Melting into the Mountains November 30, 2011Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, BCT, Black Canyon Trail, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott
On Sunday, Tom and I drove our vehicles down to the Gloriana Mine trail head of the Black Canyon Trail that is near the Bumble Bee road exit on I-17. I put my bike behind his on this bike rack, loaded my gear into his Supra, and we headed back up to the Old Sycamore trail head where we would start our ride.
When we parked up on Old Sycamore and started to unload our bikes, Tom noticed his front tire was flat, in fact it was more than just flat, it had melted! The way his bike was sitting on the rack, it was too close to his exhaust pipe, and during the trip up the hill from Bumble Bee Road, he had unintentionally vulcanized the side of his nearly new (and expensive) tire. There was smiley faced shaped hole in it and his tube had popped.
What to do? Do we cancel the ride and drive back down to get my truck? Do we drive into Prescott Valley and see if he can buy a new tire? NO! We try to figure out a way to repair it. Tom put a section of his old tube around his spare tube and then sleeved the tire with a dollar bill. He pumped it up and it appeared like it was holding. A few pedals around the parking area and a couple of bunny hops and it was still holding, so it should hold for a 25 mile ride through rocks and cactus right???? What the heck, we were up for an adventure.
Nearly 3 miles in, we came to a gate near a big cairn topped with a pile of cow bones. It appeared that the dollar bill was pushing through the sidewall of the tire…..Hmm I guess the Stan’s that had leaked out of his first melted tube had soaked the dollar bill making it weak and susceptible to tearing. Tom decided to try a different method of repair. He stuck 3 self adhesive repair patches to the inside of the tire, overlapping one another so they covered the entire melted gash and reinforced each other. Then refolded the dollar bill and put it back in, then the section of old tube, then the new tube……
It was ugly, and we had no idea if it would hold, but we bold set out where no melted tire had gone before!
The ride itself was outstanding. The weather was perfect, and the trail was not muddy at all. We stopped where the BCT crosses the road near Cordes Ranch to take a look at the repair and it appeared to be holding just fine.
The next section of the BCT down to the Hidden Treasure Mine trail head is one of my favorite sections because of the way the trail meanders down the sides of the narrow Antelope Creek Canyon. The thin, loose granite trail with the super steep and rocky exposure demands concentration, as there is a big penalty for failure.
We stopped for a snack and to check the tire again at the Hidden Treasure Mine trailhead. So far so good. We then headed out onto the really fun section of the BCT that climbs up and over some foothills on the way to the bridge near the town of Bumble Bee.
Here we were, 20 miles into a ride on a very popular trail, on a perfect Sunday afternoon, and we hadn’t seen a soul. Crazy. We started the short but punishing half mile climb up the jeep road, knowing that the truck was only 5 miles away now. At the top of the jeep road we stopped to check the tire, and to talk about the very different trail types we had already been on, and what was yet to come. I agreed with Tom that the next 4.5 miles of the BCT were probably the most technical miles on the entire 65 mile length of the the trail.
As we rode along this section, the shadows grew long and my legs were telling me they needed to be done soon. With about a mile to go, we caught up with two other Prescottonians, Billy and Christi who were doing an out and back from the Gloriana Mine trail head. After we went by them, we were like horses running to the barn. We pounded out that last mile as if it were our first, anticipating putting the bikes away and having a nice cold beer.
When we rolled up to the truck, neither of us could believe that the repair job on that melted-open tire had made it through 25 miles of rough terrain.
It was and adventure all right, and it turned out better than we could have hoped.
Horses and Bikes Together? March 19, 2011Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Equestrians, Granite Basin, Mountain Biking
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!
Favorite Trail Area…..Wasted! March 9, 2011Posted by Dave Of Prescott in trails.
Tags: Arizona, Granite Basin, Prescott, Trail 349, trails
Michael, Frank and I went out to Granite Basin on Sunday afternoon to enjoy some of the sweetest single track around….or so we thought.
It appears the forest thinning project that the National Forest Service has contracted out has decimated most of trail 349, and part of trail 350.
Trail 349 west of Granite Basin Rd. is almost non-existent. The bushes are all gone (sort of). They have been hogged out and shredded. Bits of brush and branches lay scattered all over the forest floor, including on the trail. This and the truck and tractor tire depressions left in the soft earth have made the trail disappear.
It is my sincere hope that the Forest Service make sure that the contractor goes back in and restores the trails. If for some reason that doesn’t happen, there will be a multitude of hikers, bikers and equestrians very, very upset!
After this next weekend, I shall head back out there to see what if any restoration has been performed…….Stay tuned.
The Rim View Trail in Page, AZ February 14, 2011Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Lake Powell, Mountain Biking, mtb, Page, Rim View Trail, trails
I had the opportunity to ride and track the Rim View Trail that circles around most of the town of Page, AZ this weekend, and was not disappointed.
The town itself sits on top of a mesa overlooking Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam. The trail, true to its name follows the rim of the mesa, offering fantastic views at every turn.
This trail is a fun, slightly technical, single track about 11 miles in length. I say about, because there are several areas where you can choose to take a spur of the trail that either goes closer to the edge of the mesa, or away from the edge, with less exposure to huge drop offs. There are many places on this trail where the penalty for falling is certain death.
I rode it both directions, and would suggest counterclockwise as the best way, just because of the long downhill on the east side of the airport. Both ways are great though. If I lived in Page, I would ride this trail every day!
Prescott Trails are Drying Out….Slowly January 27, 2011Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, The Pines, trails
Rick, Steve, Keith, Dan (a guest rider from Tucson) and I enjoyed a mountain bike ride yesterday afternoon.
We started at the corner of Iron Springs Rd. and Granite Basin Rd. and rode up through Kingswood to the beginning of trail 317. As we entered Kingswood, I realized that I have left my camelbak in the back of my truck, so I had to hurry back to get it. Doh! Luckily, the guys waited for me at the trailhead.
