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Bike Magazine Offers Up Some Great Tips July 24, 2013

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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I just ran across a really great tutorial article in Bike Magazine Online about five ways to improve your cornering.  It can help every level of rider, whether it is a refresher for a very experienced rider, or some super helpful info for beginners.

http://www.bikemag.com/friday-five/friday-five-carving-turns/

Hopefully we can all glean something that will improve our riding!

Melting into the Mountains November 30, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

 

 

12 Hours At Night Results July 18, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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The 2011 12 Hours  At Night endurance mountain bike race in Prescott, AZ is in the books, and we can’t wait for next year!

There are lots of photos posted HERE.  Thanks to Brooke Photography for taking some great photos.  You can definitely tell which are taken by the professional, and which were taken by me. If you ever need photos taken by a pro with an amazing eye for finding the extraordinary shot, use Brooke Photography.

Lap Count Results are:

Place # NamE Total Laps
SOLO MALE
1 127 Jim Koziol 16
2 101 Zach Stanford 15
3 105 Rich Maines 12
4 107 Mike Park 12
4 113 Brian Roberts 12
6 112 Dan Kuch 11
7 129 Ward Tyczka 10
8 109 James Bliss 9
8 114 Alan Honyestewa 9
9 102 Scott Golden 8
11 104 Richard Sharp 8
12 108 Jim Alred 6
13 106 Phil Ryder 4
14 124 Donald Kavanagh 3
15 111 Gene Argust 3
16 125 David Bush 2
103 Ryan Coates
126 Tom Stack
SOLO FEMALE
1 116 Crankin’ for a Spankin’ 12
2 115 Becky Bliss 8
3 117 Sandi Scrimgeour 6
4 128 Sharon Marzonie 4
SOLO SINGLE SPEED
1 110 GeoManGear 13
2 120 Darren Tsosie 10
3 118 Team Crossfit 7
4 121 David Rowe 6
5 123 Taylor Lideen 5
122 Walt Lopus
DUO MALE
1 203 Celtic Cow 15
2 204 Red Energy 13
3 205 How Much Longer!? 11
4 202 Iron Giant 7
5 206 The Burearcrats 6
3 MALE
1 302 Esso Watches Racing 16
2 303 Midnight Cramp Campaign 16
3 305 Sunday Cycles 14
4 304 Sammy’s Road Kill Crew 13
5 301 Team Laughing in the face of RA 12
3 SINGLE SPEED
1 307 One Cog 16
2 309 Waiting for Sunrise 16
3 308 BLVD Bike 12

Full race results and lap times will be posted to the event page in a few days.

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo 2011 February 26, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking.
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We left Prescott as five individuals who were going to ride in the 5 person co-ed 200+ division at the Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race.

We arrived back to Prescott as an Endurance Mountain Biking Team.  Old and slow, but still a team called “Four and a Half Men”

By late Friday, we had all made it safely to the desert north of Tucson where the 24 HITOP is held.  Some of us had been there a day already and had pre-ridden the course a couple of times.  It seemed pretty tame compared to what we ride in the Prescott area on any given weekend.

Friday we sat around our campfire, visiting and contemplating what the next day would bring.  None of us had ever been to the 24 HITOP before, and we really didn’t know what to expect.

As the sun fell toward the horizon, we had the opportunity to see an amazing Arizona sunset.  Word spread through the temporary 24 Hour Town like the wildfire that appeared to in the western sky.

People ran for their cameras and stood on their cars, trailers and motorhomes to try and get the perfect sunset photo.  I picked up my bike and held it up while Steve snapped this photo.  As the sun continued to dip, the sky turned the color of a blacksmith’s forge.  Then Scott held his Yeti skyward for one of the coolest photos I have seen.

What an awesome way to start our weekend adventure.

Saturday morning we were treated to Omelets prepared by Karen who had come down to just hang out with us and take some photos.  She is also an amazing camp cook!

We went down to the expo area and visited with other Prescott riders that were there throughout the morning.  After the pre-race meeting, Robert prepared for taking the first lap for our team.  This race begins with a quarter-mile LeMans style start where the first lap riders run that 4oo meters, then mount their bike and ride the first lap.  It is literally a stampede of 800+ bikers trying to find their bike and somehow weave through the chute filled with other biker attempting to do the same thing.

