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BMX Freerider from Prescott January 19, 2012

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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When you take your bike to High Gear Bike Shop in Prescott, Arizona you will notice two things right off the bat.  The shop is always busy, and they have a lot of inventory.  One of the reasons they are busy is they have great mechanics.

One of those mechanics is the unassuming Johnny Stevens.  This low key, friendly wrencher is like  Jekyll and Hide however, put him on a BMX bike and turn him loose in a park or on the streets, and he becomes a raging madman on two wheels.

Johnny is one of the team riders for the Proper Bike Co. when he is not fixing bikes here in Prescott.

Check out this latest video of Johnny doing his thing:

Johnny Stevens Edit from IMG TV on Vimeo.

That reminds me, I need to take my bike in for a tune up…….

Spelunking + Running = Sperunking January 11, 2012

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Trail Running.
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If you happen to find yourself anywhere near the State of Missouri in February, you have got to check this out!

It is called the Sand Mine Challenge, and it involves running a 5k but not just another 5k, this one is UNDERGROUND!

Another Mountain Biker is Born April 26, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Day Hiking, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, orienteering.
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One of the biggest thrills I get from my job is taking people to places that they would normally never see, and seeing their face light up from the experience.

My second favorite thrill is when I see that someone is hooked, whether it be on mountain biking (like this great story), hiking, orienteering, adventure racing, or climbing.  To turn someone onto something that will perhaps change their life for the better is really, really cool.

Regarding the story that I linked to above; I do not know this girl at all, but her story is all too familiar to me…..and I love it!

Horses and Bikes Together? March 19, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
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This morning the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance had a group ride out in Granite Basin.

Part of the event was a pow wow of sorts with representatives from a local equestrian club.  The horse folks made a presentation about how horses perceive bikes and other things and then what we as bikers can do when we come upon horses on the trail.  Trail etiquette 101.

UPDATE: Here are some trail etiquette guidelines that IMBA just published today 4/3/2011

They told us that horses know we are coming toward them long before their riders do, and that when we see horses while mountain biking, we should call out (no bells, or horns) to them, and ask them if we need to get off our bikes.  They know their horses, and will instruct us on what to do.  Some horses are used to bikes and the horses will just step off the trail and their rider will instruct us to just ride on by (slowly). Others will ask us to dismount and walk by.  And there are others that will ask us to dismount, step off the trail with our bikes and let the horses go by us.  When we do step off the trail, they ask that we stay in the open (not behind trees or bushes) so the horse can see us.  Horses view things that they are not used to as predators, and so it is important to continue talking in a normal voice so the horse knows that we are human.

There are those people out there that want to stir up controversy and try to make it seem that equestrians and mountain bikers are adversarial, but that is just not true for 99% of us.  We recognize that these trails on public lands are for all of us and we do what we can to make any interaction as pleasant and smooth as possible.

The equestrians that spoke to us brought up two things that we hear mountain bikers complain about a lot.  Piles of horse manure in the trail, and horses riding on muddy trails and tearing them up.  I for one was glad that they brought this up and it didn’t have to come from on of the bikers there.  The horse folks said that they should be moving the manure off the trail, and added that experienced equestrians do not ride when the trails are muddy.

This notion of experienced vs. green horses and riders are what prompted a question from me, “Are there steps that equestrians should take to get their horses used to bikers and hikers before taking them out on multi-use trails?”

The answer was yes, that if they are planning on having their horse in an area where it could come across hikers, dogs, or bikers, the owner themselves should take the time to acclimatize their animal to these possibilities.  However many do not.  There have been many cases of bikers being yelled at by people on horses, saying things like, “Stop, my horse is afraid of bikes!  Or event telling us that we do not belong on the trails.

It was nice to hear that these leaders of  the horse community agree that through joint awareness with bikers and hikers, and all three groups taking the time to prepare for the eventual on trail encounter, we can and will make taking to the trails a fun and enjoyable experience for all of us.

After the meetup, we went on an 11 mile ride down the Mint Wash Trail 345 to the junction with the 308, where we turned around and backtracked then took the 347 back up to complete our loop.  On the way, we encountered horses on 3 occasions, and in all 3 the horses stepped off the trail and waved us by.  Perfect!

Tucson is Leading the Pack in Arizona January 27, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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Tuscon is about to begin a bike friendly project that I think is awesome!

Read the article in Tuscon Velo about the Bike Boulevard coming to downtown Tucson beginning next month.

 

Last Minute ReRoute on the TR³ October 27, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, Just Stuff.
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Earlier this week when I posted the overall results of the 2010 TR³ Mountain Bike Duathlon, I mentioned that I had to scramble to do a last minute reroute on the mountain biking leg.  Here is the scoop.

For months, I had meticulously planned the 3 different legs of the TR³.  When a race director has limited trails and space for an event like this, planning is of the utmost importance.  How fast is a fast racer going to cover this leg?  How fast is the slowest racer going to?  When 2 different legs have to use part of the same trail, this becomes a potential debaucle.

After getting it all worked out.  I had race maps printed, including an enlargement that was mounted on foam core so racer could see it easily at check-in.  There was also a map with profile available online.

Then the rains came.  And then some more rain, and then on the Friday, the day before the race, even more rain.