As we started the climb up 317 toward the Thumb Butte area, we found several spots in the trail that had not dried out very well, and we a little soft. Luckily there hadn’t been any horses on it.
When we got to the top where 317 meets 316, we stayed on the 317 and did a clockwise circle that went 317, 315, 386, 316. Then we headed up the White Rock Trail (318).
Rick, Dan and Keith cleaned all the gnarly rock sections, while Steve and I brought up the rear after not quite making them. At one point Steve said, “I feel like something is rubbing on my back tire.” We looked at it and saw that his rear skewer was undone and he was about to have his whole rear wheel fall right out of the frame!
We continued up the White Rock through some spots that still had snow and ice on them to the 332. On the way down the 332, we had to very large doe mule deer cross right in front of us. They were big, perhaps with-fawn.
Passing the fireplace, we stayed on the 332 and climbed up towards “The Pines.” Keith needed to bail, so he took the Fireplace Connector Trail and headed home. When the 4 of us got to the top, Steve suggested we take the Tatonka Trail.
I love the way Tatonka winds through the boulders and meanders among the pines. When we got to the Tatonka Connector, we headed down it back toward the part of the 332 that is old railroad bed.
Crossing the 332 at that point, we took the Meadow Trail down toward the creek bottom. The snow down in the meadow made getting across the creek a challenge! When we hit the Waterline Trail, we headed down it to the Emmanuel Pines Rd. and back to our vehicles.
8.75 miles, good company, and as always a great time!
The “B” is for Blowout October 27, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: hiking, Mountain Biking, Wilderness, Wilderness B
Wilderness B. The B is for Blowout, as in the escalation of feelings about this issue.
I am not going to go on and on about it, or even define it. Look it up.
I will say that I wholeheartedly agree with the move for the new designation to allow mountain bikes in some parts of the wilderness.
Outside magazine addresses it in an article this month too. Take a look.
Judge Closes Trails to Mountain Bikers April 9, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking, trails.
Get ready mountain bikers, because here comes a firestorm!
In Montana, mountain bikers just lost some fantastic biking to a lawsuit brought about by hikers.
Mountain bikers are finding out that other groups are also attacking their trail privileges. Recently on a local level, equestrian groups have asked the Forest Service to close all Non-Motorized Use trails to mountain bikers as well.
Are you kidding me?
Snow, Rain, and No Ride March 9, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, trails.
Tags: Prescott, snow, trails
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!
Prescott Duathlon Needs Volunteers February 22, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Arizona, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, Outdoor Adventure, trails, Volunteer
Prescott, Arizona – The Go! Off Road Duathlon is to be held on March 20th, and is in need of volunteers to do a multitude of jobs on and off the course in order to make the race a fun and safe event for all the participants.
The race is in triathlon format, except there is a run in place of the swim, and it all takes place on trails! It starts with a 1.5 mile trail run, then a 8.2 mile mountain bike ride, followed by a 2.2 mile trail run.
If you would like to volunteer for this event, please visit the link above to visit the race site.
Group Ride on Thumper Loop February 20, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, Cottonwood, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Lime Kiln Trail, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott Mountain Biking, Raptor Trail, Thumper Trail
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.
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.
We took a Park trail back up to the trail head where the loop began, regrouped, then did the whole loop again! Awesome!
GORD Course is in Good Shape February 10, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Brownlow Trail, duathlon, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, Mountain Biking, Pioneer Park, Prescott, single track, trails
Several of us went out and rode the course for the upcoming Go! Off Road Duathlon or GORD this last weekend.
The first running leg is 1.5 miles. The first third of that leg is on wide track trail that is part of the Brownlow Trail system in Pioneer Park. The other two-thirds is on single track trail that winds through the pinon, juniper and scrub oak trees.
The second leg of the race is he mountain 8.1 mile mountain biking leg. It too incorporates wide track and single track, but it is no walk in the park, it has about 900′ of climbing and some challenging twisty single track on the north end of the park.
The final leg of the GORD is another trail running leg of 2.2 miles. It starts out on single track, and ends with almost a mile of the wide track trail to allow racers to not have to concentrate so much on foot placement, but just let the dogs run.
There has been a lot of rain and snow here in the last month, so we didn’t know what kind of shape the trails would be in. To our pleasant surprise, the single track is in as good a shape as I have ever seen it. Some sections of the wide track are going to need some dragging, there are some places where the water washed a bunch of sand down over it, and a few fairly deep ruts.
With the race still five weeks away, I will be riding it many more times.
Group Ride on the BCT February 7, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, BCT. Black Canyon Trail, group ride, Mountain Biking, mtb, trails, Video
Last Saturday a bunch of us from Prescott drove down from our snow covered enclave to warmer and dryer pastures.
We met at the Table Mesa trailhead on the Black Canyon Trail (BCT) to do an out and back to the south toward the Emery Henderson trailhead on New River Road.
By the time everyone arrived, the twenty or so riders we expected had ballooned by word of mouth to thirty four!
The rains the week before had left the trail a perfect tackiness, and we had some cloud cover as we climbed about 600′ over the first 2 miles or so.
The group naturally split up into various smaller groups, with the hammer-heads out front, and us intermediates in the middle and some of the more tentative or less experienced in the back.
Everyone re-grouped at the big saddle and headed down across the Doe Spring access road and on toward the top end of the Boy Scout Loop.
We regrouped again at the north side of a climb over a saddle just before the trail junction at Boy Scout Loop. Here, about half of us decided to go ahead and do the loop, while the rest chose to head back to the north.
