February 11, 2012

AES - Tor De 50

Sometime during the drive down SR79 I occurred to me that I had been mountain biking for 18 years and until November of 2010 I had never sampled a single trail in the Tucson area. How did that happen? Since then I've had the good fortune to participate in quite a few events such as: AES - Kentucky Camp (twice), AES - Antelope Peak Challenge, AZT Jamboree (twice), Lemmon Drop, Old Pueblo course and now the inaugural running of the AES Tor de 50 (55).

Many times you can look at a trail map and get a good general sense of what's to come, with AES events all you need to know is this: The course will be legendary, the effort extraordinary and all the riders down to Earth cool. The only real question was, how much HAB does Chad have in store for us? (hint: plenty).

Really nice turnout for the inaugural race. Photo by Seron.

Chad has a devilish grin while giving out last minute tips

Setback #1, broken chain!! Thanks to Brian for helping out!!

Some pretty sweet singletrack leading up the first ascent. Photo by Seron.

Ironic photo, as Seron frames me around the Buckhorn Cholla, little did he know only moments earlier I fell into one!! (Setback #2)

Finally topping out, we were spent & ready for some grub.

A look back at where we came.

We stashed 1/2 of our water supply, but made sure to keep an eye on what we had left until then.

We both enjoyed the trails in between the two peaks of the Tortolitas. Photo by Seron.

Photo by Seron.

I started to feel in rhythm going up a 4x4 climb & enjoyed the views & the prospect of the long upcoming descent.

Finishing up the 4x4 climb. To our suprise, even after setback #3 - sidewall tear on Moore Rd., we caught up to and passed 5 riders. Has to be a first for us on an AES event!!

After the long powerline downhill, we knew we had to hit a trail called 'Around the Mountain' we were trying to guess which one & the effort required to complete the ride. The pull of carne asada at Chad's place was all too tempting, but we weren't about to give in.

More HAB, yay!!

One thing Cholla cactus is good for, backlit photos!!

Setback #4, Seron's tube change from 30 miles earlier just couldn't make the last 4 miles, so after a few attempts to put in another one, I broke out a slimed tube to get us to Chad's. At least we were prepared & had the tubes & lights.

Seron meeting me at the road crossing after unsuccessful inflation attempts.
We rolled onto the pavement, Chad's house practically in sight, but opted to go get the car first and down some refreshing chocolate milk, mmmmm. We finished in just under 11 1/2 hours in our usual position of 'last riders on course', but like we note our formula for AES rides (all rides for that matter): DFL>DNF>DNS
The gang that was still hanging out at Chad's were kind enough to save us enough tacos & beer to satisfy our bellies after a long hard day on the bike. Well done!!

Route & elevation profile for the day

1 comment:

  1. I am officially stoked to ITT this. I will just have to convince Chad to make some carne asada the day that I do.