There is one particular section of the planned course called the Legacy Trail that the bike leg was going to use twice in the 11 mile leg.  This particular trail turns to black sticky death-mud when it is extremely saturated.  Not only that, but the City of Prescott had signs posted at both ends of it asking “riders” (more on this later) to stay off the trail during wet conditions.

So on Friday night just before dark, I was out at the event site, and made the decision to change the bike route in order to:                                                                A – Keep racers from having to push their gunked-up bikes through death mud, and                                                                                                                                          B – Maintain a good relationship with the City and other trail users.

The deal with the “riders” comment from before is that the City had originally posted signs asking equestrians to stay off the trail during wet conditions. Well, apparently this didn’t fly with the local equestrian groups, and they raised hell with the City to get them to include mountain bikes……thus the signs were changed to say “riders.”

Ok, back to the re-route dilemma.

After spending hours using my fabulous mapping software Topofusion, I was able to come up with a 2-lap bike course that was within 3 hundredths of a mile of the same distance as the abandoned 1-lap leg, and to my amazement, it was within 3 total vertical climbing feet as well.

This only left getting out there early in the morning and getting it re-marked correctly (thanks Michael!), explaining it to my awesome volunteer crew from PMBA, and then telling all the racers at the pre-race meeting that the course they had been studying online and pre-riding the weeks before was now something else entirely!

The racers took it stride, and overall it did not cause any problems.

Crisis: AVERTED!

12 Hours At Night Welcomes Ergon May 3, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, equipment, Events, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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We are very happy to announce that Ergon is on board with us as a sponsor for the upcoming 12 Hours At Night endurance mountain bike ride.

Bike ergonomics is an extremely complicated endeavor and requires knowledge across different disciplines. The development team at Ergon is made up of specialists in various areas; there are bike experts, racers, sports scientists, ergonomics experts, engineers and industrial designers.

Check out the Ergon blog too.

2010 Whiskey Off Road April 25, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, Whiskey Off Road.
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The weather was perfect for the Whiskey Off Road here in Prescott, AZ.

Rumor has it that there were nearly 1000 riders signed up to race in one of the 3 distances.  Because of the name of the race, the different lengths are called proofs.  The 15 Proof, the 25 Proof, and the punishing 50 Proof.

I raced in the 25 Proof again this year with the goal of breaking the 3:30 barrier (it has been a barrier to me anyway!).  If I get the time and energy, I will write a complete blow by blow account of my experience on the race course, but for now, I will just tell you that I am very happy to have broken through and recorded a personal best time of 3:27 (keep in mind that I am only a weekend warrior, and am also 47 years old!)….oh and the 25 Proof is really a little over 28 miles!

There were many pros that showed up for this event, which meant there were going to be some killer times laid down.  Tinker Juarez showed up too!

Epic Rides is the company that produces the Whiskey Off Road, and they have turned it into a huge event that really brings people to Prescott, where they usually spend at least one night on the famous Whiskey Row taking in the flavor of our wonderful city.

The Epic Rides results page is HERE and they say they will have photos up soon as well.

I hope that some of the folks that came and raced this weekend will return in July for the 12 Hours At Night mountain bike endurance ride.

Snow, Rain, and No Ride March 9, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, trails.
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I am so done with winter.

This has been one of the wettest winters on record.  All our lakes are full, the mountains around Prescott are packed with snow, and yet again today it snowed and hailed all damned day.

Our trails turn to something you could throw pottery with when they get soaked, so riding on them is out of the question.

Snow, snow, go away, come again…………in friggin’ December!

New Fork for My Ride – Rock Shox Tora 302 February 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in equipment, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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I just had a Rock Shox Tora 302 Uturn installed on my bike.  I can’t wait to get out and give it a good testing, but it looks like I will have to, as it snowed all day here.

My original stock fork was starting to wallow out to where it felt like the headset was loose.  The shocks still worked fine though.

I ride a 2004 Specialized FSR xcPro that came stock with an Axel 100mm travel fork.  This Rock Shox Tora is adjustable from 85mm to 130mm, has a lock out, and rebound adjustment.

It looks great on the bike, feels good just riding around my neighborhood, but I really want to get out there and give it a good test ride.

After I have had it a while, I will post a review of it here.

12 HAN Picks Up New Sponsor February 20, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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We here at GO Adventure Recreation are very pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement beginning with the 12 Hours At Night Mtb Ride, and then carrying forward to all our events.

We welcome TopoFusion GPS Mapping Software to our list of very generous sponsors.  TopoFusion will be providing updated online course maps and software packages as prizes.

Please take the time to visit them and the rest of the sponsors that help make our events such participant friendly fun!

Group Ride on Thumper Loop February 20, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Yesterday a group of us drove over to Cottonwood and into the Dead Horse Ranch State Park to ride a trail people call Thumper Loop.

There are 120+ members of the Prescott Mountain Biking facebook group now, so when a group ride event is posted, someone always shows up!  Yesterday was no different.

Some of us carpooled, and others just met there at the park.  When we got there, the Park Ranger who built the Thumper Trail met us and directed us up to a different trailhead.  This caused some confusion, and we found out later that some of the group didn’t find us.   All in all we had about 17 or 18 people show up to ride.