We climbed up and over the saddle, descended a fairly technical section of narrow single track, and found ourselves at the trail junction. We decided to do the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. I had my GoPro Hero video camera mounted on my bars, and took this video of this section. Of course by the time I figured out how to turn it on, I was on the trail alone.
The day ended up being perfect for riding, temp about 60°F and the sun came out for the second half of the ride.
We did about 14 miles that day, no one got hurt, and all 34 riders had a great day on the bike!
And Then There is Epic Mountain Biking…… January 27, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, Bikepacking, Chad Brown, Endurance Mountain Biking, Mountain Biking, Outdoor Adventure
Here in Arizona we have a fellow named Chad Brown who is and Endurance Mountain Biker. I really like reading his blog because he does Bikepacking trips of epic proportion on a regular basis.
His blog is fittingly called Bikepacking and Endurance Mountain Biking.
Check it out. He has great commentary and superb photos of parts of Arizona that most people never see.
No MTB in Prescott for a while January 22, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott
Things are going to be way to muddy to ride for quite a while here. In the last 24 hours we have been dumped on with snow and rain totaling over 4″ of precipitation.
The mountains have up to 2′ of snow on them, and it will be close to a month before it melts off in the shade of the pine trees. It looks like we will have to head to the desert to ride for a while.
9 Miles on a Mountain Bike October 23, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Brownlow Trail, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Pioneer Park, Prescott, single track, trails
I just got back from an afternoon ride. I am not a fan of riding alone, so I went to Pioneer Park to ride some of the single track in the Brownlow Trail system thinking that if something happened and I needed assistance that someone would be close by and I could get their attention. According to my bike computer, the temperature when I started riding was 71°….perfect!
The 3 mile loop that rode was about 2.5 miles of single track and the other half a mile of the Brownlow wide track. It was so much fun, that I decided to just continue to ride the same loop. In the 9 miles that I managed to put in before it was getting dark, I only saw 4 people on the trails.
Date Set for the 2010 GORD October 23, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: 2010, Arizona, Brownlow Trail, duathlon, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, multisport, Prescott
We have just finalized dates and permits for the 2010 Go! Off Road Duathlon to be held once again in Prescott, Arizona in the spring.
The race date is March 20, 2010. Race registration will open on November 15th, and will close when we have 150 entries or on race day whichever comes first.
For all the information about the GORD visit the race web page. You can also look in the tag cloud to the left and click on GORD to see all the posts that have the race tagged in them. This includes results from the 2009 event so you know what to shoot for!
New Trail 317 September 3, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Arizona, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, The Pines, Trail 317, Trail 332, trails, White Rock Trail
I just got back from an evening ride with Hal, Steve, and Robert that included a new trail that just opened this week. Trail 317
We started out in The Pines, and then took 332 from the Fireplace up to where White Rock Trail crosses it. From here we headed east on White Rock and followed it past the junction with that knarly Fireplace Connector Trail and on down toward the Thumb Butte Park. When we hit the next intersection, we took a left as if we were going to go down the Longs Canyon Trail, but instead, took a left onto the brand new Trail 317 (no local name yet).
This new trail is a real blast! It follows the contours and very slowly descends along the west side of Longs Canyon, then tops the ridge and takes a more westerly heading down into the Kingswood subdivision, where it comes out at the very top end of Windy Walk Lane. The trail is very well routed, and has a nice flow to it. Sure, right now it has all the choppiness that new trails have due to the cutting with McLeods, but soon with just a few weeks of use, it will be fantastic! It also offers up some wonderful views north of Granite Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks.
I highly recommend this new trail to mountain bikers of intermediate skill level, and hikers of all levels (well, except you Bodine……you know why!)
The Lakeshore Trail August 13, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Arizona, Lakeshore Trail, Mountain Biking, mtb, Peavine Trail, Prescott, trails, Willow Dells Trail
Steve and I decided to go try out the new Lakeshore Trail at Watson Lake.
It takes off of the Peavine Trail at mile marker 1, and meanders through the giant rocks that are the Granite Dells of Prescott.
We soon found out that this trail is highly technical, and (for us anyway), involves as much hike-a-bike as it does riding. There are some really fun sections where you ride right up and over some of the large granite formations, but there are also some places that are more suitable for a trial specialist.
The afternoon was perfect, as the temperatures had dropped to about 80°, and the sun was low in the West. Chris at the City of Prescott had done a lot of work to make this trail a reality, and we enjoyed exploring it.
The trail took us out into and amongst the towering orange granite boulders.
There were several places that required maintaining a narrow line along a ridge of granite, and because I don’t usually ride super technical stuff, I found it pretty difficult, and sometimes scary. This photo is the close up of the one above.
Steve noted that it was very hard to get into any kind of a rythm, because the terrain was so choppy that it was hard to get a flow going.
This trail was fun to go try, but really wasn’t my cup o’ tea for a couple of reasons. First, I am a whimp when it comes to stuff that looks like I may break a bone or two (this has to do with the required recovery time and medical bills), and Secondly, I prefer a ride that keeps the cardio going and isn’t stop and start.
I am sure that there are some studly riders out there that can ride this whole trail in one shot, I am just not one of them!
For those of you that think that Willow Dells is too easy, or has been dumbed down for us whimpy riders, come try this one on for size!
The 2009 Whiskey Off Road April 27, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Arizona, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, trails, Whiskey Off Road
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.
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!”
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Riding not Writing April 18, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Aspen Creek, Brownlow Trail, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Outdoor Adventure, Prescott, trail 393, trails, Whiskey Off Road
I have been doing quite a bit of mountain biking this week, and conversly have not been doing much writing on this blog.
Short recap, with some photos to be posted soon:
Thursday evening, Kent and I braved the super cold and windy weather to ride out behind Thumb Butte. It was snowing on us at one point! My front tire threw a rock that went into my rear spokes, and broke yet another of them. Another trip the the bike shop for repairs.
