Sunday, January 27, 2008
I really felt slower than usual too. I had donated blood during the prior week and was in the second day of a headcold. I took some stopyourrunnynose pills and figured riding might actually help clear things up. Didn't, sucked.
Hawes is a very cool trail area. I rode it once in the early fall when the temp was about 100, and I was looking forward to the ride in cooler weather. I have only been there twice now, because its 50 miles from my apartment and I'm not a big fan of burning a lot of gas to ride my bike. Feels like it kind of defeats the purpose.
Speaking of apartments and driving to ride, I am moving to a new apartment that is about a mile from the 32nd St trailhead at Phoenix Mtn Preserve. The reason for the move is mostly economic (not a fan of paying almost $900/month for a 1 bdrm w/dumpster view), but my sweetheart says. "Its all about the bike." Actually, its all about the biking. Big difference.
Anyway, its temporary. When the house in Kansas sells and we make the big move, the location will be based more on politics and volunteerism than biking, but that's a story for later.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Feeling kinda like a slug for skipping the o-dark-early, I hopped on the bike when I got home at 6:45. Now, I know T-Bird closes at "Dusk", but when I got to the gate at 7 it was wide open, so in I rode. Hit the loop around the south side and made the usual climbs. At the top of the last hill, I shut off the headlight and enjoyed the fresh air and view. When I turned the bike around to head down and back to the 67th Ave gate, I saw the flashing lights and thought, "I wonder if they just chase stragglers out or ticket them." Not really wanting to find out the hard way, I left the headlight off and killed the flashing tail light. Still, wearing a hi-viz green windbreaker with reflective piping, I doubt I was invisible. Anyway, with my eyes used to the dark and being familiar with the trail, I rode down with lights off. There was a half moon high in the sky and visibility was actually pretty good. Anyway, got down the hill in one piece. As you approach the 67th Ave gate from the south, there's a small hill to climb, then a gradual drop out of the park. Again, not wanting to find out about tickets, fines, Maricopa County Tent City Jail, etc. I crept up the hill, keeping an eye out for flashing light. No sign of them. Quick, out the exit gate! Felt like being a teenager again.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Let's try it: Scotland Argentina Kenya Iran Denmark
I'll post a note if I get hits from any of the above countries.
Monday, January 14, 2008
I thought it was pretty cool when I saw that my blog had its first international visitor - some poor bloke from Sydney Australia who probably stumbled onto the page after I made reference to the Estrella Yacht Club. The EYC is absolutely one of the silliest things I have seen in Arizona. I guess they had to name it something important sounding. After all, who would join the Estrella Dinghy Club? I might, but I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.
Google Analytics is a fun diversion. It reminds me of the end of one of the Muppet movies. While the credits were rolling, one of the characters asked if anyone ever reads the credits. To which Kermit replied, "Sure, they've all got families."
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Sorry I couldn't make it more interesting.
The weather today was awesome. Topped out at 67. Other than the brown cloud over the valley, the sky was clear and it was a great day to be outside. I took a couple shots in the Preserves because the desert is very pretty right now.Piestawa Peak from the NE
Ocotillo leafing out. I didn't know until recently that Ocotillo leafs out several times each year. When I first saw this cactus in August, it was really impressive. A month or so later every one I saw looked dead. I wasn't expecting it to green up again until summer. Fortunately, the Desert Botanical Garden answers a lot of those questions.
In all, this was one of the best weekends for riding in Phoenix since I moved here. I put in about 20 miles over the two days and enjoyed it a lot.
Sean gave me a polyester jersey for my B'day, but it hasn't been warm enough lately to try it out. Polyester - yeah, the same stuff they made leisure suits out of in the '70s. No, I never owned a leisure suit (but grandpa did and wore it well into the '90s). The jersey works great, wicks sweat and stays dry. Interstingly, I ran it through the washer and hung it to dry while all the cotton stuff tumbled. By the time the dryer stopped, the jersey was already dry. I'm sure it wouldn't have dried that quick in other places, but this is Phoenix. Thanks Sean.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Who are they trying to kid? The "Yacht Club" sits on a man made lake that can't be much more than 10-15 acres. I wouldn't drag my 13 ft. sailboat to a lake like that. I can picture a table of old salts sitting aroud at the Estrella Ranch Yacht Club in their watch caps and peacoats, smoking their scrimshaw pipes and spinning yarns about the gale of '06, clawing off the lee shore of the pond, and fearing that the mighty swell would wash them ashore NNW of the 15th hole.
Monday, January 7, 2008
My first day on the bike was an O-dark-early Thunderbird Park ride, my usual weekday loop. It didn't bode well, and I was thinking it would be a tough weekend.
Saturday, I rode the North Mtn Preserve, covering about 7 1/2 miles. Started at the visitors Center and rode northwest. I tried a couple of trails that petered out near a church, then worked my way back around toward the southwest ti the area around the T100 7th Ave trailhead. On the way back east, I found a trail leading southeast to overlook 7th St. That trail tied into a paved road that appears to be used for hiking. From there, I backtracked and made it back to the visitors center just as the rain started.
On Sunday, I rode out of Dreamy Draw and put in about 8 miles on trails between there and Tatum. On one trail that follows a hillside north of T100 and somewhere around 40th St, I came across the work of some rock fairies. A pile of rocks, about 5-10 pounds each was stacked on the trail next to a boulder and partially blocking the trail. It would have been easy to hop over, but I stopped and removed them. It was obvious that the rocks didn't end up there from erosion, too many of the same size in one spot and not enough anywhere nearby. I'd heard that the rock fairies leave their marks on that trail, but hadn't seen the result before.
In all, I was relieved that I didn't suck as bad as I expected, but Tinker Juarez still has no need to worry about me.