Prescott Mountain Biking Group Ride

The Thumper Loop Ride is really made up of 3 trails.  The Lower Raptor Trail is a 2 mile climb out of the Verde River valley up onto the plateaus to the northeast.  Then it connects to the Thumper Trail which is a raucous romp southward that has multiple small drops and one section of rowdy drops.

Then we turned onto the Lime Kiln Trail and headed back down toward the Park.  This trail has a few really fun drops and surprises in store as well, including some crazy exposures and one last big drop right before the road.

Steve on the last drop

We took a Park trail back up to the trail head where the loop began, regrouped, then did the whole loop again!  Awesome!

Back Alley Bike Shop in Prescott January 29, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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I stopped into a small previously unknown (to me) bike shop in Prescott recently and had a nice chat with Aaron, the owner of Sultana Cycles.

His shop is located in the alley behind the infamous Whiskey Row, commonly known as the south 100 block of Montezuma Street.

Aaron can work on any type of bicycle, and says that currently he has a lot of BMX customers, with more MTB and Cruisers showing up every week.

Stop in and see them!

Helmet Cam – Out with the Old and In with the New January 27, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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We just bought a new helmet cam to replace the old and cumbersome bullet cam that required one to carry a camcorder in your backpack.

The bullet cam setup was all that there was until fairly recently, so I shouldn’t complain.  But it was tedious to get set up correctly and to operate.  It plugged into a battery pack that plugged into a camcorder.  You had to make sure that the camcorder was powered up and on the correct setting and then stash it in your backpack . After it is in, you hope you don’t bump it and turn it off or unplug one of the wires.  Then there was the remote control cable….is the camera in record mode? Is it paused?  Is it out of tape?  Who could tell from just a little flashing (or not) light by the button?

Then came the transferring of the video (if you actually got anything useful) to the computer.

THAT WAS THE OLD WAY

The camera we just bought is a GoPro Hero Wide Angle.  It is self-contained, digital, has a viewfinder so you can see what you will see as you set it up.  When you are finished recording, it plugs right into your computer via USB port and Presto! Our camera is not the HD version.  We hope to move up to that someday.

It has snowed a lot here lately, so we haven’t actually used it yet, but hope to get out soon and bring back some usable helmet or handlebar video.

New Thompson Seat Post for my Mtb October 23, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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A few weeks ago I noticed that my seat post was bent.  I know, I know….It could have broken at any moment and caused a crash or worse, I could have impaled myself on it!

So today, I went to the local bike shop that carries Specialized, thinking I would just get a replacement for the stock seat post that had served me and my FSR-xc Pro so well these last 5 years.  They didn’t have it, nor did they have ANY seat post of the right diameter! So much for thinking……….

My next stop should have been my first stop as it turns out.  I went to the LBS that is a sponsor of one of our events, the GORD.

High Gear Bike Shop had the right size seat post in a Thompson Elite SP-E128SB.

I went for a ride on it this afternoon, but cannot report anything other than it did not break or bend.  I will however report back on it in about a year.

North American Rogaine Championships (Orienteering) May 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, extreme sports, Just Stuff, orienteering, team challenge.
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Ray and I decided at the last minute to enter the 8 hour Rogaine that was part of the North American Rogaine Championships put on by the Tucson Orienteering Club.  We raced as team GO Adventure Recreation.

This endurance orienteering event was held up on the Mogillion Rim northeast of Payson, Arizona.  Along with the 8 hour competition, there were also 12 and 24 hour events.

We arrived at about 8:30am and had just enough time to set out our gear and double check our supplies before maps were handed out at 9:00.  The course would open at 11:00am. This gave us 2 hours to plan our best route in order to maximize our score and still make it back by the 8 hour cut off.  We decided to stay primarily on the east side of the map in the area of Wildcat Canyon.  In looking at the topo map, we could could see that the terrain was steep, and would be slow going in some areas.  There were so many tall ponderosa pines, that we also knew that navigating would not be done by landmarks, but by bearing and distance.

When the course opened we started out to the south at a good brisk hiking pace of 6km/hr.  I had fairly new shoes, but I figured they would be fine.  We found our first control right away, then headed for the second.  On the way to it, I could already feel a little hot spot developing on my heel…..darn.

We got the second control then headed for the third.  On the way to it, I decided I had better change socks and put on a thicker pair. Too late!!  My heel already had a nickel sized blister on it.  Bummer, we were only 3 miles in, and I was already having issues.  I put on my thicker wool socks and tightened up my shoe and off we went.

For the first 3 hours, our navigation was spot-on.  We walked right to every control, until we tried to find the dreaded number 45!  We figured it to be exactly 90° and 500 meters from the intersection of two forest roads on the map, so after we found the intersection, we followed our compasses east for about 500 meters…..nothing!  We walked in big circles….nothing!  We went back up to the center of the ridge and followed it down according to the topography…..still nothing!!  We eventually decided to move on to the next control. Dang it, we had just wasted 30 minutes and missed out on 40 points!

We hiked into a very steep walled canyon that was the main part of Wildcat Canyon toward an 80 point control.  Once in the bottom, we made good time and found the control without any problem.  Our fiasco with #45 now required that we re-evaluate our proposed route.  We would not have enough time to get as many controls as we had originally planned.  So we modified (code for shortened) our intended route.

