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Race Report: Desert Rage Camp Verde Adventure Race March 30, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, extreme sports.
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Jonea and I competed as Team GO-AR on  Saturday in the DR Camp Verde Adventure Race put on by Sierra Adventure Sports.  Though we are old enough to be master’s, there weren’t enough to make the division, so we raced in the Co-ed 2-person division.

The race started off in the Verde River with a 10 mile paddle.  The flow rate was well below average, and we were told to expect to have to portage a few times.  We got off to a good start and were in a group of about seven vessels that put a little separation on the pack early on.  When we hit the first rapid at tree-island we felt what it meant to have this low a flow as we literally bounced down it on the rocks.  Dave, Windy and Brigid of Team Big Fish Creative were right with us, then suddenly they weren’t…..we found out later that Dave’s kayak had taken on too much water and they had stopped for him to dump it out.  The YogaSlackers and a solo jumped out to a lead over the rest of us, leaving a canoe with a 2-Male team, a tandem kayak with a 2-Male team, and us in our tandem kayak.  The canoe slowly pulled away from us, and for a long way, it was just us and Team Equipe Tortue, neck and neck.

We were actually side by side as we approached a section of rapids that was probably plenty wide for both of us, but we decided to let them go ahead as a courtesy, just as they had done for us on one prior.  Well, on this particular rapid, they hit a couple of big rocks and it threw them sideways and stopped them in their tracks (wakes?).  As we maneuvered around them, we asked if they were okay and upon finding out things were fine, continued on our way.  A while later I thought I heard them catching up with us again, but it turned out to be Team Those Guys instead.  They made a pass on us when we over-steered on a bend, and they pulled up to the bank at the takeout spot about 5 seconds ahead of us.  We carried our kayak the 200 meters up the bank and to the TA faster than they did however, and were 4th place overall after the paddle leg.  We were very happy to be in that good a spot at that point in the race.

We took a while to transition to the bike leg, and at least 2 teams that came in after us left before us, including Big Fish and Equipe Tortue.  I plotted the 2 CP’s that weren’t already on our map, and off we went.  We had a very small downhill, then a 3.5 mile 1000′ climb to the CP2.  Jonea hadn’t been on her bike much at all lately, so we agreed that I would tow her when I could.  At the beginning of the hill, I hooked the tow rope up and downshifted………

After about 500′ of climbing, I heard someone coming up behind us and moved over just as Team FLG went by us with Scott towing Amber.  Shortly after that we met the solo racer returning from the out-and-back, then 2 minutes after him was Big Fish.  We kept climbing and met YogaSlackers, and a 2-Male team, then FLG, and then just before we got to the CP, we crossed paths with Equipe Tortue again.  On the way down, we saw many teams climbing, and as we passed the location where we had met Big Fish, I noticed we were 23 minutes behind them.  When we hit the main forest road again, we bombed the long straightaway, and then hooked up the tow again on the climb toward CP3.  Just before we got to the cattle guard, I was pointing out to Jonea the trail we would be taking later on when a team rode out off of it, and I said, “Are you guys short course?”  They said no they weren’t, and then they started to follow us….I said, “If you are long course, then you want to go that way to CP2!”  They asked if I was sure and I hollered back that I was and good luck.

We arrived at CP3 which was a bike drop and a trek to 4 and 5.  I had forgotten to put my shoes in my backpack, and was forced to do the trek in my mtb shoes. Good thing they are soft soled!  On the way in, we again crossed paths with Big Fish (time check). We made quick work of scaling along the rock wall above Chasm Creek to get to CP4, then made the steep climb up to CP5.  We passed Equipe Tortue at 5, and then headed back out the canyon. When we passed my time check point, we were now 25 minutes behind Big Fish. We went on out to CP3 to pick up our bikes and continue to the other point we had to plot, CP6.

