Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yo dawg, so we heard you like bikes...

You have a little bit to figure out where this is going.

So I took a little trip through the Rim Country this weekend, and landed in Queen Creek to visit family, and meet new family!


New Mikayla puppy!

It was a fun weekend. I played with puppies, went to Schnepf Farms for the pumpkin festival there, where I got a little heatstroke or something... Slept that off, played with puppies some more, then came home.

There was a little bike riding... I did go down on Friday, after all. after I assembled Oscar, TC and I had a short Friday night Bike Night ride, the first one since she and Alex moved to Queen Creek.

Wait, who's Oscar?

Well, remember the Dumpster Bike?

It went from this:To this:
It's old, it's ginormous, and it makes funny noises, but it's a solid, smooth riding bike, and it cleans up nicely. I brought it down to my sister's place to leave there, so that when I visit, I don't have to cart a bike back and forth.

Getting it down here was an adventure in itself. Besides re-building Oscar, I've been tinkering with Slide:
"If you build it, they will gawk."

I am not the first person to do this... I looked up many designs, and talked to a few people before building something that was feasible and worked best for my application. As it is, it needs a little work, but it worked well enough to take Oscar 180 miles to Phoenix, with no trouble what so ever.

The responses I noticed from people who saw it were awesome. The best was from a French fellow who came up when I stopped. He barely spoke any english, but asked to take a picture of it, to which I said "Of Course!" His thoughts on the setup? "Motorcycle..." *Points* "...bicycle..." *points* "...very cool!" *thumbs up* I wish I knew more French, so I could have talked with him.

Of course, I have to work tomorrow, so I had to come home today. I came back the same way I went down, through Payson on highway 87. I think I'm taking that route down from now on, as it is gorgeous. Lovely forests all the way from the house down Lake Mary Road to Clint's Well, then the drop off the Mogollon Rim through Payson into the rocky desert mountains of southern Arizona. It was a great ride, one that I was looking forward to playing on without a bike on the back of the bike.

'Twas fun.
Mileage: ~180 on Slide.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Engines, pedals, trees and trains.

It's a pretty time of year to ride. It's not too warm, yet contrary to last week's picture, it's not too cold... yet. I've been trying to make time to go see the colors, but work seems to have other plans for me. Hopefully I'll get some miles in this weekend, as they just opened the road to Lockett Meadow for the first time since the Schultz fire. Hopefully I'm not too late for the aspens in the meadow and the Inner Basin.

All is not lost though, as I still have my after-work rides, the thing that gets me through the day. Tuesday, I took Slide out Friedlein Prairie Road... where, amazingly, the aspens are still green.

Today, I took a nice leisurely ride up the Rio de Flag Urban Trail to Cheshire, and hooked up with a freshly built segment of the Loop Trail on Observatory Mesa. The Loop trail now runs from Cheshire all the way across the Mesa to the Tunnel Springs Urban Trail, which makes me happy, because I got to help close the last gap last weekend.

Aspens outside the shop at work. I love how the progression is visible.


I have to work tomorrow, (Yay, overtime.) I think I'll clean the mud off Tri and take him on an after work roll.
Mileage: 16.3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's too early for this...

The view from the curb outside our house this afternoon. Snow on The Peaks.

Seriously... this year has flown. Oh well.

On a side note... this gives you an idea of the hill Exe and I have to climb to get home. The apartments are actually a little above the bottom of the hill.

Mileage: 4.9

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not exactly the ride I had planned...

So I woke up (relatively) early this morning to take off on an all day adventure. The plan was to circle the San Francisco Peaks. I would go up the Arizona Trail from the Schultz Creek trailhead past Aspen Corner on Snowbowl Road, past Bismark Lake to forest road 418, then hike up Bear Jaw trail to Upper Waterline with the bike on my back, (Wilderness area...) where I would then ride down to the Inner Basin, then Lockett Meadow. From there, I'd take the acess road down to Schultz Pass road, where I'd hook up with Shultz Creek trail back down to where I started.


Because I want pictures of colorful aspens, and this route is sort of a grand tour of fall colors.

It didn't happen that way, and I didn't expect it to.

The day started off sunny enough as I cruised through town and started up the Arizona Trail:

Mature pines in the morning sun just look cool.

And soon I ended up at Snowbowl Road:

This is new! No more hopping over the barbed wire, and all new trail from here up!

Yeah... and from here up is all uphill to Aspen Corner, which was... 7 miles away. I was ready for it though.

But then, as I got towards the top, it started hailing. Nothing major, but hail non the less.

Now, I had been keeping an eye on the sky, and I had been watching the storm building up, and had dismissed the idea of riding around the peaks fairly early after the clouds started building. But I wanted to at least make it up to Aspen Corner. But Nature had other plans.

As soon as it started hailing, the camera and the phone went in a ziplock bag, and I started racing down the mountain like my life depended on it. What took me over an hour to climb, I came back down in less than 15 minutes.

Nothing gives me motivation to bomb it down a trail like weather.

I was almost to Snowbowl road at the bottom when I started hearing thunder. Close and loud thunder.

I was about 2 miles past Snowbowl road when I saw a tree get struck by lightning... something I've always wanted to see, but I would have preferred more distance. 300 feet is a little close. It was cool though... a big fat bolt of lightning came down and hit the tree, turning the whole trunk of the tree into light, as the thunder almost knocked me off the bike.

Oh yeah, and the tree was right next to the trail.

As I rode by, I could hear it hissing and crackling inside. Creepy.

The rest of the ride home was uneventful, and by the time I made it home, the storm had moved on eastward, and the sun was out. Go figure.

But, you know what? I think it worked out better this way.

From the time it started hailing and I turned around, to the time I got back in to town and the sun came out... I had the biggest grin the entire time. Not to mention lots of mud.

Besides... the aspens I passed were still green.
Mileage: 36.4