Somewhere on the way to the next control, my heel blister burst with an agonizing burning feeling and I could feel the liquid in my sock. Yuck!  Oh well, nothing I could do about it now!  And on we went.  Now you might be asking yourself, “Doesn’t he know about moleskin?”  The answer is yes, I do, however, my feet sweat so profusely when I hike that nothing, and I mean nothing will stick to them.  So moleskin is a no-go for me, neither is duct tape, or band-aids, or anything else.

In order to try and shorten this story, I will tell you that we navigated very well the remainder of our day and made it back to the Start/Finish with under five minutes to spare, having scored 790 points and hiked over 21 miles in 8 hours.

The route we took at the Rogaine

The route we took at the Rogaine

We weren’t sure where that ranked us, but have since discovered that 790 points was good enough for 5 place overall, and 1st place in the team division.  That’s right, we are the North American Rogaine Champions (in the 8 hour team event).

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

Road Ride; A Change of Pace for Me May 11, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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Something I hardly ever do is ride a road bike.

This last Saturday I was talked into going on a road ride.  A bunch of us headed out White Spar Rd. at 7:00AM.  We had the whole spectrum of riding abilities in our group, we had two Cat2 riders, two Cat3 riders, a Cat5 rider, and three of us that would fall somewhere below that, all the way down to me.

The strong riders were very patient and stopped and waited for the rest of us to trickle in several times.  When we reached the top at mile marker 305, Paul said he wasn’t feeling so hot, and decided to turn around and make it a day.

From there down through the switchbacks, we all stayed in a pellaton (big word for a mountain biker huh?), and rode at an incredibly fast (for me) speed through those corners.  On the last tight left hand corner I was praying that my tires would hold the line, and we slingshotted out of it and continued at a breakneck descent until we passed the cattleguard and had the climb up to mile marker 298.  When I finally made it to the group, three of them had decided that they would go all the way to People’s Valley before turning around.  Dave and I (no I am not being schitzophrenic) decided we would turn around at the Wilhoit store, and Kent said he would do so as well.  Steve, decided he would go to the Kirkland Junction then head back.

We formed another pellaton for the descent to Wilhoit, and really hammered it to over 43 miles and hour for that section.  Kent and Keith did a sprint in the flats to the next cattleguard, and I sat up and tried to recover before turning into the store.  Dave, Kent and I spent about 10 minutes at the store, refilled our water bottles and started back toward town.

The climb all the way back up to 305 was pretty uneventful, we just rode at the pace that I could sustain, and when we got to the top I was feeling pretty good still.  On the descent into town, a little yellow boxy car went by us, and Kent gave it everything he had to get into the draft of the car.  Dave and I couldn’t catch it, and we watched as Kent and the yellow car disappeared from view.  Dave and I traded places to let each other draft some on the way back into town, and we kept up a pretty good pace.  We pulled into the parking lot at Safeway about 30 seconds after Kent.

All in all it was a good ride, however, I had a terrible headache and my neck muscles were killing me for the entire rest of the day.  I guess it is the position on a road bike that I can’t take.  I have to lift my head up so far to see through my glasses that it just kills my neck.  So, unless I get lasik surgery , I probably won’t be going road riding again anytime soon!

The 2009 Whiskey Off Road April 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
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The 50 milers had gone off an hour before the 300 of us stacked up behind the starting line for the 25 Proof.  There we were, facing into a strong headwind, ready to tackle the 28 miles and nearly 4000′ of climbing that lay ahead.

The Start

The Start

I spent the first mile or so working my way through the huge group of riders, until there were probably only 50 or 60 ahead of me.  On the way up Copper Basin Rd. there was probably an equal number of those I passed and those who passed me, all battling the headwind and the hill. When we got to the steeps toward the end of the pavement, I worked hard to get up them and passed about 10 or 15 while I only had a group of 5 single speeders and a couple of others go by me.

I caught up to a big group in Camp Perlstein, and then promptly threw my chain of the inside of my front derailleur and watched 10 riders go by as I put the chain back on the ring.  At the start of the 393 singletrack, there was a line of about 30 all bottlenecked up.  While most waited patiently, knowing that there was no place to go, a couple were yelling and trying to ride by everyone else.  Like the one guy behind me said, “That guy is worried that he might only get 200th place instead of 195th!”

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

Once we were all actually on the 393, it worked itself out and we were all riding along at a good pace, until slannnng!..there went my chain onto bottom bracket again!  Dang!  Another 5 or 6 riders passed while I got my chain back on.  At the Aspen Creek trailhead there was an awesome group of spectators and volunteers yelling and cheering us all onward and upward.

I climbed the new section of trail 48 “Rob’s hill”, and I have to admit that though it adds half a mile to the length of the course, it is much nicer than doing the hike-a-bike from hell that we used to do.  I had a couple of guys go past me on the wide track section at the top, and then caught up with some more riders at the first set of water bars.  No point in trying to pass them, as they were riding about the same speed that I was, and there were 6 or 7 in the group.  After the first section of downhill water bars (there are about 8 of the 1 or 2 ‘ drops in a row), I noticed we were spread out again, and that there was no one close behind me.  The traverse across the backside of Mt. Francis was smooth sailing, but we bunched up again on the last climb.  Many people walked the majority of this section, as passing one rider really accomplished nothing.

