jump to navigation

Sixteen Mountain Bikes, and Seventeen Riders March 8, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

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.

Advertisements

Unexpected Dinner Guests November 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

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!

Working on the Chain Gang November 16, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

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!

Part of the trail near Fireplace Springs

Part of the trail near Fireplace Springs

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.

John fixes his chain while I stand there like a bump on a log

John fixes his chain while I stand there like a bump on a log

It always feels good to be able to end a day with an exhilirating ride through the trees.

Dinner Anyone? November 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

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.

pre-ride
Hal, Ken, Me, Michael and Steve

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.

Michael arrives at Fireplace Springs.
Michael arrives at Fireplace Springs.
Hal starts the climb out of Fireplace Springs
Hal starts the climb out of Fireplace Springs
Michael follows me up the trail
Michael follows me up the trail

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!

The guys ahead on the trail
The guys ahead on the trail

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.

Ken, Michael, Steve and Hal at the top of "dinner hill"
Ken, Michael, Steve and Hal at the top of

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.

After the ride Steve, Michael, Hal, Ken and me.
After the ride Steve, Michael, Hal, Ken and me.