Trips For Sale Vehicles Cycling

Sunday October 5; 4:40p
Well, today I packed up and headed west. I can't believe I fit everything into the car that I wanted to take. it went from a vehicle to a self-contained camping unit. i shoulda taken a picture, but oh well. a quick stop at bk for some whopper action and i hit the interstate. the first destination is going to be sedona, az. i90 was actually moving pretty well considering the construction and the time of day. illinois was pretty uneventful. i rolled into the st. louis area just as it was getting dark. saw an old hudson sedan just as i was going by the arch. a few minutes later a semi for carrying vehicles was loaded with a bunch of race ready mazda 6's. that was kinda cool, but it would have been better if it was a bunch of rx-8's.
once i made it through the st. louis area a misty fog started settling on the road. so not only was it building up on the outside of the windshield, but it was also the perfect temperature where you need to run the defroster for the inside of the windshield too. I think it was somewhere in arkansas in the late night hours where i came upon a freshly overturned semi. it was taking up both southbound lanes and part of the shoulder. luckliy it was directly under an overpass, so a quick exit before it and a quick onramp right after it bypassed the accident nicely.
i wanted to get through oklahoma city prior to rush hour before i took my first break from driving. at about 5:30a and 20 miles or so still from the goal, the roads were already bumper to bumper, but we somehow still managed to drive the speed limit. instead of stopping for a break i kept going all the way through amarillo and had some breakfast in a picnic area right off the insterstate. it was about 15 hours and 990 miles into the trip, but i couldn't seem to find sleep there on the side of the interstate, so i moved on. a couple hours later after starting to nod off, i tried pulling over and sleeping again, but it was no good, so again i moved on.
at 6:30p, i was just about to albuquerque, it was time to bed down for the night. i found a little town called cedar crest and grabbed a campsite for the night. 1500 miles down, about 400 to go. i managed to average almost 60 mph until this point including all stops. spaghetti was on the menu tonight. it's amazing how much longer it takes pasta to cook at elevation. after that you would think it would be a good idea to just hit the sleeping bag...nah, i headed down to the local microbrew and watched some baseball. oh yeah, i had a couple beers too.
Tuesday October 7; 10:20a
the morning was a little chilly, but it didn't stay that way for long. sleep last night was a good thing. i got up and got some breakfast in me, then packed up the car...oh, i mean self-contained camping unit...and headed out. half of new mexico and half of arizona to go. did i mention i've been on the same interstate heading due west since arkansas? it did get a little more interesting when i got into some of the mountains.
flagstaff was coming up, and there happened to be a big ol' mountain bordering the city. it was four oclock already and i figured if i'm going to get some riding in, it better be here. a dude at a gas station was knowledgable enough to direct me downtown to one of the better shops in town - absolute bikes. the folks at the bike shop turned me on to cosmic ray's trail guide to arizona. it turned out to be a wise investment. i went over to mt elden and rode for a while.
i set out on the trail feeling pretty good. even though it was my first day at 7000', i set out in the middle ring thinking that was a good idea. i guess my body had other ideas because it was after only about 15 minutes in and the climbing began i got to know my little ring again. i headed up the rocky ridge trail, hit elden road briefly and continued up the brookbanks. then connected to sunset. this was the top and it had been about 1000' of climbing. the trail made an about face and i headed down the schultz creek trail. it was all going well until i hit a berm wrong in the dusty conditions and went down nice and hard. cut my glove and hand, got some good trail rash on my hip, back, shoulder and arm as well. luckily it was mostly just flesh wounds.
-- time: 1:30 | distance: 15 | avg: 10 (*estimated, the computer took a dump)
from here i packed up - bleeding and all - and headed to sedona. it was dark along 89 coming into town. that road is around a 3000' descent in a canyon. it would be quite the fun drive if they closed it off and had a rally through there. rallying aside, let me tell you, never try and find a place to camp in sedona at night if you've never been there. the national forest campgrounds are virtually invisible from the side of the road. luckily after driving around for what seemed like forever, i found a suitable place to bed down for the night. after a quick supper it was off to the sleeping bag for the night.
Wednesday October 8; 8:30a
I rose just before the sun peeked over the canyon this morning. it was downright cold until the great yellow ball showed itself, but then of course it heated up fast. i made some breakfast and then walked down to the creek running next to the campground. it would have been a good opportunity to wash if the water temperature wasn't fridged. i cleaned up the dishes and packed up camp again. it was almost eleven by the time i drove back into town, so i gave jeff a call. we made a contingency plan to meet at the bikeshop on wednesday at noon if we hadn't met up sooner. it turned out that jeff, pam and the kids (that would be cleo and chien, the doggies) were already there.
we went in the shop to get some recommenedations for the trails to hit. one of the guys got out a trailmap and drew in good to the last drop, which was in and around some of the marked trails. it sounded good so we decided that would be the ride for the day. before hitting the trail though, we went in search of a campsite for the night. we drove up schnebly hill road, which was your run of the mill mountain road...rough, jutting rocks, stutter bumps. i rode with jeff up there with his van. it was about a 7 mile trip to the top that took over 20 minutes, but the top was just what the doctor ordered...the middle of nowhere and best of! so we started back down, and suddenly there was some serious noise coming from the back of the van. we stopped and realized immediately what it was. one of the tires had obviously punctured and we were driving on the flat for a while. it was completely shredded and the hubcap was long gone. a quick change to the spare - and a lot of looks from tourists later - and we were back in business. so it was a trip to the wheel and tire shop next. i think it was called the big k or big o, or something. while we waited for the tire to get fixed we figured that would be a little too much to do every day to get to camp so we figured on one of the national forest sites out of town.
the tire change took about 30 minutes and we were in business, we went back and parked at the shop. our route should have went something like this: teacup to good to the last drop to soldiers pass to jordan to jim thompson. unfortunately, like our other rides in sedona, we had some problems finding the trails. we missed good to the last drop and according to the bike shop guy, it cut off around an hour of riding. what we did do was pretty good though. not a whole lot of elevation gain or loss in the sedona area, but plenty of technical climbs and singletrack. stats for the day:
-- time: 1:40:00 | distance: 15.7 | avg: 9.4
after the ride we went and set up camp. i made some mac and cheese, and it was good. i met some other people that were out there to ride and blabbed with them awhile about biking trips, components, etc...then it was off to bed.