As I pushed my bike to the top, I unclamped the seat post and lowered it for the upcoming descent.  I passed 2 riders right away, and then came up on another and told him I would come by on the next available wider section.  I started by and said, “On the left!”, but he moved to the left, and I had to swerve to avoid a collision, and went off trail into and through a bush, but managed to keep moving.  We came to the first steep downhill and I stayed right behind him, not wanting another miscommunication mishap.  On the last big drop at the bottom, he almost went over the bars, and I took that opportunity to go by him.

The 260 was a wicked combination of trail that had been powdered by all the 50 milers and sharp jagged rocks strewn haphazardly, this all on a super fast descent down a steep jeep trail.  There were people all over the place, some with flat tires, some climbing back up onto the trail with their bikes after who knows what sent them over the edge, and one poor guy trying to figure out what to do with a rear derailleur hanging only by its cable.  At one point, I had a guy pass me, and then watched as he bounced off the rocks and right onto the brink of a steep exposure, his feet off the pedals, front wheel swerving all over the place, and somehow he managed to veer back onto the trail instead of sailing off the cliff.  I yelled, “Nice save!”, and he replied, “Holy #$%@, that was close!”

At the bottom, I stopped long enough to raise my seat back up and take a shot of Hammer Gel, then started the climb up the bottom of the canyon toward Aid Station 1.  Part way up, I once again threw a chain…arrgh! Other than the frustration of that, I was feeling pretty good, and kept an even pace until just about 400 yards short of the Aid Station.  I got off and pushed up the nastiest and steepest part, then got back on and rode the last 200 yards.

In my opinion, the toughest part of this entire ride is this next seemingly unending climb up to Thumb Butte Rd.  Halfway up, I started to feel the beginnings of a cramp in my left quad, so I slowed down tried to spin it out…no go.  So I got off and walked for a few minutes until it went away.  Then back on the bike and up, up and up all the way to the Sierra Prieta overlook.  Wow!, the group of spectators and volunteers here was fantastic, it was a great feeling to have just suffered through all that climbing, and have people there helping you celebrate and cheering you on.

I turned onto the singletrack and headed for town.

Looking Down the Rock Garden

Looking Down the Rock Garden

I had one guy go past me early on, but then passed 2 riders before the first steep at turkey track, where there was a guy stopped right in the middle of the hill, in the middle of the trail, changing a tire!  In the next mile of bombing down the ridgeline over lots of loose and jagged rocks, I saw 3 or 4 more people stopped with tire problems, and yet another stopped right in the middle of trail, his bike upside down, working on a flat!!  I had to go around him into a pile of babyheads at breakneck speed, and was lucky to stay on my bike.  At the rock garden, I caught up to 3 riders who were picking their way

Part of the Rock Garden

Part of the Rock Garden

down it with their rear brakes locked up, just skidding down it…..so I just picked a line that allowed me to roll off the steep having just passed all 3 of them.

On the 51, I was big ringing it…just flying past people.  I went past one guy, just before that off camber turn to the left, and soon discovered that the pass had taken me outside of my intended line and that I was carrying too much speed to hold the corner….and there in my way was a big downed tree!  I hammered on the brakes and laid the bike down, scraping up my knee, and breaking my bike computer, but probably saving a taco-ed wheel and an over-the-bars excursion.  I hopped up and was on my way again, pushing hard in the big ring.  Toward the end of the 51, I could feel cramps creeping back into not only both quads now, but my hamstrings as well.  I have been drinking lots of water, and electrolytes….what the heck???

On the 321 singletrack, I had 2 riders pass me, and I passed 4 who were stopped at various points along the short exposed trail.  Then came the dreaded climb up the 323.  I call it “Hell’s Hollow”, because it is tough, and climbs up and out of a little meadow.  It is less than half a mile, but it is loose rock on a steep climb in full sunshine, 20 miles into the ride…..the perfect recipe for big-time suffering.  I rode part, walked part, cramping here and there along the way.  Right after the hill, I got back on and started riding only to have both my legs absolutely lock up.  Both legs had hamstring and quad cramps at the same time!!  All I could do was sit at the side of the trail in agony, while a whole stream of passing riders kindly asked if I was okay.  After 5 or 6 minutes, they subsided enough for me to try again.  I managed to limp along at about 5 mph to the top of the 392 Garden Grove trail.

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

This is one of my favorite sections of trail, so somehow I left my cramps behind and flew down the switchbacks, passing several riders who had slowed way down or stopped to negotiate the 4 hairpin corners.  Out on the wider part the follows the canyon floor, I saw a guy 2 riders ahead of me go down hard, and his bike cartwheeled down the trail.  The guy ahead of me stopped to help, and I asked him if he was okay when I got there.  He said, “I think so,”  so I continued on down.  I caught up to some more riders and someone caught me from behind soon after we were on the section that parallels Thumb Butte Rd.  There were a number of small bottlenecks at some of the more technical sections of this rocky trail, but nothing that was much of a delay at all.