On the out-and-back to CP6, we crossed paths with the 2-Male team again, and then as we were pushing our bikes up the very steep and loose rocked hill, Team FLG came down it, and I could smell hot brakes as they went by us.  We picked up 6, and headed back.  On the way down one of the hills, I crossed paths with a big green pickup, and then as Jonea came by it, a huge dog stuck its head out the back seat window and snapped a her, almost getting her on the arm, and scaring he be-geesus out of her!!  We turned off the forest road onto the trail (barely) by the cattle guard, and headed down the last 2.5 miles toward the TA.  About halfway down, another 2-Male team passed us, and I had lost track of where we stood in the rankings at that point.

We changed shoes, fueled ourselves and picked up the map and directions for the orienteering leg.  It was a map showing Point A, and then had bearing and distance measurements (based on true north) to the next point, and so on, to all the subsequent points.  Had I been thinking, and not in such a hurry, I would have gone ahead and drawn in all the lines and plotted the points, then figured the most efficient route…..but remember, I said had I been thinking!  We took off in a hurry toward where we thought A was.  On the way up, we saw Team FLG on their way toward the finish, and knew they would win the 2 Co-ed division that we were in. This new map was a different scale, and I took us about 4oo meters too far up the trail then off in the desert to look for it.  After wasting about 10 or 15 minutes, we discovered our mistake and then zoomed through the 5 points without any further difficulty.

It seemed that my error in navigation was enough for the Equipe Tortue team to pass us on the orienteering leg and finish a few minutes ahead of us.  We finished in 2nd place in our division, and (this is a guess until results are posted) about 8th overall.

It was a great day of racing and as always a ton of fun to hang out with fellow adventure racers!

Verde River Adeventure Race Coming Up March 25, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Just Stuff.
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I will be racing with one of my AR teammates this Saturday in Camp Verde.  Jonea has recovered from her Coastal Challenge event with Project Athena in Costa Rica, and is ready to tackle the Verde River Adventure Race that is put on by Sierra Adventure Sports.

Though we have done many races together, we haven’t done that many races as a 2 person co-ed team, so it will be interesting to see how things go.  Hopefully the water flows will improve on the river in the next few days, I would rather paddle than portage any day!

My First Skydive March 21, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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Yesterday Tracie and I drove to Casa Grande so I could Skydive.

Tracie had given this to me as a birthday present, but because of the GORD event I couldn’t get to it until now.  When we got there I had to sign and initial every waiver clause ever written.  The instructor then gave me instructions on what I would have to do when we left the plane.  Pretty simple really, head back, hands across my chest, arch my back.  Then when he tapped me, I was supposed to stick my arms out.  He then gave instruction on how to adjust the leg straps once the chute had been deployed. Piece of cake.skydive-002

He got me into a harness and adjusted it to fit my sized body, and snugged it down tight.  Then we headed out to the plane.  It was an old Cessna 182 that had been modified by taking out everything except the pilot’s seat and the instrument panel, the right side door had been changed out to a top hinged cargo door.  That’s what I was, cargo.

There was another lady jumping on the same flight as me, so all four of us squeezed onto the floor of the 182, and took off into the sky.  On the climb up to jumping altitude, I was chatting with Mike, the guy who was about to clip himself to me for the tandem jump.  He said the he did 5 to 10 jumps a day like this one.  He asked how come I didn’t seem nervous, and I said, “Because I know you know what you are doing, and I am going to be strapped to you, so I am sure I’ll be fine.”skydive-005

My altimeter watch said 10405′ when Mike told me to put on my goggles and opened up the door of the plane.  Put his left leg out, then had me swing firs my left then my right leg out so they were hanging in the air.  He pulled my head back against his right shoulder and we just leaned forward and out into freefall!  As we fell away headfirst toward the ground, I forgot to wait for him to tap me, and I just put my arms out like I knew what I was doing, then I realized that I had jumped the gun, and brought them back in.  Eventually, I put my arms out into the proper position, arching my back as instructed, and we were in a nice controlled freefall skydive.

skydive-024We were rushing so fast toward the ground that it felt like being in a gale force wind, I could feel my face rippling like those guys on rocket sleds on the Utah salt flats trying to set land speed records.  I looked out and all around at the horizon, envious of birds that get this view any time they want it.  At one point I found myself looking straight down, and noticing that from that vantage point, it was hard to tell I was falling.  For a couple of seconds my thoughts went to those people who chose to jump from the World Trade Center buildings instead of suffocating or burning to death, and I knew why they did it.

