often announced by a sudden drop in temperature and increase in wind. The temperature drop and breeze are usually the result of a downburst of cold air. Once the air hits the ground, it has no place to go but outward in all directions. In the process, the cold air mixes with the warmer air at ground level, becoming a breeze and a temperature drop. Temperature will also drop from the air moving toward you through all of that cold water, in the storm, that is approaching. This can happen several minutes before it actually begins to rain.
  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
  • Stay away from open doors and windows. fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes. sinks, and plug-in electrical appliances.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blow by the wind the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Caught Outside…

  • The summits of mountains, crests of ridges, slopes above timberline, and large meadows are extremely hazardous places to be during lightning storms. If you are caught in such an exposed place, quickly descend to a lower elevation, away from the direction of the approaching storm, and squat down, keeping your head low. A dense forest located in a depression provides the best protection. Avoid taking shelter under isolated trees or trees much taller than adjacent trees. Stay away from water, metal objects, and other substances that will conduct electricity long distances.
  • Stay in the car if you are traveling. Automobiles offer excellent lightning protection.
  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Protecting Yourself Outside…

  • Don’t take laundry off the clothesline.
  • Keep away from fences, metal clotheslines, telephone lines, power lines, pipelines, and any electrically conductive elevated objects.
  • Avoid hilltops, open spaces, isolated buildings, exposed sheds or other metal structures. Descend from ridges and mountains on the leeward side.
  • Don’t handle flammable materials in open containers.
  • Don’t use metal objects such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Golfers wearing cleated shoes are particularly good lightning rods.
  • Avoid the highest object in the area. If only isolated trees are nearby, the best protection is to crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from isolated trees as the trees are high. Whenever lightning is nearby, take off backpacks with either external or internal metal frames. In tents, stay at least a few inches from metal tent poles.
  • When you are setting up a campsite in the summer-time, keep thunderstorms in mind. Don’t pitch your tent close to the larger trees in the area, since these are the ones sought afterby lighting. Be especially careful to avoid trees that have long vertical notches in their trunks, or have long, narrow strips of bark peeled from the trunk. When lighting hits a tree, most of its force travels down the moist area between the bark and the wood of the trunk. The bark gets stripped off when the resulting stream forces its escape, and the narrow vertical notches come about as the tree heals over the following years.
  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects.
  • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding
  • Stop tractor work, especially when the tractor is pulling metal equipment, and dismount. Tractors (including lawn tractors) and other implements in metallic contact with the ground are often struck by lightning.
  • Get out of the water and off small boats. If you cannot get out of the small boat (i.e., too far from land) you should position yourself as low as possible in the boat, preferably with your entire body below the line of the boat. Do not try to out race the storm to land. Also when getting out of the water go at least 100 yards away from the shore.

Be a Very Small Target!

  • Lightning takes the path of least resistance to the ground. Since air is a very poor conductor, lighting seeks anything better – and an upright human being is far better for its purpose than air! Stick up above the grass and trees while hiking, and you become a prime target.
  • Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible. By squatting with your feet close together, you have minimal contact with the ground, thus reducing danger from ground currents.
  • If the threat of lightning strikes is great, your group should not huddle together but spread out at least 15 feet apart. If one member of your group is jolted, the rest of you can tend to him.
  • If you can’t get out of the open, put your pack, walking stick, whatever, about 30 feet away from you, propped up high, and huddle on the ground.
  • Don’t sit down, you make a larger target. Crouch down (between two boulders if possible) on your feet on top of your rolled sleeping bag, a foam pad, coiled rope or whatever supplementary insulation you have and ride out the storm.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground—this will make you a larger target!

After the Storm Passes…

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning…

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call for help. Get some one to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

Learn First Aid and CPR

  • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR course. Call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.

The Trail Builder June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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On the ride this morning were me, Hal, Paul, Steve, another Steve, and Rob.  Rob is the trail builder and designer who is responsible for trail 396.  He designed the trail, and directed the building of it.

We had a fun and slow paced ride this morning, it was nice and cool to start out. We rode part of the new trails that loop around the White Spar Campground first, then up the 396 to Senator Highway. From there we took396 down to the social trail that most of us call the telephone line, to the Feldmeier trail then back over to the camp ground.  If you want to look at this map, We rode 371 to 372 to 396, to Feldmeier, to 61 to 373 to 372 to 396 and back to the trail head.White Spar Trails

Thanks to Rob for sending me this map.


