Thursday, July 29, 2010
This week i got myself up to the Kaibab plateau. This is part of the Colorado plateau that is responsible for the Grand Canyon. the Kaibab is a 9000 foot mesa near the north rim and lies between lake Powell and lake Mead. My goal was to try the infamous Kaibab Monstercross. A 130 mile trek around the plateau. My plan was to do an overnight trip with 60 miles the first day and 80 the next. This was not to be. The only service on this route come at 80 miles. Unfortunately there is about 8000 foot of climbing to get to that point over the highest point on the plateau. There is also NO natural or man made water sources along the route. I took 6L of water with me. This will normally get me up to 100 miles. I figured this would be enough to get me to the store at 80 miles. I brought my filter because of reports of game waters i could use if i had to. It turns out that 6L is not near enough on the Kaibab, especially with a full bikepacking load. When i made camp at 40 miles at 8000 foot i had about 2L left. I was planning on having space dinner that uses 16 oz. This would not leave me much water for the next 40 miles that had 4-5000 foot of climbing. I made the decision to go back the way i came in the AM because there were a few large puddles in the trail i could draw from if need be. Lucky for me rain threatened that night so before bed i set up my rain coat as a water catch on my bike in the hopes of collecting some water. Lucky for me it sprinkled all night. In the morning i had collected 3/4 L of water from my jacket and another 1/4 L from my ground tarp. If i was careful this would be enough. But I knew i still had 41 miles and about 4K climbing ahead of me with 4-5 hours of riding. Lucky for me I ran into a forest service worker around 30 miles that gave me some H2o and a gatorade to get me home. It was a blast! Cant wait to get back.
For your entertainment..... some pictures from Kaibab
Friday, July 23, 2010
Today was a strange cool by Arizona summer standards cool day. It was like 95 and overcast. The perfect day to get out in the middle of the day. I went out to try out some of my new bags. I got all the bags loaded with all the junk I may take on a 2 day trip including food and a stove. The bike and the bags worked great! I think i fixed all the little issues i had with the first burrito bag. It held tight, no wiggles even on tough, rocky, tight single. I rode from the market to park ave. east over to the new trail to S&M to the quarts pile through the park to the arena and back out on 18. It was great to get out during the day time. I also got out yesterday, but it was like 100. Still nice for AZ summer.
For your entertainment..... A jumping cactus ball in my leg, my bike and new bag, and a few clips of video taken over the last few weeks.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Got out with the always fun Dairy guys again last night. I always have fun with them. We got a small break in the heat last night. Storms threatened so it cooled down to 104. It is amazing what another 4 or 5 degrees can do to you. A good strong tailwind helped quite a bit. We did fins to secret and back. I showed the guys the urban assault return trip through Estrella. Not sure if it is new or if i never noticed before but there is a big red no trespassing sign by the swing gate that leads onto the dirt access road behind the golf corse that leads into the fairways. Harvy, is that new or have i never noticed it? Anyway, we got something like 13.5 miles. Was fun.
For your entertainment.... A few pictures from last night.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Yesterday i was able to escape the heat for a day and got myself up to Flagstaff. It was a perfect 75 up there. I took all my gear on the ride, I was half planning to get lost and camp out for the night somewhere out there but that did not happen. I did get to test out my new butt bag and handlebar burrito bag. They both worked well, but i did find some areas to improve the design. To boot, i got rained on. It was friggin cool! I did not know the extent of the rain until i got home. Turns out some folks got flooded out below the shults fire area. The trail was like riding in a small river. It was cool. There were a bunch of closed trails due to the fire, but i still got myself a great ride. On my way out I stopped at the outdoor surplus store. Got myself a Big Angus air core sleeping pad for a great price. If you are looking for a sleeping pad dont waste any time or money on anything else like i did. In fact.. check out Big angus sleep system. They have a built in pad and is super lightweight. I was looking into building a similar system. I will write up a sleeping system comparison sometime. Also, the spot tracker page worked well, check it out, click on jims personal spot tracker link on the main page.
For your entertainment.... Pictures from Flag. I wanted to take more, but the water fogged up the camera about an hour into the ride and i was unable to take more.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Last nights TNFF was the Hottest I can ever recall. It was 117 when I left my house. I still have a raging headache the next morning. By the end of the ride it had cooled down to a brisk 109 according to Harvy's computer. It was so hot that Harvy's nite rider lights batteries overheated and would not turn on. Most of the group got 12 miles in 1H 10M ride time. The spot tracker almost worked perfect except i did not manage to get it into tracking mode, i just sent an OK message. It is going to take some getting used to.
Go HERE to see what the third day of the tour divide was like that did me in.
