Monday, March 31, 2008

No man's land

All 38 (plus one at 9am) riders rolled out at around 6:15 am, just as the sun was slowly beginning to light the bike path up to Arches. Morning has always been the most magical time to be on the bike, just as the sun begins to rise.

I started strong wanting to be pushed by others and decrease the possibility of getting lost on some of the sections of Rockin' A or Circle O. I was up at the front of the pack early, well, for a little bit, I had to pull over to go #1 real quick. While I was doing so, the leaders disappeared into the rolly sections of Rockin' A. Then, my water bottles started giving me issues. One flew off, followed by another one that was about to fly away, so I had to stop again to tighten them a little bit.

After Circle O, I passed Fred changing a flat and later caught up to Max, who also flatted his tubeless with a gash to his sidewall. We started to ride together on Sovereign, chatting here and there, but mostly watching the the 2 Epic crew and Jeff get closer and closer to us. Max flatted again just before the last drop to the bridge on Sovereign. At the bridge, I caught up to Plesko and we had a proper introduction and chatted a little bit more before starting to climb up the 7 Mile Canyon. Plesko and the 2 Epic Crew dropped me very quickly, so I began to ride solo for the next few hours out to highway 313. I started eating mojo bars and hammer gels, the first real food that I had eaten since the early morning Denny's run at 5am. I felt a little dehydrated from the beer on Friday night, so I was downing water very quickly on the road.

At the turn off 313 to Gemini, I met Craig's wife Sharon, who was volunteering for the RR. We chatted for a few minutes, mostly I remember asking how far was the 2 Epic Crew in front of me.... about 5 minutes was the answer. Riding down Gemini bridges at 30 mph was a great recovery from the windy, hill climb on 313. Route finding on blue dot and spike were going to be a little tricky, so my main goal was to try to catch someone that was familiar with these sections of the trail. I was alone for about 90% of the RR, but who cares when the weather was so perfect was hard not to enjoy every mile along the ride solo or in a group.
photo credit

I finally met up with the guy on the Moots (who had shot out to the front early, but later fell behind). We played yo-yo for the next few miles, eventually passing Fred sitting at Gemini to help/check up on the riders. Him and I were it, we were in no-man's land. If you look at the times, you can see the huge gap between the first 5 riders and the rest of the field. Basically, it was just him and I. We blazed down toward Gold Bar, before he stated talking about heading back to camp and drinking a beer. I headed up thinking he was following, but I never saw him again (ahhhhhhhh, the power of beer).

Ah climbing, finally! Gold Bar! I love to climb and climb. The slick rock added a new dimension to climbing. I pedaled along, although walking was very, very common in the technical sections. I still glanced behind me periodically to see if anyone was riding Gold Bar below. But, I was still riding solo. Blue dot was a little tricky, although the GPS seemed to help out a lot in some areas of uncertainties. The views were incredible. Unfortunately, I only stopped for a few seconds before continuing on the trail. The high of catching someone finally came on a section of Poison Spyder/Golden Spike intersection, home of a big climb. I saw two figures on the top of the hill, which I presumed to be Dave and Lynda. The thought of being able to draft back to camp pushed me to run up the hill and hammer toward them. This section was the only section of the ride that I had pre-ridden about a year ago, and I thought I was closer to the road, this propelled my eagerness to catch them even more.

As I finally got closer, I realized that they were not racers, just a couple out enjoying Poison Spyder. The next few miles down to the road were fast; water was becoming an issue. The thought of last week's free Miller High life on the trail pressed me to ask a jeep enthusiast for beer, to which they whole heartedly said of course!. Turns out, they only had wine coolers, so I opted to just dream of water and drank more HEED (this is an issue I need to work on.... I have had two incidents where I had HEED instead of water at the end of a race and had to suffer through the last few miles with a dry mouth). I continued to pedal on toward the road. I put my head down, shifted to the big ring, and began to ride down Potash with more hopes of finding someone. As I turned the corner into Moab, just below the Uranium mine, I saw a figure in the distance (turns out it was Jeff) on the hill. I continued to push until the finish.

I rolled in a little under 11 hours after starting to some friendly hosts, mostly Dave C. offering me gingerale and water.

11 hours on the bike, 90.38 miles, one good time on the bike..... and very, very rewarding.