Whiskey Off Road Newbie Jennifer and I rode two loops of the Camp Perlstein/393 /Copper Basin Rd. from the Aspen Creek trail head on Friday afternoon. She did much better on the switchbacks the second time, and will do just fine in the Whiskey 15.
Saturday morning, I met up with Jonea who was up here from Phoenix to pre-ride the Whiskey 15. We rode the 19.5 miles and 2500′ of climbing that is called the 15 mile “fun” ride. The trails are in pretty good shape, with lots of water crossings because of the spring storms we have had. I am sure she will do fine on the 15 next week too.
Saturday night, Jonea and I went and did some night riding on the single track trails out at Pioneer Park / Brownlow Trail. Man, it is a whole different world riding at night, talk about tunnel vision!
Afternoon Delight April 2, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Well, not THAT kind! But still pretty good!
Tracie and I took an afternoon mountain bike ride today out at Brownlow Trails. There are lots of neat little single tracks snaking among hills. We rode about 5.5 miles and then went to pick up our youngest granddaughter from school.
Riding until Dusk April 2, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Garden Grove Trail, Miler Creek Trail, Mountain Biking, Prescott, Rock Garden Trail, trails, Whiskey Off Road
On Wednesday evening after work, Jack, Kent Toby and I rode the long grind (5.7 miles) up Thumb Butte Rd. to the overlook. My legs were still sore from the Adventure Race on Saturday, but I didn’t know it until I started to climb….ow! We got to the Skull Valley overlook just in time to enjoy an awesome sunset.
From there we rode the descent that the Wiskey Off Road mtb race takes. The trail 368 single track heads west up the hill from the overlook, then goes NE. There was a dead tree down across it right at the one pretty wicked drop that is on it, so now the trail goes around and avoids the drop. This trail is pretty chewed up and in worse condition than I remember from last year’s race. There was another tree down across it just before it becomes a wider track, and Toby and I managed to pull the tree aside while we waited for Jack. Just before turn onto the 9401J (Rock Garden Trail), there is a pretty knarly section of downhill ruts and loose rock and gravel. I followed Toby’s line down, and we stopped just past the bottom to wait for Kent and Jack. We could hear Kent giving some direction to Jack near the top, and then we saw Kent coming down it. Right at the bottom, there is a deep sandy area, and when Kent hit it, he must have been just a little on his front brake, because his front tire slid out to the left, and he couldn’t stay on top of it. He fell off to the right, landing on his right upper chest and his head and rolling over once from there. His bike cartwheeled over the top of him, and he ended up in a sitting position beneath a cloud of dust. We went back to make sure he was okay, and saw that his helmet had done it’s job incredibly well. He had left a furrow in the ground about a foot wide and 2 feet long that had been dug with his front right side of his helmet! His face was dirty, and his eyes were full of dust, but he was okay.
We continued down the Rock Garden Trail (which is named after the last pitch on it), fast and furious. This part of the trail is a two-track that goes down a ridge, and is filled with lots of loose and sharp rock the size of golf balls and racquetballs. We stopped at the top of the aforementioned Rock Garden to tell Jack about it a little bit, and for Kent to re0tell the story of “the fat guy” who literally flew past him in the race on this section a couple of years ago. The Rock Garden was a mess! It has been chewed to pieces by ATVs or Jeeps or something…..There is no real line down it now, it is just filled with babyheads and boulders with a few truckloads of loose, sharp rock thrown in. It is steep and full of obsticles that try to stop your front wheel. Jack found this out, as at one point he was actually riding a nose wheelie, but somehow saved it.
The next turn is onto the 51 and you can usually just bomb it, but we were a little more tentative this time because we weren’t sure what we would find. Sure enough, coming around an off camber corner, suddenly there was a giant pine tree down and sticking halfway into the track! The 51 is also in worse shape than I recall.
At the bottom of the 51 we realized we were running out of daylight, so we circumvented part of the Whiskey route to save time. We rejoined the Whiskey route at the top of the Garden Grove Trail (392). This section of the trail was in really good shape and was fast and a ton of fun. There was water in the creek, so we got a little wet at the several crossings. At one of the crossings, there is a huge dead tree blocking the trail completely.
We popped out onto Thumb Butte Road instead of taking the Miller Creek Trail (362) because it was getting very dark. We cruise back down to the cars, and left in total darkness.
It was a great ride, and one that we will be doing many times before the Whiskey to get used to the trail, and to condition for the climbing.
Pushing to New Limits March 17, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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……
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!
Willow Dells Trail and Beyond! March 9, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, trails.
Tags: day hike, Granite Dells, Prescott, Willow Dells Trail, Willow Lake
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, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Dinner Hill Trail, Jaw Bone Trail, Mountain Biking, The Pines
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, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Brownlow Trail, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, mtb, Prescott
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!
Another Duathlon Pre-Ride March 3, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: Brownlow Trail, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, Mountain Biking, Pioneer Park, trail running
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, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Arizona, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, trails
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.
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.
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.
That is one huge house up there, sitting on about 10 acres all by itself with 360° views…sweet!
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!
We Three on Thumper Trail February 23, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Cottonwood, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Mountain Biking, mtb, Raptor Trail, single track, Thumper Trail, trails
On Sunday afternoon Mike and I drove over to Cottonwood and met up with Rob and his wife Susie at Dead Horse Ranch State Park so we could ride the Thumper Trail.
Susie decided she didn’t want to ride the loop, and instead she was going to ride the many trials that stayed near the park.
So the three of us started up the Raptor Trail toward Evil Hill. What’s so evil you ask? Well it is very steep, but it is also filled with loose dirt and baby heads….none of us cleaned it. Once we were by that, we continued up Raptor on a bunch of short climbs, each followed by a long nearly level section (repeat as necessary). Three miles up, we came to the intersection with Thumper Trail, and I took the time for a group photo.
