Monday, June 15, 2009


I showed up early to the Kaibab National Forest on Thursday night to start a fast tour of the Kaibab Monstercross 200. As its name suggests, it is a big route with some huge amount of climbing, 35k in fact.

Dave Kirk and I rolled out at 5:30 on Friday morning, bikes ready for a 2-day trip of the Kaibab plateau. The route heads north on the Arizona Trail before reaching the state line. There was plenty of singletrack until it dropped down to House Rock Road.

200 ounces of water seemed appropriate for the ~75 miles of desert riding. The back drop of the Vermillion Cliffs was the perfect back drop for this last section of singletrack.

The House Rock continued for 19 miles before we rode a brief section of Highway 89A.

The East Side Game Road connected the highway with the next section of Arizona Trail. The 29-mile dirt road was pretty steep and narrow to say the least. After a few minutes of riding, Dave was not in sight. He had warned me that he would fall back when we started to climb. I continued to ride up and up.

I arrived to the singletrack at about 4:30; plans had not gone as I had hoped. I had estimated that I would be able to ride the route faster. More importantly, I did not have any desire to ride into the night as this was a fast tour after all. I ate a freeze dried meal and rested while deciding my next move. The GPS showed the Highway 67 was pretty close. Thoughts of bailout went through my head. My legs felt good and I was completely thinking straight when I decided to bail. The reasons were not due to suffering rather fun factor. I was not really enjoying riding solo and knew that I would have to pick up the pace and ride into the night if I wanted to finish before the gathering on Saturday. 77 miles into the route, I bailed.

Abort, abort, abort....

When I got back to camp, I saw long time friend Dave Chenault among the other great friends. It was a good move as the next day we rode the Arizona Trail at a leisurely pace. Pictures ensued. Plenty of rest stops. The ride to rest ratio was about 1:1.

Dave was riding strong as usual. He and I have always had a very similar pace.

The theme of the day was good riding with plenty of jokes and laughter. On occasion, I looked over to Dave and commented how happy I was that I bailed. It was good to go for a group ride on the Arizona Trail. Plenty of great areas.

Mr. Curiak also had his camera out, snapping as we went. He won my heart with his ice cream and he continues to amaze me with his witty humor.

Good views, good conversation, good friends..... it was an epic day.

Aspen riding is one of my favorite types of singletrack.

22 miles of sweet Arizona singletrack

The next day we went to the North Rim, ordered some pizza and did this

before continuing on toward the Rainbow Rim singletrack and more great views.

The numbness in the hands came back a little bit despite riding the Leviathan. The result was a big saddle sore during this weekend, causing me to scale back riding on the Rainbow Rim. The next 3 weeks is going to be break as I backpack down in Central America. I might be renting a bike for pure pleasure during the trip, otherwise it is back to doing some running. Look for another posting sometime in early July.


Lynda Wallenfels said...

How about Dave Kirk? Did you see him later? Did he finish the monster?

Darren said...

Chad looks like fun would like to do some Aspen riding, did the 24 hours of Big Bear last weekend, was pretty fun but it has been wet out here in the mid-atlantic.

ScottM said...

Great pics, Chad. I think it was a good choice to bail. Your hands thank you.

Wish I could have been there for the rides with MC and DC.

Rockin' said...

Great times. I think the drive home hurt as much as the 130. I have now tossed the crappy battery for my headlamp.

Anyone find a gray fox glove in the daylight?

Flagstaff Forester said...

Lynda- Yeah, Dave rolled in about 10 pm that night. He'd been out 41 hours or so.
Great write up Chad

Dave said...

Chad, for purely selfish reasons I was really psyched when you bailed. Awesome weekend, brother.

Dunno about the similar pace though, you keep getting faster.

Chad said...

No glove Steve. Glad you came down.

Dave C, it was great to ride with you and mike, made the DNF worth it :) see you in July or August!


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