Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An AZ weekend

Ya gotta love spring break. Our weekend started on Thursday. We packed up the camper and started out for Prescott late morning. We rolled into White Spar campgrounds in the late afternoon, just enough time to get our Prescott Brewing growler filled and dinner going before it got dark. The next morning we made our way to Sedona. We ended up camping in Oak Creek Canyon. After we got settled we headed back to town to find out what I was up to on Saturday. We came to Sedona so I could do the Sedona Big Friggin Loop. It's a small 'show up if you want to race' endurance/route finding event. We stopped and the Bike and Bean to buy the recommended map and get a little info on the race course. I knew route finding would be my biggest challenge so I wanted to get as much info as I could.

Saturday morning started out cold but within minutes of riding I warmed up. I needed to strip, and tighten up my handle bars but didn't want to stop because I knew if I could hang on to the front runners I wouldn't need to worry about rout finding. It became apparent I need to stop when I took a little tumble. I quickly shed some layers, and break out a wrench to tight my bars and I'm on my way. But it's too late the leaders are gone and I'm left to figure out where to go. True to my navigation skills at the first junction I come to I go the wrong way. After a bit of back tracking I'm on the right path.

After a long climb we are instructed to pick up a trail that takes us up to some slick rock and amazing views. I run across another racer that is looking for the trail . Once again after some more climbing and back tracking we find the trail. It would end up that I would ride the rest of the day with Steven from Phoenix. He is a strong technical rider and is familier with the area so it worked out pretty well for me. We weren't tearing up the field but it sure beat me fumbling with a map very time I came to a trail junction.
While descending the slick rock we had some excitement. Steven was leading the way, we were headed North. The 'trail' was slanted down to the left. As he rode under an over hanging branch, one of its limb caught his camelback pulling him off his bike. As he dangled, I jumped off my bike and tried lay it down and prevent it from sliding down the mountain. I secure my bike and shoot down the the slick rock face to retrieve Steven's bike. The whole time yelling to him to hang on. I could hear the limbs cracking an breaking. Luckily the breaking branches set Steven down back on the trail. He ended up fine, just some scrapes, but his camelback was shot. He ended up tying his wind breaker around it to keep it from flopping around.
The rest of the day was much less eventful. I don't think we quite did the SBFL as it was drawn up but I'm pretty sure we did all of it in some fashion. About two hours from the finish we ran into Mary. I'm not quite sure how this happened but it was fun to come across her. The three of us finished the day together. Sharing some stories of the day, checking out the incredible views and just enjoying each others company.
I would recommend this even to anyone who is looking for an awesome day of riding and adventure. If your a first timer, go with a friend or group of friends, you'll have a blast! This is a great way to check out a lot of the riding in the Sedona area. I ended up riding my hardtail. I think my Song might have been a bit faster as the trails can be pretty rocky at times. The next morning we made our way back to the trail that starts and finishes the race. I had to get a shot of the sign post.
Outside of riding on Saturday we had a great weekend. After breakfast and a little goofing around town Sunday morning, we headed back to Prescott in the afternoon. Since Bonnie had the everybody on Saturday I took care of the family on Sunday. Finn and I went to town to get fixens for dinner. When we got back we grabbed the girls and made a happy discovery while on a hike. Just behind the campground is a new network of single track. Very good to know!

Monday morning we headed for home, taking the more scenic, and less traveled rout. About an hour or so into the drive, in a small town by the name of Yarnell one of our students and his mother passed us...what are the chances.
Thanks to Bonnie for taking most of the pictures while she was taking care of Finn and and the girls. My teammate Chris and I have decided that you can't be riding too seriously if you are snapping shots every time you run across something interesting. And let me tell you I would have been doing more photography than riding if I brought a camera on this course.
Ride on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Students now friends

This is going to be quick. We had a great weekend. First of all it kicked off our spring break. Saturday Chester, a former student got married, it was a great wedding. Outside about 500' up the mountain over looking the city of Palm Springs. Ace, another former student was there as well, so we got a chance to catch up with him. He had been in Japan for the past 5 months and just got back to the states four days earlier. Then Sunday we headed down the road from Palm Spring to La Quinta to stay with Eric, you guessed it, former student, and his parents at their condo. We've been trying for some time now to find a time when we could spend the night. It was wonderful soaking in the hot tub instead of driving back up the mountain. Prefect timing too because it rained/snowed all day in Idyllwild. I snapped so shots of our Monday morning hike up some mountains that the condo complex is up against.

Tonight we are headed over to Luc's, one more former student, for dinner. He is on Spring Break as well. Having these people in our lives is one of the best parts about being a teacher.
Ride on!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring

I had a father and son training day yesterday. I ended up pulling Finn around for about 20 miles. With all of the climbing it felt like my chain was stretching beyond recognition. At times I was sure it was going to snap. This morning started spring with my usual Friday morning ride. I came across some more mt. lion tracks. Oh by, the way my friend confirmed the tracks I saw the other day were indeed mt. lion. The tracks I saw today were in about the same spot, maybe a little farther up the road.

This weekend training will be light. We are off to a wedding on Saturday, a former student, and now good friend. Is this a sign we're getting older? Years ago we did a 24 hour race together as a two man team. Now days he's a road racer. Great guy, it's good to see he and his wife to be so happy.