Mike had told me that he would tap me again before he pulled the chute, but if he did, I was lost in the moment and didn’t feel it.  I felt a brief moment of confusion when my 120 mph fall from heaven was interrupted by a sudden jerk that pulled me from my arch into a  feet down position, then when the rushing wind was gone I heard Mike say, “Congratulations you got line twist on your first skydive.”

The canopy slowly untwisted and then we were gliding along in almost total silence.  Mike let me take the toggles and steer the canopy through a couple of spirals and turns, and then looking down, I saw the landing zone and Tracie standing by the car looking up at us, so I gave her the thumbs up.  He warned me that because there was no wind to glide into, we would be coming in pretty fast and he might just sit us down instead of trying to land on our feet.  As we swung in over the cars and came down the last 40 feet, he told me to lift my legs straight out in front of me.  He flared the canopy and his feet we sliding along the ground (which meant my long legs were way out in front of us) so when he told me to try and stand up, it was too late, and we slid in for a 27 point landing.  A little dusty, but no harm done!skydive-022

That was how it went.  Summary: First tandem skydive – $187,  Video of said skydive – $90, Experiencing freefall for 40 seconds – PRICELESS!!

A big thank you to my wonderful wife!

It is too pricey for me to do it often, but I think I could swing 1 or 2 jumps a year….I highly recommend that all of you try this. …..it is truly indescribable.

Pushing to New Limits March 17, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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After looking through the results and splits of the GORD, I realized that I HAD to go back out there and ride the bike course again.  In the race there were 6 guys that had bike splits under 40 minutes, and one girl with a time of 40:05 (which means that she really rode it in under 40 also).

I had made the mistake of thinking that no one would ride it in less than 40, and was pretty proud that I had done it in 44:51………dork!

Now, in order to try and not appear quite so dorky, I asked Kent to come out and ride it with me.  His time in the race was 42:58, so I knew that he could ride it faster without running first. My goal was to break 40 minutes this time.

I started out fast, and by the end of the first single track section was about 60 meters ahead of Kent, it stayed that way to about the 1.5 mile mark, and then Kent went by me as was feeling the effects of the jack rabbit start.  At the next single track section I made up some ground, and at the bottom of the first big climb was about 50 meters behind.  I suffered up that climb, then bombed the downhill, somehow managing to keep the rubber side down on those sharp curves.

I hammered up the first half of the big climb, then spun up the rest of it and caught a glimpse of Kent heading into the tunnel.  Looking down at my clock, I made a note of the time and then checked it again as I got to the tunnel….I was 30 seconds behind him.  My legs were hurting, so I soft pedaled through the tunnel and pushed just a little up the next little incline.  As it topped out, I shifted into my big ring and really pushed through the next section of flats.  Coming over the next little rise, I saw Kent ahead again.  Another time check, still a 30 second difference.  I felt pretty good as I made the hard left onto the Legacy Trail single track.  After crossing the creek bottom, I saw Kent up on the switch backs, it looked like he was moving pretty good, so I pushed hard up through the tight and steep S-turns and found I had made up 5 seconds.

My legs were screaming at me as I rode over the washboards after going through the second tunnel, but I knew there was less than a mile to go, so I pushed hard on the last bit of single track on the course.  When I came around the corner and headed toward the wide track, I saw Kent on his way down it….darn, back to a 30 second deficit!

I bombed the last downhill, and as I crossed the paved road by Kuebler Field I chanced a look at the minutes on my clock….38:00….uh oh!!  I gave it everything I had all the way back to the parking lot and as I crossed through the gate, looked down again……

and…….

saw…….