After the wild start, the rest of us went down to the spot on a trail called His ‘n Hers where the race course comes closest to the 24 Hour Town.  Here we cheered on the first riders to arrive, counting them as they went past until at number 146 we saw Robert coming around the corner.  We yelled like crazy for the 2 or 3 seconds that it took him to approach us, go by, and then disappear around another corner.

I forgot to mention that at the start of the race, the wind was blowing at 25-30 mph, with gusts to 40+ (crazy!).

I hurried back to get ready to take lap number 2 for out team.  I felt good, and was riding well, when shortly after the turn onto Rattlesnake Trail, riders were being flagged down and asked to walk our bikes past a rider being worked on by EMS.  I wasn’t sure what had happened, but I did see what was left of a large cholla cactus scattered about as if it had been blown up.  Note to self: stay on the trail! It felt like the wind was picking up, and as I rode across the dam of a cattle tank, I saw a girl get blown off her bike, then as she tried to walk the bike, it was being blown into her and she could hardly hold onto it.  The guy in front of my looked like he and his bike were leaning at a 45 degree angle just to hold a straight line!  About 12 miles into that first lap, I realized that I was riding really hard, and I thought back to standing there in the on deck area of the exchange tent telling myself it was going to be a long 24 hours and to just take it easy.  That plan was out the window, and I knew I would suffer on later laps because of it.  Dang.

When I came into the exchange tent, there was Steve, ready to go.  One thing I thought we did really well throughout the entire event, was we just kept moving forward.  There weren’t any missed exchanges where the next rider was sleeping, and none of us had any mechanical issues or flat tires.

While Steve was out on his lap, we felt the air temperature suddenly drop about 15 degrees, and the forecast said that rain was on the way within the hour.  So when Jeanette geared up for our 4th team lap, she was ready for whatever might be coming.  She ended up being out there for the beginning of the coming rain.  Evidently it rained lightly on her toward the end of her lap, and as she passed the baton to Michael at about 6:20pm, the rain was falling.  Michael’s lap had it all.  He rode in 20mph winds with rain falling sideways and about 15 minutes into his lap, the sun was gone.  While we were huddled in tents and trailers for the next hour and a half, Michael pushed on.  He returned from his lap in amazingly good spirits, with stories of how fantastic the cacti looked in his lights with each drop of water on every little needle reflecting the light.  We were feeling good as a team as Michael finished his lap and Robert began his second lap.  The rain appeared to be almost over, and we had all successfully completed our first lap of the 16.1 mile race course.

The rain DID stop, and we continued to ride through the night without any problems.  There were lots of riders out there changing tires and patching tubes, but thankfully, we were not among those with mechanical issues.  During Jeanette’s second lap, somewhere around midnight, I took this photo of riders lights coming along His ‘n Hers Trail.  Look at the glow of the lights of Tucson on the low clouds in the background.

One thing we all noticed and were really appreciative of, was how courteous and friendly 99.9% of the riders were.  Around 6am as I was coaxing my bike up the climb of the High Point Trail, a very fast girl wearing a KHS Cycles jersey went by me like I was standing still, but as she did, she took the time to offer words of encouragement, “Keep going, you are almost done!”, she said as she disappeared into the gray of the early morning.

Micheal had the last lap for our team as noon approached on Sunday, and the rest of us walked over to the spot where the trail comes back down toward the transition tent to meet him.  As he came around the corner toward us, he spotted Jeanette waving to him, and tired as he was, he gave a big satisfied smile.

We had completed 15 laps, 3 each to finish 13th of 46 teams in our division that started on Saturday.

Team Four and a Half Men

At any of various points throughout the race, we had all been the Half that our team name mentions.  The other 4 were always there to offer a smile, a joke, and words of encouragement.  This was a bonding experience for us.  We became a team at the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.

The Rim View Trail in Page, AZ February 14, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

Aerial of the Rim View Trail

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!

Single Speed, By Accident January 31, 2011

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

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

Check out the Ergon blog too.