None of us had ever been on these trails before, so we only knew what we had read about them, so we started down Thumper Trail a little cautiously, definitely not slowly, but we weren’t bombing it either. It started out with a bunch of short drops (a foot or two) and then we came upon a gnarly section with several drops in a row.
There is one nice drop at the top that has a smooth landing area that you can’t see in this photo, but here is a shot of Rob going off of it.
I don’t have much in the way of suicidal tendencies, so I walked down this section.
The Thumper Trail drops into a couple of canyons and then climbs back out to the top of a ridge again, then turns to the SW and back towards the park.
There were drops scattered along this entire trail, and most were ridable even by me. Soon enough we came to another gnarly section that the self preservationist in me decided would be better to walk. Rob on the other hand rode it (he is a little crazy).
A few yards after this there was another 3′ drop and then we met Susie riding up the other way. She said the trail below was pretty rocky. We road a flat and fast section until we met with the Lime Kiln Trail. There were a few drops and rocky steeps on that trail too, but we rode them all. We had heard that there was one last big drop at the bottom, but somehow we missed it when the trail split just before we got back to the park.
At that point we decided to take another lap and figured that if we rode one of the park trails up around the camping loop, we could miss the dreaded Evil Hill. That done, we called our spouses to let them know that we would be a little longer than planned because we were going to loop it again.
A lady stopped us and said she had lost her cell phone on the trail and could we look for it. We said we would and headed back up the climbs-and-flats section of Raptor Trail. When we crossed one of the fences, Rob heard a phone ringing, and presto….there was the lady’s phone!
We made another loop just like the first one, except now we rode it a little faster. I still didn’t ride those gnarly multiple drop sections though. We met Susie back at the cars, and a quick check of the odometer showed we had done 15.3 miles in 1hr 42mins. of riding time.
That is one very fun trail, but I sure wouldn’t want to ride it after a long dry spell, as it would be very sandy in spots. A couple of days after a rain would be ideal I think.
Wandering Through The Pines February 9, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, single track, The Pines, trails
On Saturday afternoon just before the snow storm came in, Tim and I managed to get out in The Pines for a couple of hours.
It was really a great ride, for those of you who know the names that we use, we rode up the waterline trail to the meadow trail then crossed the railroad bed and followed the green bottle connector then up the jawbone trail. We took top half of dinner hill to where is connects with an unnamed trail then followed that to another single track that goes southeast to the powerline. From there, we followed a new (to us) trail east-north-east to a obliterated trail that led up to the flat intersection above the fireplace. We then followed dinner hill trail (cleaned it!) up to lee’s trail. Then totonka to fallen tree trail to the tunnel connector to the garden of eden then off to the east on a yet to be named trail that eventually kicked us out on south side of the bottom of bobsled. You got all that??
Anyway, it was about 7 miles and lots of fun single track. I am so glad we got out when we did, because it has been snowing since!
Hard Core Not-Quite-Slick Rock in Prescott February 8, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Granite Dells, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, trails, Willow Lake
Check out this helmet cam video by Ken Bennett. It is of the hiking / biking trail that has been constructed at Willow Lake.
This is rowdy stuff, I have been on it on foot, but have not had my bike out there yet.
Friday Evening on White Rock February 7, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Racing, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Outdoor Adventure, Prescott, trails, White Rock Trail
Except it is green now! The white rock at the top of White Rock Trail has been painted green, so now what??? Change the name to Green Rock Trail? Nope. Call it Chamelion Trail? Nope.
Kent and I rode up Thumb Butte Road from just west of the park to the top end of White Rock Trail. Then we took WRT back down to the park and back to the truck. It was a quick ride (29min. riding time) but fun! That was all we really had time for anyway, as it was getting dark.
The top end of WRT is in great shape, and the bottom more rocky end it just….more rocky!
Shocked in The Pines February 4, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, mtb, single track, The Pines, trails
Or shockless I should say. Hal and I went for a ride in The Pines this afternoon, and I discovered that my rear shock is either leaky or broken!
I will take it to the LBS tomorrow to see what gives. I am hoping that they can just put new seals in it for me and I will be good to go.
Despite having my full suspension bike ride like a hardtail today, we had a good ride anyway. Me a fellow named Lee out on the trails, and he pointed us to a little section of single track that I will dub the Lee’s Way.
Black Canyon Trail January 31, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Outdoor Adventure, trails
Eight of us drove down to Black Canyon City today to ride the Black Canyon Trail. We were joined by my friends from Phoenix, Rick and Bryan.
It was a perfect day, and the desert was beautiful. We rode an out and back on the trail of a little over 7.4 miles one way. We had to cross the running Agua Fria twice. The trail is very narrow in parts and has a lot of up and down with some very tight corners and some pretty crazy exposure. It worked us (I guess I should speak for myself) pretty hard. In the almost 15 miles we had a total elevation gain of over 2000′.
In the photo left to right: Me, Tim, Ken, Cliff (his first ride with us), Ray, Hal, Rob, Rick and Shawn. And because I couldn’t get the camera to balance on this one little log, Bryan is taking the photo.
Keep the Hooves out of the Mud! January 30, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Mountain Biking, Pioneer Park, trails
Bob called me today to see if I wanted to get in a quick afternoon ride……..gee, let me think……
We rode from his house to Pioneer Park and burned through about 15 miles of trail. I punished myself on the steep ups, but somehow survived.
There have been horses on the Legacy trail while it was muddy again…dang them!! They tear the crud out of what is usually pretty nice single track. It kills me that horses and hikers complain about bikes damaging the trails….clearly, horses are the most destructive force on a trail. Sorry, just had to vent a bit.
