jump to navigation

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!

Advertisements

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!

New Trail 317 September 3, 2009

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

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!)

Sixteen Mountain Bikes, and Seventeen Riders March 8, 2009

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

Today I went and joined a group ride from Thumb Butte.

The ride was the Epilogue of the A Friend in Kneed benefit that started on Wednesday night of last week.  It was to help local bike shop owner Ed (Southwest Sounds and Cyclery) to pay his knee replacement surgery.

How can there be seventeen riders and only (did I say only? That is a huge group!) sixteen bikes?  Billy and Christie rode their “Yellow School Bus” Cannondale Tandem mountain bike……crazy!

We left Thumb butte park and rode up to where White Rock and Longs Canyon meet.  From there most of the group went up to the top by the entrance from Forest Trails, then took the tight switchbacks down to the Longs Canyon Trail.  Billy, Christie, Lee and I took the Longs Canyon trail from the top.  I got to the intersection just ahead of the group on the other trail, and then while we waited to re-group, some of us did a little trail maintanence.  We moved a big downed pine tree off the trail.

We all continued down Longs Canyon and then went up to Pine Lakes and along the railroad bed behind Pine Lakes to Emanuel Pines Rd.  Here we headed up Bobsled Trail to where it meets the railroad grade again. Just an aside here, there were some climbing animals on this ride.  There are two steep hills on bobsled, and they rode ’em like they were nothing!

Billy and Christie and Lee turned back toward Thumb Butte, as did Shawn, leaving thirteen headed north to the end of the grade. Toby was going to head into Granite Basin, but when no one else was up for it, he decided to go on the route that Greg had chosen for us.  We headed west on what Greg called the Training Loop, and just like its’ name, it looped around to the south and I recognized it at what Hal calls Fallen Tree Trail. From there, we rode Tatonka trail in the opposite direction that we usually do.  We regrouped again at the top end of Dinner Hill Trail (aka Green Bottle).  I peeled off and went down Jaw Bone Trail, and then reconnected with the group where it rejoins Dinner Hill Trail.  We conitued along that trail through the boulders then regrouped again where it dumps out onto Trail 332 above the fireplace.

We bombed it down to the fireplace, then headed up the long and painful hill of the 332 toward the White Rock Trail.  When I finally pedaled my sorry arse up to where the rest of the group was patiently waiting for me, my wife text messaged me that she was headed to Willow Lake to ride that trail…..perfect timing for me to bail out and just head down Thumb Butte Rd. and back to my truck.

That was the end of today’s 12 mile ride, and I was really glad to have spent a couple of hours with such a nice group of riders.  It was also a pleasure to finally meet Greg and Christophe from Raven Singletrack.

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!

Shocked in The Pines February 4, 2009

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

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.

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

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

-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!

A Fine Blend of Single Track, Sunshine, and Pine Trees November 22, 2008

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

This afternoon Nate, Ken, Steve and I rode a bunch of obscure and little traveled single track in The Pines.  We weaved our way among the tall pines on some really cool sections of single track trails both above and below the old railroad grade.

We rode 10.3 miles, and I would guess that at least 4 miles was on trails that either I had never been on before, or that I haven’t been on in over a year.  The pace was easy and the conversation was all over the place.  The sun was shining and it was a glorious late November afternoon.

As Ken is so fond of saying, “We could have gone to the mall instead.”  It is really amazing what people miss out on when they think that a trip to the mall is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Single Track Solitude November 17, 2008

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

The other day Steve forgot his helmet at the end of a ride, so I had to return it.  That meant meeting for another ride!

Today it was just me and Steve, riding along some of the less traveled trails in The Pines.  We saw where the Forest Service had been in with a giant claw and obliterated several old jeep trails and forest roads.  Seems a shame, but I guess they don’t want motorized vehicles in there for many different reasons.

The sun was low and the forest was a beautiful and peaceful place to play.

Steve works his way through some big boulders.

Steve works his way through some big boulders.

