Flight of the Turkey

Black Friday. That phrase is sure to invoke images of waking before the sunrise and wading through an endless stream of bargain hungry shoppers. It's not a scene for me. I'd rather sleep in, stay home or go for a bike ride! It just so happens that there is an underground, if you will, annual event on Black Friday dubbed The Flight of the Pigs ride. I heard about it last year, but was in no shape to attempt a 70 mile mountain bike ride, in addition I didn't know the secret handshake. What a difference a year makes. I wanted to join in on the festivities this year, but we already had plans to celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday due to my wife's work schedule. I decided it would be a cool adventure to go solo, not having to worry about keeping pace or meeting the 1 hour time cutoff early in the ride.  I dubbed my ride on Thanksgiving day The Flight of the Turkey, why not? My route for the day would have me start & finish at the Pima Canyon entrance of South Mountain Park. I would take two of the more popular urban trails from coast to coast, National & Trail 100, connected by miles of street riding through downtown Phoenix.

8am rollout from Pima Canyon. Popular place prior to the turkey feast.

In a few hours I'd be among the skyscrapers

Not all the riding was easy, National Trail will challenge you.

The South Mountain access road is a very popular hangout for roadies

I had only been as far west as the Ranger Trail on National, the last 5 miles all being new to me,  I was a bit surprised  at how many mines were out there. A glimpse back to the early 1900's.

After riding through downtown I would be traversing the mountains directly behind the buildings on T100

Uh oh. This wasn't supposed to happen with my tubeless setup. 1 mile from the end of National. As I soon found out , it was my fault for not checking my sealant for fluidity. It's good for about 2 months before a fresh coat is needed.  Then multiple issues with my tube replacement put me behind schedule by an hour! I guess I'll be needing those lights after all.

Taking a side street downtown over to Central Ave.

It was nice riding through downtown on a holiday, hardly any traffic.

Yes, this is still Central Ave. the skyscrapers make way for the golden hues of  Autumn.

TIme for a fuel break at the beginning of T100.

The fiery glow of a desert setting sun over Four Peaks. Here I'm nearing the end of T100.

One last short stretch of mtb trails through Papago Park.
All in all it was a really fun day taking a tour of Phoenix. I'm looking forward to next year and being one of the Pigs!

My GPS unit has been acting a bit silly lately. Only 7 1/2 hours into this ride the 'low battery' warning came on. I was really concerned because I wanted the entire route tracked. So when I stopped to refuel a couple of times I cycled the power down. After the second power down the warning went away & the unit lasted all the way until the final 5 miles! I was able to get another 3 1/2 hours after the initial warning?!?! I could easily draw in the last 5 miles with Topofusion to get the full track. This ride also happened to be my longest single day mountain biking ride, next up 80, 85?

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