Thursday, December 20, 2012

Take Flight

"Oh man, if Scott cleaned that, I am going to have to try that one again."

This statement is the underlining premise of every techy ride. You do it, fail. Then try again. Repeat as many times as necessary until you conquer or come up with another excuse (I almost had it, need to take a picture, unclipped, off today..the list is endless).

But when someone in your group cleans it... gotta step up and try at least one more time.

The waiting game is the key of these type of rides. "We better not go over 7 miles during the 2.5 hour ride," Scott joked this past week.

Rule #1 of Technical Group Riding: Never feel like you are holding up the group. You can try until you give up.

...and so we wait, cheering as you try new lines. Surprising is it may seem, we want you to succeed, to rejoice in your accomplishment or empathize with you should you not make it.  

Krista showed up for the TTT this week. During the first year of the TTT, we moved the ride to Tuesday upon realizing that Rubio's had a special on tacos. I believe she showed up for one of those first rides, in fact, that is where we met her.

Rob stepped it up and showed Scott and I how to launch off a deceiving drop on our normal TTT ride. It was just what we needed to give it a go.

And so, there was the last techy taco ride for this year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I could not think of a better place to live this time of year. With 50-Year Trail less than 2 miles away to the east and the Tortolitas four miles to the west, I never really have an excuse not to ride.
Here are the highlights from some recent rides in the Tortolitas…

Thanks for lookin'

Beautiful trails, good friends, stunning scenery...

This week, the TTT was moved to Wednesday. Instead of eating the normal Rubio tacos, we switched things up with some In-n-Out.

We also switched up the normal climb to a different route, before finding a newer trail to us.

 Good move. The trail was a masterpiece of trail that weaved in-n-out of the slickrock boulders and lines.

                                                 Jbake trying to climb the steep slickrock.

Some moves would have to wait another day, like this one. Others were conquered by at least one of us.

Attacking ocotillo!

Try, try, try again...

When everything seems to be going perfectly, even the lighting is on cue tonight. It would be hard to ask for a better way to spend an evening on the bike. A beautiful trail, good friends, stunning is what you make of it, but having the aforementioned things can really give you a surreal perspective.
Next Tuesday, we will do it all again....

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gila Bikepacking Day 2

The next morning we woke up at the base of the Ripsey Segment. Shaking the cold air off, we cooked breakfast and waited for the sun to shine into the valley we were sleeping in.

Mmmmmm...beef jerky for breakfast?

The Ripsey switchback competition between me and Max. The payoff being the great views on top of one of the best segments on the AZ Trail.

Lee with the Florence Kelvin Highway in the background. Climb, climb, climb!

We stopped for lunch at the top to really enjoy the view.

Where is Lee?

Max and I took the Gila River Scramble back way to Cochrane Rd to get some time at Area 52 while the rest bailed down Florence-Kelvin Highway to the cars.

Even the dirt roads are pretty in this area.

Looking where we came from...Max enjoys the view of the Gila Canyons from the night before.

Ahhh the toilet bowl section. Last time Scott and I had visited this area, I broke my frame.


We did a quick out-in-back at Area 52, stopping to do some of the B-lines. I love this place.

We rode back up Cochrane Rd to the cars where the rest of the gang was napping and drinking some beer. Max and I joined in the fun, packed up and headed 1.5 hours back to my house. This area, being so close from my house, is one of the best places to be in the southwest. Vastly undervalued by all, I highly recommend you spend some time riding in the area.

The need to know about this route:
The Gila River Scramble is the official route that we have done in years past, while this route varied very little. One important thing is that Area 52 is a very tough place to navigate; I would recommend that you visit the area with someone that has been there before. Even following a GPX file would be very hard. It is a very, very loose area also.

The Gila River can be pumped, although we try to use the many water sources in the area.The following are some known water sources in the Gila area:
33.01988  -111.023718
33.036966, -111.154063
33.048797, -111.049580
33.066876, -111.033010
33.056225, -111.045417

Map from


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