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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chalkpaw's Avatar
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    Dec 2007

    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona

    First of all, its been a long time since I've been on a proper mountain bike ride. Several months at least. I was needing to get out and after meeting four women riders from Santa Cruz (the city), it fueled my desire to throw a leg over the saddle and get ta peddling. Thanks for the inspiration ladies!!!

    Morning arrived with wind in the trees and a few fast moving clouds. Weather is predicting rain and snow. I better get going.

    Morning hot oats with butter, brain octain oil, honey, nuts. Plenty of nuts. Good fuel. Black tea, no coffee. Out the door by 9am. Frost on the truck windshield. My mind starts making trail choices. Too cold and wet at home, better drive to Sedona.

    It's been awhile since I have ridden HiLine. It kind of begs.
    But I don't want to drive that far.

    Obvious choice then is Schnebley Hill Road. Yes, that one.
    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-coyote1.jpg

    I've been doing a lot of hiking in the last couple of years. More than cycling. Seeing the countryside at a slower pace than a bicycle. Stopping often to smell the Cliffrose. I've grown to appriciate our beautiful surroundings more and more as I get a little older each year. It's become my primary movement meditation, but you know what? It was mountain biking that really brought on the flow several years ago. I really feel grateful for that.

    Do you know that mountain bikers make better hikers?

    Think about it. I learned that in the grand canyon. Yes, that one. I still hike that place fairly often and when I need to cover some really hard terrain or go a long way in a day, I remember that I have ridden a bike. That look ahead, be efficient, kind of movement?

    But really? Schnebely Hill? That is a jeep road... Yeah, I know that.

    But this jeep road is really getting worn out by the motorized crowd, and it has become really fun to fly down at Mach 5. Its no joke. While riding, bouncing along between rocks and choosing lines, I got to thinking of how fun this would be to have a big group ride going DOWN schnebly hill. Kind of a Mega Avalance of the Southwest. So I drove out and started at the I-17 Interstate junction and rode from there.

    The first couple of miles is through the forest, my ancient legs warming up for the upcoming downhill. Rain clouds were just starting to form across the valley. Once I made the crest, one can see a hundred miles. Down below are vortex and better yet, WAVES to ride!

    From there, I have intimate knowledge of every bump and ledge from the overlook on down. I have driven jeeps here for years and years, making the road wear down faster and faster. I used to be able to drive a honda accord down that, but no more. I won't even take my old Tacoma down there. But do you know who is really wearing out the road? The jeep tours were one thing, but now its the rental OHV four wheelers. It is a &*() storm that has residents and some visitors visually upset.

    But a full squish bike is really really fun.

    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-img_6952.jpg

    I head on down to the cowpies, make the right and ride the well worn trail leading to Hangover. I consider riding HO, but decide otherwise. I have to ride back up to my truck at the top of the watershed. So I have a plan to ride slickrock. Some of the best slick rock around. The ladies from Santa Cruz would love this place. Very, very wave like for NorCal beach women. Not all chunky like Highline.

    I have a favorite place to have a full blown flow experience while on a bike. It is the cowpies. Its got it all and today I found a new patch of sandstone that is truely like surfing. The sandstone rolls like gentle swells with a bit of whitewash thrown in. Start at a high point and cast down, no brakes, no skids, plenty of runout.

    But beware, there are ledges and unannounced sections that will damage and break any rider. Look ahead and,


    After awhile a couple of riders show up. They are fully kitted out riders. Strava? Sponsorship? Media? They see me only for a moment before I duck away, safely. I don't want to give up my waves so easily. I spy a camera on one riders head. There is a whole rash of "I'm so serious" of ridership going on in Sedona these days. Many Riders come from all over, so its that classic tourist town of where few people really know what is going on under the trail surface, but the locals seem to care. And now that I've discovered a classic big wave made of juicy redstone, I doing the locals thing as well.

    But I go back to the idea of a group ride who rode for a fun cause. That cause would be bringing cool riders from everywhere to share in the bounty of the perfect wave. We would ride for any number of things.
    Fun yes.
    Discovery, yes
    Social, yes.
    Trail Love, yes.

    Since it has been awhile of riding a full squish bike in Sedona, I have been witness to a rapid change in our trail resources. Of the existing trails, most are really showing the effect of many, many riders who don't know, don't care, don't... whatever with the Sedona trail system. My group ride would incorporate the showing of the dirt under the trails. That could be history, or care, or management, or abuse, or even understanding how other people see mountain bikers. Well, a little bit of who mountain bikers are.

    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-img_0017.jpg

    So now, it was time to climb back up the road and head home. It started to rain and then hail. Thunder arrives. More wind, but at least its at my back. I have about a thousand feet to go back up and it ends up being a little muddy on top. The volcanic rock on top of the redstone is often filled with clay. And Schnebly hill road goes right through a couple of nice clay patches.

    Thanks for reading to here, and if you would like to comment about maybe experiencing that perfect wave yourself, feel free. I'm gearing up for the next ride in a few weeks. Its off to the canyon for me.

    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-bv3.jpgRide Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-bv9.jpg
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Nice TR Chalkpaw!

    But since you ask, I found the perfect wave in Lava once. It was a long swim. With a Mohawk no less.
    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-flip.jpg

    Have a great trip! I suspect you won't think too much about the bike. Or, the matching kits and GoPros on HO.

    And nice pic of NOD!

  3. #3
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    nice post 'paw
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cstem's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Nice write up!
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  5. #5
    My other ride is your mom
    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Best post in a long time!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chalkpaw's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Thanks guys! Good on idenitifing NOD ROckman. I took that photo on little bear before the fire.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw View Post
    Thanks for reading to here, and if you would like to comment about maybe experiencing that perfect wave yourself, feel free. I'm gearing up for the next ride in a few weeks. Its off to the canyon for me.
    I'll play. I experienced the perfect wave one late summer day. After a rainy monsoon thunderstorm day Chalkpaw and I hit the most perfect ride. Off season, not too hot, and had the place to ourselves. There was a magic tree there as well with a special bottle of Zin.

    Comanche Todd so ungraciously tossed from a cliff
    chained to a wagon wheel.
    Soon, the Fort Apache Limestone breaks in this one spot alone
    arrows or tomahawks waiting, for the Sheriff called this
    The Apache Canyon of Death!
    catching tires is the least of your worry.
    shoulder your burden explorer
    or is it your lifeline?
    No where else to go from here.
    Below, no rider can pass the one living Cyprus
    and one expired, so close to the Oak Creek fault
    where early settlers went swimming after dark
    Red layers tilted upward
    stopping all who pass
    pause, turn around, momentarily exit the ride
    a ledge offers a million directions to observe
    while wagons trundled westward.

    Ride Report-Stoke-"bridging the gap"- Sedona-tomahawk.jpg

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