jump to navigation

Melting into the Mountains November 30, 2011

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

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.

Me on the Black Canyon 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.

 

 

Single Speed, By Accident January 31, 2011

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

My knees ache.   They have too many years of wear and tear to ride a Single Speed bike.  I found this out the hard way.

Yesterday Ken, Michael, Keith, Shawn, Hal and I met up for a mountain bike ride up into “The Pines”.

The first time that I really pushed hard, my chain (more on the chain later) came apart and jammed into my rear derailleur, breaking it off the hanger and sending it up and around the cog set and into the spokes.  Luckily, I stopped before it broke any of the spokes.

This all happened less than 1 mile into what we had hoped to be a 10-12 mile ride.  Now I had a dilemma, pick up my bike and walk back to the truck and drive home, depressed and saddened by not being able to ride, OR try to make it work and keep riding….

Michael helped me take off the twisted derailleur and shorten the chain enough to turn my once 27 speed steed into a single speed bike.

Jury Rigged SS

So the 6 of us continued our climb into woods, me on a 34 x 20 SS.  Somewhere right after that, Keith got separated from us and after waiting, then going back and looking for him, we determined that he must have headed home.  After a couple of more miles, Ken needed to peel off and head home too, so now it was just Michael, Shawn Hal, and me.  We climbed up Bobsled, went through the tunnel and on up to Topside. We took Topside to Tatonka, and down Jawbone to the 332 and on down to the fireplace.  It became apparent to me in fairly short order that I would never make the ride we had planned, so we shortened up on my account and headed back down the Fireplace Trail, crossing the icy waters of the creek several times.  After skirting the east side of Emanuel Pines, we headed back into The Pines for one more little loop, and after riding 6.5 miles called it quits for the day.

Now, back to my chain.  Last week while riding, I got a bad case of chain-suck, and my chain got a twisted link.  So Friday afternoon I took it to one of our local bike shops for another chain.  While I was there, the tech said that my chain was long enough that he could just take out he offending link and all would be good.  15 minutes and $16 later, I left with my bike.  Well, I don’t think that it was coincidence that my chain blew apart the very next time I rode my bike….and now, not only will I have to buy a new chain as I had intended to do on Friday, but now I will have to buy a new rear derailleur as well!

Oh well, the worst day riding is better than a lot of other days!

Prescott Trails are Drying Out….Slowly January 27, 2011

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

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!

WORLD Champion to Race in Prescott July 8, 2010

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

That’s right folks, our little 12 Hours At Night mountain bike endurance race has attracted the 2009 25-and-under World Solo 24 Hour Champion and KHS team rider Taylor Lideen!

Taylor was here last year to use our event as a training race for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships (where he took 3rd), but had to withdraw after 5 laps because he was tearing open the fresh stitches in the palm of his hand.  He had the fastest time through those 5 laps with a 1 min. 25 sec. lead over Vassago team rider Zach Stanford.

Word is that Stanford (a Prescott local) will be back to defend his impressive Male Solo division win from last year.  Click here for last year’s results.

Can you say SHOOT OUT?

12 Hours At Night Welcomes Ergon May 3, 2010

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

We are very happy to announce that Ergon is on board with us as a sponsor for the upcoming 12 Hours At Night endurance mountain bike ride.

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

Check out the Ergon blog too.

2010 Whiskey Off Road April 25, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, Whiskey Off Road.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

The weather was perfect for the Whiskey Off Road here in Prescott, AZ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just had a Rock Shox Tora 302 Uturn installed on my bike.  I can’t wait to get out and give it a good testing, but it looks like I will have to, as it snowed all day here.

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

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

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

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

Group Ride on Thumper Loop February 20, 2010

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

Yesterday a group of us drove over to Cottonwood and into the Dead Horse Ranch State Park to ride a trail people call Thumper Loop.

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

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

Prescott Mountain Biking Group Ride

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

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

Steve on the last drop

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

No MTB in Prescott for a while January 22, 2010

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

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.

New Thompson Seat Post for my Mtb October 23, 2009

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

A few weeks ago I noticed that my seat post was bent.  I know, I know….It could have broken at any moment and caused a crash or worse, I could have impaled myself on it!

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

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

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

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

9 Miles on a Mountain Bike October 23, 2009

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

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.

Course is Marked for the 12 HAN July 10, 2009

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

I went out this morning and lightly marked the course for next weekend’s 12 Hours At Night mountain bike ride.