Slickrock Recovery Ride

Dave Nice, Mr. Chenault, Chris, Marni, Max and I headed for some Slickrock fun after the RR on Saturday. Riding with bloggers and fellow riders that you follow is always fun, and Plesko and Nice are two young blokes that I added to my blog reader awhile back to follow their trips and journeys, so it was nice to finally meet them in person.

It was also very soothing to get the legs moving before the almost 11 hour ride home with Dave and Max. A few shots from the day.

Thanks again to Max and Dave for the fun trip....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

La Ride del Rim

The Rim Ride.... view thanks to Adam's TOPO file converted to GPX for Topofusion above. Leaving early morning to Moab, Utah for the weekend with Dave and Max. Crashing at Fred's house on Friday and riding the 92-mile Rim Ride on Saturday.

Maybe some "canyoneering" on Sunday, Dave?

Word on the street is that 170-200 ounces are going to be perfect for the ride; some of the sand is nice right now also. Got my bike dialed in last night with some more cages, GPS, and Minewt. Went for a quick 1 hour ride around the urban assault course for some "slickrock" and sandy sections (I hear they have an abundance of both where I'm headed).

Two more bottle cages for my pimped out ride

Packing list:
extra batteries
MiNewt battery/light
4k in calories (Bagel w/ the works, Gels, Clif Blocks, Endurolytes, etc)
200 ounces of water/ELETE water/iodine tablets
First Aid Kit
2 spare tires/patch kit/pump
Sunscreen/SPF chapstick

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Finished the pre-ride for the GPX file for the Sedona Big Friggin Loop this weekend. It is big, and I think next year, it is only going to get bigger. Here is what I rode yesterday.
The highlight of the day was crossing at Red Rock Crossing two times in about hip high water (GPS was safely in my dry bag..... dave, now you see what I carry one sometimes) and coming across an injured hiker. This is how it went down as I was going down the hair pin switchback from Cathedral to the Crossing, almost out of water.

I turned the corner on the 2nd to last switchback, the one with the big tree on the right. Well, right there was a group of guys, about 5 of them huddled around the biggest guy in the group. So, I slow down to a skid and ask if everything is ok. One of the guys says we have an injured ankle, and points to the big guy. I immediately notice that his ankle is pretty swollen. They ask me for some advice and I direct them to the quickest way out of their bind...cutting through private property. As I am passing, I realized they have a big cooler on the side of the trail (what little trail there was), so I do what any thirsty mountain biker would do, ask them if they have beer in the cooler. Oh man, was I happy to hear that they had some watered down Miller High Life, super cold. I downed it and they even offered to take the empty can for me. I felt simply amazing, until I realized that I had one more river crossing.

Here are the stats from my ride yesterday:
45.48 miles
8288 feet of climbing (I still cannot believe Topofusion says that is correct??)
7:21 hours of moving time

A nice shot from Girdner... this one is for my cousin Kyle, who had a little incident in this vicinity.

The completed SBFL topo map after plugging in the info into Topofusion
and finally the new info for the race, almost finalized....
SBFL Stats
60.32 miles
11623 feet of vertical feet

That is roughly comparable to the Antelope Peak Challenge, if the elevation change is correct.

This is for my brother, Josh. We rode this section back in 2004 on the Wal Mart bike and the Motiv.... oh yeah.
Jim Thompson/Wilderness Boundary

National C2C2C

According to the GPS, a National Coast-2-Coast-2-Coast ride is comparable to the hitting Lemmon up via Milagrosa-Molino-Bugs. I am not sure how these two rides compare, but some of the stats below might give you an idea. Honestly, I think I can ride more on Lemmon than I can from San Juan to Pima Canyon. I barely brought enough water, something that I still have to look into for the Rim Ride this next weekend. I have also decided that nothing beats a baggle on the trail, no amount of Clif Shot Blocks or Hammer Gel, nothing. Pack one as needed for any ride.

Here is a nice shot a little before the Bajada/National intersection on my way back to the Pima Canyon TH.

Moving time: 5:23 hours
6762 feet of up in 29.54 miles
Average speed was 5.5 mph

Looking southwest on National

Resting at San Juan in the mid 80-degree weather
Looking south on National

Crux of the ride: There are some pretty long hike-a-bikes, but if you like trying to hop up different levels of stairs, you'll love this ride. I had a blast out there, minus the heat. No flats, a few hikers past BV, but other than that, it was just me and the singletrack.

