Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Transitioning.

  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    “Life is a garden, not a road.

    We enter and exit through the same gate.

    Wandering, where we go matters less

    than what we notice.”

    ― Kurt Vonnegut

    Our winter was but a shadow of it's normal self, but it was winter. Impatient humans that we are, before one season's ended we're ready for the next.

    So it was that we drove away from our own little slice of heaven and headed for the Sonoran desert.

    We had reason to both celebrate and take some time off, and given a choice Jeny's first (and 2nd, and 3rd) preference would always be to bikepack.

    I'd ridden a handful of trails in the desert north of Oracle, but had never been able to complete the loop that Scott raves about. We set that as our primary goal for this trip.

    Into the Box.

    Secondary goals included catching up on some rest, and sleep, and being outside somewhere wild and beautiful each day.

    I failed miserably on the sleep part (as I almost always do) but the rest was easy given where and when we were.

    The elusive Area 52.

    Although we poked around the edges of A52 a fair bit while searching for the route, and the exit, we felt that we had scarcely scratched the surface of the riding to be done on this formation.

    More miles of shandy jeep roads than I care to cover in a day led us to a few miles of wash bashing and then, finally, onto Ripsey.

    Greg had been here a week earlier and had forewarned us that the poppies were 'out', and we were ecstatic to arrive with afternoon light and some gas left in the tanks.

    The entire climb of Ripsey is challenging, with a few exclamation-point switchbacks to keep you honest.

    Honey light and sumptuous breezes kept us in the saddle longer than maybe we'd planned to ride that night. It was hard to stop, so sweet were the views and temps around every next corner.

    Eventually we carved out a little home amidst the succulent sentinels and slept the sleep of the exhausted.

    Somehow the flora and illumination the next morning were even sweeter than the night before.

    Mid-day temps sent us down to the Gila River to re-up on water, and then, laden heavily, we began the climb into the Gila Canyons in earnest.

    Largely mellow grades prevail and the tread is wide and non-technical enough to allow you to take in the unfolding grandeur. Occasionally, a steep stinger would require that we burned a match or two to stay on the bikes.

    Difficult to put this climb into context with words. It just keeps going and going, not merely up but *in* to the heart of the canyon system. And I'm not sure you can get a sense for how expansive this system is from anywhere other than on the ground, slowly crawling your way up it.

    Just shy of sunset, tired, sore, sunburnt and recharged, we closed the loop back where it had begun 3 days previous.

    Pre-production Surly 29+ tires were my choice for the trip, and proved far more comfortable and adept than expected or even hoped for. So much so that I started, and finished, a drawing for a chassis to better exploit them while climbing away from the Gila River. Stay tuned on that.

    My bike looks lightly loaded, and in truth it was if you discount the 5 liters of water in the frame bag. Double secret punishment training, or something like that...

    Thanks for checking in.


  2. #2
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Beautiful ride pics, Mikesee
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Brian Grimes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Absolutely amazing! Kudos on an amazing vacation, and thanks for sharing the beautiful pics.
    Living in the moment is always better on two wheels.

  4. #4
    El Gato Malo
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Great stuff!!!!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Beautiful work! Thanks again for taking us along, Mike.

  6. #6
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
    Reputation: DIRTJUNKIE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Great ride report with amazing photos. Congrats to Jennifer on her promotion.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Awesome layout, thanks for sharing! I look forward to my first bikepacking adventures this year, and this is inspiring...

  8. #8
    Reputation: starladear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    How many times do you get so excited to get the pic that you kneel in cactus?

  9. #9
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by starladear View Post
    How many times do you get so excited to get the pic that you kneel in cactus?
    Just once, then you buy some knee pads.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 53119's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    man, i needed those pics on a monday morning! perspective good. much thnx.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    once again inspired by your photos and prose. Just relocated to Michigan from Arizona and only just now feeling the loss of the beautiful riding in AZ this time of year. What a ride.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cobi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    We had reason to both celebrate and take some time off, and given a choice Jeny's first (and 2nd, and 3rd) preference would always be to bikepack.
    I was in their office Friday to say hi to Page while I was in the building (moving some of our folks in upstairs). I think I saw her....... I sort of remembering thinking "she looks familiar" but couldn't place it. Small town.

    Awesome/inspiring pictures as always. Makes me so disappointed when I look back through mine from this weekend. Took the wheels you built me on a little Koko journey this weekend. Did the easy half, Loma to Dewey (camped at WW Sat night). I skipped YJC yesterday due to running out of time to catch my ride to get back in time for my hockey game. I have no idea how you guys ride that straight through! No way I could do it, not even sure I could do it in 2 days.

    Had a great time, awesome weather and views, I can see why you rode it so much.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    That looks like an awesome ride!
    I like bikes

Similar Threads

  1. Transitioning.
    By mikesee in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-22-2015, 03:54 AM
  2. Roadie Transitioning to dirt
    By 00Garza in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 02-09-2015, 08:47 PM
  3. Transitioning from Road to 29er
    By brinkerz128 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 05-23-2013, 07:30 PM
  4. Transitioning from Clipless to Flats
    By KRob in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 10:13 AM
  5. Transitioning from flats to clipless... The pits...
    By DHgnaR in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 12-31-2010, 06:20 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts



VISIT US AT and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.