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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Flowers and Techy

The ride down Alamo is always fun and it tends to be the last trail we ride on Techy Tuesday rides. It is the trail that has claimed around 2 derailleur. It is a tough, tough trail. So when Scott recommended we ride up the trail, I remembered back to the one time I tried to do it was not a ride rather a walk.Some recent horse riding has even further eroded this area, making for an even more interesting ride if we were in fact going to ride up Alamo. So we did as any techy-thirsty mountain bikers would do, we went for it.

It was surprisingly rideable by our standards. There tends to be a moment where one of us is on and the other person is failing. I began the climb ready and attacking, only to begin to miss some lines. Scott was the opposite, slow in the beginning only to come back with some great moves later on.

One hopes that eventually it becomes even and you begin to work off of the other person's success. I think that is what makes the TTT so much fun.

It made for a great ride.

Living to its name, there were some flowers. We headed back down for some tacos....Mmmmmm.

Later in the week, I continued the search for flowers on the commute home. I felt like another techy ride was in order, so I planned one for the following Friday. I even added some post-ride homemade pizza at my house after the ride.

It's a great time to be riding in Tucson...the evening went techy riding, flowers, more techy riding finished off with some homemade pizza.


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