Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nogales to Tucson Mountain Biking

A few weeks ago we traveled all the way to Rio Rico AZ. to do 3 days of mountain biking. Why go to Rio Rico you ask? We had a free place to stay!  It was also near(ish) to all the southern segments of the Arizona Trail. The weather tried to keep us off the bikes with cold windy rainy and snowy blasts of nasty conditions but we laughed at it, continued on and suffered as a group.

The riding was fantastic. Each area we went to seemed to have its own personality. The second most southerly section of the AZ trail was like being in the savannahs of Africa (with small mountains). We saw Javelinas, Deer, Elk, and all sorts of Raptors.
Canelo Hills, One mile into the ride

About the same spot

One of the easier sections

Taking the rain gear off
The next day we rode the section of the Arizona Trail just to the North of the segment shown above. It had a totally different feel, and had a fairly developed set of connector and loop trails that gave a number of different options. Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day so I only have a few pics that my companions sent me.
The storm gets worse

Through the hole

A proper snow storm
The third day brought us better weather and a 45 min. drive to just north of Tucson to an area of trails in Catalina State Park. Again, this had a totally different feel, with massive granite slabs and boulders, and Saguaros and every other type of cactus littering the side of the trail. We did some weird loop the used part of a trail called the 50 year trail. It was like the Albuquerque foothills on steroids. It was awesome!
A beautiful start in Catalina

Closer to the mountain now

weaving through the boulders
looking back towards the start

Coming down the slab

Musing the awesome

Thanks Kip!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's calender time

The Boys over at Bikeworks Albuquerque Blogged about their intended race schedule for the year and I thought I would do the same so some of my friends can plan to race at the same time- you know you want to. You could probably guess that  my race schedule will be similar to Bikeworks, but I have a couple more races on the schedule than they do. Here are the ones that I will do for sure:

Dawn Till Dusk - May 18
24hrs in the Enchanted Forest - June 15
SF Big Friggin Loop - June 22
Chama Red Neck Epic - July 13
Durango Enduro - August 31
Rico 100 - September 14
Dolores 100 - October 5th

It is unlikely, but I also would like to try:

12 hours in the Wild West - April 13
Watermelon Beat Down - August 10
24 hours in the Sage - August 17
Zuni 100 - October 19

There you have it friends- come ride with me. I have no plans to actually do well so it should be good old fun. Here is a picture of a ride in Chama:


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Riverside Blast

We all got out the other day for a fast and furious bosque ride. We were almost all on singlespeeds, but some people don't listen very well and then we make them cry (on the inside at least). It rained quite a bit the day before so I was worried that it might be too muddy, but that wasn't the case- it was good on the way out and perfect on the way back.

It doesn't look it, but some of these guys are actually quite fast
Thanks to Dr. Dave for the picture of these large juveniles. If you have never ridden the Corrales bosque, it really is a nice ride and can be quite the workout of you go fast (not advisable with weekend traffic on the trails though).



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Its been awhile

I didn't post for awhile because there wasn't that much awesomeness in the bike world, or my riding world, and I wasn't sure anybody I knew was reading the blog much, but Ive had a few requests to keep blogging so I will- but not too, too much. I don't want to wear the handful of followers out.

We had a great ride out in Placitas on new years eve day and although my silly phone camera doesn't do it justice, I had to post some picks-

The bottom of Meat Grinder

Yes, there were goggles involved

Flurries on the Sandias

The haze in this picture is steam from my back
In  the very important NM trail news dept., there is an official re-route of part of Cajun Pine over at the top of Otero. It's just a small change but it is a very nice little piece of trail with a descent technical challenge in the middle. It also ties the trails in that area together in a much clearer and cleaner manner.

The beginning on the NW end
I was too lazy to pull my camera out for the technical section. Also, this post is now too late for anyone else to enjoy this re-route this season since there is actual real snow on the ground. There should have been snow on the ground already as this picture was taken on Dec. 3rd.

Tootles for now.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Durango Mountain Biking

Some photos from our fall trip.

Looking left towards the Needles Range shortly after being dropped at Molas Pass

Traversing/Climbing towards intersection with Jura Gap and Rolling Pass

Rest stop halfway from Molas to Rolling Pass

Looking up towards Jura Gap

The top of Rolling Pass

Looking South towards our well earned descent from Rolling Pass

High point East of Bolam- Engineer Peak in background

The top of Blackhawk Pass.

Day 4 hike - Ruby Lake (closer) and Emerald Like in Weminuche Wilderness

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Whole Enchilada

I don't think I'm going to make it up to Moab this year, but below is a picture from the whole Enchilada ride in Moab. This is absolutely the best time of year to go since you have a huge section of the trail that descends through Aspen trees and Scrub Oak- both of which get very colorful right now.

