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  1. #1
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    My mountain biking vacation!

    This week I'm on vacation! Decided to take a road trip to go mountain biking in Arizona where trail conditions are dry and the weather is warm! Yesterday I rode at La Tierra in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The plan is to ride here one more day, stay the night in Flagstaff, Arizona, then ride in Sedona for 2 days before heading to the Phoenix area. I may hit Fruita, Colorado on the way back to Nebraska.

    I'm not in the best shape right now, and yesterday's 3 and a half hour ride at roughly 6,800 feet really kicked my butt! I expect more of the same today, but hey, its nice to get back in the saddle on some dirt, and the change of scenery and being able to ride something different is nice. Here are some photos from yesterday's ride. They are kind of lame, but hopefully, I'll post some better ones in the next couple of days.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My mountain biking vacation!-img_0880.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0872.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    I'm glad to see that you got out while you were on vacation. All of the snow is melting here in Omaha making any dirt trail sloppy. I'm hoping in a week or 2 things will melt and dry out. I need to start biking outside!!!

    Nice photos

  3. #3
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    Weather forcast is as follows.

    Phx Tuesday - Thus - 79 to 73
    Phx Friday - 60F 40% chance of rain
    Phx Saturday 57F Partly sunny
    Phx Sunday - Wed - 69 to 76

    We have a cold front coming in and Friday could be wash out. Some trails are rideable in the rain and it rarely rains all day. Mostly just in places for short time.


    So what this means is Don't be in Flag on Friday. You will get snow. Possibly snow in Sedona on Fri/Sat as they are sayin 55 on Friday/ Snow Saturday. Sedona will be 68 on Thursday though.

    Be off the Mtn Before it snows on Friday or you will be stuck. Flag weather is snow Fri/Sat/Sunday.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  4. #4
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    Nice!

  5. #5
    In dog years, I'm dead.
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    I rented a Giant Anthem 29er from Javalina Cycles & rode on South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Feb 2012. I enjoyed myself so much that I bought an Anthem 29er last summer & have been riding it in Upstate NY ever since.
    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

  6. #6
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    nice

  7. #7
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    Re: My mountain biking vacation!

    Nice looking Airborne Guardian!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies! Today I got a rather late start on the trails. After spending some time at the bike store and eating lunch, I headed down the interstate and landed at White Mesa, near Albuquerque. Turns out there are 2 entrances to the trailhead (maybe more), and I started at the one with the most difficult terrain, that also happened to be the most scenic. So, after huffing and puffing for a few hundred yards, I was taking lots of photos, and it was kind of stop and go for a while.

    The winds were blowing like crazy...I'd say at least 25 to 35 miles per hour. At one point, I took the cap off a Gatorade bottle, and it flew out of my hand, about 10 yards! The upper flap of my Camelbak kept on hitting me in the back of the head as well, so it was a little irritating.

    Anyway, it seems like I was pushing my bike quite a bit for a good part of the day, as the skill level in a lot of places at White Mesa was beyond what I'd ever encountered, and my level of fitness didn't help either. However, scenery was awesome, and I had a lot of fun flying down hills! I also got a good workout even when pushing the bike up hill!

    Honestly, I really wish I would have gotten an earlier start, because at about 4:30 pm, I had to head back to the car, and there was a lot more riding to do. On the other hand, after beating up my lungs yesterday, I felt a lot better today, so I'm thinking the shorter time on the trail today might have helped prime my lungs for Sedona, which I plan to get a much earlier start on tomorrow.

    Toward the end of the ride, for the second day in a row on a New Mexico trail, I got lost trying to find my car. I thought I saw it in the distance, which initially made me quite happy, only to discover that I was at the wrong entrance of the trail head. It was a relief, however, that I didn't have to climb DOWN one of the hills I had to climb UP, or should I say, push my bike up.

