Sunday March 30th
This was the second Liberty Furnace ride of the year. This was my first time riding the trail with some fast guns. The crew for the day was Ryan, Matt, MattyD, Joe, Erik, and myself (Jay, Spence, and Sid were there earlier and Sid broke another bike here is my last adventure with Sid in this area.) I have done this route several times, but I wanted some new people to experience it. Ryan and I carpooled(thx for the gas money!) We got there earlier, I guess there was some confusion cause the MORE site has you start at the T intersection, but I had us start at the gate so there would be less gravel road. For a good outline of the route check out Joes Blog he writes better then I. Up the Laurel Run trail, I was doing fairly well, but Ryan was showing some skills, and MattyD and Matt where going strong. Joe was riding better then I ever could on a road cassette in back so when the rest of us we in our 22-32 or 34 Joe was pushing 22-25! I actually got in front of the crew for the last part of the climb, I felt I needed to show people I could climb a little. Onto the next part, Ryan got a flat, and found out his hub was trashed, and locking up. So on the next down hill, MattyD, and Matt were kicking it, and I was riding behind Ryan where he was going a little slower. We decided not to add the part I was thinking about adding to the general store, so we stayed on the original route. Next on the Trout Pond Trail climb I lead up it and almost made it without dabbing! I was like 10 feet away on a part of the climb to a place where it would level out again, and I could have made it. So next time I am really going to try and see if I can do it. I was sooo close! We got a good group shot up there, thanks Erik. We ate a little then did the fireroad to the falls ridgeline trail. I wanted MattyD and Ryan to ride this since we did Elizabeth Furnace last year and I didn't really like that as much as this trail. Everyone was digging the East Coastness of the ridgeline. Then I told them the downhill was a hoot, and everyone agreed. I was doing the downhill behind Joe, and I was going a little too close at some points cause I was hitting rocks as they were still flying up. I got around Joe and Erik for the off camber straight down stuff. Sounded like Ryan cranked it and MattyD was going fast too down the mountain. We then took the fire road back to the car. I cranked it on the way back while others were chillin' I still had some stuff in my legs and I wanted to blow them out. I think I rode well but people seemed to be riding well, and Erik seems faster then he was last year in May so he looks ahead of schedule. Another funny thing is that all of us on the ride are racing at the Bakers Dozen, but all 6 of us are on different teams for the race. We did like 15 miles but with allot of elevation gain. I hope to have the GPX off Erik's GPS if he can give it to me. We will be out there again soon, and will try a different route.
I did Fountain Head on Saturday with one of my teammates Jake, who is 17. I usually like to do my ride early in the morning, but Jake was busy being a teenager so we didn't get started until 1pm or so. We did two solid laps out there, and Jake did well on the SS, and got up both times the one hard climb of the trail. I was liking the Hi-Fi Pro with the new CrossMaxx 29er wheels. I didn't want to go too hard because of Sunday's Liberty Furnace ride, and this one fit the bill. Check out the Helmet head!
Well, the trip was worth it. I got to see my relatives, meet some new cool mountain bikers, namely Chad, Max and Dave. I got see some new trails, and test my abilities. I like east coast biking better, but I think AZ biking has its place as well. I think that the amount of trails was great, and that you can ride them almost everyday. I have learned that next time I am going to bring some better rubber, like Nevegals. My tires worked well, but I think the extra traction would be worth while in the washout sections. Well here is my lowdown with GPS data if I remembered to turn the damn thing on. Look at the slide show for some pics.
AZ 1# Preview-AZ T100 trail Pheonix Mountain Preserve
I did this on a Sunday before I went to a baseball Spring Training Camp game. It was good to get out, and I was lucky in that I was able to ride with some locals and get to know some of the trails.
AZ #3 White Tanks-Goat Trail-Competition Track
I went up the Goat trail and have learned that I went up the wrong way. You are suppost to come down the way I was trying to go up. If I go back here again I will try and tackle this ride from the opposite direction. I was not a big fan of the competition track. The back end of it was nice, but allot of it was just too open, and flat.
AZ #4 Tucson Night Ride- Star Pass
I wish I did more on this ride. I know it was a social ride, but I should have gone out there earlier and done more miles and then did the relaxing social ride with the folks. I also learned about chola cactus I hit one pretty good and I will say it did hurt.
13 (8 on GPS) miles
AZ #5 Tuscon 50 Year Trail
This trail had it's moments, I wasn't in love with it. I wish we had set out to do a longer ride. I would have but when I got the beer in me, I wasn't really wanting to ride more. The Demo rides looked nice, especially the carbon Yeti that bike looked sweet!
AZ #5 Phoenix SoMo the National Trail
Best ride of the trip and of Spring Fling. I was happy to be in a small group of 5 guys doing this ride. Max, and Chad were in the lead with them being the fastest. I felt more Dave's speed or Jason's. Jason was awesome at doing the technical stuff, and was good to follow him on the trickier sections. This trail was at my outer limits of what I felt comfortable doing. We had a good pace I felt tired after the ride.
4 hours with allot of hike a biking
AZ #6 Sedona Red Rocks Ride
Besides the scenery these trails reminded me most of the trails back east. You were riding on rocks but it seemed that you were not riding up or off Ledges like I was in South Mountain or in Tucson. I really liked the riding here, would have liked a 35 mile pure epic ride, maybe next year. I also liked that the ride turned into just 3 of us going off and Dave showing us some good stuff, I wouldn't have found.
with little stops rode most solo.
The group I felt was stopping a little too much for me, not that I was going so fast, but I felt like I wanted to keep moving. I really liked this trail was nice and tight, the only issue I would have with it, is that you could never get too fast. Now this makes it a good shared use trail, but I like my speed too. I think if they could add some rocks to get over the rivers without having to walk through them it would help. This is a great trail though. I got lost for a bit, so I got some added mileage.
I have done this ride before, and the more I do it the more I like it. The ride has two very, very hard climbs, two nice rocky downhills, and a good ridge line where you will need your skills. I did the ride with Loren from my team, he is leaving the area soon, so I wanted him to see some of the nice stuff we have in the area compared to Fountain Head and Wakefield. We had a pretty good pace, Loren was riding a HT with V-Brakes so he made me look real good on the descents. I am planning on doing this ride with more people March 30th so I will give some more info then. Some pics.
I got back into road biking in 1999 after a hiatus of about 5 years. I raced as a junior then around 16 or so didn't ride as much. Well when I moved to Arlington in 1999 I started to road bike again, and I did my first Potomac Peddler Ride that summer. It was a B/B+ ride and it was the longest ride I had done on the road 50miles I think. I had been doing 2-4 mountain bike rides but they were allot less mileage. So On Saturday I wanted to do a ride, before doing my Liberty Furnace Ride on Sunday. I saw that Kelly was leading an A ride from Chantilly HS and was like perfect! I grew up in Centreville so all the Clifton roads are my old stomping grounds. When I showed up, it was the o'gang. kinda fun, I mean I don't ride with PPTC as much anymore, but it is nice to show up for a ride and know everyone riding. The only thing better would have been to carpool. The weather was nice when it was sunny. We did the usual stuff, Popes Head, Chapel, Yates Ford, Henderson. I was feeling good, and helped the crew out by taking allot of big pulls into the wind. I did Chapel Hill pretty strong, and when I heard Al behind me I pushed it hard just for spite:-) Was fun riding with these guys. I will try and ride with them at times later in the year.