This photo is looking back the way we came. We rode from behind the single peak in the center of the photo, all the way around its base and down to where this was snapped. This photo was taken from the top of the Hazard County section and is roughly halfway through the ride. Go do it! I highly recommend the guys at Uranium Cycles if they are still doing the shuttle.

Charlie S.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Geax Mescal 29er TNT 2.1 Tire Review

I put one of these tires on the back of my full suspension 29er in anticipation of the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest race, figuring that it would be a fast light option, and given my experience with Geax's durability and tough casings in the past, maybe it wouldn't flat on me.

The tire itself has a very low center tread with a chevron shaped knob and a tight row of medium sized cornering knobs. It looks fast and it felt it too. The minute I rode the bike I could feel a difference (the old tire was a Spez Captain) which is impressive since I only changed one tire on the bike. Part (most) of this is its light weight of course- 625 grams for a tubeless compatible 29x2.1 is pretty damn good. The 2.1 size is about spot-on, unlike many manufacturers tires. The Mescal did its job during the race and I felt reasonably fast despite coming off an injury not too many weeks prior.

I left it on the bike for the next few months to try it out on the trails. It seems that the Mescal is also a passable trail tire. I found that it gripped very well on dry or slightly moist packed trails, it was more than competent (for its size) on loose trails, but it's Achilles was the smooth limestone rocks of the East Mountains. No tire is good on those rocks but the Mescal seemed worse than most. Perhaps it was the tread, the size, the rubber compound, or a mix of all those things, but it was just a bit scary and aggravating on those trails.

The sidewalls do seem thin compared to the trail tires I usually run (which makes sense), but I never suffered a flat or puncture. It could be luck, but Geax seems to do well for me in this regard. Generally, he 2.1 size alone leaves it off the trail tire list around here, but trail riding in other parts of the country is different, and if you are looking for a tire that you can definitely race on, and use on your not-too-rugged local trails as well, the Mescal deserves a look.

Charlie S.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Santa Fe Loop - Again

Not long ago I blathered about a nice ride I did in Santa Fe that connects Big Tesuque, Aspen Vista, and Winsor. Well, I did it again but this time with Dr. Dave, Marc, Dan L., Matt, and Alex (who is now allowed to ride his mtn bike again after surgery from his last mtb ride).
                    Alex and Marc on top of Aspen Vista and a bit chilled after waiting for me

                            The leader of the charge up Aspen Vista- Senor Angry Pedals

                                   Dr D- changing, adjusting, tinkering, or fiddling with something

                                                  The ride of champions, and 2 seconds later...

                                                                 The walk of shame

                                             Coolness never had so nice a backdrop

We had pleasant temperatures and no rain. It was great. Alex texted later to let me know that he was quite tired, and since he hasn't been mountain biking for about 2 months, I believed him.

Charlie S.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liteville 301 First Impressions

Its been awhile since my last post. I'm not riding quite as often as I'd like, I haven't been feeling too good, and there just hasn't been much in the mountain biking world to excite me lately. Hopefully all those things will change.

I took my virgin ride on the Liteville 301 on Sunday, and rode it again on Monday. It rides great- It feels like an old glove that you loved, thought you'd lost, and then found again. It does everything well and is as stiff as all get out! I haven't finished tweaking the cockpit for my desires but even the way it is now gives me very little to complain about. It rides like a proper trail bike. Uphill it can hold its own with any trail bike out there and on the descent, it far exceeds my abilities. I am happy.

On a separate note. My Ikon rear tire ripped open coming down Rambo. I don't have a lot of time on it and maybe it was bad luck but if you look at the pictures, It seems like it should be a bit tougher. I like the tread and weight though. I give it another shot, but it might be too light-weight for around here.

Till next time.

Charlie S.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Santa Fe Mountain Bike Loop

I managed to haul my tired old body up to Santa Fe for a ride on Thursday. I haven't been getting outside of ABQ much this summer, and it was about time. The rains have finally decided to grace us with their cooling love and the trails were in perfect condition.

The first climb up Big Tesuque to Aspen Vista- notice the superhero traction
My loop was short but had a fair amount of climbing. I started at Big Tesuque campground (Elev. 9,600) on Hyde Park Road and road up to Aspen Vista. I took Aspen Vista to the top (Elev. 12,000) and then connected to Raven's Ridge and rode it all the way to Winsor trail. Then down Winsor for a few miles to where the Big Tesuque trail intersects (Elev. 9140), then up a mile and a half to where I parked. It rained a bunch but never hard enough to be a bother. The lightning however, was scary enough that I took cover a few times. I highly recommend this loop if you want great views, a hard ride, some elevation training, an escape from the heat, and some occasional hiking (on Raven's).

The top of Aspen Vista. The trail on the right takes you to Raven's Ridge
The view of Lake Peak from the traverse to Raven's
Nambe Lake with the Rio En Medio fire scar in the distance
Santa Fe Baldy
Don't Fall to the right
On the way back up Big T.
It is a pretty hard 13 miles but totally worth it.

Charlie S.