  • distance 9.76 miles
  • riding time 1 hr 19 min.
  • avg. speed 7.3 mph

Motorized Outdoor Adventures June 19, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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If you are looking for someone that knows almost everything there is to know about off-road expeditions, vehicle dependent travel and the equipment to go along with it,  look no further than Expeditions West.  They have driven all over this planet in and on all kinds of motorized vehicles.  Scott Brady and his wife Stephanie own this company and that means they get to do all kinds of crazy things, and get paid for it!

Another great publication that anyone interested in overland expeditions should take a look at is something called the Overland Journal.  Scott and Stephanie are joined by many very experienced drivers, writers and photographers in the production of this world class adventure travel journal.

On the way home today I found myself in traffic behind an expedition-ready FJ Cuiser.  It had a snorkel, basket rack, a lift and a bunch of other stuff.  It turned into a driveway in front of me, and I realized that it was a test vehicle for the gang at the Overland Journal and Expeditions West.  Chris Marzonie (editorial director of the Overland Journal) got out of it and told me he had just picked it up in Washington and was going to have it for a couple of months.  SWEET!  He said there is going to be a big FJ get together in Colorado, and he gets to take this new Cruiser to it.

These folks are involved in all kinds of interesting things, take some time to view their sites and the links they have to other great stuff.

Evening Ride in The Pines June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Nate, Kent and I rode in “The Pines” this evening. I am calling it that, because it is the area between Emanuel Pines and Highland Pines. So in other words, it’s an old nickname I just made up.

Nate ,Kent, and Me

We took a nice leisurely cruise up, around, over and through. There is a myriad of single track back in that area, and we rode without a plan, taking any trail that looked interesting. Nate rides up here pretty often, and we even took some trails that he had never been on before.

I am going to have to take my GPS up there and set it on track mode and just ride everything I can find, then download it into my topo program so I can see all the trails that are out there.

This was the first time that Nate had ridden with Kent and me, and it was a real pleasure. We all can only hope to be in the kind of shape that he is in when we are as long in the tooth as he is. (Was that politically correct Nate?)


  • distance 7.2 miles
  • riding time 53 min.
  • avg. speed 8.0 mph

Is PQ back pedaling? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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It seems that there has been enough outrage over the aforementioned decision by PQ to allow GPS receivers that they are backpedaling it. See the PQ blog here.

Take (and view) a poll on this subject HERE.

There have been lots of rants and dissension among the ranks in the AR community over this. One of my favorites is one written by a member of Scarabs named Jason Quinn. Jason is formerly of the Silly Rabbits, and will be racing PQ with Team Bones this year. In it he says what many racers and race directors across the world are feeling. His comments are HERE.

It looks as if PQ management is feeling the pressure of the AR community.

Is PQ watering down Adventure Racing? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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The Primal Quest directors sent out a message to team captains this week that could lead a watering down of what Adventure Racing is all about. It reads:

Important Message for Captains

Primal Quest Race Management has made the decision NOT to prohibit the use of GPS units in PQ Montana. This decision was made due to the fact that the course still has a great deal of snow covering trail and road markings, and we need to ensure that competitors do not wander into avalanche and cornice hazard areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about safety, BUT this is Adventure Racing for God’s sake! The participants know the dangers, they know how to navigate, and they know what kind of epic event the PQ is!

I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish the PQ, and I know I am armchair quarterbacking this, but won’t it be like a 10 day Hi-Tech or Balance Bar race if GPS receivers are used? My 4 year old grand daughter can follow the arrow on my GPSr.

My personal feeling (in case you couldn’t tell) is that Adventure Racing is about using a map and compass to navigate. Pure and simple. If you have an area on your map that racers are not allowed to go into, mark it in red crosshatch, and let that be enough. They know at any given time where they are, and where they need to go, especially at PQ!! These are the best of the best!

My Rant is done.

Back in the Saddle Again June 14, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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My mtb seat has seen better days, not that it’s torn up, but the seat rails are so bent that I can’t adjust it to the angle I prefer.  So these last few months, instead of buying a new seat, I have been riding with it pointing upwards. What a dork.  Well, all that has changed.

Today on the way home from a ride, I stopped by my local bike shop Ironclad Bicycles and bought a new Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle. In size and shape, this was the closest one to my OEM seat, so I brought it home and put it on. I have only ridden around my driveway with it, so I can’t offer up any opinion yet, but it looks good!