Nice Ride in Granite Basin January 26, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Racing, Granite Basin, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, single track, trails
Sunday afternoon was cold and windy, not exactly perfect conditions, but it didn’t stop four of us from spending some time in Granite Basin on our mountain bikes.
Hal, Rob, me and Mick (this was the first time Mick had been on a ride with me) put about 8.5 miles in on the fantastic single track trails in the basin area.
Because of the glue-like mud that is found above the cayuse area, we avoid it by doing an out and back on Ten Jumps Trail from the bottom. Rob commented on how different that trail is when heading south and up hill on it instead of bombing it to the north.
It was a nice ride once we got our bodies warmed up, and most importantly, everyone made it home without injury!
Mountain Biking Alone January 17, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: duathlon, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, Mountain Biking, mtb, multi-sport, multisport, Pioneer Park, Prescott, trail running, trails
Usually not such a good idea…..
But this morning I went out to ride all three legs of the Go! Off Road Duathlon that will be held on Brownlow Trails in Pioneer Park. I rode very carefully because I was alone…no hucks or jumps today.
The first 1.5 mile running leg starts out on smooth fire road type trail then after about .6 it turns off onto a windy but fairly smooth single track that weaves and wanders its way back toward the TA.
After racer transition to the 8.1 mile mountain bike leg, they will spend just about 30 seconds on the fire roads, then turn onto single track for about a half mile, where they meet fire road width trail again. The wide track is about 2 miles long before another section of narrow single track cuts across a hillside and back to the wide track where a pretty good climb begins. Once riders reach the top, there is a fast descent with some surprizingly sharp turns, then another and steeper climb. At the top of this climb, racers will go through a tunnel then follow the wide track around a roller coaster loop for another mile or so. Near the bottom of a descent, there is a very sharp turn onto a mile of twisted and narrow single track that climbs and descends up and over 2 ridges before it takes riders through another tunnel. With less than a mile to go, riders will traverse a hillside on a single track then join the wide track and head toward the TA.
After transitioning back to the last 2.2 mile running leg, racers will follow single track up a ridge then join the wide track trail for a while then back onto a fairly straight and fast single track. When they hit the wide track again, they have less then a mile to go to the finish line!
Next time I ride it, I will take some photos to edit into this post.
Mountain Biking the Brownlow Trails January 14, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in About this Blog, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Arizona, Brownlow Trail, duathlon, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Pioneer Park, Prescott
This afternoon Nate, Tim and I went out to Pioneer Park to ride the GORD course but backwards. It is now all dried out and in really good shape. If I go out there (and hopefully get more of you out there) a few more times before the event, the bike course should be in tip top shape.
In the post before this one, I uploaded the course map for anyone that wanted or cared to see. I know it is archaic looking with highlighter and handwriting, so I will work on something that looks a little more professional.
The race is 2 months from today, and entries are trickling in. Remember, it will cost you an extra $5 if you wait much longer!
Tim said he and his wife might run it as a relay team….cool!
Pre-riding the GORD January 12, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, Go Off Road Duathlon, GORD, Legacy Trail, Mountain Biking, mtb, Outdoor Adventure, Pioneer Park, Prescott, trails
I went out to Pioneer Park yesterday afternoon to pre-ride the mountain biking leg of the upcoming Go! Off Road Duathlon (GORD). Ray came along to check out the course. I don’t think I can get him to race, but he offered to volunteer. Thanks Ray!
Almost all of the trails were in very good shape. The one exception was the Legacy Trail, because someone had taken horses on it while it was still soft and damp. There were big horse hoof holes (like the aliteration?) I guess I could have said huge horse hoof holes, that will turn into knarly little bumpies when they dry out. Someone had been doing some erosion control on the trail though….Kudos to them!
Seven in Sedona January 11, 2009Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Adventure Recreation, mountain bike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Outdoor Adventure, Sedona, trails
Seven of us drove over to Sedona today to do some mountain biking. Just click on any of these images in the gallery to see them bigger.
The first photo is us at the trail head. From left to right: Mike, Hal, Rob,Nate, Me, Kent, and Kevin.
We did just over 12 miles in what I would call near ideal conditions. It was a little cool, but the ground was moist and tacky, and the sun was shining brightly on the gorgeous red rocks!
Thanks to Hal for coordinating this ride, and to Rob for leading it.
There were some pretty technical sections as you can see from the photos, but no one got hurt (too badly) and we all made it home alive. We are going to try to ride over there more often, especially when it is too cold and muddy here in Prescott.
Biking Becomes Hiking December 29, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Day Hiking, Mountain Biking, Prescott, trails
In the cold and snowy parts of the year, mountain biking gives way to hiking for my adventure recreation.
Most of the trails that I ride for 10 months of the year are now covered in snow and ice. This makes for poor mountain biking conditions (for me at least).
So, in order to get outside and make an attempt to stay in shape, hiking is the order of the day. Well, that and riding the spin bike at home.
Even in the snow, most every trail around Prescott is still hiking friendly. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but let’s not concentrate on them.
Within a 15 minute drive from downtown are miles and miles of great day hike trails. And now with snow on the ground in the mountains, all the little creeks and drainages are running with crystal clear and icy cold water. This makes for some great photographs and nice sound effects too.
So bundle up, put on your hiking shoes and get out there! Its a winter wonderland.
Pedal ’till you Puke…..sort of December 13, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Fireplace Springs, hike, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, The Pines, trails, Whiskey Off Road
-This post was written a couple of weeks ago, I guess I was just so out of it that I forgot to publish it-
I have been battling my first case of the flu in years the last few days, and it has been miserable! But enough of that, lets get to the mountain biking.
