March 10, 2012

AES - Sedona BFL

I didn't make this ride last year for whatever reason, but I was really looking forward to sampling a ton of Sedona's famous red rock trails.  This was event #3 on the AES schedule for 2012, the Sedona Big Friggin' Loop or BFL and 90% of it was new-to-me. I met up with Seron and we hit the road around 5:30a for the 2 hour drive north & the 8am start.  As we were looping around north Phoenix the freeway was shut down because of a bad accident, 20 minutes later we were back on the freeway heading to red rock country. We rolled into the IGA parking lot about 7:45 or so, but knew we wouldn't make the group start up at the Bike 'n Bean. We gathered up our gear and finally hit dirt around 8:20, there were a few other straglers, so we did have some company for a while.

As we made our way up towards the Highline trail my front brakes decided this was going to be the day that they really needed to be bled. I was easily able to pull the level to the grip with about 75% stopping power on the front end, nice. Just the day before I bled my rear brakes and passed on doing the front because they felt so good, go figure.

Our route for the day would take us around Sedona on a 49 mile loop, lots of ups & downs, but nothing too crazy as far as extended climbing with the largest one only being a 400' gain.
The official start/finish line, the Bike 'n Bean, with the mtb peloton already gone.

View from the Highline trail.

Sometimes you just need to stop & soak it all in.

Hard to believe there's actually scenery this beautiful! Photo by Seron

I was really enjoying the route & trailbuilding that made it happen. Photo by Seron

This was one of the cooler natural features of the day on Aerie.

Perfect balance between rock and tree.

I guess my pack really is Sedona red. Photo by Seron

Riding along the shelf of Mescal Mtn was a blast! Photo by Seron
Instances like this make you feel small.
Sometime shortly after this last picture my camera died, may be bound for the trash bin. We planned on making a stop in town since the route went very close to a few local businesses. We ended up stopping at Famous Pizza for some water, a slice of 'za and some calorie filled soda - so good!
Put some ICE CUBEs in my drink sucka! Had to be one of the funniest moments of the day. Photo by Seron
Back on the trail we caught back up to one of the guys from Tucson who was now riding solo after his two buddies cut the ride short.  He was hanging in there, but we soon lost sight of him as we followed the Tea Cup trail. As we made our way over & up Broken Arrow, Seron's front tire started having sealing issues. After a few stops to give it more air we were back on our way up to Chicken Point for the fun downhill & easy homestretch, but by now we'd need lights to finish. Not even 10 minutes after putting on our lights I got a pinhole in my rear tire that just wouldn't seal.  Seron had rode ahead a bit while I tried to get a good seal when I heard a bunch of rustling in the I heard it again, then a rider in orange w/o lights comes around a tree....Dave? We hadn't seen him in a few hours, but he pushed on splitting up from his riding buddy, but getting caught without lights!! My tire finally sealed enough and I led the way until we met up with Seron. Then for the rest of the ride Seron led, my GPS had finally died (did I mention I had my external charger, but left the connecting cable in my car!!), Dave followed & I brought up the rear showering the rider gap in light. Fun stuff, until my tire decided it didn't want to stay sealed.  A few more tries, but no dice. Time to throw in a tube, bleh.
One of the many stops to pump up. Photo by Seron
I made a rookie mistake by forgetting to check the inside of the tire for thorns and sure enough the tube soon developed a slow leak.  We were so close to the end, 3 miles or so, it just wasn't worth it to stop and put in another tube, blah, blah, blah. In the end it took us about an hour and a half to go the last 5 'easy' miles. Ha! Yet another dark DFL finish for an AES event! It's a good thing we bring our own post ride brew because all the normal post ride festivities are usually long over. Love it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Pictures......!!!!I like sedona and in Spring it looks so awesome. Thanks for sharing such picture and post of red rock sedona.