Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Fall Foliage

TC and I decided to head out and ride up to the inner basin of the San Francisco peaks to see how the aspens up there are coming along on their color changing. Interestingly, it looks like the trees on Elden are more colorful right now than on the Peaks, which are just starting to turn for the most part.

Mt. Elden from the gate at the bottom of Waterline Road.

Find the bird!

Almost there!

Wait for it...

Just imagine coming around the bend to this view after miles and miles of endless climbing.

Made it!

And back downhill we go! Once we got back to Schultz Pass road, TC and I decided to split up for the ride down. She took the road, I took the singletrack. We met back up at the bottom to head back into town. After we parted ways to go home, I decided to extend my ride just a little bit. I was at 47 miles for the day, and decided to push past 50, so I rode out to the airport on the way home. One of my goals for this year was to break 40 miles on the mountain bike in one day... I think I made it.

Mileage: 53.3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chill of an Early Fall

Well, maybe fall's not early, but after the lackluster monsoon season and a somewhat late starting spring/summer, it sure feels early this year. This week, the air had that bite to it, the reminder that old man Winter's on his way back up from the south, yadda yadda.

In short, all this means that, as Fatty pointed out, the best time of the year to ride is here.

So, I set out to do two things today. The first was find, and take pictures of trees just beginning to change colors. The second was to make it to Marshall Lake, atop Anderson Mesa, via the Arizona trail. A good challenge, I think.

The first changing trees I saw, at the bottom of Sandy's Canyon, from a spot I seem to stop at every time I'm on this trail.

An oak just starting to change.

Another one.

As I got closer to Marshal lake, more trees were turning color.

A stand of oaks trying to decide if they want to change colors or not.

Imagine coming around a bend and seeing this fiery tree. I love the different ones.

I made it! (it's a dry, marshy lake, I swear...)

A trail for another day...

Upper Lake Mary from the road dropping off the mesa.

Hey, I was up there about 15 miles and 2 hours ago!

And the parting shot, dropping down into Sandy's Canyon to head home.

The next two weeks are going to rock for riding.

Mileage: 30.6

Slippery Lockup.

Around Flagstaff we don't have headless parking meters or construction scaffolding, but that doesn't stop people from locking up like idiots.  Spotted this jewel on my way to work this morning:
So lets see... In order to steal this bike one would need to undo the quick-release seat clamp, slide the bike out of the lock, and put the seat back in?  Might as well just drape your lock over the top tube.  It does seem like they like the chain lock on the top tube, though.  They locked it up nice and safe to their bicycle.
Mileage: 61 (Two weeks of backlog, sorry.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Loop trail day!

Thunderheads in the distance Friday evening.

Under rumbly dark skies...
FBO organized a loop trail building day today, and TC and I rode out to volunteer. The loop trail is a 42 (or so) mile loop of trails around Flagstaff. Or rather, it will be, once we're done building it. Not much to really write about, we moved dirt and rocks and pine needles around, had fun, talked, and had pizza, all while listening to the sky talk. It started to sprinkle right at the end, but just enough to cool us all off.

Oh, and on the way out of the private community we had to go in to get to the staging area, I got clocked at 33mph in a 25 by a your-speed-is sign on Henry with a pizza box bungeed to the front rack. *zooom!*

Good times.
Mileage: 8.7

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Highland Trails

There's a trail that forks south off of the Soldier's Loop Trail, and I've never been on it, until today. The Forest Highland trail runs south from Fort Tuthill to Kachina Village/Forest Highlands area, winding through a couple washes and the Kachina wetlands. The trail is fast and none too technical, with some steep sections and switchbacks thrown in on the hills, and eventually lets out in a residential area. All in all, a great ride.

Looking out across the (dry) Kachina wetlands, with A-1 mountain in the distance.

However, people that let their dogs take a dump in the middle of the trail, and then don't pick it up need to be keelhauled behind an Australian cattle truck for 400 miles across the Outback. There's nothing like cruising along and suddenly getting sprayed with fresh dog doo and rocks covered in doo. Revenge is sweet, though, as I ran into said dog and it's owner. I informed him that he needs to pick up after his dog.