2010 Whiskey Off Road April 25, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 HAN Gets Another New Sponsor February 27, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking.
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One of our contributing sponsors for the 12 Hours At Night mountain bike race is going to be The Singletrack Store.

They are purveyors of the MagicShine 900 lumens light kit, that you will see many of the competitors at the 12 Hours At Night using to get them through the hours of darkness.

The Singletrack Store will be providing our universal charging station as well as some Magicshine chargers.  They will also have kits on hand to purchase.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group Ride on Thumper Loop February 20, 2010

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

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

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

Prescott Mountain Biking Group Ride

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

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

Steve on the last drop

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

Group Ride on the BCT February 7, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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!

This was one HUGE group ride!

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!

Want To Be a Better Mountain Biker? January 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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I just found an in depth guide to learning and honing your mountain biking skills.

The Complete MTB guide – Julien Lallemand has created a very detailed and illustrated guide to mountain biking.  All the content is on the California ARA site for new and experienced racers to use.

This has something for everyone who either wants to be a mountain biker, or is already and wants to improve.

No MTB in Prescott for a while January 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

Date Set for 12 Hours at Night in 2010 October 24, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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We have been given the approval for the 12 Hours at Night mountain bike ride and relay in 2010 in Prescott, AZ.

It will be on July 17th into the 18th.  Mark your calendar!

We are still a long way out at this point, so we don’t have any registration prices or times set.

New Thompson Seat Post for my Mtb October 23, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

9 Miles on a Mountain Bike October 23, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

New Trail 317 September 3, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

Steve rides down a granite face.

Steve rides down a granite face.

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.

Dave crossing one of the smooth granite creek bottoms.

Dave crossing one of the smooth granite creek bottoms.

The trail took us out into and amongst the towering orange granite boulders.

Doing my best trials rider impression.

Doing my best trials rider impression.

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!

Steve and Me on the Lakeshore Trail

Steve and Me on the Lakeshore Trail

12 Hours At Night Results July 21, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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Here is the link to the results for the inaugural 12 Hours At Night mountain bike relay and endurance event.

RESULTS

One thing to take note of on the results sheet, is that Taylor Lideen was on a torrid pace when the stitches in the palm of his hand started to tear out, and he was forced to drop out after posting the fastest time for the first 5 laps.

He is trying to heal up so he can race in a big endurance event is a couple of weeks.  I really would have liked to see how many laps he could have put on the board.  We hope to see Taylor back here next year to see what he can do.

We also have some photos posted on our Shutterfly page, check them out!

Course is Marked for the 12 HAN July 10, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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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!

12 Hours At Night Gaining Momentum June 2, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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Entries are coming in……..

Sponsors are signing on……..

Things are shaping up for the………..

12 Hours At Night Mountain Bike Ride

I am pleased to announce that in addition to REI and CLIF bar, our newest sponsors are Road ID, and Honest Tea.

The 2009 Whiskey Off Road April 27, 2009

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

The Start

The Start

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

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

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

First singletrack above Camp Perlstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

I turned onto the singletrack and headed for town.

Looking Down the Rock Garden

Looking Down the Rock Garden

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

Part of the Rock Garden

Part of the Rock Garden

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

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

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

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

One of the switchbacks at Garden Grove

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

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

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

Finishing the 2009 Whiskey Off Road

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

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

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

12 Hours At Night Mountain Bike Ride! April 21, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
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It’s official, the 12 Hours At Night is now up and open for registration.

12hanlogo1

This is a perfect time too.  The Whiskey Off Road mountain bike race is this weekend, so hopefully plenty of you are finding this blog and reading it.

This is a great way for all you desert dwellers to get up here in July and escape the 120° temps, and spend one cool night riding your bike.

Riding not Writing April 18, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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

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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.

Four Old Guys and Their Bikes March 8, 2009

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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!

Windy Evening on the MTB March 4, 2009

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Tim, Kent and I went on a pre-ride of the GORD mtb leg again tonight, and the wind was howling.

If the you are riding into a 25mph headwind and your computer shows 20mph, are you riding as hard as if you were really going 45mph??  It sure feels like it!

