Solo on the Whiskey; I Drink Alone April 6, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, Mountain Biking.
Tags: mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, Whiskey Off Road
What started out as a group pre-ride of the Whiskey Off Road, ended as a solo trip through the beautiful pines.
Patrick and Jennifer were going to pre-ride the Whiskey 15 on Sunday, and asked if I would come along to show them the course. Dore’ , Steve and Rob where also along for the ride. We started in downtown Prescott just like the race does, and headed through town and up Copper Basin Road. By the time we got to the steeps on Copper Basin, Rob, Dore’ and Steve were long gone. I hung back with Jennifer and Patrick. When we hit the end of the pavement, we saw Toby and Katrina getting out of their cars and preparing to ride too. About halfway up the switchbacks just outside of Camp Perlstein, Jennifer had had enough. She was feeling sick, so she and Patrick decided to go back. Toby and Katrina had just gone by us, and now along came Steve and Michelle. I followed Michelle up the trail, and went by her on the way up and caught up with Steve in the saddle. I bombed down to Copper Basin just in time to see all the others that were ahead up on the new section of trail that Rob had designed and built. That means they had decided to ride the 25 instead of the 15.
I rode up it as quickly as I could, meeting Katrina on her way back down with a broken derailleur hanger. She said she was going to limp back to her car. Below, I saw Steve and Michelle headed up. I rode as fast as I could to try and catch the others and after the downhill with the big drops over water bars, I found Toby with a flat tire. The others were nowhere in sight. I stopped and visited with Toby while he changed his tire. Steve and Michelle didn’t appear, and I decided to go back to Copper Basin and just finish the 15, because I knew Toby would be bored to tears waiting for me on the climb out of Copper Creek (either that or he would leave me in the dust!)
I headed back up the trail and cleaned it up as I went, and then when I got out to Copper Basin Road, turned west and made the climb up to the Skull Valley overlook. I rarely ride by myself, because I just don’t think it is a smart thing to do, but this was actually very peaceful and I was enjoying the solitude.
I stopped at the overlook long enough to start to get cold in the wind, and then headed up the single track that was the back half of the 15. I had the Whiskey all to myself.
Side note: The Whiskey 15 is really 19 miles long, and the 25 is really 27+, and the 50 is only 44 miles long!!
I tried to just take it easy on the way down because there are some pretty hairy sections, and in fact I almost ate it just before the turn onto the Rock Garden Trail. It is rutted and filled with loose rock, and my front wheel had a mind of its own!
When i got to the pavement at Thumb Butte Park, I pushed pretty hard through town and back to the courthouse square. It took me 50 minutes from the overlook to the square, so in order to meet my goal of 3:30 or faster for the 25, I will have to be at the overlook in no longer than 2:40. That could be a tough number for me, given my previous problems with the climb out from Copper Creek. I never did see any of the others that I had started out with…..in fact, I didn’t see any other mountain bikers at all after I left Toby on Trail 48.
Overall, it was a good afternoon on the bike. I covered 22.6 miles and did a lot of climbing.