I ain’t dead yet

My body throws blood clots, the newest ones are in my lower left leg and a PE in my left lung. I have a cracked right rib also. Male pattern baldness continues. Treatment for clots is increase med dosage and remain active.

It was a long day up in Flag. I drove down Oak Creek canyon on 89A which is showing broken pavement spots from lots of traffic. I slept at the Uhaul spot.

Thurs I drove the few blocks to the laundromat for clean clothes. i hung my riding clothes on the line in my van which were almost dry in less than 1 day. At 2PM my van was attended to at Andersons. I wanted a physical performed to identify issues to be fixed. They drove my van to report it is in good shape, not considering the 203,xxx miles on it. They said the rumble is from the torque converter and the whine is coming from the turbo charger. Nothing to fix. They did top off the air conditioning  stuff.

While I was vanless I rode the Ridge area. I rode Sketch and Skywalker in the opposite direction of my usual route. I avoided Scorpion climb instead pushed my bike up Herkanham. I pedal a bit till I get winded then stop to catch my breath then go again. I raised my seat a skoosh which made standing up from sitting easier to make change. I a,m now more able to stand on the pedals which is good. 12 miles climbing 1371′ Ocotilla is leafing and early blossoms on the top. Yucca is also flowering

yucca blossoms on Herkenham

And the rock is red

real red

and green

Downstream Oak Creek from secret slickrock

Clean body at snap then drove back down to beaverhead where the camper still occupies my saved spot. Temps are just sweater chilly to sit outside. Internet speed there sucks.

reading A People’s History of the United States. There really is something going on behind the curtain and we are all rubes.

Writing about that, my stickers are in my possession and available to display your lack of satisfaction.

Riding reduces the swelling of my left ankle, good news.

Today I rode what I call my Llama loop. red rock is tops.

There is a women’s ride clinic going on here this weekend.

Tomorrow is another Thunder mtn trail work day.

Ooopps: 4:20.

Off to participate in the Friday eve socializing at the Bean. Bitch having to park on the street and walk to the shop. Being separated from my van reduces the number of greetings and identification.

Next stop will be the Zunis above Gallup prolly at the end of the month. I am still waiting my tax info from SS to complete my taxes.

Some of this…. some of that

The Zags made it to the finals coming up just short of winning the NCAA big dance. Game was played on Monday eve. I scored a bar side seat at PJs. Just before tip off the power went out at PJs. Just figure it was a prank perhaps as the TVs and everything else electric went dark. No prank. I wanted to watch the game, the last of their season. I called another VOC establishment and learned they were powerless also. There was a wide spread outage. I called west Sedona  who said they had power. I jumped into my van and quick as a legal bunny I drove towards Sedona. No lights  from houses. Made Cliffside and lights. I made Oak Creek restaurant in Tlaqueapaque (sp). I walked up the stairs to a crowded bar with just 2 small TVs over the bar. No seat. I stood beside a guy squeezing between him and another guy who was wrapped up in conversation with others on his left, not even watching the game but holding down a desired seat. The group left allowing me a seat for the second half. Almost made the win. Great season, made Spokane proud. Unfortunately the Zags offense did not keep up with their defense.

The Sedona airport clocked a 36 mpg gust. The drive to Sedona was a buffeted hang on to the steering wheel adventure.

Sunday was an adventure up in Granite Basin outside Prescott. Bill Z organized a men’s overnight with me and Tony. We drove down Sunday AM to a FS XG. Bill picked a ride that required shuttling using my van for 3 guys and bikes. The route was mostly downhill. Dirt is decomposed granite with vegetation handlebar width cleared. Different riding on what is similar to marbles. I needed more time to become comfortable to the new dirt. We drove back into town for late lunch and a brief walking tour of old town. Back at XG we sat around a campfire telling stories and a corn drink I make.

At the XG signal for the weather radio came in: high wind warning. This generated my concern as I did not want to drive my high profile van in forecast 40mph winds. It won’t be that bad will it? I chose to ride and deal with what actually would blow.

We drove back into town for Bfast. Tony needed to leave afterwards. Bill’s wife Amy joined us later up on Thumb Butte road. Bill planned another route that took us on a newly built piece of trail.

