End of the year Sedona riding

Monday I pedaled away from the Bean by myself with the desire to acclimate my reflexes and see where my courage resided. I rode a Llama route to HT then middle part of Breezy exiting onto Templeton and working my way back to the downhill part of Shades. I still walked at the same old spots. I do find that if I keep pedaling over rough stuff the suspension will sort it out leaving me to perfect my balancing stance. Nice chilly day to be out. There is freeze thaw mud in places. Along the way I greeted 2 locals and welcomed back to Sedona. Rides here are of short mileage but long minutes because of the tech stuff.

Hanging at the Bean connecting w/ friends I have made is wonderful for a connection to a community. The shop is moving to a location almost by the pizza place in another building in the Bell Rock Plaza.

I watched the first half of the Mon night football game at PJs. I ordered the grilled chicken salad that I like so well. This time the plate was upscaled but the quantity was downsized. I mentioned this to one of the owners. For customer satisfaction…. .

Tues. I set out on another ride sim to the day before. Today I rode w/ more confidence and rode several of the features I walked previously. I sessioned several. I have a problem w/ step ups.

view from Llama somehwere
view from Llama somewhere

Sedona has trees that are taller than me primarily juniper and pinyon pine. Shade when needed.

Bill Z helped me install the new main salon light in my van. LEDs.

I have a chronic head ache since like Moab. Yesterday I called my Sedona area primary care DR and scored an appointment for today. He is in the same practice but is now up in Flagstaff. I drove up there today. First line of treatment is clearing up perhaps sinus problems. I am following his protocol.

I have been staying out at favorite spot on Beaverhead. No nearby company. Temp at night has been like 20 degrees.

So reader Scott is buying my Spot. I wanted it to go somewhere special and he wins that desire with this sharing:

“I’ve had several chances to replace the Spot. They aren’t rare or unique, but as you know, David doesn’t make them anymore. Your particular Spot coming available spoke to me for several reasons. One of which is seeing you parked at Phils here in Bend several times and knowing your story. The other big one is the fact you’ve ridden that bike in my hometown of Brevard, NC. I was born and raised there and lived there until 2006. I still own a home in Brevard and visit annually. It’s now a different place than the one I grew up in, but the growth and change was inevitable. I appreciate that it’s found a way to thrive after all the industry left and mountain biking is a large part of that culture. When I take the Spot back there this year, it’ll know it’s way.

Anyway. It took a place like Bend to pry me out of those Pisgah woods. I don’t regret my choice a single day. Enjoy your evening.”

Tomorrow is laundry day and a ride in west Sedona.

I’m really digging the 1X10 drive train.

A local rider bought an RFX that was at Fat Tire shop. Hi Dave. Bike is well received.

Back on Arizona standard

Windy and chilly, chilly could have been accommodated, however, the wind affected vertical posture, 2 wheels would have been …. well, I have nothing to compare what I didn’t ride to what I had ever ridden. Something like that. The winds were the most consistent and strong I have experienced so far as I can remember.

Very windy christmas eve as I was parked broadside to it. The van jiggled rocking.

Friday dawned clear right thru my windshield. Primitive campsites are few here. I decided to stay the day and not ride but walk out the road I was parked on. Per a map a road would connect to rt 160 to gain access to some more of the Blue Diamond trails. I thought to walk some of it. I added my orange puffball jacket for warmth and wind blocking. The land is of broken glass and spent brass used to break the former. The double track hit a powerline and became the road. I turned around and retraced my steps. Back at the van I made my visual check finding a white piece of paper under the driver side windshield wiper. As I was lifting the wiper blade my phone rang. A familiar voice that I couldn’t place, he played who he was not who he is. I placed the name: Dean from Sedona area. We chatted, I finally put on my glasses to read the form. First reaction is I am being cited for illegal camping. No violation boxes were checked, instead a 3 line note telling me concerned neighbors saw van and not me and were concerned. The note cited a chapter and verse from a law book on what to do when a person leaves a vehicle. Dunno, on face value good to know that people are concerned, on black thoughts I was parked about 200 yards form a house and they didn’t want me there. I chose to spend the night same place. Winds were possibly worse than last night.

bird spring road where I camped, sunrise
bird spring road where I camped, sunrise

Forecast called for 40s and 20 – 30 mph winds.