Thursday October 9; 11:25a
today we made up our minds that the drive up schnebly hill road isn't that bad, so we made haste to the middle of nowhere and set up camp. this would be a little bigger day for riding than the others. we decided that going right from camp would be a good idea. remember that to get back up to camp from sedona was 7 miles and about 2000' of climbing. who thought that was a good idea?! anyway, we started down the munds wagon trail which for the most part runs right next to schnebly hill road. it's a nice piece of singletrack to descend. we stopped short after about 1000' ft of descent and turned to go out to the cowpies. this is actually a couple huge chunks of slickrock ala moab (pic #9). it also should have been one of those vortexes (or is it vortecies?) where there's a bunch of positive energy...yeah, we spent the better part of an hour searching for this trail called damifino. needless to say, i now know every inch of that slick rock and a few hiking trails that lead out of it to dead ends. disheartened, we gave up the search asking, where's the trail, and answering, damifiknow. so we backtracked and headed back down the munds wagon trail all the way to the bottom, which was pretty fun.
at this point we had been out quite a while so we decided to just come back up schnebly hill road. let me tell you, that hurt like nothing else. maybe comparable to the last day in winter park climbing 4000' in 14 miles to the divide:
-- time: 2:44:49 | dist: 18.7 | avg: 6.8 | excersize time (hr monitor): 4:20:00
other than the blemish of trying to find a trail and failing (second day in a row), the ride was pretty good today. it was time to feast on meat and potatoes and of course indulge in libations. some leinie's octoberfest and fat tire amber sat pretty well that night around the campfire.
Friday October 10; 6:45p
a new day dawned. jeff said that some elk were making noise last night, but i didn't hear it. after breakfast we cracked open the trailmap and decided what we were going to ride for the day. by unanimous vote, we decided to drive to another trailhead to start the day. although, it was possible to ride it from camp, i think it would have not been so it was all pretty straightforward, we started at the broken arrow trailhead from morgan rd. took that down to chicken point. this is where we made the only wrong decision of the day. we came upon what we thought was the llama trail, but it was unsigned, so we continued down the trail for a mile or so. upon coming to the next intersection we realized that we had passed it. so we backtracked and took the turn. from there it hooked up to slickrock wash, then down to a small peice of the courthouse loop to the little bell rock then the bell rock bike path. we added on some more singletrack by getting off the path at the templeton trail to the ht trail. then it was back to the bike path which eventually hooked up with the road. a little bit of suburbian riding and we hooked up with the mystic trail which led back to morgan road and the broken arrow trailhead. not too bad of a day.
-- time: 2:00:00 | dist: 15.7 | avg: 7.8 | exetime: 2:39
Saturday October 11; 9:30a
today would be the last day of riding in sedona, so we decided to make it a big day. again, instead of riding from camp we drove down and parked at the trailhead at the bottom of schnebly hill road. we set off from the trailhead along huckaby. it descended gently for awhile and then we came upon a really gnarly set of natural stairs. from there we were level with oak creek. riding along it we then came to the crossing. a footbridge that was nothing more than a couple of 2X10s coupled together. i took the opportunity to dunk my head in the creek. the water was as cool and refreshing as...well, as dunking your head in a cool mountain creek. from here it was a steep switchback climb up to the top of midgley bridge. this was one of the few spots in sedona where i actually needed to get to know the little ring again. once at the top we road the other direction, trails from a couple days ago. jim thompson to jordan, to soldier's pass. we were trying to make our way to dry creek road and head out around mescal mountain, but we ended up coming out on soldier's pass road. it wasn't far to the (paved) road from here so we detoured through town rather than backtracking up a few hundred (vertical) feet. if that would have been the only wrong turn we made that day, it would have probably turned out ok.
we got over to dry creek road via 89 and jumped on the lost witch. not the best peice of trail i've ever ridden. we came out on long canyon road as planned and were going to hook up to the long canyon trail. from here things went quite wrong. what we thought was the trailhead parking must have been just a big open area of sand. there were tracks and what looked like trails going off in several directions, so we picked one that looked most likely and going in the general direction we were headed. it continued to rise up the mescal, but instead of going around the north side of it and hooking up with dead man's pass, we ended up on the south face of it and eventually came to a dead end. fine, no problem. we still felt pretty strong and figured a 40 minute detour wasn't that big a deal. a few minutes later one of us (not me) managed to fall on a cactus. i wish i would have had the camera out and been watching, but i only managed to see the aftermath. so on the way back, instead of going the way we came from, we hit a fork that seemed to go off in the right direction. a couple minutes later i noticed the tracks i was following were our tracks. the trail looped around on us and put us back close to where we started. at that point we were both ready to run up the white flag. it was getting late and a hunger and thirst for something other than powerfood and water was making itself known.
even with the wrong turns it ended up a pretty good ride
-- time: 3:06:37 | dist: 27.57 | avg: 8.8 | exetime: 4:35
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