And Sunday is a rest day

Yesterday on my Last Frontier ride the temp played in the middle 80s. First “big” heat. I was worked. My effort was interrupted frequently by pauses to catch my breath. Steve put his foot down too firmly making a move on Hogs on Friday   resulting in a swollen foot. He did the 15 mins of ice, 15 off for an hour, elevated it, vitamin  I’d, and rested it. Sat. AM he accepted that the foot was not up to playing. He headed out. As I did driving up to west Sedona ahead of the tourist crowd me included.

I missed my riding buddy on  this ride. His choice for last ride here was Skywalker, etc which might have been a better choice for me. I turned off Western Civ at Cockscomb to Rupp, then the wander down to Girdner which is now full on sand. My engine couldn’t pull the load. Dehydrating myself in spite of how much I drink, which per the color and frequency of my pee is not enough.

Friday we rode out Llama to Little Horse. There are 2 armored stairs on Llama, one going up that I just won’t do and one going down which I will do. This is the one I ride down. I used to walk this, finally I armored my courage enough to allow gravity to pull me down while on top of the wheels. Big moment of confidence. I drop my seat, lower my heels, and keep front wheel straight and sparingly use the rear brake. The suspension sucks up the bumps.

Here Steve sets his sights on the line ahead. His arms are slightly bent at the elbows and is balanced over his pedals. Head is up meaning looking ahead.

Steve rolling down armored stair on Llama

Spring colors on Broken Arrow.

Hedgehogs happening
Steve on Hogs

In self preservation steps I am riding more aggressively. Speed is a legitimate skill. On Broken Arrow I climbed an armored piece preceded by a G out finishing in left hand turn to start the climb. In the past I would control my decent speed but lacked the engine to pull the climb. By carrying speed into the climb I crested the rise. I also kept pedaling continued forward motion when gravity lost its going uphill force but just as being pulled down to earth’s center.

We finished on Single Track Bypass. Uphill traffic is to be given the right of way. I keep my eyes open for other users. I spotted a rider downhill of me causing me to stop to allow the rider to climb. He beckoned me to precede. It was Bret from the FS. We have had several conversations about rider etiquette, perhaps he was gathering data. I would have had 2 black eyes if I blew by him all the while my harping on lack of riders being nice to other users. I passed and he knows that my legs and wheels move in the same direction. The trail has 2 recently armored climbs which for me makes the entire trail rideable. Armoring was put down to prevent erosion directly into a wash, soil here is highly erosive.

Sleep spot is full on sun. My skin is between peeling burn and tanning. I will return to the spot then control my sun exposure. I park the van at somewhat of a blocking angle that creates a patch of shade. The interior cooks, I run the roof exhaust fan to pull less hot air thru the van. The fridge is also shaded. Three cold beers in the fridge. Ice cream is prolly softened.

Actually a smile on my face

Friend Steve arrived Sunday night. We are sharing the camp spot way out from mile marker 4. His bike brakes are on the fritz needing knowledgeable hands to fix. early morning run to the Bean to be early in repair line. Scott does not work on Monday. No bike riding today.

Monday night I attended the VVCC mtnbike committee meeting. I accepted a role of member at large. Pretty active club, big project is the Western gateway trail project.

Tues was another early morning venture to the shop. Scott replaced the brake lever with the piston attached on both brakes and Steve was ready to go. We parked down by sheriff’s office then pedaled up to Bell Rock TH and the dirt. Steve made  2 of his I can make this climb. I still leave the armored stair up off the slick rock patch on Llama. We rode at an easy workout pace with rests mixed in and sessioning several spots. We both enjoyed the ride with tired smiling muscles.

Steve on Llama

He treated me to Thai dinner. Drove out after dark to MP4 spot. Warm enough at night to not need the furnace  but a short burst at wake up to chase the chill.