On Monday afternoon, Steve and I arranged to meet up with Hal out on the trails. Steve and I rode into The Pines up the Fireplace Springs Trail, then turned and went up Gulch Trail. It had been a while since I have been on this trail, and I can tell you that it has become a rocky mess. It has always been a tough climb, but now, it is brutal. This would be a tough hike even without a bike! I really struggled. We had to get off and push a few times. We were going to meet with Hal at the top of it, but because it took us longer than we had planned, Hal was waiting about a quarter of the way down for us. He wasn’t just sitting there though, he was performing some much needed trail maintenance while he waited for us to struggle our way up to him. The three of us finished the climb together to where it meets the White Rock (but now it’s green..?) Trail.
From there we headed west. The afternoon was perfect, just a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky, and the sun falling sideways through the pine trees. We cranked all the way out to the rock that gives the trail it’s name. At that point, Hal needed to head back, so Steve and I pedalled up Thumb Butte Rd. to FR51. We took the first left and followed it down to Trail 326, then took the 392. The 392 is part of the Circle Prescott Trail project, and is also the final descent on the famous Whiskey Off Road mountain bike event. We bombed the 392, and shortly after it turns from single track switchbacks to meandering two-track, there was a big ponderosa down across it. We were going so fast, that I barely managed to come to a stop in front of it.
Back at Thumb Butte Rd. we took the 332 back into The Pines. Somewhere in there I got a text message, so I stopped to see what it was….it was my wife saying she was really sick and going to bed. Uh-oh. That might explain why I didn’t have much in the way of legs this afternoon. We made it to the Fireplace, and decided we had enough time to head back over the Boulders and down into the Meadow Trail. When it hit the Waterline Road, we went up to a single track that headed north toward the Bobsled Trail, but on the way up that spotted another single track that was unknown to both of us. We said, “Why not?” and headed down it. It swooped and bent through the tall pines and was really a lot of fun, I will definitely try to ride it more often. We came back out on the Waterline Road and then headed back down and out to the car. We covered exactly 13 miles and had a great ride.
On the way home, I stopped and bought Tracie some chicken soup and Sprite. By the time I got home, all the muscles in my body, but especially my hips were aching, and I thought to myself that though today’s ride had been tough, it hadn’t been hard enough to make me hurt all over……….well, an hour later I was driving the porcelain school bus. The flu absolutely KO-ed both my wife and me for the next two days. Good thing we had the chicken soup!
Mapping The Pines November 29, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Mountain Biking, mtb, mule deer, Prescott, trails
Steve and I were joined by Keith today as we headed into The Pines for some mountain biking.
I had my GPSr on and set in track mode so that I could add to my growing library of trails that I am mapping in The Pines.
On our way up from The Fireplace, Steve spotted a herd of mule deer. We watched them cross the hill next to the trail, and I was amazed because there were over 20 deer together in one herd. I haven’t seen a herd of deer like that around Prescott in a very, very long time. We rode up and stopped at the top of the hill, and watched them again, as they decided that we were not a big threat and sauntered away toward the creek. What a lousy day to not have my camera with me!
A little further on, Steve was quite a ways ahead of me, and I was in turn, a ways ahead of Keith. Steve stopped, and by the time I caught up to him, Keith was nowhere to be seen. Steve went back down the trail to look for him, but had no luck….he must have headed back to his car. Bummer.
Later, Hal called and said he was going to ride in and join us. Steve and I headed up a trail I call The Outback to meet him. Once we met up with Hal, the three of us rode a bunch of twisting little single tracks all over in the heart of The Pines. The trail map that I am building is looking quite good lately.
By the time we were done today, we had done 11.5 miles through the tall ponderosa pine trees just outside of our lovely city of Prescott, Arizona…….what a great place to live.
A Fine Blend of Single Track, Sunshine, and Pine Trees November 22, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, The Pines, trails
This afternoon Nate, Ken, Steve and I rode a bunch of obscure and little traveled single track in The Pines. We weaved our way among the tall pines on some really cool sections of single track trails both above and below the old railroad grade.
We rode 10.3 miles, and I would guess that at least 4 miles was on trails that either I had never been on before, or that I haven’t been on in over a year. The pace was easy and the conversation was all over the place. The sun was shining and it was a glorious late November afternoon.
As Ken is so fond of saying, “We could have gone to the mall instead.” It is really amazing what people miss out on when they think that a trip to the mall is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Unexpected Dinner Guests November 20, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Add new tag, Dinner Hill Trail, Mountain Biking, mtb, tunnel trail
Steve, Ray and I met at 4:00 to ride The Pines yesterday. When we got there, we discovered there were also three other people that had the same plan as we did, so we decided to ride together.
We rode up to the fireplace, then across the Dinner Hill Trail (I managed to clean it again somehow) and across and down the Tunnel Trail to what some people call the Garden of Eden and then down the Roller Coaster Trail.
Erica was the only woman on the ride, and let me tell you, she is a good mountain bike rider. She was riding a steel framed hardtail, and was right there with all of us through all the technical rocks, steep climbs, and blazing downhills. She is a freelance writer with a site called ericawriter.com that you should look at. Also check out her blog.
It is always nice to meet other Prescott mountain bikers, as we seldom see any while out on the trails.
Steve and I had already ridden 4 miles and done about an hour of trail maintanance on 332, so added to the 5.9 miles that we did with the group, that gave us almost 10 miles today and an hour of manual labor to boot!
Single Track Solitude November 17, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: GPS, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, The Pines
The other day Steve forgot his helmet at the end of a ride, so I had to return it. That meant meeting for another ride!
Today it was just me and Steve, riding along some of the less traveled trails in The Pines. We saw where the Forest Service had been in with a giant claw and obliterated several old jeep trails and forest roads. Seems a shame, but I guess they don’t want motorized vehicles in there for many different reasons.
The sun was low and the forest was a beautiful and peaceful place to play.
