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  1. #1
    Not-quite-geezer RVer
    Reputation: FoldsInHalf's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Better late than never, here's my AZSF recap

    We traveled from Texas to Phoenix in March to work on a fire truck driving simulator recently installed at the training complex in Mesa, and a couple other simulators at the community college in Scottsdale.

    It was mere coincidence that March is prime riding season out here and we'd be around for the AZSF...




    WEDNESDAY: HAWES TRAIL SYSTEM IN MESA

    There was an AZSF sunset ride scheduled at Hawes this day, but I'm light-challenged so I just went over there in the afternoon and got in a nice solo loop.



    Needed a shakedown ride to make sure my brand-new saddle was gonna work, and all was good:


    I figured I'd make it back over to Hawes a few more times during our weeks in Mesa since it was only about 5 miles away, but tragically I stayed too busy with work and this ended up being my only ride here. Oh well, at least it was a good one.


    THURSDAY: GOLD CANYON "CRAZY EIGHT" LOOP IN APACHE JUNCTION

    The "official" AZSF rides for the day were down in Tucson, but when this impromptu ride got called I took the afternoon off and jumped at the chance to check out these new-to-me trails that I'd been wanting to ride anyway. Thanks to ride leader GilaMonster for the ride and the first few pics below. We had a great little group of locals and out-of-towners.













    Very scenic area with lots of entertaining trails. Pleasantly challenging but not brutal. A nice addition to the Arizona riding menu that I'd vote to become an "official" AZSF ride in the future.


    FRIDAY: NATIONAL TRAIL, SOUTH MOUNTAIN IN PHOENIX

    Up National to Telegraph and back was the plan for the day. How can a ride that consumes almost 6 hours and covers a mere 16 miles be considered a "B" ride? That's just how the infamous SoMo chunk works. Thanks to RyDaddy for calling this "A" ride with "B---" pace. That's exactly my thing, and I had a ball.













    This was my third plunge down National now and I gotta say that doing it on the folder is one of the funnest things anywhere. Sure, I have to walk a few spots, like most mortals, but I'm able to ride an awful lot of it going down since gravity helps keep me rolling despite the little wheels and I find picking lines through the chunk a total blast.

    I'll keep coming back until the poor bike finally breaks in half.


    SATURDAY: THE "DOUBLE H" LOOP IN SEDONA

    I had toyed with the idea of renting a bike and trying the "Triple H" version of this ride that also included Hangover, but decided that doing a monster ride on an unfamiliar bike with a bunch of hammerheads was probably not a great idea...

    What did turn out to be a great idea was demoing a Turner Sultan full-suspension 29er and joining a slightly less ambitious but still plenty stout ride led by Sedona local Zul ("Will guide for beer") . This was a fantastic tour of the red rock maze that included two of Sedona's new highlight trails, Highline and the Hogs, plus an assortment of connecting trails that boggles the mind.





















    I'd demoed a Specialized Carbon 29er hardtail in Texas last month and that bike felt immediately natural to me. It was a surprisingly similar feel to my 20er--lively and nimble--but was blindingly fast and virtually unstoppable too.

    By contrast, on the big Turner I felt uncoordinated and sluggish, like there was a mismatch between my natural steering and lean angles, which was downright spooky at times. It was almost like learning to ride a bike all over again (and narrow, exposed trails like Highline are probably not the ideal place for that!).

    On the other hand, the Sultan did excel at steep, chunky terrain like on the Hogs. I felt remarkably comfortable getting my butt waaaaaay back behind the seat, and rolled easily down bumpy steeps and switchbacks that I wouldn't normally dream of trying, so that was very neat.

    Overall the Sultan was not quite my cup of tea, but I'm glad to have had it for this ride, so thanks again to the Turner folks for the opportunity to demo, and to Zul for guiding us safely through.

    My first taste of Sedona riding was awesome, and there's tons left to explore.


    SUNDAY: BLACK CANYON TRAIL, BUMBLE BEE TO TREASURE MINE

    Today I was back on my own bike for a pure XC out-and-back on a new-to-me section of the now 70+ mile Black Canyon Trail. We had a small but fun group led by MyBikesBroken (who had led a Tucson ride I'd joined a couple years ago) and enjoyed a perfect half-day ride on the swoopy and mostly-buff singletrack the BCT is famous for.









    Despite the darn rigid singlespeeder whupping us all this was a fine way to wrap up the 2011 AZSF.

    Lots of great riding with great people. What a great thing.


    SUNDAY2: PAPAGO PARK AND THE STREETS OF TEMPE

    Got in only one more ride before leaving Arizona, a delightful day with MsFoldsInHalf exploring the mellow trails (by Arizona standards) of Papago Park then a little tour of the happening parts of Tempe.







    The mid-ride Smashburger was a real treat. I'd also vote to make that part of every AZSF ride in the future too.

    It was great to ride with you folks. Will look forward to doing it again one day!

    Cheers,
    Carey
    "Rollin' on 20s and 27.5s" ride reports and more at WWW.DEBCAR.COM : Debbie and Carey's RV Travel Website

  2. #2
    No mames guey
    Reputation: tpvet73's Avatar
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  3. #3
    DFL>DNF>DNS
    Reputation: schillingsworth's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Carey, nice writeup & great meeting you out at the K-Trail ride and then bumping into you again out at the BCT.
    My Two Schillingsworth


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