Friday, December 27, 2013

Escape from Hoth

I recently made a break from the horribly inverted western slope. Since Dec 1, we haven't really seen temps above 30 and the snow/ice has yet to recede. For me that has meant lots of time on the indoor trainer and too much time thinking about riding dirt. Angel had the entire Christmas week off to go and visit family. I had 3 days. Looking at spending day 1 traveling, day 2 with family, and day 3 traveling didn't seem like the best value for $1100.

Seeing too many photos of Sedona, AZ with it's trails and landscape, a 60 and sunny forecast, and the recent delivery of my new bike for the 2014 race season created quite the itch.

A plan was made for a scratch.

 23-24-25 off.

Calls were made.

Messages were sent.

No one else jumped on board.

No stopping me.

Get off work on the 22nd.

Throw in the laundry.

Toss the riding gear in the car.

Toss and turn.

Alarm buzzing at 3:45am.

Start this post on an internet forum.

Drive west.

Turn south.

See the sunrise.


Book a room (how cool is a smart phone).

Stop by Over the Edge in Sedona for a map.


RIDE.

Eat.

Sleep.

RIDE.

Nap.

Eat.

Sleep.

Pack the car.

Drink coffee.

RIDE.

Load car.

Decide to ride something else.

It's Christmas day. How can you not do a ride off this road?
RIDE.

Load up.

Drive north.

Watch temps drop.

Frown.

See sunset.

Turn east.

Unpack.

Sleep.

Work.

Think about going back.

There's the quick and exciting part.

Now the mundane details. When I got off work that night, I ordered a pizza, went and grabbed a duffel bag, opened the drawers and pulled out some bike shorts, walked around, put more stuff in a bag.....KIDDING

 I didn't have a plan other than riding my bike in Sedona. A little research via Youtube/Google and I figured I'd play the typical mountain bike tourist. Ride the A-list stuff. The stuff everyone knows about. The Kessel's Run, Zippedy Do Da, and Horsethief of Sedona. A number of these trails are also the most technically challenging trails on offer. BONUS

I love rocky, techy, mentally thoughtful riding. And I really enjoy riding the stuff blind. Just get in the flow of things and react to what comes. Most of the time it works out. Sometimes it doesn't. (Sedona is a good place to have it work. There's a lot of thorny, spiky, needley, I can't wait to make you pay if you screw up objects out there.)

Day 1

 I was thinking a 20 mile ride in the 3 hour zone that included Slim Shady and Hiline would be a good warm up. Keith from Over the Edge had a great loop to recommend that came in at 21 miles. Perfect. Hiline is great, but the fun chute on the backside was too short lived. Oh well, guess ya just gotta ride more. I made some wrong turns, back-tracked, took a few different options and finished in 4.5hrs and 30 miles. And damn, was it fun!

Day 2

 
Hang Over was my trail of choice. "They" say it's difficult with life-threatening exposure. I hear fun. And it was. Some fast and flowy stuff, some slow trials moves, some icy, off-camber slickrock. It delivered. It was fun. Cruising down Munds Wagon Trail was my favorite part. Perhaps it's from spending lots of time climbing vertical objects or maybe it's being used to riding trails with your handlebar overhanging a void, but I didn't find Hang Over to be intimidating in the least. If it's that fear keeping you from riding it, just go. Any moments of terror will be short lived and soon erased by a shit-eating grin.

 Day 3: Merry Christmas

Selfie!
Last day. Bummer. At least I've got till noon. And I've got the last of the "H" trails to ride. High on the Hog with a couple of other Hog in the name trails. I'll say Hog was/is my favorite of the 3 H's. No particular reason either. I'd like to ride them all again. I harvested the Hog and still wanted to ride. The guys at the shop mentioned Teacup was fun. Teacup it was. And it was really fun. Don't miss it.

Random notes: 27.5 and the Bronson are AWESOME. I'll do a review between the Bronson and Tallboy LT soon.

These chips are tasty


650b and the Bronson are AWESOME


I love riding bikes

Proof that I did in fact ride my bike, if only for 10sec

video

Most of what I rode: Broken Arrow Lama Slim Shady Hiline Old Post Templeton Hang Over Mund's Wagon Pigtail High on Hog Hog Heaven Hog Wash Teacup Solider Pass Brewer Trail Baldwin Mystic

What I found waiting at home

Mom's famous Christmas Mint Brownies