39:25!!! REDEMPTION!

Kent had been counting off seconds since he got there and had counted to 25, so that meant he rode it in right at 39 flat!

Official Results of the Go! Off Road Duathlon March 17, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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It took me a couple of nights to sift through the time sheets and get it all put to spreadsheet, but I am happy to announce that the Official Results, including splits are now posted on the GORD site.

You may remember that I wrote last week that I thought a 40 minute split would be hard to do on this course?  Well, I was being a piker!!  There were 4 racers under 40 minutes, and the two top men did it in 34 and some change…..seeing as how my best is just under 45, now I am going to have to go back out there and try it again!

There were some seriously strong athletes out there on Saturday, and it was really neat to see people of ALL levels having a great time and interacting at a fun event.

Division Results for the GORD March 15, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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Here are the Divisional Results for the race.

2009 Go! Off Road Duathlon Results by Division
M16-18
No Entries
M19-29

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Currell Lucas

26

1:13:59

2

Buick David

25

1:19:24

3

Small Brian

26

1:20:01

4

Marciniak David

28

1:23:10

5

Kay Charles

22

1:42:09

Roe Shawn

24

DNS

M30-39

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Lamoreaux Jason

30

0:58:32

2

Lohman Jason

37

1:05:50

3

Stanfield Chris

30

1:06:38

4

Carson James

39

1:12:16

5

Hinderliter Chad

31

1:12:41

6

Marsh Eric

39

1:13:33

7

Thornton Dore

36

1:15:59

8

DeSoto Mike

39

1:16:29

9

Love Brian

36

1:20:44

10

Stuckey James

32

1:23:01

11

Severson Ernie

38

1:24:42

12

Olson Mike

39

1:24:42

13

Finden Nathan

30

1:28:29

14

Pruden John

33

1:29:10

15

Say Scott

38

1:30:00

16

McAvoy Terry

38

1:32:33

17

Hagerman Jared

36

1:45:33

18

Love Brandon

33

1:57:07

Smyth Scott

31

DNS

Nadeau John

39

DNS

Butters Joshua

30

DNS

M40-49

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Marks David

44

0:58:23

2

Badgett Bob

42

1:02:00

3

McCormack Jack

45

1:09:10

4

Zulch Harry

49

1:10:15

5

Keegan Kent

46

1:16:21

6

Munsell Dan

47

1:19:54

7

Kent Paul

42

1:20:12

8

Heisler Mark

43

1:27:35

9

Burkeen Tim

43

1:49:19

10

Means Milton

40

1:53:45

M50+

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Waples Steve

57

1:14:51

2

Fisher Allen

51

1:18:26

3

Coombs Robert

53

1:18:43

4

Mayer Peter

51

1:20:33

5

Brown Douglas

65

1:21:22

6

Sortelli Frank

51

1:29:25

7

Morris Robert

58

1:30:53

8

Culver Mike

51

1:38:29

Sharp Mark

50

DNS

F16-18
No Entries
F19-29

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Black Megan

22

1:34:57

2

Cuarteros Jana

27

1:49:27

F30-39

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Marks Windy

34

1:06:37

2

Kent Julie

37

1:27:31

3

Spear Lisa

30

1:29:43

4

Maurer Laureen

37

1:29:44

5

May Kyla

34

1:37:58

6

Weitkunat Brooke

34

1:41:58

7

Smith Tracy

36

1:48:32

Keller Cheri

37

DNS

F40-49

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Scrimgeour Sandy

44

1:18:52

2

Sevcov Georgie

42

1:22:59

3

Fisher Tracy

46

1:34:12

4

Mounsey Jonea

46

1:35:47

5

Heisler Jennifer

45

1:40:10

6

Culver Kathy

49

1:40:52

7

Robinson Kim

40

1:46:45

8

Hudson Veronica

46

1:49:20

9

Kline Lisa

42

1:54:56

Morell Helen

46

DNS

F50+

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Crujido Lisa

52

1:39:36

2

Parsell Bonnie

54

1:50:53

Saari Kim

51

DNS

Cline Angie

50

DNS

RELAY

Div. Place

Last Name First Name

Age

Finish Time

1

Nelson & Nelson Butch & Vickie

1:08:38

2

Taylor & Nelson Lee & Kai

1:16:43

3

Lerch & Taylor Gretchen & Michael

1:19:03

4

Allen & Allen Tim & Suzanne

1:24:25

5

Sticht & Sticht Natalee & Casey

1:27:33

6

Adams & Adams Matt & Stephanie

1:34:09

7

Kyle & Gillogly Jill & Patrick

1:36:49

8

Minks & Walker Carolyn & Jennifer

1:41:35

9

Morris & Olson Christine & Michael

1:50:52

Anzini & Valentyn Alicia & Bob

DNS

Sipe & Sipe Lisa & James

DNS

Go! Off Road Duathlon Overall Results March 14, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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2009 Overall Results