The course is marked with white sprayed chalk arrows on the ground.  Feel free to pre-ride it to get a feel for the flow, although it is a whole different animal at night with only headlights to show you the trail!

On race day night, we will mark it with much more authority.  The chalk will be flowing, and we will also have white flagging along the course.

Temps should be about 80° to start, and then cooling to 60° through the night……….summertime perfection!

The 2009 Whiskey Off Road April 27, 2009

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

The 50 milers had gone off an hour before the 300 of us stacked up behind the starting line for the 25 Proof.  There we were, facing into a strong headwind, ready to tackle the 28 miles and nearly 4000′ of climbing that lay ahead.

The Start

The Start

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

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

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

I turned onto the singletrack and headed for town.

Looking Down the Rock Garden

Looking Down the Rock Garden

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

Part of the Rock Garden

Part of the Rock Garden

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

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

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

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

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

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

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

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

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

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

Riding not Writing April 18, 2009

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

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!

Solo on the Whiskey; I Drink Alone April 6, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

What started out as a group pre-ride of the Whiskey Off Road, ended as a solo trip through the beautiful pines.

Patrick and Jennifer were going to pre-ride the Whiskey 15 on Sunday, and asked if I would come along to show them the course.  Dore’ , Steve and Rob where also along for the ride.  We started in downtown Prescott just like the race does, and headed through town and up Copper Basin Road.  By the time we got to the steeps on Copper Basin, Rob, Dore’ and Steve were long gone.  I hung back with Jennifer and Patrick.  When we hit the end of the pavement, we saw Toby and Katrina getting out of their cars and preparing to ride too.  About halfway up the switchbacks just outside of Camp Perlstein, Jennifer had had enough.  She was feeling sick, so she and Patrick decided to go back.  Toby and Katrina had just gone by us, and now along came Steve and Michelle.  I followed Michelle up the trail, and went by her on the way up and caught up with Steve in the saddle.  I bombed down to Copper Basin just in time to see all the others that were ahead up on the new section of trail that Rob had designed and built.  That means they had decided to ride the 25 instead of the 15.

I rode up it as quickly as I could, meeting Katrina on her way back down with a broken derailleur hanger.  She said she was going to limp back to her car.  Below, I saw Steve and Michelle headed up.  I rode as fast as I could to try and catch the others and after the downhill with the big drops over water bars, I found Toby with a flat tire.  The others were nowhere in sight.  I stopped and visited with Toby while he changed his tire.  Steve and Michelle didn’t appear, and I decided to go back to Copper Basin and just finish the 15, because I knew Toby would be bored to tears waiting for me on the climb out of Copper Creek (either that or he would leave me in the dust!)

I headed back up the trail and cleaned it up as I went, and then when I got out to Copper Basin Road, turned west and made the climb up to the Skull Valley overlook.  I rarely ride by myself, because I just don’t think it is a smart thing to do, but this was actually very peaceful and I was enjoying the solitude.

I stopped at the overlook long enough to start to get cold in the wind, and then headed up the single track that was the back half of the 15.  I had the Whiskey all to myself.

Side note:  The Whiskey 15 is really 19 miles long, and the 25 is really 27+, and the 50 is only 44 miles long!!

I tried to just take it easy on the way down because there are some pretty hairy sections, and in fact I almost ate it just before the turn onto the Rock Garden Trail.  It is rutted and filled with loose rock, and my front wheel had a mind of its own!

When i got to the pavement at Thumb Butte Park, I pushed pretty hard through town and back to the courthouse square.  It took me 50 minutes from the overlook to the square, so in order to meet my goal of 3:30 or faster for the 25, I will have to be at the overlook in no longer than 2:40.  That could be a tough number for me, given my previous problems with the climb out from Copper Creek.  I never did see any of the others that I had started out with…..in fact, I didn’t see any other mountain bikers at all after I left Toby on Trail 48.

Overall, it was a good afternoon on the bike.  I covered 22.6 miles and did a lot of climbing.

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

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

This weekend Tracie and I went up to Page to my brother-in-law’s to attend his wedding.

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

rimview-trailhead

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

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

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

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

Justin on the Rim View Trail

Justin on the Rim View Trail

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

Justin on the trail

Justin on the trail

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

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

Wandering Through The Pines February 9, 2009

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

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!