Today we drove out Dry Creek rd etc to park at the bottom of Canyon of Fools. Steve figured this loop out. By parking where we were we were at the downhill end of our loop.  Started work out on Snake to Girdner, to Chuck wagon turning into Mescal down to Long canyon to Aerie on the dirt tread to Cockscomb. A hiker told us we were going to be encountering a huge number of horse riders. And we did, maybe 30 women letting the animal provide the locomotion freeing their lungs for conversing.Zoom down the big rollers on Cockcomb turning left on Dawa for more down grade to Dry Creek crossing then a short pedal back to the vans. Still a challenging and demanding ride. When I ride this loop I put my head down and pedal it till back at the beer van.

Above is a 3 move section. Behind me is a short steep roller bottoming out almost an over the handlebar stop, about a bike length of flat before a short steep roll up. Pic captures me at the little step up to finish the piece.

Steve on Mescal

Tonight I will sit in on VVCC board meeting. Tomorrow Steve will be joining a volunteer trail work day, then a ride of what we worked on, laundry, then driving out to Beaverhead.

Life is filled with almosts, some I almost won the lottery but only 2 of my numbers matched, or I barely escaped harm from——- event. Today I almost had one of the latter almosts at the intersection of Beaverhead and rt 179. A Cady turned left in front of a tractor trailer right in front of me, the truck just missed the Cady’s rear quarter by less than the proverbial 10 foot pole. I was where I was supposed to be, the Cady was almost the injury of several people. Almost: I am wearing off the side lugs on my tires from carving turns. No almosts there just sticking every turn. If possible pump out of the turn. Just still a great bike.

Hot and dry and no bunnies

Rabbits (bunnies) are born blind, hairless, and require nursing. Hares(jackrabbits) are born ready and able to run. Blind bunnies deliver easter eggs, suspect their baskets would be smaller than a jackrabbit.

Place where I park off beaverhead I noticed holes appearing seems to be in a straight line. 2 points determine a line, 3 and more are a bonus. I worked one of them so that I could reach my hand into the tunnel. Diameter is just under a beer can diameter. The animal has to dig around rocks. I noticed claw marks on one rock. Desert is so dry yet cows are allowed to graze. There is more manure piles than blades of grass. Don’t know what they eat. Appear to be balled yearlings. I fling dried piles away from where I roost. yesterday cowboys rounded up and drove the cows away to where I haven’t found. Again, eating beef creates a demand that is filled by ranchers grazing cows that are destroying our public lands and us tax payers, the 99% that have seen little benefit of the monster tax cut, are paying for.The 1% are sucking America’s treasure.

Friday I sat in the sun reading Bromfield. I overstayed the tanning rays of the sun and am suffering still today from an uncomfortable sun burn. Interesting about  Early Autumn published in 1936 called cars motorcars. All about wealthy family money and lower class of servants. There is a reason for stiff estate taxes. Soon many of us will be servants or conscripted to fight endless wars. What we are able to do is VOTE.

Yesterday I attended the Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition (VVCC) picnic and group rides. The gathering was at Crescent Moon SP which is right at Baldwin crossing over or as is now a wade across the flowing Oak Creek. To drive there would have been driving up to West Sedona to the high school then driving down red rock road. Or, as I did, I stayed down in VOC and drove out Verde Valley School rd, pedaled a short piece of dirt road to the creek then changed bike shoes and socks for sandals as waded across. Groups were organized for a mountain bike ride, I chose the slower group. Still a humper for me. Drank some beer and ate some food upon return.

rerouted climbing hard right turn on sketch
Rick w/o dog


Bush bashed on the desert over to the next road west. Ran into Jeff and Jon, they found some shade where they parked. We each remained where we were.

Last night clouds partially obscured the last blue moon until 2020. warm night, no furnace or double blanket.

Today I rode my Llama loop. Bell Rock path was packed per usual but once on Llama people diminished. 79 degrees, getting warm. Took pics of rock armoring transitioning the washes. Curious to see what they look like after seasonal monsoons. real nice work.

dry rock masonry

Sun Valley Steve arrives tomorrow for a week of paling around. Just more red dirt riding.

Congrats to Abe for buying a new Turner. The DW suspension will put bigger smiles on his face then he will realize what he had been missing for so many years.