Place

Last Name First Name From

Finish Time

1

Marks David Phoenix, AZ

0:58:23

2

Lamoreaux Jason Anchorage, AK

0:58:32

3

Badgett Bob Scottsdale, AZ

1:02:00

4

Lohman Jason Prescott Valley, AZ

1:05:50

5

Marks Windy Phoenix, AZ

1:06:37

6

Stanfield Chris Scottsdale, AZ

1:06:38

7

Nelson & Nelson Butch & Vickie Phoenix, AZ

1:08:38

8

McCormack Jack Prescott, AZ

1:09:10

9

Zulch Harry Phoenix, AZ

1:10:15

10

Carson James Prescott, AZ

1:12:16

11

Hinderliter Chad Parker, AZ

1:12:41

12

Marsh Eric Prescott Valley, AZ

1:13:33

13

Currell Lucas Chandler, AZ

1:13:59

14

Waples Steve Prescott, AZ

1:14:51

15

Thornton Dore Prescott, AZ

1:15:59

16

Keegan Kent Prescott, AZ

1:16:21

17

DeSoto Mike Prescott, AZ

1:16:29

18

Taylor & Nelson Lee & Kai Mesa, AZ

1:16:43

19

Fisher Allen Phoenix, AZ

1:18:26

20

Coombs Robert Prescott, AZ

1:18:43

21

Scrimgeour Sandy Prescott, AZ

1:18:52

22

Lerch & Taylor Gretchen & Michael Prescott, AZ

1:19:03

23

Buick David Portage, MI

1:19:24

24

Munsell Dan Prescott Valley, AZ

1:19:54

25

Small Brian Queen Creek, AZ

1:20:01

26

Kent Paul Tempe, AZ

1:20:12

27

Mayer Peter Prescott, AZ

1:20:33

28

Love Brian Phoenix, AZ

1:20:44

29

Brown Douglas Sedona, AZ

1:21:22

30

Sevcov Georgie Phoenix, AZ

1:22:59

31

Stuckey James Gilbert, AZ

1:23:01

32

Marciniak David Prescott, AZ

1:23:10

33

Allen & Allen Tim & Suzanne Prescott, AZ

1:24:25

34

Olson Mike Chandler, AZ

1:24:42

35

Severson Ernie Lake Havasu City, AZ

1:24:42

36

Kent Julie Tempe, AZ

1:27:31

37

Sticht & Sticht Natalee & Casey Peoria, AZ

1:27:33

38

Heisler Mark Phoenix, AZ

1:27:35

39

Finden Nathan Phoenix, AZ

1:28:29

40

Pruden John Phoenix, AZ

1:29:10

41

Sortelli Frank Chandler, AZ

1:29:25

42

Spear Lisa Phoenix, AZ

1:29:43

43

Maurer Laureen Scottsdale, AZ

1:29:44

44

Say Scott Phoenix, AZ

1:30:00

45

Morris Robert Phoenix, AZ

1:30:53

46

McAvoy Terry Scottsdale, AZ

1:32:33

47

Adams & Adams Matt & Stephanie Maricopa, AZ

1:34:09

48

Fisher Tracy Phoenix, AZ

1:34:12

49

Black Megan Tempe, AZ

1:34:57

50

Mounsey Jonea Peoria, AZ

1:35:47

51

Kyle & Gillogly Jill & Patrick Phx. & Tucson, AZ

1:36:49

52

May Kyla Chandler, AZ

1:37:58

53

Culver Mike Mesa, AZ

1:38:29

54

Crujido Lisa Prescott, AZ

1:39:36

55

Heisler Jennifer Phoenix, AZ

1:40:10

56

Culver Kathy Mesa, AZ

1:40:52

57

Minks & Walker Carolyn & Jennifer Dewey & Prescott, AZ

1:41:35

58

Weitkunat Brooke Chino Valley, AZ

1:41:58

59

Kay Charles Glendale, AZ

1:42:09

60

Hagerman Jared Phoenix, AZ

1:45:33

61

Robinson Kim Phoenix, AZ

1:46:45

62

Smith Tracy Las Vegas, NV

1:48:32

63

Burkeen Tim Prescott, AZ

1:49:19

64

Hudson Veronica Prescott, AZ

