Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Saline Valley Road/Superbowl Challenge, was awesome!
It was a late night for us, but we managed to be riding by 11:00 AM on Saturday. Here's Smithers loading up the pig.
That thing yanked his chain pretty good on the way down the washboarded bomber into the valley. There was a fair amount of snow over the road that was dificult to negotiate at speed too.
We thought briefly about hitching a ride out for more beer.
In the pic below you can see the aluvial fan that rises out of the valley just to the right of Mark's head. We could see the road cutting up it as we were bombing down.
Smithers took a beating on the way down from that Sibex fork in the front and the Bob in the back. When he got to the turnoff to the Springs he'd found his happy place and wasn't leaving. It was a nice camp. A little kit fox left us chicolate kisses around in echange for the drippings from our cans of turkey chili.
The first hour on Sunday was killer with smooth roads and a fast pace. You can find good conditions on the shoulder that last for miles at a time down there. not as bad as your would think driving it in a car.
Riding past the Saline Dunes.
After riding up the fan for an hour or so we were pretty high above the valley. The cool thing about riding in the desert is that you can see how far you've come. The perspective of distance over time is a trip when you're going maybe 5 MPH.
And then we were at the top and celebration became necessary.
It was a pretty mellow ride from the top of grapevine canyon out to 190. Rolling hills and nice smooth DH. A Joshua tree forest and some nice streches of pavement. I'd driven the broken pavement the night before, and again I noticed that what is rough and crappy with 4 wheels, can be nice and smooth with only two.
Great touring with McD and Smithers. Thanks! What's the Superbowl Challenge going to be next year?
ps here's that pic I promised:
See Japhy Rider's Blog for his write-up and his smugmug for his pics.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Just thought you'd all like to know that.
After meeting El Garro I can understand why Fed Ex would be reluctant to insure his packages against damage. Steve’s opening technique is to bludgeon the box with his knuckles until it submits. Chris King has to wrap his headsets in bags of coffee beans to protect them from his awesome power.
Here he is truing some wheels. I observed closely. Here’s his process: lace, true, dish, tension; true, dish, tension... He uses the Spokekey with four sided contact, and tensions right with right hand, left with left hand; checks tension by squeezing four spokes at once. No tensiometer. He said you want the crosses hard to separate (with his hand strength that means a lot hard to separate). (correct me on any of this)
After a while Dr. Shredmor wandered out of the woods where he hibernates for various interminable lengths and proceeded to prepare us some killer tacos made out of a strange other-worldly carnage that tasted vaguely like chicken can't recall what exactly he called it. It was delish. Dogs were walloped, cats were tortured with a makeshift riding crop, pictures were viewed. Thanks Steve, and Dr. Shredmor! Sorry we didn't get to meet Denise. Hopefully you have to stop by on your way to/from the handmade bike show.Would have posted a photo of Dr. S, but they all had this freaky lens flare in them…
Saturday we rolled down to Sedona to investigate the alleged “shredding” there. Reports are completely accurate! Perfect dirt, rolling trails, tough rock ledges, and tiny bits of mud. We rode the Bell Rock path to the Little Horse Trail, to The Llama trail back to Bell Rock. It was perfect.
Camped near the Desert museum that night near Tucson. I was going to get up at the butt crack and ride up Tucson MTN, but about 12:00 AM I woke up from a dream… WITH AMAZING STOMACHE CRAMPS. Started walking the ¼ mile to the toilet. About half way I started wondering if I’d make it. Couldn’t walk faster due to the pressure. Stopping and doubling over didn’t help. The light on the side of the outhouse seemed to me moving farther away, but it was just my vision getting blury and vague. I made it. It wasn’t pretty. I made Smella drive me the next time. By the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th trips I was able to drive myself.
But I’m ok now.
When I got back to RTO my bike was right where I’d left it, with enough air in the tires to get me home.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Today I crested Peavine and looked over the other side and said "what the hell". I dropped down and headed for Cow Canyon. The top part through the aspens was a little sketchy. I had to tri-pod a couple times over the ice, but came out unscathed. Now this is when things get worrysome. I'm sure everybody knows about Peavine mud, that sticky, nasty shit that will stop you dead in your tracks. To this point the mud was either to wet to stick bad or a little frozen, sometimes both. When I hit the big access road down to the top of the single track I had to pick my lines very carefully. Shoot for the puddles and snow/ice and avoid anything brown at all cost. I got lucky and only had to a short bushwhack to avoid disaster. Plowing through 3''-4" of slush and goop took up more time and energy than I anticipated, but it was all worth it when I finally made it to the top of Cow Canyon. I hadn't been there since the burn, but I have to admit it was kind of cool. It's this black lunerscape with a black twisty ribbon made of tire tracks. The trail was in awsome condition! The moisture and amount of traffic created this high traction loam that was an absolute gas to ride. I don't know what the normal climb up to the trail is like with the mud, ice and construction, but if you get a chance to do this trail, DO IT! By the time I hit pavement the bike and I were pretty covered in muck and the gears wre making wierd noises. I stopped into Sinclare Imports and tracked down Monty to bum a rag and chain lube. I spun home from Verdi tired and happy!