We rode one very lonely section of trail, and it was really cool.  This is the trail that some are calling Green Bottle Trail, and others call it Crystal Ball.

It's me, shooting the gap

It's me, shooting the gap

I took my GPSr again, and somehow it quit recording a track again….either the signal was too low, or it somehow shut itself off.  Oh well, maybe the 3rd time will be the charm.

Me descending some single track.

Me descending some single track.

I know I say this a lot, but it is hard to imagine a better way to spend an hour or two than to be out in the woods on my mountain bike enjoying the company of my fellow bikers.

Working on the Chain Gang November 16, 2008

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

Steve and I and a newcomer named John rode yesterday afternoon in The Pines.  I took my GPSr and tried to track our ride, but was not very successful, because I had the unit haning on my chest strap for the first half of the ride.  I guess my body kept it from picking up signals, because the first half of the ride only showed small pieces of the trail.  After I realized what the problem was and asked Steve to put it in my backpack, the rest of the ride tracked perfectly.   I guess I will be forced to go ride again……darn!

Part of the trail near Fireplace Springs

Part of the trail near Fireplace Springs

John is younger, stronger and obviously a little less sane than Steve and me, because he rode a fully rigid old school Surly bike.  At least it wasn’t a single speed.  He is a strong rider that we were obviously holding back. He climbed Dinner Hill without any problem, I spun out on pine needles, so Steve and I walked up the rest of the way.

At the beginning of the ride, John went over his handlebars, when he stood up to put the mustard to it his chain broke, and all that power sent him up and over.  We stopped and he repaired his chain, and then we rode the rest of  the way without incedent.

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

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

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

Dinner Anyone? November 5, 2008

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

This afternoon Steve, Ken, Hal, Micheal and I went for a ride in “The Pines.”

Steve led the ride because he wanted to show us a section of single track that the rest of us hadn’t been on before.  The temperature was cool, bordering on cold when we met at Iron Springs and Granite Basin Rd.

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

We started out on the very rocky single track that heads up towards Fireplace Springs.  The creek crossings were dry and filled with very soft sand that for some reason I was having a particularly tough time with.  Ken thought it was because I had a big lunch that was weighing me down, of course he probably weighs about a buck thirty soaking wet….. We made it to the fireplace, then headed up and over the hill and back into The Pines.

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

We hit the single track that Steve was talking about, and he said that there was a steep section on it that if any of us could climb it, that Hal would have to buy us dinner……well, he was talking about food, so for me the challenge was on!

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

Steve was stopped near the top of the hill cheering Ken on when I got to it.  I shifted into granny and slid up on my seat and started cranking.  About halfway up it got really steep and the pine needles made it so my rear tire was just barely hanging on.  As I passed Steve I asked him if this was “dinner hill” to which he replied in the afirmative.  I somehow eeked it out and when I stopped found out the both Ken and Hal had cleaned it as well.  This is how trails get named…..from now on, this will be Dinner Hill Trail.

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

We followed the trail for a few more minutes and then it dropped us out on the old railroad grade that the Forest Service has included in the Circle Prescott Trail and called Trail 332.  We followed the grade up to the trail that Hal calls Roller Coaster Trail for obvious reasons, it has great swooping downs and then fairly easy ups as the trail as a whole descends through The Pines.  About halfway down, Steve was out front followed closely by Ken then me when we came to section where there is a curve and a chord across that curve that has some pretty trick rocks in it.  Steve rode the curve and Ken and I took the chord.  Ken busted out right in front of Steve and I moved in behind Steve.  Ken was set up to take the left at the next fork when Steve hollered out to go right……what happened next would best be described by Steve because he was right behind Ken.  I saw some of it, but was screened out by bushes.  Evidently Ken did some acrobatic manouver up on only his front wheel or something……STEVE, please comment on this post with the full graphic description of Ken’s performance.

