The plan was to get out at 5, ride out to the beeline, catch four peaks road and ride back to Cline Cabin, maybe even see some trees. Well, there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. Or many chickens counted before they hatch, or plans are made by mice and men, or whatever. I woke up late, didn't get out the door until six. Swinging my bike around I managed to catch the generator hub light on the tire of our van and it promptly snapped off. This brings my weekend mechanical carnage to 1 broken fork (massively expensive fork at that but the guys at Marzocchi seem to think they can fix it), 1 broken stem bolt, 1 broken generator light, and 1 stripped brake adjustor. I forgot to tell you about the brake adjuster didn't I? Got to the corner and noticed the brake was rubbing. The non-generator hub wheel is dished a little different so I screwed the aduster screw one step beyond! I fiddled with it in the dark as I felt the first raindrop or two but ended up heading back to the house where I was able to tap it back in from the backside and make it work.
Rocks and Cacti up near four peaks
It is 5 after 7 AM now. I toss the bike in the back of the car and park out along the salt river so I can get at least some of the ride I had intended in. Once I am finally on the bike it is beautiful riding through the gentle rain. I see clouds up on Four Peaks and I know the rain will get harder. Soon I have climbed up to the turn to Four Peaks. The road is pretty smooth and things seem good until I slide in the first patch of sand in the 2nd or 3rd corner. In fact there would be a lot of sand. This was a road that really required a big and fat tire but I was determined to see how far I could get on my modest 28c tire.
I would hit a lot of sand going up the road and had two walk quite a few sections and when I wasn't walking it was slow going. As the rain died down the guys on 4 wheelers and motorcycles started cruising down the road. I also noticed there was an unusually high amount of garbage out here. For all the trouble Tonto National Forest is giving PBAA about running the Tour de Phoenix down the bush highway you think they could direct that angst elsewhere like to the people who are thrashing our public lands and not a bunch of cyclists who have zero impact. Anyway, just a little ticked at the prejudicial treatment PBAA and other cycling event organizers have been getting from a particularly Barney Fifeish type fella who is obstructing things at Tonto. If there had been accidents out there I could understand but 17 years of events I think proves it is not unsafe. Gotta love public servants that fly by the seat of their pants instead of basing decisions on facts. But I digress.
Clouds on Four Peaks
Around 10 I decided I'd better turn around. I had 4 miles left and I had been making about 5-6 mph so I wasn't going to make it. That being said I made it back down to the highway faster than I thought I would. Pavement was a nice change. I managed to get back to the car before 11:30. A lunch at Schlotzkys would complete the morning.