57xx’ was the lowest and 64xx’ was the high point. Sedona is 45xx’. elevation affect shortened my breath.

Amy and Bill

Vegetation is different.


Back in 2010 I rode some of these trails before MTBP route mapping. Wind blew. We finished our ride. I wanted to be heading back north. I found a snap for a shower only no shower was in the building. I found an anytime in Prescott Valley that the gps hiccuped on the address. Perseverance paid off for a clean body. My card did not allow my entrance and no attendant answered. A guy let me in. Yesterday I called Silver and Fit to learn if I needed to satisfy any requirement. Problem was with the establishment I was told.

Heading North on I17 and buffeting winds. I kept between the white lines sometimes using the entire lane. Made it back to Sedona for the game which sends you back to the top.

Sat I cut brush on the new trail corridor for a new Thunder Mtn trail. Phil said it will be a double black. This is the first new trail and not a reroute.

Roger on Thunder

I showered at snap then drove down to PJs for the final 4 game the Zags against S. Carolina. The Zags won.

Afterwards I drove out to my spot on Beaverhead. My stuff was still there as was it empty. I fixed dinner. Liz arrived later. She rode the Sedona big loop taking 6 hrs and change. Big effort. She scarfed my extra dinner. Then she painted her finger nails green and overcoat of glitter. Styling.

Liz painting her nails

Friday was cold and windy. I didn’t join the 3 who went out. No social gathering afterwards. Out to Beaverhead for the night.

Thursday was another weather day. I did my wash up in west Sedona then beat the traffic back to Beaverhead. Wind advisory: 56 mph gust at 7:55PM at the Sedona airport. My van was battered. A few sprinkles fell which captured dust leaving the outside speckled as did any rig parked outside.

Monday night I slept at the uhaul lot. Frost on the uhauls in the AM. Tuesday I drove back to VOC and rode the SSS loop. Back on red rock rocks and dirt and comfort.  Lower elevation. Cleaned up at snap then drove back down to VOC.

I drove out to my spot at Beaverhead only to find it occupied by a cab over rv. I searched for my stuff finding the traffic cones in place and my collapsed chair in the prickly pear. No table. I was not kind to the woman in the rv. Don’t know how the table was taken. Seems that she found the spot and took it in spite of indication of someone else’s stuff.

Sat my left foot ballooned. WTF? Monday I called my PCD in Flag and scored an appointment today. Serious concern for blood clots. I’m in the clinic office waiting for 4PM ultra sound on the leg and a CT scan of my chest. Will know results and treatment later today. Don’t bid the devil good day until I see him.

This issue of Dirtrag printed 4 stories from mtn bikers living the van life. I read their stories. Rookies. Yesterday Dirtrag sent their weekly email info and asked for van life stories. I gened up a few lines and a pic or 2 and sent it to them. I might learn of other tales.

My dropper post is working correctly. After the messing by Dave the post returned at ball smashing speed. It was almost strong enough to barcolounger raise me up. I lowered the pressure to 30psi from stock 40. Also back on a replacement Minnion DHF 2.5WT tire on the rear. The Ardent makes a rounded profile on my wide rims, the WT stands for wide trail. The tire is designed for the wide rim which places serious side knobs where they grip providing traction. The tires remind me of the first time I skied shaped skis. Carve the bends.

I made an appointment tomorrow at the van repair place to check it out before I head out on the road later this month. Keep after the treatment to increase the likelihood of getting where I want.

Steve left

Steve from Sun Valley left today after our “graduation” ride of what  will call Lower Hogs. We rode together starting the 22nd till the 29, taking 1 day off for rain wetted trails. Not saying that we rode everything but the H’s. We rode 6 straight days. Steve was a short timer and needed to squeeze in riding. He left Wood River Valley under snow riding only a trainer or XC skiing and sporting very white flesh as exposed because, well, it’s shorts weather riding. I’m sunburning the owie on my left shin which has a deep hurt still.

Sunday AM I left camp spot on way to social Sunday ride. I drank a latte that seemed to want to leave my body. I drank same shop latte this AM and no rdie but the feeling and response seems to be the same. Dropping espresso drinks.

