Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Deep South Weekend Trip

Perhaps the old lady who was the hotel desk clerk in Dalton, Georgia said it best: 

*in strong southern accent* "This is the coldest it's been in a long long time, my dog is just gettin' eaten alive by fleas!"

Good thing we aren't dogs. So, yeah, it wasn't exactly 80 and sunny every day down south, but still much better than Pittsburgh and it was awesome to do some different riding.

Will and I drove to the deep south last weekend in search of dry trails and warmer weather. To be honest, even though it wasn't exactly toasty warm, it was certainly warmer than sub-zero temperatures that Pittsburgh was experiencing. Plus, there were plenty of dry trails.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Arizona Trip Part 2: Gila River Ramble (With Some Arizona Trail)

The Steelers were actually playing on Monday Night Football, so we put the game on the hotel TV and then commenced the route planning process. We basically had 5 more full days of riding, and on the last night we wanted to be back in Phoenix to start getting ready to fly home the following morning.

At first, we [well, technically, just me, but Will was there for moral support] tried plotting some random routes but after some thinking, we found the Gila River Ramble route on bikepacking.com, which was a 110 mile mountain bike loop starting near Superior, Arizona. We assumed it could take us 2.5 days to do the route if  it was gnarly singletrack, so counting a day to ride to the route start from Phoenix and a day to ride back to Phoenix, it seemed like the perfect choice. I plotted a route from the hotel to the route start, and we went to bed.

Next morning: wake up, enjoy a huge continental breakfast (with foods from all the continents, as Will would say), and get rolling. We cruised through suburban Phoenix and Scottsdale, then made it to the Arizona Canal. Coincidentally, that was also the Maricopa Trail, which we had ridden on a few days before north of Phoenix.

The canal was pretty much entirely flat, but it was still pretty cool. We saw a couple bald eagles and then some wild horses. I don't think I've ever seen wild horses before, so that was pretty neat.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Arizona Trip Part 1: Fools Loop/Black Canyon Trail

Things that are ded: 26 inch wheels, singlespeed, mullets, and Pittsburgh in the winter. So, I ditched the singlespeed, loaded up the geared bikepacking bike, [didn't cut the mullet], and flew to Phoenix (where it is very much alive in the winter).

Will and I got to Phoenix in the morning on New Years Eve, and immediately grabbed an Uber XL to my friend Joe’s house. We built up our bikes in his backyard, and he generously let us store our bike bags and carry on luggage at his house for 10 days. Major help, I seriously do not know what else we would’ve done.

All set to roll out after building up the bikes