Our Granite isn’t Slick Rock…..they told me. February 9, 2009

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

Ok, so maybe our Prescott Dells are not real slick rock like in Moab, but they are the closest thing we have here.  For real slick rock actionin video form, check this blog.

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

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

Check out this helmet cam video by Ken Bennett.  It is of the hiking / biking trail that has been constructed at Willow Lake.

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

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

Friday Evening on White Rock February 7, 2009

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

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!

Black Canyon Trail January 31, 2009

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

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.

There were really 10 of us, but Bryan is taking the photo

There were really 10 of us, but Bryan is taking the photo

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.

bct-sign

Me climbing back up from the river.

Me climbing back up from the river.

Tim cruises by

Tim cruises by

Rick rides a narrow section of side-hill trail

Rick rides a narrow section of side-hill trail

Ken above the river

Ken above the river

Cliff ready to bomb the downhill
Ray isn't bothered by the exposure on his left

Ray isn't bothered by the exposure on his left

Cliff ready to bomb the downhill

Hal cranks up a hill

Hal cranks up a hill
Rob thinks I have a gun not a camera!

Rob thinks I have a gun not a camera!

Shawn with the river in the background

Shawn with the river in the background

Bryan is starting down toward the river

Bryan is starting down toward the river

Riding in DG after the rain January 24, 2009

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

I’ll tell you, I am awfully glad that we have some areas with Decomposed Granite trails around Prescott, because the other trails turn to mud and muck when it rains.

Today Kent and I went out to Granite Basin Lake to ride some of the DG trails because we have had two nights of rain recently, and almost anywhere else would be too muddy to ride….well, not to muddy to ride, but so muddy that we would muck up our bikes and more importanly, we would have torn up the trails.

We only spent about an hour actually riding today, but it sure was nice.  There was no one else on the trails, the DG surface was tacky, and the temperature was cool…..that spells perfect conditions.

Kent has decided to race in the Duathlon that I am organizing and putting on during the Ides of March.  He is always such a good help as a volunteer, but I am very glad that he is racing instead this time.

You really don’t need to BEWARE the Ides of March, just sign up for the Go! Off Road Duathlon and spend them with us!

Getting Ready for the New Season January 15, 2009

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

Many of you are getting ready for the new mountain biking season.  In fact some of you are going down to race in the first MBAA race of the year at White Tanks this Saturday.

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

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

Mountain Biking the Brownlow Trails January 14, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in About this Blog, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

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!

Seven in Sedona January 11, 2009

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

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.

Derailed by my Derailleur December 19, 2008

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

The rear derailleur on my mountain bike has been acting up the last few weeks.  I took it to my LBS and they messed with it and finally showed me that the pivots on it are so wobbly that it jumps back and forth on the rear cog whenever I am applying some power ( I say power, but if you have ever seen my legs, you know that is an overstatement) to the pedals.  This has been a real drag, because when I am on a steep, and in a rythm it all of a sudden jumps down and shortly after the sound of mashing gears, I am at a near standstill.

Looking at it from the rear, I can see the amount of side to side play that the cage has due to the worn pivots.  Bummer.

Well I have ordered another Shimano Deore XT M750 long cage derailleur, and can’t wait to get this problem under control.

Saturday Vetting the Duathlon Course September 29, 2008

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

I spent Saturday morning deciding on then vetting the course for the GORD (Go! Off Road Duathlon) that we will be putting on in March.

I still don’t have any official word out there (like registration details), but that should come next week.  If all goes as I would like, it looks like the first trail run will be just over 1.5 miles, then a mountain bike ride of 8.4 miles, followed up by another trail run of 2.2 miles.

It will take a little time to get it all worked out, but meanwhile we are in search of a title sponsor and other prize sponsors.

The GORD is slated to be held on March 14th, 2009 in Prescott.

The GAR is Almost Here! September 14, 2008

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

Less than a week now to the Gilmore Adventure Race near Prescott, Arizona.  Kent and Bob and I did a mountain bike ride on the short course yesterday, and everything is looking good.

Teams are coming from all over the state and southern California to be a part in the what has become the largest (in attendance) and longest running (in years) adventure race in Arizona.

They will begin to arrive on Friday about mid-day, by Saturday at sunrise, we will have almost 200 people revved up and ready to go.

This year’s event will send teams of 2 or 3 persons out into the mountains where they will mountain bike, trek, hike, complete mystery events and finish up with a freestyle navigation leg that is very similar to an orienteering meet.

