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  1. #1
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    The Dirty Century

    After going through a short but rather nasty cold spell here recently, the warmth came back this last weekend, and that allowed for a nice ride I had been wanting to do again. With highs in the mid 50's we weren't going to experience a heat wave, but in the desert, with dry air and the warm sun, this can be plenty comfortable.

    The plan, was to start at one riding area called the volcanos - as there are actually 4 dormant volcanos here - and then connect dirt roads out to two other areas, known as mesas, but in different colors similiar to fine wines: white and red.

    The ride would be long, and as the computer shows in the first foto below, 105-miles to be exact. I arranged for another rider to start with me, then picked another up 15 miles down the road, and then hopefully hook up with another group of friends at a place known as red. Things went a little slow at first and after a while both of the other riders felt a little overwhelmed, so they turned back after the white mesa, but they ended up getting in 60-ish miles - so not a light ride for them either. I was determined to finish the route, and did....and even did find some of the friends out at the place called red...albeit for a short while, as I had to move quickly through here.

    I ran into several jack rabbits, saw some deer, more cattle than I care to remember, dozens of hikers in Subarus, and some pueblo ranchers who had just finished rounding up some of those cattle. I caught these guys close to sunset and we both agreed that the beer was well earned for all of us. But I still had about 25 miles to go when I broke away from these guys....so I pulled out the night light and got to ride through the volcanos in the dark on the return of the out-and-back. This turned out to be the most interesting part, as I decided to take the super fast lower route, and with my Arc Li-Ion shining a huge beam, an owl decided to ride in front of me and use my light to help spot feed for the evening. It may have lasted for 5-6 seconds, but it seemed like minutes. That was just awesome watching that huge owl cruising just slightly above me and to the front, but still in my cone of light.

    Here are some pics with captions;

    1. The computer did record 105-miles, but I actually belive it was closer to 111. After riding through a river the computer stopped working, and it wasn't until back on the main road that I got the bright idea of wiping off the magnet. Cleaning that little thing got the computer back working. That was a first!
    2. Windshield shot of volcanos in the morning on my way out for the ride.
    3. Compadres.
    4. Some of the two-track we covered.
    5. Geologic features were very interesting on this ride...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Timo; 12-12-2005 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    More pictures from the ride

    Again the ride was an out-and-back starting at the 4 volcanos, then riding through dirt roads, then onto two popular winter riding areas. Both of those areas have great singletrack networks, and combined with the Volcanos, piecing all of these areas made for an epic route right here in our back yard.

    1. Legendary singletrack on what is called Dragon's Back
    2. A rider descending
    3. Another Descending
    4. Mesa de Rojo
    5. Path to the Watermelon

    About 1/5 of the route was singletrack, and the rest was two-track, dirt road, and some graded dirt road. One section was even graded subdivision...as next year there will be McMansions. (ugh!)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Timo; 12-12-2005 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    Last call

    1. Another shot of the watermelon.
    2. I don't know where I'ma gonna go, when the volcano blows.
    3. My ride.

    Hope you enjoyed the pics! Can't wait to ride this one again in January.

    Timo
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Timo; 12-12-2005 at 12:56 PM.

  4. #4
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    Great post.

    Thanks for the daily dose.

  5. #5
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    Nice pictures!! I wish it was that warm where I am!!

    On a side note, have you considered angling your brake levers/shifters downwards so they are not so close to being parallel to the ground? I recall reading something about mountain bike fitting that said that when you are sitting on your bike, your fingers should continue on in a straight line from your forearms, without having to bend upwards to touch your levers. In other words, the brake levers should go at like a 45-ish degree angle downwards, as opposed to nearly flat.

    Just curious whether you had thought about it, or whether you have noticed your wrists/forearms hurting after long rides.

  6. #6
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    That's a big day! Nice work on the photos. Beautiful images.

    How did you stay fueled. Did you carry everything with you? Or did you replenish water along the way. What did you use for calories....I mean other than the beer.

  7. #7
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    Killer ride! I'd also be interested in what you fueled up with; I can never seem to make myself eat enough on long epics.

    Hey nice gear selection! (must have been really early or really late)


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    That's a big day! Nice work on the photos. Beautiful images.

    How did you stay fueled. Did you carry everything with you? Or did you replenish water along the way. What did you use for calories....I mean other than the beer.

    Hi Rob -

    Thanks for the comments. I packed 10 Gu's (actually 8 Gu's and 4 Power Gels) and came back with a couple. I like the Gu's because they are not as big as the other brands but carry prety much the same stuff. The only food I brought was a banana. Then about half way there was a conveinience store and I ate a brownie, peanut butter crackers, and drank one red bull. Also haad 9 scoops of GU powder in my 100-oz camel back. Could have gotten away with the 70-oz one, but it is nice to have too much water. ;-)

    At the car - for the ride's conclusion I had a banana, breakfast burrito I had cooked that morning, hot coffee, and home made banana bread. (which is also exactly what I ate before I started the ride.)