Maybe I can sneak in a short ride on Father’s Day and then let you know.

Mtb Adventure in the Pines June 14, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, ar guide, Mountain Biking.
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Today I met two guys for a short ride in the pines.  They needed to get it done in 2 hours door to door, so we went from White Spar Campground up the 396, did a little detour around the lakes, and then back down the 396.  It was another beautiful day in Prescott, Arizona.  We only have about 300 of them a year!

It was a fairly casual pace, although both of these guys were pretty experienced mtb riders, so it wasn’t like some of the rides I take beginners on.  We saw a total of 8 hikers and 6 bikers on the trails this morning.


  • distance 10.05 miles
  • riding time 1hr 12 min.
  • avg.  speed  8.2 mph

Well Grounded June 7, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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I forgot to mention that I got bucked off my bike today.  It was on a downhill left turn that had a whoop right in the middle of it.  When I came over the bump, my front tire couldn’t hold on and it washed out to the right, and down I went.  Luckily, because it was a trail I had never been on before, I wasn’t going terribly fast, so I just ground (get it) to a halt after sliding on my left side for a few feet.  Nothing broken but the skin.  Scrapes up my forearm, on my shoulder, and on my hip and shin.  Nothing that will keep me off my bike.

It has been quite a while since I have crashed, and it is fine with me if it is quite another while before I do it again.  I find that the older I get, I am more sore the next day than I used to be, and it takes me longer to heal.

And for all of you that were concerned……….the bike is fine!

Saturday Morning Ride June 7, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Four of us went on a exploratory ride this morning up into some trails that were in an area that I have been in just a few times, but not enough to really know it.  Because we were exploring, we had no set route and just left it up to whoever was at the front at the time.  When we came to an intersection of trails, they just went whichever way they wanted, and the rest followed.

This was really a pretty neat way to spend a morning in the forest.  I am the kind of person that usually likes a plan, but this was a good change to that.


  • distance 8.0 miles
  • riding time 1hr. 4 min.
  • avg. speed  7.5 mph

Video – Trial by Fire June 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, ar guide, Mountain Biking.
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A couple of weeks ago Michael brought his video camera on a ride out in Granite Basin. Well, I am just learning how to use movie maker, so here is a video of me riding some that day.

Another Wednesday Ride June 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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5 of us met up for a ride up the 396 yesterday. Shawn and Tim were newcomers to our riding gang, and they fit right in. We started up from the White Spar trailhead and Kent the climbing monkey was immediately out of sight. The rest of us plugged along at a more human pace. About a mile into the ride, Ken was having trouble with his rear brake dragging, and decided to turn back rather than to hold everyone else up. That’s a team player.5 Guys on a Ride

We only took 396 over the first hill, and when we hit the valley that Hidden Valley Ranch is named for, we took an unnumbered trail that the Forest Service doesn’t want to recognize on up to Senator Hwy. From there, we boogied the mile or so up the pavement to the top end of 396. When we hit the pavement, I knew Kent was going to put the hammer down, so I immediately jumped on his wheel stayed there (as painful as it was) all the way to the turn off to the trail. When Tim and Shawn joined us, we chatted for a minute about important issues like……….ok, we just BS’ed for a bit. Then we headed back down the 396.

Shawn flatted on the way back, so we stopped while his pit crew put a new tube in. The ride back to the vehicles was great! Everyone stayed together and we pretty much bombed it. I say pretty much, because for every guy out there that is slower than me, there are probably 10 that are faster!!


  • distance 8.9miles
  • riding time 56min.
  • avg. speed 9.3mph

Saturday in the Park………. June 1, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Had a great ride on Saturday evening out at Granite Basin. We headed out just after 5:30, and decided to just take an easy-does-it spin. I am shocked that we were out there on some of the best trails in Prescott, and saw exactly ZERO other people on the trails! What are people doing? It was the cool part of the day with a beautiful blue sky that melted into oranges, pinks and purples right before our eyes. Their loss!

Michael had just picked his bike up from the lbs after having new tires, chain, brake pads and a tune up. He said he could really feel the difference, and I could hear the difference……his bike was sneaky-quiet!


  • distance: 11.78 miles
  • riding time: 1hr 24min
  • avg. speed 7.4mph