Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl Weekend = All Trails To Ourselves

So we decided to do an 'epic' ride. But first we did some epic cleaning around the house, and made an epic decision that the carpet HAS TO GO. Carpets and dogs don't go together very well. So I guess instead of getting that sweet NorthShore bike rack to match my new car hitch will have to wait. So after doing some epic laundry, we quickly jumped on the bikes and took off. But not really, it didn't go that smooth. The plan was to ride from the house, jump on the canal to Red Mountain, ride the trails to Usery, do a lollipop around Pass Mountain, and then come back. So we weren't going to drive to the trailhead, and therefore our routine was a little messed up. I locked up the house, put a key in my camelback, rolled the bikes out of the garage, and Mike followed me out while shutting the garage door. But my camelback with the key in it was still in the garage. Epic Fail. Eventually I got it out of there, and we were able to finally start our epic ride, during which we had to beat not just sundown, but also the rain clouds. Not that a cloudy sky guarantees rain, but being from Holland, I felt rushed to make it to my destination before getting hit by a massive rainstorm. I think somewhere along the way I felt a few drops, but that might have been my imagination. The massive rains seemed to have stopped though, and all that is left is the remnants of a once violent gush of water:

So the Canal starts right at the end of the street, and is a true straight shot to the Red Mountain trailhead, it dumps at Power road, just a little bit down the hill from Pig Trail. Usually we park right across the street from there, and do a short little routine loop, Pig Trail, up Hawes, Disneyland to Saguaro Trail, down the switchbacks, and depending on time, Mine Trail, otherwise back to the four way and either take Pig Trail back or Ridge Trail. This time however, we felt it might be appropriate to save some energy, and just go up Ridge Trail to Saguaro, down the switchbacks, up Mine Trail, and catch Twisted Sister to Big Rock and Wild Horse. After the rains, the desert looks really green and lush, and some wild horses flocked to the normally bone dry area. Here is Mike on a collision course with one:

Shortly after this picture, my right hand pinky finger started cramping up, pulling to the left, crossing over my other fingers, and causing annoying discomfort, and ruining the sweet downhill that followed. When approaching the NRA Pit, the sky was getting awful dark, and there wouldn't be enough daylight left to make it around Pass Mountain. We democratically decided to make it the turn around point, and head back to the canal.

Once back on the canal I got some evil stink-eye from this baby cow from the Indian Res.

I'm pretty sure it cursed me, because shortly after that I noticed my handlebars being a little too close to my front tire. When I got off the bike and inspected it, I confirmed my suspicion that my brand new fork had just pooped out on me, and lost about half its travel. So today I will be getting on the phone with Marzocchi to get it fixed under warranty. That does mean that I have to slap a Nixon on there for the time being, which I'm not too happy about, but at least there's a spare and I can keep riding!

So all in all, we did about 25 miles, which is not bad, but I'm not sure if it's truly 'epic'.