I popped out onto Thumb Butte Road, and shifted into the big ring again.  Two riders came out behind me and one shouted, “Let’s go guys!” as they went by, I tried to jump onto their wheel, but my hamstrings said “Nuh-uh!!” and I soft pedaled as I watched them dissapear ahead of me.  I finally got up to speed, and held a good pace down the hill, despite the fact that there now seemed to be a headwind in this direction too!  How could that be?? .  Near the bottom, where it takes a big sweeping left hand turn, I saw my granddaughter and her mom standing my the side of the road looking for me…I waved and yelled to them as Haley yelled, “Go Grampy!!”  This gave me a boost, and I caught another rider just before the light at Gail Gardner.  I sat in behind him for a few seconds, knowing that the race director had switched part of the course back to one last climb up Park Ave. instead of taking Summit like last year.  After coasting behind for a little rest, I went around thinking I could pull for a minute, but he dropped off and I was alone as I turned onto Park.  When I made the turn onto Glenwood, I shifted into my tallest gear and accelerated.  I was going 30+ mph as I swung wide onto Goodwin, and kept grinding toward the finish line.

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

I could hear the voices of people I know cheering as I entered the chute, and finally rolled across the line 3 hours and 31 minutes after the start.

This year’s course was longer than those of previous years, so I couldn’t really compare times.  That being said, I was still 19 minutes faster than last year, and came within 1 minute of my goal of 3:30.  I finished 18th out of 61 finishers in my age division.

It was a great day, and top it off, I didn’t even throw up afterward this year!

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.

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.

Hard Core Not-Quite-Slick Rock in Prescott February 8, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Check out this helmet cam video by Ken Bennett.  It is of the hiking / biking trail that has been constructed at Willow Lake.

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

This is rowdy stuff, I have been on it on foot, but have not had my bike out there yet.

Adventure Racing Tidbits January 16, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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Here is a quick overview of the History of Adventure Racing, that I found just tag surfing this today.  While it only really covers the big expedition events, it is a decent primmer.

Wikipedia has a much more extensive article about AR, and it even has a link to a race that I am the director of, the Gilmore Adventure Race.  Speaking of Wiki, we all know not to trust it as a reliable source right?  That is because anyone can go onto it and change info at any time…so reading from it is more like saying, “Someon told me……”  Lots of good info in Wiki, just use other sources to verify it!

Also found this article called Why I love Adventure Racing, and You Should Too! This is a re-publication of an article that world class adventure racer and all around AR stud Ian Adamson wrote a while back.

Getting Ready for the New Season January 15, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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Many of you are getting ready for the new mountain biking season.  In fact some of you are going down to race in the first MBAA race of the year at White Tanks this Saturday.

Maybe you are signed up for the off road duathlon and don’t know exactly what to expect or how to prepare.  Well, I was perusing some articles and blogs, and found this one titled, Getting Ready for a Mountain Bike Race.

Even if you are not thinking of any particular event, the best thing you can do is just get out there and ride.  I say out there, because I have been on rides with people who have put hours and hours in on a spin bike or stationary trainer, but can barely stay upright on a bike.  There is nothing like the real thing.

The Polar Express December 4, 2008

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Tonight my wife and I had the pleasure of taking our two granddaughters on the Polar Express train ride out of Williams, Arizona.

It is really something to see a whole train (well we only really saw one train car, but there were 16 or so) filled with wide eyed children taking a train to the North Pole Village. Then we had Mr. C. himself board the train at the North Pole and ride it back to the station while visiting with every child and giving them a silver sleigh bell.

On the way up to the North Pole, we passed through a Time Warp tunnel that allowed us to make it all the way up there in about a half an hour.  We were all served hot chocolate and cookies too.

It was something that I am sure that Tracie and I as well as our little angels will always remember.  Tonight was one of the real gifts that comes with being a Grandparent.

Hiking with Haley at Pioneer Park October 8, 2008

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Today was a real treat.  Because school is on fall break, I had the opportunity to take my oldest granddaughter for a hike.  We went out to the Pioneer Park/Brownlow Trail to hike the 2 running legs of the upcoming Go! Off Road Duathlon (GORD).  The first leg is 1.5 miles that includes some of the wide smooth trail, and some less traveled single track.  I wondered how it would go when about half a mile into it Haley was asking how much longer it would be!  My response to that was that we were doing great and would soon turn back toward the truck.  This seemed to satisfy her, and we finished the first loop without much trouble.

We took a potty break (that’s Grampy talk), and had a CLIF bar while we were at the truck.  Then we headed out to do the 2.2 mile loop.  This loop also uses single track and the wider smoother trails that are out there.  When Haley kept wanting to stop and “rest” (we were going at a very easy pace even for her), I had to break out the story of the tortoise and the hare.  After that, it was smooth sailing!  She just wanted me to keep telling her stories while we hiked.  This worked fine, as she had her mind on the story and not how far we had gone or how far we had yet to go.  When we completed the second loop, she was surprised that is was already over.

All in all, it was a great way to spend the morning.  I am extremely proud of my little hiker girl, as we covered the 3.7 miles in about 90 minutes of hiking.  She is a trooper, and I hope to get her out again soon, if not hiking, then on her bike!