Then I flicked a piece of his dog's poo at him.
Mileage: 18.9

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I think her jersey was red.

So, in my latest trend of insanity, I bought 9 Sobes at Safeway after work, then proceeded on a longish ride, instead of going straight home. Because we all know that riding a 45 pound fixed gear mountain bike with ~20 pounds of Sobe, and all my work stuff = strength training.

I'm not a masochist, I swear.

So, I was on the return leg of my ride home. Just starting, really, and I was pretty burned. I had just crested a hill, and was building speed and momentum to try to carry me up the next one, when I saw a pack of roadies on the other side of the road, coming the opposite way. I was tired, and was feeling rather impish, (Or maybe the word I want is annoying.) and so instead of the typical cylist "wave," (4 fingers raised off the bar) I gave a full on let-go-of-the-bar-and-wave-with-the-entire-left-arm wave, while smiling big and wide. They all started laughing. Then a woman from the group on a Trek Madone peeled off, did a u-turn and proceeded to race me.

And completely dusted me.

What, were you expecting a classic underdog comeback story?
Mileage: 18.2

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy morning!

So my morning started off quite well.  First, on my way to the grocery, a yellow Miata (which I hate, by the way), turns left and nearly clobbers me.  Finally stops as he is across the bike path and waves me on.  My standard response of "Open your eyes, then drive!" actually got a unique and new response.  "I can't see!"  Brilliant!  Why didn't I think of that?  Cop pulls me over, "Why were you doing 150mph in a 30mph zone?"  "Officer, I'm blind and couldn't read the speedometer." 

Secondly, I stopped to take a picture of a bicycle I had seen yesterday:

It is free locked (u-lock through the rear wheel is kind of hard to see).  Way to go, eh?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A day of odd experiences.

So my day started off rather oddly.  On my way to work at around 6:30am, I felt a light mist of rain hitting me in the cheeks and chin.  Looking up, there were a few clouds, but they were pretty far off.  Looking around, it was nice and sunny.  "Wonder if there is a sprinkler broken somewhere?"  Can't see it in front of me, it is too fine of mist.  Riding along, it felt like it was raining just for me.  Awesome.
On the ride home, it felt like I was racing the rain.  Had small droplets of rain on the backs of my arms and neck, but nothing on my face.  It rained this way all the way home.  Flagstaff has the oddest weather.
Then there is... The oddest experience of the day.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

It's called, Sporkenstein.  Built from spare parts:

And an old road bike frame:

I think he finally lost it.
Mileage: 7


Imagine my surprise on Monday, when, as I sat ~two miles from home, taking a break and enjoying the scenery, I glanced at the B-52 and this caught my eye:

One, two, three chainring bolts, and a hole where the fourth should be...

Now, I wasn't terribly surprised, as I had romped on the bike pretty hard that day, and my reaction was "...Huh. How 'bout that?" followed by "How long has that been missing?" So I shifted to the granny ring and (slowly) finished the ride home.

Now, I'm a big fan of keeping things simple. Naturally, a single speed fixed gear is the ultimate in simplicity, but I don't have one to hit the trails with yet. (Even though I do it with Bi...) So, after thinking about it, and reading up on it. I decided that, instead of simply replacing the missing chainring bolt, I'd remove the big ring, little ring, front derailer, front shifter, and make the B-52 a 1x9. One ring up front, 9 gears in the back. So I did. Then I took it out on a test ride.

I hope I don't get rained on... or struck by lightning... or both...

I think the better rides are the ones when people ask you "So, where'd you go?" and you just laugh and say, "I have no clue!" That's where I went today. I picked up a dirtbike trail by the airport, and wound up on Lake Mary road several miles later, with thunder rumbling overhead. I may need to re-visit the trail, either on the mountain bike or the KLR.

Oh, and the 1x9 setup rocks. Test ride success on all fronts.
Mileage: 14.8