Now Steve was in the front again, then Ken, me, Hal and Michael.  Here is where it got crazy……the light was failing so the trail had no contrast to it, yet we were BOMBING down it like madmen.  Steve kept ringing his bell to alert anyone that might have been on the trail ahead (luckily for all of us there was no one).  I can tell you that 20mph on a mountain bike on winding single track in low light conditions feels like about 50mph!

When we stopped at the bottom, everyone was laughing and saying “that was awesome!.”  Yes, yes it was.

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

The Magnificent Seven October 1, 2008

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

Ok, maybe not magnificent, but there were seven of us on a Wednesday evening after work ride.

The ride on the the other hand was magnificent although shorter than most of us would have liked.  Cut short due to impending darkness.

Hal, Ken, Ray (all 3 letter names), and Nate, Kent, Jack, and me, Dave (all 4 letter names) met for a ride in the area that we have dubbed “The Pines”.  I have no idea the relevance, if any, of the short name thing, but I noticed it while typing and had to comment.

We took turns leading, and had no plan other than to let the leader take any turn they wanted too.  I had my GPSr on track mode and here is the map:

The magnificent ride of the not-so magnificent seven.

The magnificent ride of the not-so magnificent seven.

As the days get shorter, it limits the time for riding (unless we want to ride in the dark), so I will be posting some fairly short rides on the weekdays.

Stats:

  • total distance 5.24 miles
  • total riding time 34 min.
  • avg. speed 9.0 mph

Pines to Boulders and Back Again July 2, 2008

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

Our group plan was to meet for a mountain bike ride in “The Pines” today, and when we arrived there, the Prescott Cycling Club was also meeting there for a ride.  The parking area was full!  Our group of 6 decided not to horn in on the PCC ride, so we took off while they were still getting there gear together.  Michael, me, Tim, Rob, Toby and his roommate Steve headed out the Emanuel Pines road and then up the single tracks toward the old railroad grade.  After we climbed out into the borrow pit and onto the grade, another Steve (the hardcore variety) showed up, and the 7 of us continued up the grade to the 332.

When we got to the 332, Michael decided to head back down through “The Pines” and call it a day.  For various reasons he hasn’t been on his bike for nearly a month, and said it felt like it.  So the 6 of us rode on.  Where the trail bottoms out and crosses a creek, there is a gnarly, rocky, curvy, slippery climb that is almost impossible to clean.  In fact Rob tried it 5 times, each time getting progressively closer and closer but just couldn’t get it done.  No one did.  We stayed on the 332 all the way to where it meets the 346 and 347, then we took the 347 down into Granite Basin to the 348…lots of whoops and tons of fun!

We rode the 348 to the 351, then took a social trail over to the 350 and made the climb back up to the 349. Tim and I took the 349 east to another little social trail that runs south to the dirt road, while the other 4 guys took the 349 west about 50 yards to the dirt road then followed it south to where Tim and I came out.  Of course they beat us there, but we caught up with Steve (the roommate) right at the saddle and the 3 of us hammered it down the pavement back to the cars.  I topped out at 45 mph on the hill, with my eyes stinging and mouth grinning.

stats:

  • distance 11.63 miles
  • riding time 1 hr. 20 min.
  • avg speed 9.4 mph     (this is skewed due to the crazy paved downhill)

Mapping Trails in The Pines June 20, 2008

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

Kent and I rode this evening in “The Pines” see this post to know why I call it that.

It carried my GPS with me so I could track the trails we rode on.  We wandered all over the trails out there, and the way I figure it we probably tracked about half of what is there.  Now all I have to do is download the track to my topo program to see what we rode.    It was another perfect evening to ride, and we only saw one other person the whole time we were out there.  He was walking his dogs up one of the singletracks near the end of the ride.

The Pines is really a great place to ride, as it is so close to Prescott and has some very friendly and pretty singletrack.  It is also a good place to take shady day hikes in the warm summer months.

One section of singletrack in The Pines

  • distance 9.45 miles
  • riding time 1 hr 21 min.
  • avg. speed 6.9 mph