1:49:20

65

Cuarteros Jana Gilbert, AZ

1:49:27

66

Morris & Olson Christine & Michael Phx. & Chandler, AZ

1:50:52

67

Parsell Bonnie Prescott, AZ

1:50:53

68

Means Milton Gilbert, AZ

1:53:45

69

Kline Lisa Phoenix, AZ

1:54:56

70

Love Brandon Surprise, AZ

1:57:07

Keller Cheri Gilbert, AZ

DNS

Morell Helen Santa Fe, NM

DNS

Saari Kim Peoria, AZ

DNS

Cline Angie Santa Fe, NM

DNS

Roe Shawn Laramie, WY

DNS

Smyth Scott Phoenix, AZ

DNS

Nadeau John Scottsdale, AZ

DNS

Butters Joshua Chandler, AZ

DNS

Sharp Mark Buckeye, AZ

DNS

Anzini & Valentyn Alicia & Bob Phoenix, AZ

DNS

Sipe & Sipe Lisa & James Phoenix, AZ

DNS

GORD Was a HUGE Success! March 14, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events.
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That’s all I can work up the energy to type right now.

More tomorrow.

Seven Riders then Burritos March 10, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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On Monday morning a group of folks who will be racing in the GORD came up to pre-ride the course.  Rick, who runs Sierra Adventure Sports was among them, however he won’t be racing.  Instead Rick is going to be a volunteer and help with the timing.

rick1

The fact that he is helping and not racing didn’t keep him off the bike though.  In fact he almost looks like he is having too much fun in this photo!

We rode at a leisurely pace, just enjoying a day on the bikes.  It was windy as all get out though, and that kept it pretty cold out in the open or on exposed ridge lines.

I certainly didn’t want to run the running legs, so the six of them and I rode all three legs of the Duathlon course.  When it was all said and done, we stood talking in the parking lot about the course, and the day’s ride.  Kim kept shaking her head and saying that it hadn’t been a good day for her, but I thought that she did just fine for being a flat lander and suddenly finding out what riding a hill at altitude feels like.

preride1We packed up our gear and loaded the bikes then decided to head into town for some mexican food.  I called Tracie and asked if she wanted to meet us, and happily, she agreed.  Kent also came to lunch.

That made 9 of us: Rick, Kim, Dave (not me, a real athlete), Georgie, Lisa, Laureen, Kent, Tracie and me.

We had a nice lunch and a better visit, and then they headed back to Phoenix with a good idea of what they are in for on Saturday when they arrive to race the GORD.

Willow Dells Trail and Beyond! March 9, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, trails.
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On Sunday afternoon, I met Tracie at Willow Lake after we had each gone on seperate mountain bike rides.