The weather gurus (yeah right!) are predicting perfect weather for the day.

I can’t wait!

Broken Bike, I Don’t Like! September 7, 2008

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

Friday afternoon the LBS called to say my bike was ready.  They had to replace all the bearings at all the pivots in the rear of the bike.  It is an FSR xcPRO with the horst link suspension, so it cost $150 in parts alone!

Saturday morning Kent and I took some local Boy Scouts and two adults out to do a few hours of trail maintanance.  This is a win-win, the scouts get service hours toward their next rank and the trails get some much needed upkeep.

After four hours of trail work, the Scouts headed back into Prescott.  Thanks Troop 1 Boy Scouts!

Kent and I had a sack lunch, then changed clothes and took our bikes off the rack…….it had been over two weeks since I had been on mine!  We usually ride in either the morning or the late afternoon, but this time the sun was straight over head, and HOT!  We put in 22 miles on a combination of dirt road, forest road, single track and double track.  During a long sustained climb, I noticed that my chain was jumping back and forth between gears on the cassette.  This really made it hard to keep a rhythm going, and I got pretty frustrated with it, especially since I just got my bike back!!

Sunday morning our Adventure Racing team mate, Jonea was going to ride road bikes with Kent and Bob, so I decided to tag along.  I am not much of a fan of road riding though.

We only did about 26 miles, but it involved some pretty good climbing, and after Saturdays mountain bike ride, I was a little sore.  On the way back in on our ride we went past my LBS and I noticed it was open, so I hurried home and got my FSR and took it over to them.

After an explanation of the trouble I had been having with it, they messed with it and came to the conclusion that the pivots on my derailleur are almost worn out, meaning that it wobbles back and forth making it hard to keep it on any one cog.  I have no idea if this it right or not, because working on bikes is something that I know almost nothing about.  Anyway, I told them to adjust it as best they could and I would try it again as soon as I was able to get away for another ride.  After spending as much with them as I did on Friday, I am not real keen on ponying up the cash for a new derailleur.

I am so tired of having bike woes!  And right now my legs are tire from all the riding the last two days.

Soggy Granite August 31, 2008

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

I took a drive in my Jeep Cherokee today (my mountain bike is still in the shop) for some motorized adventure recreation.  We have had an above average monsoon this year, and I found that even the forest roads that are mainly DG (decomposed granite) were soggy and mushy.

Making ruts in forest roads is one of my pet peaves, so I opted to go to a place that was mostly DG.  Well, I found that what appeared on the surface to be mainly dry was in fact mushy.  So instead of spending a whole day out jeepin’ it, I called it quits after just a couple of hours for the sake of the roads.

The forests are filled with grasses, which should help the deer population around Prescott too.  This also means that many of the biking and hiking trails, especially the less traveled ones, are becoming overgrown.

Take note, I am not complaining, we need the moisture!

The monsoon should end in the next week or so, then maybe I can get a full day out in the mountains in the Cherokee.

Broken Bike Blues August 23, 2008

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

Bummer!  I went out to load my trusty Specialized FSR XC Pro and head out for a ride and felt an odd “looseness” when I grabbed the back of the seat.  I thought to myself, “Oh no, not my new BG2 Sport Saddle!”

Nope, not the seat.  The bottom bolt for my rear shock seemed to be loose.  I grabbed a hex wrench and tried to tighten it…..it just kept spinning around and around!

So I did load my bike up, but it wasn’t for a ride, it was to take it to the LBS so they could get me out on the trails again.  The shock bolt was actually sheared, so I left it with them thinking I would pick it up later.

Later is right!  When I went back to the shop, they had some bad news for me.  Not only are they having a hard time getting the broken bolt out, but it seems I also had trashed the bearings in the top pivot to the rear end (I don’t know the technical term for it in a Horst Link Suspension).

They said they had to order a new rear end re-build kit, and they would have my bike for about 2 weeks.

2 WEEKS!

What am I gonna do!?  I guess I will do a lot of day hikes in the next 14 days.  Well, I guess I can take some solace in knowing that there is hardly any better place to do that then right here in Prescott.

I miss my bike already!

Amazing Free Ride Video May 27, 2008

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

Many of you may have seen this one before, but I just had my first look at it, and it is truly amazing what some of these people will not only attempt, but what they can actually do!

