June 5, 2011

Bees Knees, why yes it is!

So the middle of May rolls around and my friend, Sam, posts up that he cleaned the entire climb up Bees Knees at S. Mtn.  I am very impressed, i.e. jealous. and I happen to get a reprieve in the weather on one of my designated between job rides.  So off to Bees Knees I go to give it a shot, this would be my second visit to the newly constructed trails on the southwestern fringes of S. Mtn. Park.

 That's where I need to get to
 I didn't quite make it all the way, but this is how far I made it before running out of gas
 Another challenge is attempting this beast, up 620!
 Aerial view of the ruins
 There's a trail dropping down there, Mine Drop Trail
 A look back at the starting point
 Made it up to the base of the 3rd set of cobbles
 Down at the bottom getting set to tackle the Gila Valley Trail
 Great views of the Estrella Mtns from the Gila Valley saddle
 Looking up towards the Bees Knees cut-in
 Some ruins of S. Mtn

 The first sign of the Bees Knees climb

 Final tracks & profile
Didn't hurt as bad as it looks, uphill crashes always leave a mark!
All in all it was a fun ride, 2 stops on my way up the climb.  The first because I was out of breath, the second due to some tight switchbacks that I failed to negotiate.  I took a spill attempting to clean a set of switchbacks heading up to the saddle on Gila View.  I spun out & couldn't gain tracktion on the ground, plus I unclipped the wrong foot while momentum took be backwards.  The desert is an unforgiving place to crash, it's either rocks or cacti, neither one is pleasant.  I'll be back to this ride in the near future, still more trails over there to explore.

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