Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wild Horses

That's one small bike for man, and one Cactus for mankind.

I overslept so by the time I awoke the Brumbys were off on their way to canyon lake so I decided I'd head out to the desert and maybe see some real brumbys. I have been eager to see what the new mtn bike could do at Hawes and I must say I am happy with it. I took the Saguaro trail since I didn't want to work too hard and worked that over to Twisted sister from which I caught the wild horse trail.

It was a beautiful morning. I did observe though that thought this is an extremely popular area among mountain bikers there weren't a whole lot of them out early on this cold morning. At least not as many as you see road bikers out on the nearby road. I guess mountain bikers sleep in a little more. Anyway, I wanted to get at least a few hours in. Next week is the 200k brevet so I should be starting my taper about now so I figured whatever I got was good. I wanted to get around 20 miles of offroad in though. That would equal probably 50 miles or so of onroad.

I nailed a few spots I haven't done before and I goofed up a few spots I had previously gotten heading over to Twisted Sister (I am sure that is not the official Tonto National Forest name for it but since they haven't posted signs that's the name among mountain bikers). Talking to some hikers I learned I had ridden by some of the wild horses that frequent these parts. I had sure seen a lot of wild horse "remnants" on the trail.

Cacti and Red Mountain

I wandered up to the area they call "NRA" which is an old pit that used to be used for target shooting and the soil their was literally made of shells and casings at one point in time. Now it is an area full of giant jumps over open voids and I am sure a site of many a medivac. I found one jump on one side of a small ravine with a landing on the other 20+ feet away on the other side. If a guy blew that jump he would be eating a granite cliff. It must be impressive to see guys take these jumps. Unfortunately my time was up and it was time to head back.

I did stop for a few photos and one last bit of singletrack as I climbed the way back to the car. I decided to ride the ridgetrail back and was quite pleased to nail the last few hills coming out of that trail without putting a foot down. I did 20 miles in around 2 and a half hours almost entirely singletrack. Space and time are different off the road than on I think. It really is two different bicycling experiences.

The Granite Reef diversion dam from upstream

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