    Matt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    Killer ride! I'd also be interested in what you fueled up with; I can never seem to make myself eat enough on long epics.

    Hey nice gear selection! (must have been really early or really late)

    Thanks Radair! It is had to eat when you want to hammer, so I learned to just follow the instructions on the GU/Gel packs and follow it religiously. If it say every 30-mins do it, etc. I also plan on coming back with a knot in my stomach from all that gel, but just live with it.....I know it will go away when the beer comes.

    Yeah, I love the Standard gearing up front. I really notice a difference when riding with others on the flats.

    And it was late.....right after I opened the gate for the ranchers. If you ever want to get on racher's good side, open a gate for them....so they don't have to get out of the truck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyst0pia
    Nice pictures!! I wish it was that warm where I am!!

    On a side note, have you considered angling your brake levers/shifters downwards so they are not so close to being parallel to the ground? I recall reading something about mountain bike fitting that said that when you are sitting on your bike, your fingers should continue on in a straight line from your forearms, without having to bend upwards to touch your levers. In other words, the brake levers should go at like a 45-ish degree angle downwards, as opposed to nearly flat.

    Just curious whether you had thought about it, or whether you have noticed your wrists/forearms hurting after long rides.

    I bled the brakes last week, so obviously just left them that way. Since these are the Martas with the carbon levers I have them mounted loose enough to spin my with my own hands while riding...and can adjust while on the bike. I guess since I was in a tuck position most of the time the brakes felt right.

    I had no pain whatsoever.

  11. #11
    I ride with tools
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    I always knew you were a....

    Sick b@stard!

    What's next, a double century?! You need help, man!

    Seriously, tho, that is so cool how an owl flew point guard for you.

  12. #12
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    Actually I was jokingly giving you grief for cross-chaining.

    Excellent ride & pics, in any case.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    Actually I was jokingly giving you grief for cross-chaining.

    Excellent ride & pics, in any case.
    So thats what the whooshing sound was. Does that mean I need ANOTHER cup of cofee this morning?

    M

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Beam
    Sick b@stard!

    What's next, a double century?! You need help, man!

    Seriously, tho, that is so cool how an owl flew point guard for you.
    Sick yes, and help can only be found on the bike.

    Double Century? Hmmm...considering that I was a few miles from the Continental Divide Trail, you might be onto something. ;-)

  15. #15
    taxi mechanic
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    looks like is good fun.

  16. #16
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    Two words, Dude

    Nice!
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  17. #17
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    Matt, you rule. that is an absolutly outstanding ride. some day I would like to be in the condition to ride it with you. even if I hate fire road. knowing the area I'm certain I wouldn't mind the views you left out of your post. =)
    b

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eebeedah
    looks like is good fun.
    Yeah, it is a whole lot of fun....but just can't find many people interested in doing that ride with me. But I'm planning to go back in mid to late January. :-)

  19. #19
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    Two more

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Nice!
    Thank you!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    Matt, you rule. that is an absolutly outstanding ride. some day I would like to be in the condition to ride it with you. even if I hate fire road. knowing the area I'm certain I wouldn't mind the views you left out of your post. =)
    Hey Brian! Thanks, but Jeni is the one who actually rules around here. :-)

    Yeah it made for an interesting route, and man I can't get over how fun riding through the volcanos can be. Either ride there on a SS or pass through there on an epic route and that place turns special. You'd love the back roads too, views are amazing and you drop in a huge valley with Mt. Taylor in the distance......with no trace of civilization.

    It was hard to take pictures for a couple of reasons: small back pocket in jersey and I just don't like to stop.

    Aren't you making a western trip soon...or did I miss that?

    M

  21. #21
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    Best post this week

    Imho!
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  22. #22
    taxi mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo
    Yeah, it is a whole lot of fun....but just can't find many people interested in doing that ride with me. But I'm planning to go back in mid to late January. :-)

    if i can afford to go i would go in january. is my kind ride with remote place.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo
    Hey Brian! Thanks, but Jeni is the one who actually rules around here. :-)


    M

    I hope the boss is speeding away on the road to recovery.

    Yes, the trip has come and passed. but I have not posted a report in it yet. Too many pictures to process. =) The shock of returning from 70F to 16 inches of snow was a little hard to take.
    b

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    Imho!
    Thanks!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    I hope the boss is speeding away on the road to recovery.

    Yes, the trip has come and passed. but I have not posted a report in it yet. Too many pictures to process. =) The shock of returning from 70F to 16 inches of snow was a little hard to take.
    She's fine - but still on crutches. Back on the bike in March if all continues to go well.

    Let's see the pics!

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