Kevin in Hurkin and I made a date for a Sunday ride at Bootleg, NV. Sat forecast was of the same, I didn’t want to ride. I drove to McPhies and chatted w/ Chris for a while. I decided to drive to Bootleg at Boulder City, NV traveling on bad day to ride weather. Driving a high profile light under belly vehicle in gusty high winds is always correcting for wind force. I use most of my lane to remain between the lines.

Next up was a shower and propane. Found a Snap that did not have a shower. I found propane for 5.4 gallons, max capacity is 5.8. The propane fill was under the Las Vegas airplane landing path, single aisle 737 and 319s. Silver Sneakers found an Anytime in Boulder City right near the bike shop. GPS had problems landing me. Clean I drove to All Mountain Cyclery where Pisgah Jimmy works but is on holiday. Today’s bike shuttles were cancelled because of the high winds. I drove into downtown Boulder City to Dillingers bar. I sipped a beer and watched both Washington schools win their bowl games, parts of the games.

I had permission to sleep behind the bike shop. Kevin seemed to indicate he would be driving down Sat night for our Sunday ride. Because of that I drove up canyon past the sign that read no camping looking for a level spot. Road goes uphill, there is nothing level. Finally a pull out parking area appeared on the left. Level. Spot on view down canyon to bright lights of Vegas. The wind was forced thru that notch hitting the van broadside. Forecast called for calm winds and 40s on Sunday. Kevin texted me after parking bailing out because of cold. I sided with him. The wind quit sometime during the night.

Sunday dawned 27 degrees, clear skies but no wind. Until after bfast wind of a considerable lesser velocity picked up. Too nasty to ride because I don’t have to. Bootleg’s trails are nasty from memory of 2009 rides.

Bootleg canyon
Bootleg canyon

I was good to go. I packed up and drove to Sedona in time to catch as much of the Seahawks game. Rolled into PJs to familiar faces. I was gone about 6 months.

I drove up to Bike and Bean for the tail end of their day. Tony, Zack, Scott, Tyson was the crowd. Turkey dinner at Mileys then out to favorite spot off Beaverhead.

Longtime reader Scott bought my Spot w/ suspension parts. His was stolen and he craved another but Turner no longer makes the 5 Spot. Scott will be happy again. I ride it until the RFX arrives. He bought for his needs which is cool as it keeps being ridden. I had visions of sugar plums of a collector buying it to add to his collection. Well, some people have too much money and I have too big a head.

Girl Scout cookies strain, tastes like thin mints?

Consensus trail report is they are the best ever. Tomorrow starts finding out. Slowly at first. Familiarity will come.


Blue Diamond

Tenth state I have visited this year.

Today I started moving early for bfast and then driving down to do my wash in Hurkin before leaving. Clean clothes and line dry ones strung w/ care in hopes that warm air will soon visit. Stopped at OTE to pick up my Ibis rims and to say goodbye to Quentin. Then I put the van in gear towards Las Vegas.

Virgin river gorge is an engineering feat to carve out an interstate 4 lanes thru the canyon. I stopped at Lees in Mesquite and bought a bottle of moonshine, no more tequilla.

Las Vegas’ skyline became visible. As I drew closer I watched airplanes coming and going, almost like worker bees and the hive.

Today’s ride is at Blue Diamond. I parked in a crowded parking lot at McGhies, the starting pint of the ride. The Blue Diamond loop is one of the IMBA and BLM backyard to backcountry rides. I met Chris, the manager of a 1 person shop. we enjoyed working each other. He gave a detailed route description that overwhelmed me after just a few navigation points. I used MTBProject which was pretty much what he gave me. I carried my phone¬† to keep on route from MTB Project which is great because it also locates¬† a rider. Some of the trail intersections are signed, the app kept me on track. I was all by myself out there.

Blue Diamond loop
Blue Diamond loop
Joshua tree

Back at the TH my van was all alone. Chris told me about a place to stay out off Bird Spring road. I followed his directions taking several pokes to find the unsigned road. Worse 200 yards of road the van has ever been on. Too rough to go very far back. 3 leveling blocks under the front wheels still doesn’t level me off. Windy is an under statement, it is more of a gale. The van is being buffeted and rocked making the keyboard keys not be where they are supposed to be.

My big overhead light in the van checked out. I used my headlamp for kitchen tasks. Yesterday I stopped at an RV store and bought an led light. Pretty expensive. I learned after unpacking it from the box that there was no switch. The thing is engineered to wire into a switched line which I do not have. I searched 2 auto parts stores and an ACE and did not find the kind of switch I wanted. I’ll make it work. My right arm doesn’t work above my head, I will need a helper to install the new light.