We rode one very lonely section of trail, and it was really cool. This is the trail that some are calling Green Bottle Trail, and others call it Crystal Ball.
I took my GPSr again, and somehow it quit recording a track again….either the signal was too low, or it somehow shut itself off. Oh well, maybe the 3rd time will be the charm.
I know I say this a lot, but it is hard to imagine a better way to spend an hour or two than to be out in the woods on my mountain bike enjoying the company of my fellow bikers.
Working on the Chain Gang November 16, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Dinner Hill Trail, Fireplace Springs, GPS, The Pines, trails
Steve and I and a newcomer named John rode yesterday afternoon in The Pines. I took my GPSr and tried to track our ride, but was not very successful, because I had the unit haning on my chest strap for the first half of the ride. I guess my body kept it from picking up signals, because the first half of the ride only showed small pieces of the trail. After I realized what the problem was and asked Steve to put it in my backpack, the rest of the ride tracked perfectly. I guess I will be forced to go ride again……darn!
John is younger, stronger and obviously a little less sane than Steve and me, because he rode a fully rigid old school Surly bike. At least it wasn’t a single speed. He is a strong rider that we were obviously holding back. He climbed Dinner Hill without any problem, I spun out on pine needles, so Steve and I walked up the rest of the way.
At the beginning of the ride, John went over his handlebars, when he stood up to put the mustard to it his chain broke, and all that power sent him up and over. We stopped and he repaired his chain, and then we rode the rest of the way without incedent.
It always feels good to be able to end a day with an exhilirating ride through the trees.
Grinding it out at Granite Basin November 12, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Granite Basin, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, sunset, trails
This afternoon Ken, Michael, Rob, Steve and I went for a short ride that took plenty of effort. We rode in Granite Basin and made loop of some of the trails as we started and ended at the dam.
There is not a lot to say about it other than we pounded the ups and completely bombed the downs! I have never ridden 10-jumps as fast as I did today. Rob was out front, with Steve and I right on his wheel….if either of them had eaten it, I would have had to ride right over them. Rob was giving me a hard time because I was breathing harder after the downhill than I had been at the top of the climbs. Bombing is work I tell ya!
It was a great way to end the day, and to top it all off, on the way back into town I had another fantastic Prescott, Arizona sunset to look at in my rearview mirror.
Dinner Anyone? November 5, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Add new tag, Dinner Hill Trail, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, single track, The Pines, trails
This afternoon Steve, Ken, Hal, Micheal and I went for a ride in “The Pines.”
Steve led the ride because he wanted to show us a section of single track that the rest of us hadn’t been on before. The temperature was cool, bordering on cold when we met at Iron Springs and Granite Basin Rd.
We started out on the very rocky single track that heads up towards Fireplace Springs. The creek crossings were dry and filled with very soft sand that for some reason I was having a particularly tough time with. Ken thought it was because I had a big lunch that was weighing me down, of course he probably weighs about a buck thirty soaking wet….. We made it to the fireplace, then headed up and over the hill and back into The Pines.
We hit the single track that Steve was talking about, and he said that there was a steep section on it that if any of us could climb it, that Hal would have to buy us dinner……well, he was talking about food, so for me the challenge was on!
Steve was stopped near the top of the hill cheering Ken on when I got to it. I shifted into granny and slid up on my seat and started cranking. About halfway up it got really steep and the pine needles made it so my rear tire was just barely hanging on. As I passed Steve I asked him if this was “dinner hill” to which he replied in the afirmative. I somehow eeked it out and when I stopped found out the both Ken and Hal had cleaned it as well. This is how trails get named…..from now on, this will be Dinner Hill Trail.
We followed the trail for a few more minutes and then it dropped us out on the old railroad grade that the Forest Service has included in the Circle Prescott Trail and called Trail 332. We followed the grade up to the trail that Hal calls Roller Coaster Trail for obvious reasons, it has great swooping downs and then fairly easy ups as the trail as a whole descends through The Pines. About halfway down, Steve was out front followed closely by Ken then me when we came to section where there is a curve and a chord across that curve that has some pretty trick rocks in it. Steve rode the curve and Ken and I took the chord. Ken busted out right in front of Steve and I moved in behind Steve. Ken was set up to take the left at the next fork when Steve hollered out to go right……what happened next would best be described by Steve because he was right behind Ken. I saw some of it, but was screened out by bushes. Evidently Ken did some acrobatic manouver up on only his front wheel or something……STEVE, please comment on this post with the full graphic description of Ken’s performance.
Now Steve was in the front again, then Ken, me, Hal and Michael. Here is where it got crazy……the light was failing so the trail had no contrast to it, yet we were BOMBING down it like madmen. Steve kept ringing his bell to alert anyone that might have been on the trail ahead (luckily for all of us there was no one). I can tell you that 20mph on a mountain bike on winding single track in low light conditions feels like about 50mph!
When we stopped at the bottom, everyone was laughing and saying “that was awesome!.” Yes, yes it was.
Good Granite and Poor Pivots November 2, 2008Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: Add new tag, Granite Basin, Mountain Biking, mtb, Prescott, trails
Sunday afternoon Paul and I rode in Granite Basin. It was a perfect day for mountain biking, temperatures were in the 60’s, the sky was partly cloudy, and there was a light breeze.
We made 3 loops using almost all the trails that are actually in the basin. On the trails we saw a few other mountain bikers, on girl on horseback, and a few hikers.
My rear derailleur is having a problem. When I am really putting it to the pedals on an uphill, the chain jumps back and forth between second and third gear. The LBS says it is because the pivots are worn out and there is too much play in them. This really sucks, because that means that I will have to buy a new one.
- total distance: 9.65 miles
- total riding time:1hr 11min.
- avg. speed: 8.0mph