November 30th, 2011
I am presently tucked partially in the lee of a 1 story building out from under the trees preventing me from full wind blockage. Strong winds punctuated by gusts strong enough to rock my van. Unfortunately I am broadside to the wind.
Today Dan worked on Tae to drive out to his place way out in the desert on a road that I deem too rough to drive on and take me then the 3 of us could ride Dan’s trails. Last year it was Quentin driving. Dan has a chemical allergy that necessitates clean air which is why he lives so far out and away. Big open desert. Montana has nothing up on Big Sky over the SW desert. Dan’s vistas hurt the eyes as it so big and open. Nearby is Rock canyon that his trails travel above providing views into the depths of the continent. Last December when I was here in Hurricane monstrous rain fell swelling rivers. Dan videoed the falls in the canyon. Today there were just a few small stagnant pools. His trails are virtually single track less than 10″ wide wandering around the desert. Good ride.
Tae & Dan, Pine mtn in background
Tae & Dan above Rock Creek canyon, 1600' deep rent in earth's surface
Forecast for next several days is for slight chance of snow. Today during Tae’s & my drive back to town we could see haze in the air to the north. Weather change. We arrived @ OTE as the winds were picking up, a precursor for what is battering me now.
Yesterday I stayed off my bike but actively rested stuffing raked leaves into bags @ OTE. Big trash bags and heavy. This AM when I crawled out of bed I was stiff and sore, worse than after any recent hard bike ride. My sweat equity was reflected in my bike service charge.
Quentin serviced my Chris King bottom bracket flushing out the older stiffer grease w/ lighter weight grease thus lessening pedaling resistance. I noticed the difference today, kind of like running in running shoes after trying the same in hiking boots. I replaced the worn front brake rotor as I had worn down the braking surface. Got my $ out of that rotor.
Zags play in 30 mins heard on XM radio.
Tomorrow weather will dictate a ride. Laundry for sure.
Yesterday a local shop changed the oil and filters for about 1/2 what Sprinter service centers charge. I might have gotten what I paid for if I place credence in factory trained techs.
November 28th, 2011
Sat night I slept out in Warner Valley outside ST George. Sun AM the fueled crowd must have slept in as I enjoyed a quiet morning. Today I drive back to Hurricane for an easier ride, or at least not so technical.
I stopped @ OTE on my way out to my ride. Greeted Fixie Dave, Tae, and Dan. A bunch of them were off to ride Little Creek. I could have gone but I stuck to my ride plan.
I drove out to Sheeps’ Bridge just across the Virgin River where Dan and I parked for his ride several days prior. Today only my van was in the parking area. Sunday and riders were heading home. My ride was to ride up JEM to Dan’s little sketchy trail, cross the highway, rdie a 4X4 road to Goulds, Goulds to top of JEM down to way trail going down Chinatown wash to the Rim trail back to my van. I missed Dan’s trail. Plan B was to ride out to the hwy and back down the beatup road to find his trail out to the JEM then ride it back to the hwy. That’s what I did. The trail is shoeveled (trail made by scaping your shoe) in at best going around the bushy plants, very faint. The trails are in great shape w/ just a bit of loose dirt. Goulds is just Goulds.
uphill on easy part of Goulds
Big open desert w/ washes cutting down thru mesas. Trails for most part skirt each wash as the sides are steep and the wash is way down there. Enlarge this pic to see the wash in the foreground that the trail skirts ground cover is the brush in the fore ground. You folks that ride in the dense trees and clamor for vistas to see out would be satiated riding here in the desert.
Mollies Nipple in the background
I dropped down the JEM. I made the switchback and shitty downhill and turn better this time. I found the rock cairn for the Chinatown wash. Blond rocks blended w/ the fall killed blond grasses. I rode the trail to the Rim trail and headed back to Sheeps’ Bridge. Along the way a solitary rider approached riding a Turner Sultan, raw finish like mine. He asks me if I was the rider posting on MTBR about Thunder Mtn trail. He said I look like my profile picture so he wasn’t far off. We chatted for many minutes. He had a longer ride than mine but both of us were concerned about waning daylight @ 3:30. Sundown is 5:04. I made my van in daylight. A washcloth rinse of sweat and desert dirt and I headed back into town and back up to upper JEM TH. Easy ride was 25 miles in 3 hours of pedaling.