We set out for an afternoon day hike on the newly complete Willow Dells Trail.  It is a 2 mile loop that meanders through, over and around part of the infamous Granite Dells area adjacent to Willow Lake.

We followed the trail in a counterclockwise direction, enjoying the scenery and marvelling at how some very good technical mountain bikers actually ride the trail.  There are all kinds of places that are hard enough to hike let alone bike!

Somewhere along the way we decided to follow what looked like a game trail almost directly east toward Willow Creek.  We hiked down a narrow drainage and eventually came out at the creek, but quite a ways below the dam.  We crossed over and walked out on the newly created paved road that is part of a new development (though there are no houses in this part of it yet).  We walked out to  Hwy 89 and followed it south about 200 yards then headed back toward the west on an existing road that turns to dirt and leads to an small section of private property right at the big bend in Willow Creek.

We then walked up to the base of the dam and then over below the spillway.  We followed the drainage from the spillway down to where the high dirt wall had been eroded away by years of spillway overflow.

From here we headed back in a northwest direction until we found another trail that led up and over some giant granite formations and dropped us back down into the Willow Dells Trail loop.  From there we just completed the loop and ended up back at our trucks.

It was a very nice afternoon spent hiking with my wife and our faithful pooch.

Sixteen Mountain Bikes, and Seventeen Riders March 8, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Today I went and joined a group ride from Thumb Butte.

The ride was the Epilogue of the A Friend in Kneed benefit that started on Wednesday night of last week.  It was to help local bike shop owner Ed (Southwest Sounds and Cyclery) to pay his knee replacement surgery.

How can there be seventeen riders and only (did I say only? That is a huge group!) sixteen bikes?  Billy and Christie rode their “Yellow School Bus” Cannondale Tandem mountain bike……crazy!

We left Thumb butte park and rode up to where White Rock and Longs Canyon meet.  From there most of the group went up to the top by the entrance from Forest Trails, then took the tight switchbacks down to the Longs Canyon Trail.  Billy, Christie, Lee and I took the Longs Canyon trail from the top.  I got to the intersection just ahead of the group on the other trail, and then while we waited to re-group, some of us did a little trail maintanence.  We moved a big downed pine tree off the trail.

We all continued down Longs Canyon and then went up to Pine Lakes and along the railroad bed behind Pine Lakes to Emanuel Pines Rd.  Here we headed up Bobsled Trail to where it meets the railroad grade again. Just an aside here, there were some climbing animals on this ride.  There are two steep hills on bobsled, and they rode ’em like they were nothing!

Billy and Christie and Lee turned back toward Thumb Butte, as did Shawn, leaving thirteen headed north to the end of the grade. Toby was going to head into Granite Basin, but when no one else was up for it, he decided to go on the route that Greg had chosen for us.  We headed west on what Greg called the Training Loop, and just like its’ name, it looped around to the south and I recognized it at what Hal calls Fallen Tree Trail. From there, we rode Tatonka trail in the opposite direction that we usually do.  We regrouped again at the top end of Dinner Hill Trail (aka Green Bottle).  I peeled off and went down Jaw Bone Trail, and then reconnected with the group where it rejoins Dinner Hill Trail.  We conitued along that trail through the boulders then regrouped again where it dumps out onto Trail 332 above the fireplace.

We bombed it down to the fireplace, then headed up the long and painful hill of the 332 toward the White Rock Trail.  When I finally pedaled my sorry arse up to where the rest of the group was patiently waiting for me, my wife text messaged me that she was headed to Willow Lake to ride that trail…..perfect timing for me to bail out and just head down Thumb Butte Rd. and back to my truck.

That was the end of today’s 12 mile ride, and I was really glad to have spent a couple of hours with such a nice group of riders.  It was also a pleasure to finally meet Greg and Christophe from Raven Singletrack.

Four Old Guys and Their Bikes March 8, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Saturday morning Hal, Kevin, Michael and I met out at the Brownlow Trail to pr-ride the entire Duathlon course.