Also, It sounds like the WV Midnight dirty century is A go. August 8th, at midnight. Go to the new southwest Bikepacking Group website for more info. Be sure to leave a comment to let us know you are in. Also be sure to sign up to follow the site so you can get all updates. There will also be a 40 or 60 mile option. you will need about 5-6 hours of lights.
For your entertainment..... some photos from the TNFF
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sunday morning we got up from our " night under the stars ". I was able to talk Amy and Dad into a " 3 " mile ride to the lake and back. I may have exaggerated a bit on the distance. We wound up with 14 miles and about 3K of climbing. Amy only cried once. I had it on video but she somehow erased it. But they did great! Dad took his rands crank forward out, amy rode my blue 29er and I took my pug. The weather was perfect. D did not know there was a lake or trails out there witch was amazing considering he spent two years in the air force looking down on that area from the radar station on the hill. It is always neat to show someone something new. We were on our way back home by noon. Was a blast.
For your entertainment..... Pictures from the Lagunas.
Last weekend Amy and I made a whirlwind trip to SD again, this time our plan was to get Tamone ( Amys parrot ) to Margot on Ramona for a new place to live. we got out of Buckeye around 10 am Sat morning. The drive was nice and boring. Only had to declare myself as A US citizen 4 times. We got to Margot and Dans house around 4 or 5. She was very excited to have Tamone, Amy was crying the last 30 miles into town. It is for the best. Tamone will get loads of attention there. With the dogs and busy life's he got very little attention here. After that we got some dinner and took off for Mt. Laguna to meet my folks that were already up there for some camping. Amy wanted to give camping under the stars a shot. We got there just after sunset made a fire and had a great chat with M&D. D even kept his political talk to a minimum this time. M must be after him for that. Although i do love to hear opinions on how the government should be ran almost as much as sanding stucco..... Almost. We made it through the night. It never got very cool at night and my 25 deg bag was overkill. The next morning Amy wanted to get home but i was able to talk her and D into a "3 mile ride".
For your entertainment... the trip, Amy Tamone and Margot.
It has ben a whirlwind of so many activities since the 4th. so this will be a 3 part series broken into each activity. The first was last thursday night at Harvy's Fun! Fest. Harv never disappoints. The ride was fun as always despite 112 temps. Even RAYNE GREY made it out to say hello! we rode for just an hour, but what we lacked in time we made up for in speed. I think that was the fastest we have ever gone on the mile into boneyard and up huts donut. We was movin. Harv let everybody jump in his pool. That felt great! One guy managed to break his frame in a big way on this ride. Bench racing was great afterwords. Many more plans for ridiculous rides were thought of.
for your entertainment..... Rane, Jim, and the gang, A broken frame, and if it loads some action shots!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Things have been quiet the last few days. It is real hot and it is very hard to drag yourself outdoors when it is over 100. Summertime in the desert is a great time to regroup and get ready for fall, winter, and spring. I have gotten the garage ready to work in again. I am going to make Rodney a new 29er Helmsley. Pete came over yesterday and we finnished his "bumper dumper" for his jeep. I got out a few times this week to ride the bike. I have decided that i am going back to the tour divide again next year. It is hard to watch all the people i was riding with finnish and i feel my 1/3 life crises can't end till I complete the entire route. Other things.. I ordered a spot tracker off of ebay, so soon you can track even my most boring of rides.
For your entertainment.... The best thing about working as a paramedic is that you get payed to attend events others take time off of work to attend. Our truck did the fireworks standby. I got some great shots. I have never gotten closer to the action. was cool. And, if it loads. I may or may not have fallen into the canal on my way to work the other day. Watch and see.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Last night was the first Thursday night ride of July. It was HOTT. But we all had a great time. There was a great group despite the fact it had to be over 108, more like 112. Harvy AKA Brian had his brand new bike there, it was real nice. There were a few new folks there this week as well, i hope they had a good time. I wanted to ride ahead of everybody and capture some video and pictures for the site, but every time i would get in front of the group they would turn a different direction.... Most everybody reported 12-14 miles on the night. We all went to Harv's after for cold refreshments and Tony showed up from the shop. We got so dreaming about some big rides for the fall. Jim T. wants to ride the road across the US and got a couple others to buy in on the idea, Tony wants to start a Crit race and host an event at PIR, I have the crazy idea to try and make it from Buckeye to San Diego on the road in 24 hours, and or 2 days. Tony said he was in on the 2 day thing, Roman is down for whatever. It is going to be a fun fall. I was even able to plant the seed on others doing the divide race again next year. Also big plans to start the southwest bikepacking group. It looks like the first ride will be in october. we also made plans for Moab near the end of September. I think i may need more days off?
For your entertainment..... the new pack compared to my old MULE, My fire truck causing traffic, A sweet retro bike, and some folks riding harvs howl..... enjoy!