We hammered hard tonight, and got it done it right at 45 minutes.  I really don’t think that many people will do it faster than that on race day.  That doesn’t mean that I think that I am fast or anything, but I know the course and was riding hard. I just can’t imagine anyone doing it in under 40 minutes, so come on you guys…….make me eat my words!

The entries for the event are surprising me a little bit, still zero entries in either male or female 16-18 age group.  Another surprise is that one of the divisions with a lot of entries is female 40-49 age group.  And in one last statistic that makes me scratch my head is that less than 10% of our entries are local to the Prescott Area……hmmmm.

I was glad that Tim came along tonight, as he and his wife have decided to enter in the Relay division in the GORD.

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

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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!

We Three on Thumper Trail February 23, 2009

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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.

Me, Mike and Rob where Raptor and Thumper Trails meet.

Me, Mike and Rob where Raptor and Thumper Trails meet.

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.

The first section of gnarly drops.

The first section of gnarly drops.

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.

Rob takes one of the drops.

Rob takes one of the drops.

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.

Mike tops out on the trail ahead of me.

Mike tops out on the trail ahead of me.

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).

The second big section of multiple drops.

The second big section of multiple drops.

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, 2009

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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

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

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

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

Friday Evening on White Rock February 7, 2009

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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, 2009

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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, 2009

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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

Nice Ride in Granite Basin January 26, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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!

Beginners, Don’t Be Scayyerd! January 24, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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It’s funny how when I meet people and start talking with them about mountain biking, they usually say something like, “Uh, uh.  That sport is way too hard and too dangerous for me.”

Of course they are wrong.  Fear is a great motivator, sometimes it motivates us to do something, but mostly it paralyzes us and motivates us not to do something.

I ran across this blog today, and I think some of you nay-sayers might find it helpful.

Riding in DG after the rain January 24, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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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!

Prescott Off Road Duathlon is Coming January 23, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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Registrations are pouring in for the Go! Off Road Duathlon to be held March 14th in Prescott, Arizona.  Entries are limited to 150, so don’t delay! We also are looking for able bodied volunteers who want to get out on the course and make sure racers do what they are supposed to be doing…..that’s right, YOU get to be a Marshall!  (Sorry, no brass stars).

Thanks to Barry at the Runner’s Den in the valley for putting up our poster and for his enthusiasm for our event.

Thanks to Bill at Hensley & Co. for agreeing to make us up some banners and some promotional posters as well.

And another thanks to Matt at Buzzmug.com for his ongoing support.

Other sponsors that we are grateful to:

High Gear Bike Shop

TriSports.com

Hammer Nutrition

Clif Bar

and there are new sponsors signing up all the time.  In fact, you or your company could get in on the action and be one!

Kicking it into High Gear January 18, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
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Well with less than 60 days until the event, it seems as though things are getting fast and furious now.

We would like to welcome a new sponsor the the Go! Off Road Duathlon, it is the High Gear Bike Shop in Prescott, Arizona.  Steve and Cindy at High Gear are donating some items for our prize drawing at the conclusion of the race.

High Gear Bike Shop in Prescott, AZ

High Gear Bike Shop in Prescott, AZ

If you are looking for a new mountain bike, they deal in Cannondale, Trek, Haro, and Scott USA in the mountain bike category, as well as BMX bikes and road bikes.

Steve has been in business in Prescott a long time too, I used to buy skateboard wheels from him in the ’70s.

Duathlon entry forms are available at High Gear Bikes at the corner of Sheldon and Mt. Vernon in Prescott.  Of course they are also available at “other bike shops” which at this point will remain nameless.  I would love to name them, but they haven’t agreed to give us prizes yet!

Mountain Biking Alone January 17, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, trails.
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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.

Getting Ready for the New Season January 15, 2009

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

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

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

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.
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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, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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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.

Duathlon Gets Another Sponsor December 26, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events.
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The Go Off Road Duathlon (GORD) has picked up another sponsor for the race that is to be held March 14th, 2009 in Prescott, AZ.

Thanks to BuzzMug.com for stepping up as another one of our growing list of sponsors.Buzz Mug

Visit BuzzMug.com for everything coffee and more!

Pedal ’till you Puke…..sort of December 13, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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-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!