Tom showed up just about dark 30. His rental car was parked at the TH w/ the front facing south, perpendicular to normal parking. He said he had a solar shower on the dash and the parking would maximize the solar gain. Temp was in mid 50s. He headed out into the desert for a shower. I shuddered. He told me how he stays warm: he washes and rinses from the top down drying off and putting on clothes as he goes down. I still prefer the warm inside showers.
Today I had my 9:30 yearly visit w/ my pulmonologist. She is OK w/ where I am. My BP was 106 /64. Whoa hasn’t been that low in ages.
Next was my 12:00 meeting w/ Dan out @ Santa Clara trails. We met up and rode to the TH where Tom form yesterday had just pulled in and he joined us. Today Dan and I rode all the trails out there. Tom showed me the rear wheel flex on his Sultan which was scary unacceptable. Later he showed me he had broken a journal bearing on the DW link and he was heading back.
Dan talking to Quentin @ OTE about Tom's needed Turner part
We are on Rim Ramble across Cove Wash from Barrel Roll.
Barrelroll is on mesa in foreground, Red Cliffs in the background
I finished my ride then headed to the rec center for a shower. Camping behind the shop in preparation of 8:00 AM oil change next town over in La Verkin. The on board computer analyzes the oil and sends a miles countdown to next oil change. I will scoot in 300 miles in the bank. I get about 12,000 miles to a $150 oil change.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for more of the same but I need to take a rest day after riding 7 days straight and 10 days out of 11. Thurs calls for slight chance of snow. I feel the tugs and jerks in the connective tissues.
Clean body on comfy flannel sheets, ah great sleep ahead.
November 26th, 2011
And my left ankle is a pin cushion for a prickly pear. DJ lead an OTE shop ride and I was the only one to join her on another Little Creek ride. We left the TH after 2:00 w/ sunset @ 5:12 created a sense of urgency and we pedaled forward. We were riding what passes as a trail, me following her. The trail rolled a shallow short rock piece. I must have run into a manzanita tree trunk just off the ground that caused my front wheel to wretch free of my 28′ wide bars. The front wheel went its direction forcing my arms to comply. Walking speed and no control. 3 feet passed the deflection I ran into a small juniper tree front wheel first. The tree sucked up my forward momentum then recoiled and spit me backwards and falling to my left. My left ankle lead onto the cactus. I detached several large spines and a whole passel of the smaller finer spines. From my shoe to lower calf was covered w/ the fine blond spines. I dug out my tweezers from my first aid kit that DJ used to pull many spines. Her first treatment was abrading my leg w/ a stick which pulled some spines. Much time will pass before all the spines work their way out of my skin. My pant leg rubs, my shoe rubs. Sleeping might be painfully just laying down.
Today was another Beautiful day great for riding, so great to be outside.
Must have seen an ad for Scrub brake pads in a mag as I researched their product. I ordered a pair for my RX-1 Formula brake. They sent me 2 pairs. Organic material that is softer that offers more modulation and less noise but wears quickly. Rode w/ them today. They don’t allow the rear wheel to lock up as quickly which is good.
Dashed from OTE down to Rec Center in Washington for a shower. 14 miles drive at least. Decided to drive out to Warner Valley outside ST George instead of late driving back to Hurricane. Another night in the dark desert.
Tomorrow it is back to Hurricane where I plan on re-riding what Dan showed me. I have ridden 10 out of last 11 days and I need to mix in some not so tech rides to recover. No less than sunny upper 60s days are forecast. How do i take a rest day in such good weather? Tech riding is a full body workout from wrestling me and the bike up, down, over, and around rocks. Plus overhanging branches scratch and tear @ my flesh. I have so many scabs on my legs and forearms.
My left big toe has been hurting in my bike shoes for many weeks. DR said it is caused by nail fungus putting pressure on the nail bed. Today b4 our ride I put my riding shoes on that caused great pain on the toe. i limped when i walked. This could be shit news if I ever have to walk my bike a distance. using Vicks vapo rub to kill the fungus. Prolly take a long time to eliminate the pain.
Didn’t stop to take even a pic.