Monday we rode the Soldier Wash trails wrestling with our own trail demons working on cleaning stuff and enjoying the ease of flowing over nasty stuff that we could ride which was prolly 98,5%. Jordan has several short nasty downs.

Steve climbing Crusty

We planned Tuesday’s rides. I left for a snap shower, Whole Foods mega salad mess. hand at the Cultural Park till after dark then slept in town at uhaul lot.

Tues. AM was a standing PT session working on my rib and back which affect me left knee. Our ride was a shuttle. I met Steve out at Boyton Pass where he left his new Dodge Promaster van for the return trip. We loaded him and gear into my van then drove back to the Cultural Park for our start. We rode down Drano, crossed Dry Creek which had shallow flowing water from last Thurs rain fall.

Steve crossing dry creek drano

Last Frontier is a challenging Sedona trail even though it is down low. It is bench cut on steep slopes carved by Dry Creek. Exposure: a rider would never fall very far but the ride to stop would be fraught with potential body damage. Pay attention. Last Frontier joins Western Civ which lacks exposure.

Steve, your pic captures me not looking as far down the trail as maybe I should.

Next was a section of Cockscomb to the start of Aerie which shows the effect of water eroding away the dirt between the rocks. It’s sustainably built. Every year it becomes more challenging as rocks grow from the ground and some even leave their temporary hold with earth. We hit pavement then pedaled to his van for the return shuttle.

new signage: check red line

I ride a 27.5 and Steve rides a 29. I am faster than him downhill and here mostly staying ahead of his wheel on the climbs. We have I9 hubs and wide carbon rims.

At Steve’s van that I am entering for the first time to sit in the passenger seat. I walked to teh seat thinking head clearance as in mine. WRONG: I smacked my head almost laterally on his lowered ceiling. I heard the crunches of joints shifting. I was severely out of plumb.

I drove back down to Beaverhead hoping to catch my now accepted favorite camp spot. A guy, a tent, 2 dogs, and a car beat me leaving me with the fail safe place across the desert by the tank. I wanted to lay claim to the spot with my stuff to save it. Yesterday morning I waited and waited while I watched him pack up and leave. His tent came down saying I’m not spending the night here tonight then it became a wait until he drove away. Once he left I pounced leaving my table and chair and traffic cones. SO far these items have prevented unwanted occupancy.

Steve parks beside me down at the sheriff’s office. Yesterday was our lower Hogs ride. We rode Llama to Little Horse climbing to Chicken Point. We did encounter other trail users. There are several spots on Broken Arrow that have been armored which creates a non erodable tread. I rode 2 places that I failed for years on because the pitch was rutted. So much better now, some could argue it was dumbed down. Garmin Connect reported average temp was 84 with a 96.8 high. Steve was over cooked, it takes time for body to adjust from long underwear to shorts.

chicken point

On Hogs Steve stalled on a slick rock off camber climb. He put his feet down but his balance point changed to the out slope which was a straight line sliding down. He fell on the dismount not on the move. I watched gravity have its way with him. Whew, just aches and pains.

After our ride before dinner I sought Dr. Dave’s magic chiro adjustment to restore plumb. Ahh, success. Lots of movement.

I put on my new Maxxis Minnion DHF 2.5wt tire on. The Ardent is a faster roller but loses its shape when put on my wide rims. Steve put same tire on the front of his bike. As our ride progressed he commented with a big smile on how much better the tire allowed him to corner.

We ate at the Thai restaurant. Afterwards I drove to my camp spot finding my stuff there and unoccupied.

Today I was on the road just after 8AM to west Sedona to do my wash. The traffic backs up as the day goes on till perhaps mid afternoon when it reverses flow back down. I left uptown before the downhill crush while passing slowly moving rigs heading into Sedona. Gotta know local stuff. Living in a tourist town with just 1 route in and out.

Out to camp spot where the internet is not home on the range.

This is my idea expressed by a graphics professional. I will be selling each for $5.00 which should cover my costs plus mailing. Be the first to put one on your rig and buy one for your neighbor. Speak out!