December 29th, 2009
Yesterday i drove down to Tucson & met up w/ Dan, aka Prodigalson on mtbr, on a small patch of BLM land west of town. I met him after he responded to my mtbr thread. We finally hooked up.
Drove interstates down driving below 65 on 75mph hwy. No real hurry to get moving. Stopped @ Black Canyo City at a KOA I found last time thru for a $5.00 shower. I found Slippery Pig bike shop which was to grease my Chris King bottom bracket. Insurance benefit period ends 12/31. My abdomen still hurts and my growlers are still soft. I still feel there is something going on in my gut. Dr said that pain is still from Oct fall and that my abdomen has quite a bit of extra gurgling going on. She prescribed Ciprol & Flagyl to kill the bad guys, she is treating it like giardia in spite of the fact that 2 previous labs could not determine giardia. 10 days of flagyl means no alcohol. I bought the meds and will pick a 10 day window of being abstinent.
Camped on this small plot w/ maybe 12 other rigs scattered around. Dan has a 5 th wheel pulled by a dually. Comfortable accommodations.
Today we drove into town to pick up his bike from a bike repair shop. They really screwed up his repair needs, by the time his bike was repaired it was almost noon. We drove to trailhead of a piece of the Arizona trail out in the Sonorran desert treed w/ Saguaro cactus & creosote bush. Rocky trail, mostly like crushed rock w/ several technical sections mixed in. Dan lead. He botched a line over a rock drop. As he is almost saving a header we heard a sharp rattle that both of us said ” rattlesnake”. We couldn’t find one. He noticed that his front tire was leaking air thru a hole in the tire casing where he had ripped a knob off. The rattle was the initial burst of air from his tubeless tires. The hole was tool large for the Stan’s sealant to plug. He repaired it by installing a tube in a tubeless tire.
Ride was an out & back. Turned around. My pedal gleats are worn so much that upon serious up pulling of the pedal my foot pops free. My right foot pulled free at same spot where Dan fell going out, and I landed in the bush where we thought the snake was in. No snake but a gash on my calf from the bush. Dan’s front tire lost air on the way back. He rips the knobs off his Nevegals.
Back out @ BLM plot.
Ride around Tucson for several more days
December 27th, 2009
There was a camper just below me hidden by a few trees that ran a generator, quietly.
Back into MBH early so i can wash off my bike before today’s ride. Red dirt washes off easily.
Rama lead us out to a different part of Sedona for me. Either dry trails or dusted w/ left over snow. For Sedona riding i would do well w/ flat pedals & skateboard shoes. Would give confidence to bail easier than being clipped in. Rama says they help his pedal cadence but he can’t go fast because his feet aren’t attached. Still bunches i walked. We rode trails not on map. Lots of technical stuff again. Maybe that is what Sedona is really about is really how technical the riding is. Small group eveybody knew each other.
Drove down canyon to Bike & Bean to hang for a little while before heading back up to, as Tom called it, Gaydar ridge.
Nice hanging w/ people I slightly know, them calling me by name right off; me likewise. I am as familiar to them as they are to me. A sense of belonging. And the I leave.
And I left town for Beaverhead flats rd and the place I camped while I was here last spring. Winter, no cedar gnats to bite.
Tomorrow is Phoenix.
No pictures because internet is back to ice ages.
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