survived road rage

Monday I rode more of the Klondike system starting about 9 to stay ahead of the forecasted high winds again.Nome trail heads straight up the slab right from the start: no warm up, just punches in the gut heaving against gravity. My breathing or rather lack of it causes very slow speeds and occasional stopping for O2 uptake. Nome connected to Alaska that intersects with Homer, Must be a story as to why the trails have these names. This system has numerous connectors to chose  bails or make it hurt longer. I thought shorter at an intersection but chose to go further. I rode a piece of EKG which must be named after an ekg of a heart as the trail while tending in a direction it climbed and descended  about 300′ of elevation going over slick rock. What a hump out here.

From EKG

Follow the painted lines on the rock. At intersections posted trail names and a map with present location noted with a smiley face, you made the choice. Posts were attached to the rock by anchoring a collar to the rock then the 4X4 pressure treated post was bolted to the collar. Seems to work as the signs are still in place. Maybe that is because kmtn bikers who use the trails don’t vandalize navigation aids.

ain’t moving

10.4 miles climbing 1348′. The painted lines reduce the possibility of a front wheel plant rolling down a blind drop. Nice day. Monday cut down the number of riders, almost all by myself.

BLM has rebuilt the road into an all weather packed gravel. Previously it was over dirt which softened up and turned into a mud bog after rain. Last spring the improvement wasn’t finished  which prevented me from riding here again after the rains. Pleasant improvement.

I packed my stuff up then drove out to the highway. Strong winds again making for constant micro steering adjustments to remain fully in my lane. Speed limit is 65mph which is faster than I drive. Not much traffic. I was boogeying along about 60. I heard an engine noise behind me, surging then quite, I looked in my outside rearview mirror to see the grill of a tractor riding my tail, the surging noise was caused by his speeding up than backing off. I kept  my speed. At the first permitted passing lane I steered over to the outside white line and backed off on my speed to allow the truck to pass. The guy passed me with an empty straight road ahead. As the tractor passed me he swung back into my lane, he was pulling a low boy trailer. He purposely cut me off. Fortunately there is a wide shoulder and no ditch. I controlled hit the brakes and steered to the shoulder escaping his rage. A very near miss caused my rage. I have been driving since 1966, this is the first time I had a driver actually attempt to take me out. That includes driving VW buses. He could not have read my fire the apprentice sticker to fuel his rage.

I made town. Silver and Fit covers the aquatic center for a shower. I bought groceries, filled up water at Gearheads that provides free water, and filled up diesel then drove back up out of canyon out towards Horsethief XG. The XG was full. I drove further out that road and found a camp spot. Windy.

Yesterday I rode from camp spot to the XG to pick up trail that would take me out to Horsethief trails. Wonderful trail system purpose built. I connected to Getaway going down till a short side trail connected with Bull Canyon.

push broom trail build

Bull canyon has chunk that worked my suspension and my mind for picking lines. Lots of rock tread. Popular trail that shows its wear in widening and go arounds. I stopped forward progress at Arth’s corner heading back up Getaway.

Monitor and Merrimack

Rain did not fall. The term for rain that falls from the clouds but evaporates before it hits the ground escapes me. I thought it was spelled Verga but that is a definition for penis.

The trail crosses a maybe 16″ oil pipeline over a stye. I hung at the crossing for a bit startled by occasional metal expansion  contraction sounds.

fracking transport

Last internet reception weather forecast called for rain today and colder temps. Plan today was a rest day to drive into town. My front brake was not furnishing the accustomed stopping power, my thought was it needed to be bled. I stopped at Chili Pepper, my favorite shop, hoping for a one day turn around. Guy stepped up and bled the brake. Viola! Fully functioning front brake that I depend upon.

Moab is very crowded with tourist traffic. Lots of mountain bikers. I checked out 2 river XGs hoping for an empty spot which would save me from driving back up out of the canyon  to Willow Springs which is about 9 miles out of town. No empty spots. I drove out to Willow Springs and scored my favorite spot on the rocks. Rain and wind and cold of 44 degrees. Furnace is running. Too nasty to hike on the rocks.

Forecasted temps are to ride during the week along with sunny skies.

Yesterday I cleaned the screen, fan blade, and the cover of the Fantasticfan removing crud. Nice view looking up.

Spoke with a Sprinter driver yesterday who did a home conversion. He was short of time or of me such that time was short to learn of his effort. he did tell me that he installed a hydraulic bed lifter which raised the double bed up to the van’s ceiling. he did loose head clearance. Steve sent me a link to the system. Ain’t saying I am looking into the system but I did think about doing the same but I never found a built system. These cargo vans are so cool as what you buy is volume then you figure how you want to displace that volume.

