June 5th, 2011
And I have several juniper gnat bites.
Yesterday was a long day under the sun. My skin that is uncovered is well tanned, albeit a biker tan. The sun was intense enough to sunburn my tanned arms. No peeling, just darkening my skin and bleaching blond my arm hairs.
So today, my last day in Moab this go around I chose to ride Pipe Dream which is a trail right above the south end of town, hung on the steep mountainside. I had no idea what the trail would be like. The map showed a trail just noodling north to south. It is up on the slope that gets the sun full on right from sunup. What a doozie. Lots of rock work to make the trail rideable but the tread was narrow an offered exposure. Required lots of attention and perseverance to ride. Trail went in & out of draws, dipped and climbed, broached ridge faces, and I baked from the cloudless sky w/ no wind and climbing temp. I was cooked physically and mentally from intense focus to keep the rubber on the trail. recommend the trail, just pick cooler temps.
Looking into Moab, slickrock in distance
I rode the highway back.
Reflection on trails built by mtn bikers for mtn bikers: The trails are well laid out and built for what we can pedal and turn and roll. The trails seem to be about the ride w/o a destination focus. Hiking trails we have been riding go to a destination, hence a ride here would be all about getting some place. If a trail is built we will ride it. I say that trails can be built on lands that have been scarred by resource extraction, and possibly land fills. Build a good enough trail and we will come.
Back into town. yesterday I hit a rock w/ the left side of my front wheel that let out a sharp sound one that i have never heard b4. I was concerned that I wowed my front wheel. I made yesterday’s ride OK and todays. I took it to Chile Pepper and asked for it to be checked in wheel truing stand. Steve said the wheel is fine. I added more Stan’s to my tires, first the Schraeder valve (car tire valve) and pumped it up w/ my floor pump. next was the presta valve rear tire. The pump head failed to direct the air from the Schraeder valve to the presto. Chile pepper gave me a replacement head. Great to discover and fix the problem while still in a town.
Baking hot in town. I drove under some shade the ran errands. I needed replacement jockey pulleys for my rear derailleur as the are worn to points. Moab Cyclery gave me a junk derailleur that still has good pulleys. Walked to used book store to exchange the Grisham novel for something else. At the counter was a list of 100 books to be read. One was Robinson Crusoe and a used copy was right there. I am now reading it as getting lost literature. Editor note says he believes the story to be true.
Listened to the Mariners homestand on XM. They are playing great ball.
Drove up out of canyon seeking cooler temp. Found a camp spot on same road I have been out on but closer to hard road. Everytime driving in I have longed for this spot because of reduced desert road driving. Once I turned off the engine I heard the road noise that I didn’t hear when back in the 1.1 miles to my other spot. This spot offered a bit of shade behind a regular sized cedar, not much.
Waiting for evening cool, @ 10:15PM it is 76 degrees.
Tomorrow is the short jaunt up the CO River to Fruita, CO. Same weather: Hot.
Drinking h2o from Matrimony springs that pours out from underneath rock just off the river highway.
June 7th, 2010
I tossed a few times last night but seemed to always fall back to sleep. Gingerly crawled out of bed. I am sore: my right side trauma affects my core strength, I can’t stand straight and my right thigh is stiff.
Got up & stowed the sleeping gear and drove off out of business office paved parking lot seaking a patch of gravel for my B fast. Found 1 finally near a church.
Finished drive to State College via non major roads. Called Jeremy, he gave me his address and meeting time and I made it happen. I asked how he knew me @ the Summit. He said he didn’t, just that i looked like an interesting person.
We packed up & drove out to meeting place in Rothrock SP and met Chuck & Herm. Took off. I am stiff and sore. Start climb and fall back as bruised ribs limit chest expansion. Later I learned it affected my core severely limiting my upper body activity. Climbed up onto ridge of Tussey mtn where trail became rocky, less that yesterday. I couldn’t ride the more difficult tech stuff. The other riders waited for me @ intersections. Finished @ parking lot.
Herm shared his created map w/ me and showed me places to camp. I missed the first turn and camped somewhere else.
Plan tomorrow is visit Freeze and Thaw bike shop in town, chiro treatment, & meet Jeremy @ his house for a drive to ride.
December 26th, 2009
Cold morning, got started a bit earlier today as I had a full schedule. Did laundry @ only laundromat in canyon, not crowded. Owner struck up a conversation about my sprinter and life on road. Clean clothes.
I drove out of parking lot & turned the wrong way. Fortuitous. U turned heading back to MBH when a car w/ a bike pulls up beside me. I recognize him from yesterday’s ride. He makes some gestures asking me if I want to ride w/ him. I say yes and off he heads into Sedona where we park and join the 2 french canadians from yesterday & Gayle who has lived inn Sedona for 53 years. John promises an epic ride. I stay at the back to walk while they rode most everything. How we got to the high point in the saddle & back down was all in a day’s ride for John & Gayle. Friction climbing on wetted slick rock w/ patches of snow mixed in. Oh, and exposure. It would have been a sliding fall.
slick rock climb, trail zigzags across face & back to left.
I did a lot of walking my bike sliding down snow. These locals are very good riders. Some of these advanced trails are almost trials riding. Again schooled. I was in way over my head in the tough technical that they rode. 6 inch travel set up soft, good granny gear to softly pedal over the challenges. I still used mid chain ring and muscled my way. Granny gear spins out too easily & leaves nothing for a balance move.
up here @ needed to get under bridge in center of pic
Crossed Oak Creek on stick bridge. Canadians bailed. Gayle left a bit later and I could have left w/ him but no, I stayed w/ John because he said he had more riding to do and that at the end he was doing a steam bath in this fancy time share deal in downtown. Real swank. I was just looking for a KOA shower. At least once we got off the sandstone faces the trail was almost all rideable by me. Soft ground. I asked today about riding on so soft a ground and they said it heals quickly. I was satisfied. Pedaling was hindered by soft.
Rode into downtown Sedona. John stops @ Burger King for a $1.00 burger. Later he introduces me to Phil another trail builder.
Van is not to far away. We load John’s muddy bike in the van and drive up the road to pick up his car. (It was a 2 mile shuttle). We then drive into the enclosed grounds of the condos and enter the spa as John’s guest. He bought a time share on Ebay for $165. which makes him an owner and he has privileges. Shower, steam bath till I was superheated, a hot tub soak after. I am toast.
I split back to the desert after a grocery store stop. I bought a good pair of tweezers to remove more cactus spines. I have a bunch that are broken off in my legs. Camped at same spot