Friday, January 28, 2011
Our VA crew was lucky enough to get Chewy and Ross to take us on our backyard trails of Cowpies, Hangover, Damifino and Killer Bs. We were all a bit nervous because we kept hearing about how awesome and fast Chewy was and of course we know Rad Ross is super fast. I was a little nervous because I was starting to feel the fatigue of zero riding before coming out. And then the riding is very punchy here. There is always a big step up or a big drop to suck up. Then it is constant up and down. There are some tough transitions here and then add a preciepe and it can get pretty intense. The thing about being tired, is that you make more mistakes and it hurts.
We made our way up to the Cowpies which are these huge Sandstone outcrops that look like big cow pies. It is a great ride up to the saddle. You can also see the layer of Apache Limestone that forms big square blocks before it crumbles below. The boys played around on some slick rock and then made this crazy tough switchback uphill before the saddle. Chewy and Tim made this practically impossible vertical switchback. Their energy to try and retry moves until they make them is very impressive.
It was really windy at the saddle as the boys dropped into Hangover. Jennifer and I took the reach around("easy line"). Hangover starts out mellow and then the rocks start protruding out towards the edge requiring one to gracefully skirt the edge of the trail. There were trees, ice and tough little uphills and of course, non stop drops. Collin has some amazing video coverage of Hangover. Tim had a minor mechanical with a chuncked pully, but was able to keep on.
We intersected Munds again, headed up to Cowpies and then at the saddle took Damifino. Very tricky trail with the same MO...side hill, soft edge, drops and steep little ups. It crossed over slick rock that way out in the open and the wind nearly blew me off my bike. There was a patch of crazy ice that Ross slide down like a penguin. There were so many steep bits in succession and the boys were so fast, it was hard to find the trail. That is another thing about Sedona, if you can hang with a local and follow their lines then your chances of making something are a lot better. Tim and Collin are really good at that. But us girls are getting smoked and figuring it out on our own which is slower and can be frustrating, but honestly I don't care because I really like picking my own line and looking up to find different lines. And the boys and our guides have been really nice about waiting.
Killer B's was really fun and beautiful with all the magnificent cedars. Levitra had a crazy steep drop with a tight turn on bottom of it. I tried it and didn't have my weight back far enough and did a flip OTB. I haven't done a sommersault like that in a while. Jennifer got to see the whole thing. I was really luckly that I didn't fall in any cactus, just some old manzanita bushes. Then as if it could get any crazier...it did. There was this rosebowl....it was a skinny wall ride around a canyon. It was skinny and I was scared. I could here the boys saying just roll it , but I couldn't. Then there were all these bridges and skinnys and non-stop action. We ended up in Oak Creek Canyon and sketchily crossed the creek.
Ross took us under Midlgey Bridge to the Jim Thompson trail. It felt good to open it up at that point and not have to worry about death. Ahhh. It was a good day...big. I was feeling a little fragile after the ride. I was tired, exhilerated, beat up. Tim gave me lots of attention and we grilled food and drank High Lifes. It was another amazing day in Sedona.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Did you know that Sedona is anodes spelt backwards. They call that a palandrome. Anodes are a term relating to electrical currents. Sedona is considered to be an area of undeniable spiritual vibrations. Sedona is alive with Vortexes. We call them Vorteesees. In fact there are more vorteesees in Sedona than anywhere else on earth. A Vortex is a "power spot" where a great amount of energy emits from the earth. Healing seems to be a theme here.
If there are strong psychic vibrations here they must have a positive effect on the population and the tourists. People have been friendly and open. Especially the other trail uses that we have met. And by the way we have only seen two other bikers on the trails and all the rest happy hikers. We even smelled sage on the trail today while someone was on a healing walk.
We continue to have fun and are for sure charged up. We are eating chips and salsa every day. Jennifer is practicing wheelies morning and evening. Nate is taking good pictures and doing big drops. Tim is getting his Jedi balance back and Collin's world just busted wide open. I'm riding the downhills fast and sporting some big Arizona pinstripes(scratches from cacti and cat claw)
We are staying at the base of Schnebly Hill so we rode out the door and took the singletrack. Munds Wagon trail is a sweet singletrack climb. Its got some really tough bits, but not tough enough for Collin and Tim. Its amazing the things that they and Nate and even Jennifer and me are riding up. We couldn't find Hangover, so we did Super D training back down and that was exhilerating.
Then lunch and an afternoon ride with our guide Tex. Tex did us Texas right showing us the Hogs. Damn fine, technical riding. By the end I was spent and it was dark. Another mexican dinner and another amazing day in Sedona
The locals are real friendly and pretty much rabid about their mountain biking. That devotion doesn't necessarily translate to speed, but it can. We were wanting to experience some of the locals rides so we joined the Mountain Bike Heaven Sunday group ride. The boys had taken a liken to Rama Jon, the owner. He is a NOD( gnarly old dude) and has lived in Sedona over 20 years. We've heard he knows all the vortex doors and we believe it because he would be riding behind us and then appear in front of us.
Rama and the rest of the crew were worried that we were racers into a fast training ride. We tried to say that we were on the ride because we wanted some socializing with the locals. The ride did start out pretty mellow and then we got to Special Ed trail. We told them that we had actually already ridden Special Ed, twice, so they generously offered to take us on something else. We were excited.
We crossed 89 and headed over to Ledge and Airy(Ledgnedairy) Wes was amazing showing us the lines over fun rock jumps and up steep little grunts. We loved this trail because it had crazy exposure, tiny loose tread and big rocks. It was gorgeous and gave me some good adrenaline. There was a crazy steep roll in rock that was an awesome view spot.
The mbh crew then took us up Tim's wash. This was the most technical trail that we have ridden because you had to keep it rolling and do step ups and gaps. The trails was mostly flat and some sand spots. The boys did great, playing around on tough spots and session spots they just found fun. Wes played around a lot and Johnny and crazy Dave liked to do some hucking.
We had another great day in Sedona. It feels so good to riding daily again...like a pro.
Monday, January 24, 2011
We made it to Sedona and our entourage has been camping out in National Forest on 89B. It is a beautiful spot. One morning Tim walked up on the hill with Ruby and saw some hot air balloons flying over head. It was a magical moment. Craig "mountainbiking in all 50 states" Bierly turned us on to the camp spot. The moon rise over camp and the stars have been real "out west" moments.
Craig took us on a good ride in Carroll Canyon, Pyramid, Special Ed and Ridge. He has GPS tracks of all his rides, so he has the cool trail beta. Collin, Tim, Nate and Jennifer are a blast to ride with. We have adapted quickly to the ledge and drop riding, as well as the exposure combined with the cactus. We are loving mountain biking in the warm weather and meeting fellow bike riders.
We have moved in to our new diggs down by the river. We are at the base of Schnebly Hill by Oak Creek. We are missing our sunny spot in the wild, but we can ride right from here and get on singletrack. And that is one of the best things about Sedona is that there is so much singletrack that is all accessible from town by bike.