Scott’s Torturous Ride October 6, 2008

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Today I picked up Scott at the White Spar trail head, where he left his truck so we could do an end to end ride.

We met Hal at the place where we park on Iron Springs to ride in “the pines”.  The three of us headed up into “the pines” and climbed up and through the tunnel then up onto the old railroad grade.  This part of the grade is now considered part of the planned Circle Prescott Trail.  That was our plan for this afternoon, to ride about a third of the CPT.

We left the grade as trail 332 headed south and over a hill then down into Fireplace Springs.  It’s called Fireplace Springs, because a large stone fireplace is all that is left of what once was a homestead along a small creek.  From there, we continued on 332 to the south.  The 332 is now a single track on what was once an old road, but the boulders that the Forest Service put in to narrow it as well as all the weeds that grew throughout our wet summer have successfully masked the road.  The 332 ends when it reaches Thumb Butte Rd.

From there we rode the 392 up a long canyon and then further up the switchbacks on the north face of a hillside where we could look out across all that we had traversed so far to see the afternoon sun reflecting off cars headed up Iron Springs road.  This is Scott on that section of trail.

At the junction where the 392 hits the 326,  Hal had to cut his ride short and head back toward his house, but we took this photo before he left.

Scott and I pressed on.  We took the 322 down some fun single track to the 51.  The 51 is a forest road, so it was relatively smooth compared to a lot of what we had been on so far, so we made pretty good time on it even though it was mostly uphill riding.  At the bottom of one of the short downhill sections it crossed a rocky wash, and as I went over the rocks, my front wheel kicked up a foot sized rock that went into my rear spokes and broke one of them out.  Bummer.  I twisted the broken spoke around another spoke, and vowed to take it easy on the back wheel the rest of the ride.  Before long, we came to the back of Camp Perlstein where the 393 takes off of the 51.  Scott and I plugged along up the switchbacks, and stopped for a CLIF bar and some water for a few minutes.  I took these photos on the 393.

We passed a couple of women walking their fluffy white dog at the top, and they couldn’t believe that we had started over on Iron Springs Rd.  We finished the descent to Copper Basin Rd. then took ( I should say hike-a-biked) the 48 up to the 9401L. This is me where when we could get back on and ride again.

We rode the old forest road that is now closed to motorized vehicles around the south side of Wolverton Mt. to the junction where we would head down the 9415 single track toward the “white spar” some people call quartz mountain.  Little do they know that this is where White Spar Rd. got its name.  This section of the CPT is pretty awful (so much for taking it easy on my rear wheel).  Lots of loose, scrabbly rock and pretty steep and narrow.  Scott did a great job coming down this section of the trail, as it is what I would call pretty technical riding.

After we went around the Spar, we only had the 9707V descent before we made it back to Scott’s truck.  We were like horses running for the barn as we bombed the 500′ drop in only a little over a mile on the rough and rocky forest road!

Just as we made it to the truck, I heard Scott say “oh, no!”  He had left the keys to his truck in my truck almost 16 miles behind us!  Dan-dan-dadah, Tracie to the rescue!  I called my wife, and she very kindly drove up to where my truck was and retrieved Scott’s keys, then drove all the way across town to deliver them.  What a gal!

What a ride!

stats:

  • distance: 15.6 miles
  • total riding time: 2hrs. 12 min.
  • avg. speed 7.0 mph
  • elevation gain 2368 feet

Speaking of Broken………. August 10, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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I just read a post on my riding buddy Steve’s blog.  Steve is not riding for the next few weeks, as he is trying to heal up a broken ankle.  It seems that not only is he a mountain bike rider and man of God, but he is a prolific blogger as well.

I have been thinking a lot about President Bush attending and really being present at the Olympic Games.  It’s is really cool.  I liked what Dianna Taurasi of the women’s Olympic basketball team had to say about him, paraphrasing here, “I don’t care what people say about him, he is a good American and is a down to earth guy.”

In Steve’s blog, he says he thinks that it is cool that President Bush is a mountain biker…..I am with ya there Steve!

Was it a political statement or just an accident that during Michael Phelp’s gold medal ceremony the USA National Anthem was cut off right before the words, “the home of the free?”  It is China you know!

Finally! Back on the Bike! August 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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Even as it sprinkled rain on me as I loaded my bike in the truck, I was giddy with anticipation.

It feels like forever since I have been out on my bike, and finally, finally, I get the chance again!

I met Ray, Rob, Michael, and Toby at Granite Basin Lake this evening.  It has rained the past few days, so we decided to stay on the DG.  On the way up trail 349, my legs felt both weak, and tight.  They were letting me know that I had neglected them.  After the initial 2 mile climb, my quads started to lighten up and have some fun. We went up, around, down, over and through….we rode all over the place in the short amount of time we had, but what a blast!

Most people only get to do see this kind of beauty and have this much fun on vacation!

stats:

  • distance: 10.95 miles
  • total riding time: 1hr 18min
  • avg. speed 8.4 mph

Geocaching is Outdoor Recreation Too July 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I haven’t written about Geocaching as Outdoor Adventure Recreation, but it is!  The official definition of Geocaching is:

“Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a GPS unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.”

