It’s a hard life

But I pedal it uphill. Sometimes the fun happens with an enjoyable pay back of a downhill. Ahhh, Sedona. Riding Sedona with its short ups and downs is like being repeatably punched in the gut, not one big blow and it’s done. No, left jab, right jab, combo.

Friend Steve from Sun valley (Bellevue) joined me Monday. He coming from XC skate skiing and 2,000′ higher elevation. Me of mtn biking condition but elevation challenged. We have been after it as 2 elder riders who value the time out on our bikes and sessioning stuff to learn how to ride it.

Monday started with Soldier Wash trails. Soldier Pass rd is gated but opened to permit holders whoever they are. Again a ride with very few bipeds. Steve sometimes is a stronger climber and me as a faster downhiller knowing each other’s strengths we took turns who was seeing the views the first. The trails seemed like we got first tracks. We repeated an earlier piece that showed many others had followed our tracks. A shower then drive down to VOC then out to beaverhead.

Steve on top of Ant Hill

Tuesday we started out on Llama. There are several places that both of us can’t make but some only one of us could ride. Beautiful day all to out own. We sessioned with some features still waiting to be ridden. Each of us is learning ability. Steve said 80% is mental as we have the skill and the bike to be able to climb which are the issues. Positive gravity is an enabler, Downhill, is that positive? We finished in time for me to drive up to my dentist appointment but first a shower. I walked down the stairs from the dentist after receiving a no at present necessary fixing do I encounter a carpet cleaner just setting up. I asked if they could clean my carpet first. Sure, for $10 my carpet looked good. He needed an obstruction free floor causing me to put my 2 gallon water jug up on the pedestal which became hidden by hanging clothes. I was so excited. In my haste I neglected to put the jug back on the floor. Somewhere on the drive from Sedona to VOC I heard the sound of the jug contacting the floor. Worse case is if the jug burst leaking about 1 1/2 gals of h2o, best case it is just laying on its side intact. I pulled over. Worse case happened. Sopped carpet. I blotted up what the few absorbent towels I had. Squishy wet. Destination was the Hilton sports bar where Jimmy is working. Steve and I filled our plates from the pasta buffet and visited with Jimmy, Back out to sleep spot.

Wed we gave Llama another go with repeated sessioning to progress of ability or successes. I ran into the FS working on trail repair. I visited for quite a while talking about trails here. Here the tread is either slick rock or sand of varying degrees of firmness related to precip. Trails wear below grade on flats which is a given but disconcerting is when the trail is bench cut in which should prevent below grade.

Nice pic but sideways.

Thurs was my laundry day up in west Sedona. After clean clothes we rode Old Post, Skywalker, Scorpion, Ramshead, starting on Ridge but leaving it for Sketch and rejoining Ridge back to the pavement. Scorpion is still a challenge with the basalt babyheads of maybe a 6 year old(?). Sketch hands on the side of the ridge, well developed but it earns its name because it is sketchy to ride: exposure with a nasty landing. Bodies in tact. A clean body then back down for dinner. then my big joy of clean body on clean sheets.

Steve is vegan, I just don’t eat beef or pork. I bought a bag of Quinoa. I googled recipes. I made a vegan dinner on Tues for both of us. Way left overs, the meal was a one skillet dish which almost overflowed my large skillet. Killer recipe. Wed I made another recipe with Quinoa which called for cayenne plus jalapeno. I think the pinch of hot pepper was too big as the results were too hot for me. Another overflowing skillet dish. Steve got the take homes.

Today we rode out Llama facing our challenges, unfortunately not all successes. We rode out Hogs down Twin Buttes, Hog Wash, Peccary, Mystic returning on Bell Rock trail. Beautiful weather just a bit chilly enough for a long underwear top. Stopped at the bean. 3 women were on the deck. First one I recalled was Amy who was here during my shoulder recovery, she shot me up with lovenox. ANother one was the preop nurse for that surgery. The 3rd was no connection.

5 straight days of riding.

Don’t run with scissors

Mom’s mantra when you were handed pointed scissors. Today I volunteered trail work on Hiline trail. Getting to the scissors: I used loppers to knock down dead branches from trees bordering the trail. Maybe you never learned why not to run with scissors             but the caution was for safety. I knocked down dead stuff that had sharp ends and their location was such that a bad move might have sent you into a gouger. Maybe you would never hit one but my removing them was like mom’s cautionary warning. The tread was not widened by my work. I experienced hidden dead stobs my work removes adding an experience to someone. Nice tshirt work day.

Cathedral from hiline

Trail widening by go arounds creates maintenance work, these are created to avoid a tech feature. Other workers reinforced out slope erosion and blocked go arounds keeping hikers and bikers on the tread.

Last night Dave and Annie hosted me for dinner and conversation. I slept in their driveway. They offered me the use of their laundry machines. I thanked them. I choose to use the laundromat in west Sedona to support their business. Besides I sometimes score an interesting conversation with someone.

Tonight the Zags play St Marys covered on espn, front bar seat for the game.

Snow is forecast for Sat and temps lowering into the 50s.


As in pale white skin not darkening after hours of sunshine. 65 degrees today riding in shorts and short sleeve jersey, been that way for several days now yet a tan line has not been created. Low angle sun rays.

Yesterday was aa drive up to Flag to see a vascular DR. Venous stasis is what it is and it is what it is. Valves in my left leg have been loosing their return snap after the blood passes thru allowing pooling of blood. Compression socks, walking on uneven ground and biking cause the calf muscles to fire which enhances the return rate. Drove up I17 then back down 89A which has had some enhancements up high and then the switchbacks are still in unbroken condition. Still a beautiful drive down canyon, Beaverhead is 3853, Flag REI is 6889′. Elevation hit. Riding conditions there are not desirable. I returned to warm red rocks. I slept at the Uhaul parking ;lot last night, my in town spot permission given by owner.

Drove out to Cultural park for bfast.

Cockscomb and Doe mtn

Ride today was Chuck wagon from Dry creek rd. To Mescal, riding Aerie to end at Cockscomb, down Rupp to Dry Creek crossing. AZ Cypress going in other direction by mistake to Girdner back to van. Good hump. Breathing is getting shorter and shorter causing more gasping rest stops. Age.

On Aerie

Back into town for shower before PT on left leg twitches.

Trails are holding up.

Tomorrow is a volunteer trail work day on Hiline.

40s at night. sat is calling for 70% rain / snow then changing to sun again. Desert living.