    When I was going up this hill, I remember thinking that it would probably be fun to ride down, unless, of course, I crashed and came tumbling down the hillside which was almost like a cliff! After I got to the top of the hill, there was a sign that basically read "don't die trying to go down this thing", and I was thinking that carrying or pushing the bike down would be a challenge. So, I'm quite thankful I got lost on the way back! The ride ended with me flying down a gravel road to my car. After being cold, tired, and a little weary, it was a nice way to end the ride!

    Here are some photos from today's ride.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My mountain biking vacation!-img_0891.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0900.jpg  

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    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0918.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0920.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0915.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0896.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Re: My mountain biking vacation!

    Nice pics! Looking forward to the updates.

  10. #10
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    Looks like your having a blast! Soak it all in for people like me who are in the Chicago burbs getting 10 inches of snow.

  11. #11
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    You go by yourself? I probably have to go to Colorado for work in october, was going to stay an extra week to hit Fruita and Moab. How is the trip solo if that's what you're doing?
    2012 Pivot Mach 429
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  12. #12
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    great pics!! Makes me want to hop a flight out there to join you! especially on a cold day in Nebraska like today.

  13. #13
    one sick puppy
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    How come every person that rides in New Mexico talks about high winds? What's up with that? I'm from the Windy City but it's not that bad.
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

  14. #14
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    Great stuff!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElDuderino2412 View Post
    You go by yourself? I probably have to go to Colorado for work in october, was going to stay an extra week to hit Fruita and Moab. How is the trip solo if that's what you're doing?
    Yep. Just me. Honestly, its not bad. Not that its not fun to have someone ride with you to talk to, but when I'm taking a break from riding, I'm taking photos, and its fun to come back here after I ride to post photos and such, so honestly, I'm quite content!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by YetiBear View Post
    How come every person that rides in New Mexico talks about high winds? What's up with that? I'm from the Windy City but it's not that bad.
    My boss at work lived in New Mexico for a while when he was in the military. When I was telling him about my trip, he mentioned that the one thing he hated about New Mexico was the high winds! You know what? He was right! LOL

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclechic80 View Post
    great pics!! Makes me want to hop a flight out there to join you! especially on a cold day in Nebraska like today.
    Before you know it, Tranquility will be open!

  18. #18
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    Today, once again, threw several unexpected curveballs at me I wasn't expecting. The first was that I thought that leaving Flagstaff at 12:30pm would get me 5 hours on the trails. Wrong. The road from Flagstaff to Sedona is a long, twisty one, through the mountains, where speeds around certain curves get pretty slow. I'd say it took me about 45 minutes to get there, even though its only 28 miles away.

    Once arriving in Sedona, I didn't quite understand the directions to the trails I had, because I didn't understand the frame of reference about which way to go from the starting point. So, I drove through town all the way out to Red Rock State Park (I think, assuming my memory is correct). I figured that someone there would at least be able to point me in the right direction. I was wrong, although the gatekeeper did point me in the direction of the visitors center, where I had to pay for my parking passes anyway.

    Thinking I knew where I was and how to get to the trails, I drove back the way I came, only to realize after a few miles I was going the wrong direction. I took a close look at the map, and then it dawned on my which direction I needed to go. Finally, I was headed in the right direction! I quickly found the trailhead to Cockscomb, which I figured would be a good trail to get started on. I didn't hit the saddle until about 2:30pm, 2 hours after I left Flagstaff!

    Not long after I got started, I was breathing hard, but having a blast. Because of the awesome scenery, I took lots of photos. After some climbs, there was some awesome descents, which I'd say were the most fun I've ever had on a trail.

    I'd never seen so many rocks on a trail in my life! I quickly found that I was able to plow right through the rocks with my Guardian 29er, something I didn't think I'd be able to do a week ago if you showed me photos of the terrain I'd be riding. There were many times I stalled and had to get off the bike briefly and walk, but overall, I was very happy with what the bike could do.

