Monday, March 12, 2012

Gila Bikepacking

The Gila River Scramble has become synonymous with bikepacking in Arizona. Lately, the construction on the diversion dam has made things more difficult to cross the Gila River. A week prior to the scheduled trip, the 125cfs seemed like it meant the trip was going to happen with the proposed route of Area 52 to AZ Trail.

We crossed the river without problem (just wet shoes and chamois for the other guys) and rode over to Area 52. .








It's another world out there and you have to explore it to find the best line. It also helps to frequent the area so you know where to go.



At times, the Behemoth seemed like the perfect bike for the trip.











Other times, a questioned my choice to bring the bigger FS rig, like on several of the dirt road sections. The techy ride the day before this bikepack trip was probably a bad idea.



One of my favorite spots on the entire route was the hill climb up Ripsey. Counting cleaned switchbacks has become a tradition, one that was trumped this year by cameras and faster riding.










Completed......quite the success.

The next morning we finished up the ride and headed over to White Canyon and Martinez Rd.







Wet socks + fire= borrowing Chad's pink recovery socks



The gang from L to R, Max, Scott and Aaron....arguably one of the best bikepacking groups around, fitness and sense of humor.







The absolute best part of the trip was bombing down Box Canyon with Scott, jumping off anything that seemed to have some potential for air, riding up walls. Scott did an amazing job with his new camera and managed to take the following picture, which sums up how I feel about this spring time loop:



Check out some more of Scott's pictures or his write-up.

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