I am a Charter Member of geocaching.com, and have been since February 16, 2001.  At that time, Geocaching was only about 6 months old, and not widely known.  I happened upon the website while doing research about the new GPS receiver that Tracie had given me for Christmas. I was hooked……

I will definitely blog more about my family’s geocaching adventures as time goes by.  I have been lucky enough to introduce dozens of people (kids especially enjoy hunting for “treasure”) to it over the years, and it is something that you now can do almost anywhere in the world.

There are now over 617,000 caches waiting to be found worldwide, so get out your GPSr and log on and go have a self-guided outdoor adventure!

Overgrown Trails July 19, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Day Hiking, Just Stuff.
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Tracie and I took the dog out in the mountains yesterday, and found that all the recent rain has encouraged weeds aplenty to grow all over some of the less travelled social trails.  Next time we go out there, I will carry a small shovel and some clippers, and help it look like a trail again!

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.

Strikingly Good Advice June 20, 2008

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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.

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.

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.

A Day of Rest April 13, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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Today is a day to do the chores around the house and rest up from the last 2 days. Both Friday and Saturday were two-ride days. I already posted about Friday afternoon, so this will be about the Saturday rides.

Saturday morning I met up with a group that road rides together every weekend (not me mind you!) 7 of us headed out White Spar with the intent of doing the out and back to the Wilhoit store, a round trip of 34 miles with plenty of vertical. By the time we got to mile marker 298 (14 miles out), I knew that I needed to turn around. While the other 6 riders continued out the last 3 miles to the store, I turned around and took a leisurely pace back up toward Prescott. I stopped once when my chain came off on the inside of the crank, and another time to look at where forest road 53 (part of the Whiskey Off Road in 2 weeks) connects to hwy 89. When I made it to the top at mile marker 305, I sat and waited for the other 6 that I knew would be along shortly. Looking down across the last switchback canyon, after about 10 minutes, I saw them come around the corner and head into the long switchback. By the time they all made it up to 305, I had been there about 16 minutes. They made good time, much better than they would have if I had been trailing along. We held together as a group on the fast descent into Prescott, and ended up at the Starbucks parking lot.

That was the morning.

In the afternoon, four of us did the exact same ride that Kent and I did on Friday evening, but we had arranged to meet up with some other riders coming the other way up to the overlook. So we had a group of six for the fun, rocky and wild trail riding back down to the cars. That part of the Whiskey course is becoming pretty familiar to me, so I am confident that come race day, I will do well there. The other side, however, is a different story. I am hoping to ride it at least once before the Whiskey.

Everyday Outdoor Adventures March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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Even the busiest of folks can have an outdoor adventure every day. I just discovered that this applies to me too!

Today, I got home from a busy day of work, and decided to throw the frisbee for my dog for a few minutes. Gypsy is a New Zealand Collie, and she is mad about playing catch. Anyway, on one of the tosses, I inadvertently made the disc sail over our fence and into the backyard. The dog looked confused, then put out. We went through the gate and I sent her into the bushes to find the missing frisbee. After a few minutes (it felt like it anyway) of her muffing around in the brush, she came back empty handed….er, mouthed.

So I started hiking up the hill to get a better view of where it could have landed. While up there, I noticed that I had a perfect view across the driveway and into a pine tree where two ravens were trying to build a nest. I stood and watched them put sticks together and attempt to get them to stay put. Sometimes the sticks fell and bounced through the branches like a steel ball in a pachinko machine, and occasionally the would actually stay where they put them.

By now, Gypsy was upset with me and dove into the bushes again. Eventually she came out with the frisbee, ending my bird watching time by dropping it at my feet and barking like crazy. We hiked back down the hill and continued our game before heading inside to get a drink of water.

And that is how I stumbled into my own mini outdoor adventure.

Bad Astronomy March 4, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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One of my favorite blogs out there on the interweb is written by Phil Plait, who is becoming quite famous as both an author and a Wil Wheaton fan…seriously though, he is a scientist that makes learning about science fun and interesting. Phil debunks all kinds of whacked-out “theories” that are out there using facts; scientific facts. His web site is appropriately called Bad Astronomy, and it is definitely worth looking at. He often provides links to some of the most amazing space photos you will ever see (I am using one right now as a wallpaper on this computer).

Real Writing by a Real Writer February 29, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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Wow, I just happened to Tag Surf into a blog called vagoscribe

This guy writes about his mountain biking in a way that every one of us can relate to. I found myself nodding in agreement as he described a certain section of trail. Not that I have ever ridden anywhere near Pennsylvania, but that I have felt the same kind of emotions, pain, exhaustion and elation that he describes so eloquently. Go read. Enjoy.

Time to Get Outside! February 27, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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We finally have a few days of sunshine and the trails are drying out, so it is time to get out on your favorite trail! Whether you are hiking or mountain biking, it doesn’t matter. Just find a way to get out there!

Congress Wastes More Tax Dollars February 27, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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Did Roger Clemens use HGH?  Why does congress feel the necessity to waste OUR money finding out?  Aren’t there more important things they could be doing?  Like spending time carrying out the wishes of their constituents?

Am I wrong here?  Why do we the people sit by and let them waste time and money like that?  ARRRRGH!