Profiles from this weekend

Anybody want to take a guess on where these are from? Hint

Profile 1: 6741 feet of climbing in 29.53 miles
Profile 2: 8281 feet of climbing in 45.47 miles

Thursday, March 20, 2008

50-Year Pictures from Anthony

4 hours in the saddle

Road the road bike to my mom's house for some coffee and oatmeal (mmmmm...yummy, thanks again mom!) before heading out to Picacho Peak to check out the wild flowers that are blooming.

On the way back... the best flowers were not at Picacho but rather on the frontage road

The ride today was uber flat.
I need a cross bike.... this would be a great place to make a big loop, possibly even down to Reddington and back around to Tucson. This was off the frontage road, so I thought I would got take a look at the mileage.
And finally, the CAP, future home of the longest canal race in the world. The only question is how do we jump all those fences and go around the pump houses? Yuri, do you have any ideas?

A little bit more traffic on the frontage road, more than I had hoped for. I might have to start looking for another flat, recovery ride in the area.
Mileage: 73.8 miles

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Full Moon Mtn Biking- No Lights

Louis and I went out to 50-year trail for another night of mountain biking without any lights. I managed to clip a cholla cactus, scoring about 5 big pieces in my leg. It was not very painful, but it did waste about 15 minutes of the ride and later resulted in a flat tire.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Time to Rally Support

This weekend, Dave is completing a 100k at the Coyote Two Moon. I encourage you to stop by his blog, say a few nice words, and wait for his results.

Dave, as always, I wish I could be running by your side (damn Achilles). Run/hike like a mofo so I can tell my kids about Uncle Dave who freaking ran 100k despite some knee problems.

AES Event Schedule and Stickers

Bike stickers are in courtesy of Peace Supplies, our newest sponsor. Who wants one?

Finally got around to making the poster (Dave C. style) for AES, going out in mailers to a few local shops and shops around AZ.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SBFL and Rim Ride

My wool Rivendale jersey (present from Mr. Handy) came in the mail while I was up north forAZSF! Thanks to Dave C's Rim Ride talk with the map this week, I understand a few of the missing areas on my older Moab Classic Map (pictured in back of the shirt along with the Sedona version that I bought on Saturday in Sedona)

The next few weeks are going to continue to be very busy, both on and off the bike. The Sedona Big Friggin Loop GPX file needs to be finalized and the Rim Ride is coming up. I pulled both Classic Maps out today to highlight some of the route in a sharpie and look on motion based for some possible GPX files to help me out. I got most of the route layed out on the map for the RR, nevertheless, I think a few files on the GPS will help me barrel down some sections more comfortable of where I am going. Not sure if I will stitch the routes together, probably not.

I am trying to figure out when I will have time to pre-ride the SBFL, I might have to do it during the Sedona Circ. Also, I have been debating about adding more mileage/climbing (up near Munds, off a jeep road that would add some very fast singletrack) to the already difficult ride.

Resting most of the day and doing errands til I go to work, prepping for a possible weekend up in Havasu for the oly triathlon.

Did you ride today? Good, me too!

South Mountain C2C2C

Jason, Darren, Max, Dave C and I got off to a late start since the Yeti demo guys ran into some trouble from our Plan B. We had to try to meet them over at warpaint and demo some bikes, but things did not work out, anyway, we had to head back to Pima Canyon with about 10 minutes to get ready. Nonetheless, we were really, really late. We picked up some other late arrivals and headed up National (profile above of the route courtesy of Dave's blog).

They ended up off over at war paint, mostly riding with the family. Thanks again to both the Yeti (Anthony, Joe and the family) and the Rocky Mtn Demo Guys (Thane and Kurt) for hooking us up with some sweet, sweet rides.

Max demoing a rocky mtn, my rocky mtn demo bike in the background riding up National

Jason on the big bike keeping up an astounding pace, especially on the dh sections

More Max shots

Darren from DC

One flat tire, a few crashes, Max and Jason both clearing the waterfall, Dave loosing his saddle, and the amazing BV "aid station" with Guinness were some of the highlights of the trip. Thanks again JB and Chris for the drinks!

After the ride, we headed over to the ramada for some margaritas and fun BBQing largely in part to the hard work of DurtGirl (Kathleen) and other Phx MTBERs. Thanks again for hosting such a great party!


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