    I only saw a couple of other bikers on the trail I was riding the whole time I was there. One girl looked kind of like pro mountain biker Emily Batty, but all I really noticed about her was that she was really pretty, had a blond pony tail, and had a Fox fork on her bike. She barely acknowledged me. LOL

    I thought I'd only ride one trail and then move onto the next, but it didn't take me long to discover that the trail system merged quite a bit. At about 4:30pm, I started getting a little nervous that the sun would go down without finding my way back to the road, because I was pretty much getting lost. Thankfully, I saw another mountain biker, and it turns out I was very close to another trailhead by a shooting range, very close to the road.

    At that point in time, I thought that perhaps I should just jump back on the trail, pay extra careful attention to where I was, and ride for another hour until it got dark. Then I came to the conclusion that it would be better to find my car, and then ride the same trail I had started on for another hour, then call it a day. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.

    I thought I knew where I was. In truth, the car was probably only a mile or so away, but I started riding down the wrong road three miles toward the highway. I turned back around (there was some fun hills to ride up and down), and came back to where I thought the car should have been, based on the directions I remembered from getting to the trailhead. Turns out, I was probably less then two tenths of a mile from the car when I turned around again. To make a long story short, I rode for about an HOUR on the road before finally finding the car at about 5:30pm! It was good training though - basically interval training by going up, then down hills.

    At that point, I was utterly exhausted. My lungs really hurt, but the good thing was that earlier in the day on the trails, I felt like I was starting to turn the corner a bit on the cardio, making me feel a bit more like a mountain biker again, and having that "edge", which felt really good!

    About 15 or 20 minutes before finding my car, I saw 3 wild boars cross the road in front of me. I tried to whip my camera out to take photos, but by the time I had my finger on capture button, the boars were out of the road, so I guess that means it didn't happen! LOL As I got closer, two of them bolted, but one looked at me and snorted as I crossed its bath. I was a little nervous it would charge me, like the racoon that charged me on the Wabash trail, but fortunately for me, it wasn't as stupid as the racoon. For more on that story, see the link below. What's up with me and wild animals?

    Have you ever ran over a raccoon on your BIKE?

    Here are some photos from today's ride. It was great!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My mountain biking vacation!-img_0923.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0925.jpg  

    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0927.jpg  

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    My mountain biking vacation!-img_0957.jpg  

    Last edited by getagrip; 03-06-2013 at 01:27 AM.

  19. #19
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    sure glad you didn't hit those boars..I'm thinking they might have done more damage than a raccoon!

  20. #20
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    nice pics.
    If i have cell service i always use an app called G-Park on my iphone to mark where i parked my car if i'm not familiar with where i'm at. Of course sometimes mobile reception is kind of sketchy where trails are located
    2012 Pivot Mach 429
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  21. #21
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    Glad Sedona worked out. You going to ride there again today? Weather should be perfect Today and Thursday. Friday is better to be Phx to avoid the snow.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  22. #22
    29er and 26er
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    Great photos.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclechic80 View Post
    great pics!! Makes me want to hop a flight out there to join you! especially on a cold day in Nebraska like today.
    Starting Friday we should have warmer weather for a while. 56 in Omaha on Friday, but rain on the weekend. If things melt I will start commuting to work on my bike again next week. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Glad Sedona worked out. You going to ride there again today?
    Yep. I may head out early and head to the Phoenix area - I've got a hotel near Mcdowell, so I may head there and ride today, hit South Mountain tomorrow, and then leave a day early since Friday is looking like rain. Or maybe stay in Sedona all day, and hit Mcdowell and South Mountain tomorrow. The big thing is I don't want to hit Phoenix traffic...so it might be best just to stay in Sedona.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElDuderino2412 View Post
    nice pics.
    If i have cell service i always use an app called G-Park on my iphone to mark where i parked my car if i'm not familiar with where i'm at. Of course sometimes mobile reception is kind of sketchy where trails are located
    Thanks. Really wish I had a smart phone, but I'm still using a flip phone! LOL

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