The trip was dual purpose (how perfect is that for a duathlon?), Michael and his daughter are going to race as a relay team, so it enabled him to get more accustomed to the route, and Hal is going to volunteer for me, so I was able to show him where I need him this Saturday during the event.

Kevin was there just to join us on a nice morning ride.

After riding, we all had time to stop for lunch in town.  Thanks guys!

Arizona Spring Fling 2009 Prescott March 7, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking.
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For those of you that haven’t yet heard about the Arizona Spring Fling, go read up on it, then allocate some of your time to make some of the great rides being led all over the state.

I am planning on attending the Pre-Fling ride in Prescott on Wednesday March 18th, and would love to see some of you there.

Day Hike on the GORD course March 5, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Events, Trail Running.
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This afternoon Tracie and I took our youngest granddaughter, Brynn on a hike.

Yes, it was only a mile and a half, but for her little 5 year old legs it was a good long way.  True to form, she was her same happy-go-lucky self the whole way.  She carried a ziplock of goldfish crackers, and tried to identify all the tracks on the trail; horses, bikes and shoes.

The three (actually four, counting our dog Gypsy) of us had a nice walk.    We walked the first running leg of the Go! Off Road Duathlon, which is a nice mix of smooth wide track and a twisty single track.

I think those of you that are going to race in the GORD next week will really like the variety of trails on the course.

Windy Evening on the MTB March 4, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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Tim, Kent and I went on a pre-ride of the GORD mtb leg again tonight, and the wind was howling.

If the you are riding into a 25mph headwind and your computer shows 20mph, are you riding as hard as if you were really going 45mph??  It sure feels like it!

We hammered hard tonight, and got it done it right at 45 minutes.  I really don’t think that many people will do it faster than that on race day.  That doesn’t mean that I think that I am fast or anything, but I know the course and was riding hard. I just can’t imagine anyone doing it in under 40 minutes, so come on you guys…….make me eat my words!

The entries for the event are surprising me a little bit, still zero entries in either male or female 16-18 age group.  Another surprise is that one of the divisions with a lot of entries is female 40-49 age group.  And in one last statistic that makes me scratch my head is that less than 10% of our entries are local to the Prescott Area……hmmmm.

I was glad that Tim came along tonight, as he and his wife have decided to enter in the Relay division in the GORD.

Another Duathlon Pre-Ride March 3, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
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Michael, Kent and I rode the mountain biking leg as well as one of the trail running legs of the GORD yesterday after work.

It was pretty mild paced ride, and just a lot of fun to ride and visit with friends.  I hadn’t seen Michael in over a month.  During the ride, Michael said that maybe he and his daughter would team up and do the GORD as a relay team, and just a minute ago, he called to make sure there was still room in the event to enter!

We rode until almost dark, doing about 10 miles.

The Rim View Trail in Page, AZ March 3, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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This weekend Tracie and I went up to Page to my brother-in-law’s to attend his wedding.

On the morning of the wedding, Justin said he wanted to take a short ride to clear his head, so, despite the cold, we headed out just as the sun was coming up.

rimview-trailhead

The whole trail is about a 12 mile loop, but we only rode a little less than half of it, as his wedding was at 10:00am.  The white line is the trail that circles the edge of the mesa that the city of Page sits atop of.

Justin and me at the most northeast part of the trail with Lake Powel in the background

Justin and me at the most northeast part of the trail with Lake Powel in the background

The part of the trail that we rode was fun and fast for the most part, with some drops that you could take or ride around.  There are some places that have a lot of exposure and it is prudent to maintain control of your bike unless you want to plunge off a cliff.

Justin on the Rim View Trail

Justin on the Rim View Trail

That is one huge house up there, sitting on about 10 acres all by itself with 360° views…sweet!

Justin on the trail

Justin on the trail

Well, we did about 6 miles and made it back in time for him to get ready and get to the church on time, and without any trail gashes too!

Next time I go back up, I will definitely take my bike again and ride the whole loop…maybe twice!