Memorial Day Group Ride May 26, 2008

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

We had a group of 6 riding at Granite Basin today. It was a great day to be out on a bike…..(what day isn’t?). We left the boat ramp area at about 9:45, and in the 2 hours on the trail, we only saw about 8 other mountain bikers.

We spent the morning making a big figure 8 in the trail system (or was it an infinity sign?). Prescott has miles and miles of great mountain biking.

Up the 350

All 6 of us made it back to the vehicles safe and sound. Just another day in Paradise!

Just click any of these photos to see them a little bigger………

Rosarito to Ensenada Bike Ride May 6, 2008

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

Wow, we had another awesome time this year at the Rosarito to Ensenada fun ride!

7 of us packed into the Suburban with 3 bikes on the back and made the trip down to La Playa de Mision to a rented beach house.  We played on the beach on Friday, then we drove up to Rosarito on Saturday morning where 3 of us got ready to start the 52 mile road ride to Ensenada.

This is no ordinary ride…..there were over 5000 riders, only a few of which were serious about their riding time.  Most of the riders are there for a good time and a fun ride.  There are people in costume, people riding cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, I passed a guy towing a small trailer with a cooler full of beer on it!  Here is the web site.

One of the most fun parts of the day, comes at the finish line.  There is a MASSIVE fiesta!  $2 Corona beer, and $1.25 fish tacos!  10 of each please!!

We spent Sunday recovering and laying on the beach, and then made the long drive back home on Monday.

This was another successful outing!

Priming for the Whiskey April 9, 2008

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

My buddy Kent and I rode after work yesterday.  We parked on Thumb Butte Rd. where the 392 hits it, and rode up the road to the overlook.  That part is a grind….42 minutes of up, up and up.  From there, we hit  part of the up coming Whiskey Off Road (April 26).  The 366 was in pretty good shape, although there was one tree down across it.  The descent just before the 4101J is pretty sketchy, with lots of loose rock and some big ones mixed in.  The 4101J is fine until you get to the rock garden.  This part is a total mess, it has been really torn up by atvs or jeeps.  There are many big holes and rocks, all covered in loose and sketchy babyheads.  There will be mass carnage here on race day!  If I wasn’t riding that day, I would be here with a video camera.  The FR51 was in nice shape, only someone has put some logs out into it, and they sneak up on you (hopefully someone will move them by race day).  The 321 starts out as a double track then suddenly becomes a single that edges along the side of a canyon, there is a single tight switchback turn that will sneak up and bite you if you let it.  The 323 is a short but beastly climb on loose rock that makes it hard to hold your line.  It levels out and becomes smooth after about 300 yds.  It curves south and becomes the 326 which is a double with lots of room to get by people (this is good because there is no room on the next leg). A sharp turn onto the 392 gets you onto singletrack that is just a couple of years old, and switchbacks down the face of a mountain before it changes into double that you can really let it rip on.  This part of 392 goes straight down the bottom of a canyon and crosses the creek (yes it was running!) several times.  Just before it gets to Thumb Butte Rd. it takes a hard right and parallels the road for a couple of hundred yards to the intersection with trail 367.  This is where we parked, so it was the end of our ride for today.

I am looking forward to the Whiskey this year, my hope is to improve on last year’s time of 3:47 for the 27 miles that is the “25 Proof”.

Finally got my bike back April 5, 2008

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

Monday I dropped my bike off at the lbs, and told them how bummed out I was with the troubles I had with it at the Desert Rage Adventure Race.  I told them I was going to be busy all week and that I wanted it fixed more than I wanted it back in a hurry. Remember it gave me fits at the race, and  Team Gilmore Adventure Race (that’s us), didn’t have time to get all the nave points.

Well, I went and got it this afternoon, and can’t wait to get out and see if it’s 100% again. A full week off is killing me.

Day Hike on 392 March 20, 2008

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

I am always scouting the local trails for my Adventure Recreation business, so I took a short hike up trail 392 from Thumb Butte this afternoon.  Man is it great to see all the water running!  There was even one spot along the trail that was like a seep or slow spring, water was just coming out of the ground and running down hill to another small creek.  For anyone that is riding in the Whiskey in April, this part of the trail actually looks really good (did a little trail maintenance with my foot as I hiked along).  There are, however, several places where (right now anyway) you cross water.  That’s cool though, you always look a little more extreme if your bike is muddy!

Anyway, it was nice to get out for a quick hike, even if it was for only an hour or so.