Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
To me, the bike looks like a skinny frame with tundra tires, but it is a pretty cool bike.
We met up with Crazy Joe and Gordo the Wonderdog at Oak Creek, and headed off looking for the Baldwin trailhead. Neither of my guides seemed to remember exactly where the trailhead is, so we took what looked like a well used trail that petered out and gave us a bit of a bushwhacking experience that ended up in somebody's driveway, inside their gate. Fortunately nobody shot at us. Another mile down the road and we found the real trail, with a real sign, and off we went, Baldwin to Templeton.
The scenery was absolutely spectacular, and I managed to take an off-trail excursion while gawking at the redrock surroundings and paying too little attention to the redrock in the middle of the trail. Off the bike, down the embankment and into a holly bush that was kind enough to break my fall. My glasses came off on the way down, and were invisible in all the dust I kicked up. Problem - myopic geezer stuck in a holly bush without his glasses. Don't move around too much, because it will be a long run back to the truck without my specs. The dust settled and I eventually found them, none the worst for wear. Caught up with Sean, Joe and Gordo about the time they were talking about sending out a search party.
I don't know about Sean and Crazy Joe, but I'm willing to bet Gordo the Wonderdog was smart enough that he could have found me at the crash site AND went to get Lassie. Now, I'm not a big fan of dogs (mostly they bark, chew up shoes and crap on lawns), but Gordo is pretty impressive. We rode something like 13-15 miles at a pretty good pace and he stayed with us the whole time, never blocked the path, and completely ignored other dogs on the trail. Put in a better performance than I did.
For most of the ride, I wondered why Crazy Joe carried that moniker. He rides that singlespeed like a mountain goat and seemed more than happy to wait for Sean and me as we struggled to make it through sections that he cleaned as if they were 6 lane freeways. I figured out the "Crazy." I warned him at the start that this ride would be one of the slowest he ever did. We'd been riding about two hours when he commented to me that he hadn't seen slow yet. At that point I knew Joe is either crazy or he perceives the space/time continuum in a manner unlike the rest of the human race. Anyway, thanks Joe for a great ride. You and Gordo are tops in my book.
Sean was his usual self - cheery, funny, enjoying life. I may be biased because he's family, but he is a great riding partner and a joy to spend time with. We rode Sedona on Saturday and Phoenix Mtn Perserves on Sunday and had a ball. Like anyone else who throws a leg over an mtb, he pretty much left me in the dust, but didn't seem to mind having to wait for the geezer to catch up. Definitely made for a fun weekend.
Sean at speed on the new ride.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I started up Mesquite Canyon and got into what would be a great trail for hiking, but really sucked with a bike. The first mile of climbing is simply not rideable by a geezer like me. Walking wasn't too bad, but would have been a lot better without 25 lbs of bike. After the first mile, the trail is rideable, and I managed to grind up to the intersection with Willow trail. I continued another 1/4 mile or so before I decided to bag it and go back down. The downhill was better than the climb, and I rode all but maybe 400 yds, with only 1 excursion over the bars. With the crash yesterday at Black Canyon, when I dropped my front tire into a soft spot in the sand, my total crashes since arriving in Phoenix have added up to 2.
Now that I've spent 12 bucks for access to White Tanks, I'm through paying to ride there when there are so many other places to go.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Off we went to meet up with the trail crew, after my wasting of 2 hours. The crew had made good progress already, and I joined them for about 3 hours. In all the crew completed about 800 ft. I broke rock, raked dirt, and didn't f**k up my back.
Temp was about 90 when we headed back where the folks drove to. I loaded Mr Klein into one of the trucks and accepted a ride back to the trailhead. Pie ala-mode and good conversation at the Rock Springs Cafe, and I was back in Phoenix by 4:00 pm.
Tomorrow I'll try Willow Canyon to Goat Camp at White Tanks. I've seen video of the Goat Camp trail and that was enough to convince me that I'll turn back rather than break something.
Friday, November 2, 2007
All together, the setup worked ok except the chain skipped on the 3rd cassette gear any time I cranked hard on it. Ok, just avoid that gear. After a few weeks, 4th gear started doing the same thing. This was getting ridiculous. Last night I gave up on the SRAM, even though as an old fat and slow guy I liked the 32T granny gear. At the second shop I visited, Swiss American(?), 44th Ave & Bell, I found an 8 speed 11x30 Shimano. They were holding a bike maintenance (bent wheel bad, straight wheel good) class, so I had to step around some of the attendees to get to the parts counter. All in all, it seems like a good shop, and off I went with my new cassette.
Now that its all dialed in and working well, I'm just waiting for the Octolink BB to fail like the ones Sean's been going through. If it fails, I'll dig around for some new chainrings and go back to the past with square taper that's served me well for the last 50 years.