Sunday, October 31, 2010

Photo Dumpage: Meadview and Fall Colors

Last weekend saw a trip out to Meadview Arizona with TC and Alex, and one of the days involved me getting the bright idea to ride from Meadview to Lake Mead, more specifically the boat ramp at South Cove.So under cloudy skies I set off.

I see the lake!

Will the weather hold out?

This downhill was the whole goal of the ride.

Boat ramp extension construction.

I scared up a flock of ducks.

The long grind up hill...

Made it to the top!

At this point I decided to explore, and ended up riding to the Meadview International Airport, Hair Care, and Tire Center, which sits on a mesa north of town.

Looking towards Pearce Ferry from the mesa.

STeve checking out the view. I love the geology of this area.

The airstrip. I decided to see how fast I could ride down it and back. I am decidedly slower than a Bugatti Veyron.

Long straight road back to Meadview.

Now... it's the end of Octoberber, and I'm sure someone's wondering where the usual fall colors I seem to post every year are. Fall came late, and I've been a little busy, but today, the Josh monkey and I set out for a ride over the Dry Lake Hills, which took us through some colorful trees.

Josh climbing a boulder...

Followed by myself.

Not many things will stop me when I'm rolling down sweet flowing trail like Sunset on the way down to Schultz Tank.
But that did.

Mileage: 32.3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dogfood, with some A-1, Please.

Fall is slowly marching down the mountain slopes, and I fear this may be one of the last really nice weekends for mountain biking for the year. I made it a point to go out today, and after getting a very late start, I headed out.

I beelined through town to the Schultz Creek trailhead, and set course up Dogfood. I made it to the top, turned around and blasted back down, which was the primary goal for the ride today. I just wanted to ride down Dogfood, something I had yet to do, and it was very fun.

After that, I decided to try to avoid riding through town, and found a route from Highway 180 that took me right by A-1 Mountain and across Observatory Mesa to the Tunnel Springs trail, then home in the dark from there. A little exploration to round out the ride... always nice.

The San Francisco Peaks, from Hidden Hollow.

Mileage: 35.2

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What a slacker.

I had been intending to make a post a week or so ago... but I got busy and lazy. Four letter words, they are. There's only so many hours in a day with which to ride and be distracted by shiny objects, and let's face it; Riding, and shiny objects are just a little higher on my list of priorities.

So, what have I been up to, specifically?

Well, I broke my first spoke:
I was cranking up a hill, and heard a plink that shook the whole bike, which left me frantically looking for what broke, until I saw the rear wheel tweaked. D'oh. Another broken part for the wall.

I've also been testing the load limits on Henry.
So far the heaviest load stands at about ~150 pounds, comprised of various boards, anywhere from 2 feet to 8 feet long. Stuff like this is why I got the Big Dummy, and boy do I love it. I like the weird looks people give me when I haul something big, too.

And then there's the actual rides I've been going on. I've been on a bit of an exploration kick lately, finally taking that left or right turn that I've never taken, but always wondered where it would take me, or what the trail looks like, what sights there are to be seen. Sights like a different view of Fisher Point, looking down the very beginning of Walnut Canyon:

Or looking up Sandy's Canyon:

I decided to ride up Fay Canyon, one I've surprisingly never done. I ride through Skunk and Sandy's Canyon all the time, and Fay Canyon sits between them. I wanted to collect the whole set. It's not the most scenic canyon out of the other two on either side of it, but it has its moments:

What Fay Canyon lacks in views, though, the trail itself more than makes up for. It's beautifully laid out, following the terrain like Laguna Seca, as the trail swoops from the canyon walls to the very edge of the wash, before doubling back on itself to sweep through the bottom of the wash and up the other side. The fast rolling sections are smooth and free of large rocks buried in the trail bed, with some mildly banked turns, so you can roll at speed with confidence. The technical sections are challenging, but not so much as to make you walk. It's unbelievably fun.

I can't believe I've never ridden it before now, though I'm sure there are a lot of trails like that.


This... brings us to today. I got off work early to take care of a few things, and ended up going for a ride of undetermined destination and duration. I ended up doing Soldier's Loop to the Highlands, out to the Kachina Wetlands, before heading out a dirt road and following a game trail up to the top of a hill off Woody Mountain Road to see the sunset.
Fall, coming to a tree near you.

Fort Fork, on the Bridge trail.

Completely random balloons in a field.

Sunset from near the top of the hill off Woody Mountain Road.

Now, it's no secret I love riding at night. The last few weeks in summer saw me riding with the Absolute team on their Thursday night rides, but with the sun going down earlier for Fall, they're done for the season, though obviously that doesn't stop me.

That said it's cool when you're riding at night, and you see an animal of some sort. A rabbit, a squirrel, maybe a fox, even. It's really cool if you see something a bit bigger, like a deer, or a coyote.

Want to know what awesome is?

I was rolling down a dirt road tonight, the sun's down, I'm running full lights, but there's still a little light in the sky. All of a sudden, I hear an elk bugle, long and loud, and CLOSE. It scared me half to death and raised the hair on my neck. I whipped my head around, with the helmet light lighting everything in it's path.

And about 60 pairs of elk eyes, the closest of which were only 20 feet away, all stared back at me out of the darkness.

Mileage: 31.6