Ride on!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Spring has hit the hill as well. I don't know if you can tell but there are ducks on the pond, which reminds me of another spring time pastime, baseball. It won't be long and the boys of summer will be playing for real.
After a good spin this morning the girls and I got out for a run.

Tomorrow training will likely be short at best. The studio show we mounted a couple of weeks ago is traveling. Most of the day will be taken up with that. Only a few more days and it's spring break, I can put in some big miles day once we have some time off. It looks like I'll be doing the Sedona Big Friggen Loop. I mentioned it to Bonnie and she thought it might be a great way for the three of us to spend some time checking out the world off the hill in a casual, no timeline kind of way. I couldn't agree more.
Ride on!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Great Monday

I had to pick up some audio equipment down in Hemet this morning. The store didn't open until 10:00 so I didn't leave too early. I shot down the control road and through town pretty quickly so I stopped for a cup of joe, and a bagel. Spring has sprung here in CA, the citrus groves are ripe with fruit.
On the way back up the control road I was, as you can imagine, going much slower. I came across these tracks. It had came down the road while I was in Hemet. I could tell because its tracks were over mine from my trip down. I sent these images to a friend who knows a thing or two about tracking...I mean his licence plate reads TRACKER. I'm pretty sure it's mountain lion.

Good training, 45 miles, nearly 4,000' of climbing, coupled with wildlife and coffee. Not just good training, good day.
Ride on!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Big Picture

Who left this prefectly good boy just sitting out on the railroad tracks?

Mom to the rescue!

Let's pack 'em up and head on out!
We had an early day yesterday. I need to take care of some things at school and get the girls out before we headed down to Chula Vista for the PanCan walk, so the coffee pot was set for 3:45. The worst part about 3:45 is that Bonnie and I were on duty in the afternoon and evening which meant one of us wouldn't be home until after 10:00 that night. Ouch! The walk was great. At registration there were several picture displays of loved ones who had passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. It was heartbraking to look at some of the images, especially the ones of young folks with young families. One man pictured, I'd say he is in his thirties is living with Pancreatic Cancer. Pictures of him before cancer, and during treatment. It was great to him there and participating in the walk. It's people and times like these that really make one appreciate what's important in life. One walker had a T-shirt made in honor of her mother, it read 'We think of you every day and always will'. George...We think of you every day and always will.

Ride on!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Bonnie took care of Finn until her 9:30 meeting so I got to hit the dirt this morning. This also gave me a chance to dial in my new Ergons. I haven't used barends in years but with my time on a single speed I've once again seen their value. I ordered them Wednesday, had them by noon Thursday.

I shot up to Pine Cove and then down to the single track and fire road around the hub. Beautiful sunny morning, temps around 50, you couldn't beat it. Tomorrow we have an early morning. We're headed down to Chula Vista to take part in the PanCan walk in honor of Bonnie's father George who passed away because of pancreatic cancer a few years ago. It might be a hard day but it will be a good day. Thanks to all of you who have donated to our walk!

This weekend I'd like to get out for a long ride but we'll see how things pan out. If it happens it'll have to take place after running and biking clubs on Sunday. I need to get somethings off the hill so maybe I can get a bunch of climbing in.

Ride on!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I had a good day of training. It started with a good spin then moved into a run with the girls which turned into a scramble. I know I probably don't ride as much as I should, and I spend a lot of time cross training, and goofing around, but if it ain't fun I'm not going to do it. I think I always knew it but since having Finn I've rediscovered the importance of play time.

I came across this slot between two boulders and just had to give it a try.
Here is a look back down the slot.
The reward for getting to the top.
After our run I headed into school but before I went to the office I hit some single track just to cap off a good morning.
Ride on!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just another weekend

Thing too exciting to report about the weekend. I'm on track with training. We got some much needed stuff done around the house. Finn and I got the trailer out for the first ride of the season. I guess he forgot how fast we can get going on the down hills, I kind of had to break him back in. Brendan and I are talking paint and parts for the new firm tail. I think the paint will be WBR Siren team colors. I'm debating on the breaks... juicy white or juicy black? I had running and biking clubs. Nobody showed up for running club, and a bunch of runners showed up for biking club. Aahh daylight savings, good thing it happens on a Sunday.

After spinning this morning the girls and I ran into school.

Wet dog, that's going to smell good in the office.The queen of chill, even sticking her tongue out at me. I'm not running them hard enough.

We've had reports of mountain lion in the area, and today I found some tracks on one the trails we were on. What ever it was we were back tracking it so I wasn't too worried. I think I might keep the girls on leach for a while.
Ride on!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Show's up, trainings on

After a great weekend I swung into a busy week at work. O.k. I guess the busy week started mid week last week, anyhow, last night we opened a small studio show to a enthusiastic audience. Tonight we have one more show and then we strike (take it all down). The students are doing great! In just a few days they've got a show up and running that they can really be proud of.

Because I've been so busy I haven't had much time for training. Mostly I've been getting in commuting miles. Instead of the direct 3 mile rout to school I've been taking a more 'scenic' way. It's not a lot but it does take the edge off. During down times throughout the day I've been hitting the trails just off campus. When doing this I often think to myself why don't I do this more often. I mean these trails are great. Trails that people will drive over an hour to get to. Trails that all I have to do is ride across some asphalt to get to. Why don't I hit these trail more often.

Since the show is up and running well this morning I have time to get some training in. I'll probably get some spinning in and run the girls to school. If I get a break this afternoon I'm going to hit those trails just off campus.

Ride on!