Looking into buying Formula’s new brake,Cura, but can’t find a US seller.

First day of Klondike

wind died down after sunset. Comfortable night needing the furnace just before crawling out of bed. I lay in bed awake for a short while listening to my body. Enough is enough as I heave myself upright and swing my legs over the edge of my bunk, bunk as my bed is only 30″ wide. I sit for a bit bolstering my courage to put weight on my body. Enough is enough. I stand then begin the task of changing the bedroom into the kitchenette. Forecast for today had more wind becoming stronger in the afternoon. Ride plan was out and back early to beat the winds. I made scratch blueberry pancakes as I had finally found a smaller container of buttermilk. I cooked them on my new stovetop griddle, so  much better than the big skillet.

Others were out earlier than me as I looked out the front window while still in pajama bottoms

approaching sleep spot

On the drive in I observed a new out house at the closer to the highway TH. I checked it out

new Moab outhouse, even has a roof

I rode the easier trails here for warm up before return on Dino tech trail.

S side of Little Valley trail

The return trip on Dina had the wind at my back mostly.

2 riders passed me on Dino, later I passed them. Back at the van they rode up to me. Turns out Steve is from Sedona who had seen me around down there but never caught me. He did today.

windy again sometimes sending up a dust storm. The inside of the van has been dusted by fine powder.

Tomorrow is to be cooler with winds. I will ride early then drive back to town.

Weekend traffic. Out here at N end of Klondike there are only 2 other rigs. Lots of empty space.

The paradox of becoming really famous attracting all kinds of people and locals building the trails. Don’t know the reason riders rode in the wet clay forever casting their tire ruts in the dried clay. New human species: Homo sapiens subspecies: mountain biker, sub sub species: horibulus, named such for their damage to the trail. Approaching riders did not understand keeping single track single as they rode sometimes off trail while I was stopped with my wheels still on the trail.

Moab blustery

Facing into strong enough winds to wiggle my hand held phone. Out at north klondike up on the rocks for internet and wind chill agfect as it is sunny and in the 80s.

Forecast called for gusts to 50 from SW which created a quartering wind as i drove from Dolores this AM. Decided yesterday if forecadt held today would be a rest day because i mouth breathe the dirt and wind would play havoc with temaining on top of the rubber.

Lots of campers abound, never seen so many. Lots of rigs carrying mtn bikes. Lots of people.

Temps are forecast in 70s next week.

Plan for rock scramble was 1 hour which is almost up and i still have rocks to scramble down. I’m shirtless working on a starter sun tan.

Last night i stayed at dolores river xg right on spring run off surging river. Ate dinner at brewery.

Back up adventures.

Sunday update.

I’m out at N end of Klondike trails inside my van getting 4g 2 bars, enough to run the laptop.

Thurs AM I bid adieu to John and Martha and their driveway. laundry day. Clean dry clothes folded and put away and the line dry clothes hung with care. Dolores was the next stop. Bob, friend of John, told about a new trail piece at Boggy Draw.Jimmy from the Bean spoke of Dolores camping on the river and drinking beer at the local brewery. Rain fell in Durango and prolly Cortex and Phils world which rides on patches of clay, hence perhaps too wet to ride. Worked OK as a mtn bike race used the trails on Sat. Boggy draw above Dolores is forested and would be drier. I drove out to Boggy Draw TH which had standing water in places. I walked a short piece of trail experiencing patches of wet and mud. I decided to give the trails one more day. I walked the road to find a sleep spot not occupied then walked back to the van and drove quickly to settle into that spot. A large patch of irregularly weathered bedrock lay exposed to my Bedrock sandal clad feet to link all rock for a walk.

Friday I geared up to ride. The new trail was not on either Trailforks or MTBProject which created uncertainty. If I was to ride the loop I would have parked down in town then pedaled up the hill and out to Boggy Draw then finish back in town. I chose to ride Little Bean canyon from which at its furthermost place that new trail was to take off.

Little Bean upper

Trail was mostly in the trees. cattle graze damage. catch the dandelions prolly carried by cows.

dandelion meadow

Oak shows no new growth. My breathing was not happy severely limiting my hill climbing.

I did find the new FS sign read Dolores 9 miles. Not happening.

New plan was to drive down to town and research a paid campground on the river with a shower. I checked the visitors welcome center. The hostess shared info. I drove east of town to Dolores River XG right on the river, a shower, and $28 fee. I picked my spot. Right on the river which flowed white water. I drove back to town to the local brewery choosing a bar seat. Small place. A bit of socializing for me. 2 beers and salad later I drove back to the XG. The sound of the river seduced my sleep.

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