July 1, 2016

Stitches & Thieves

How's the old saying go? 'The best-laid plans of mice & men often go awry' That pretty much sums up our Friday Fun Day ride, July 1st edition. Kelly and I were originally going to head north to ride in rim country or Flagstaff, but Mother Nature had other ideas. We didn't want to gamble 2 hours of drive time and get either rained out or stuck in death mud, so we opted to stay down in the Valley.

One nice thing about a big storm rolling through up north, is that it tends to cool off the Valley a tad. It did, so we met up at South Mountain for some tech riding. I know S.Mtn like the back of my hand, Kelly has only ridden there a handful of times I believe. She had told me of a wreck she had somewhere along the Mormon Loop trail a while back. None of that today, ok?

We started up the dirt road, then onto the Mormon Loop trail taking a few minutes to session an early feature. One that I typically get hung up on, but I made it through on my second attempt this morning. We made our way to the big grunt of the trail, I almost cleaned the entire climb in one shot!! It was my second best roll up it EVER!! I was feeling good.
The big bike doesn't climb as well for her. Pushes great though.
We cruised along the ridgeline over to the Mormon trail (aka 24th St) junction. This was the gully she had her mishap on during a previous ride. It has some loose rutted bits, but nothing too crazy. I asked if she wanted to lead, but that didn't seem to go over too well. So, I rolled off taking my time down to the flats. Almost as soon as I put my hand on the National trail sign post I heard my name being called.

I backtracked and found Kelly clutching her elbow visibly upset. She was bleeding pretty good out of a few gashes. We needed to get back to the car & over to urgent care. I forgot to take my first-aid kit out of my larger pack, so we improvised with my sun sleeves to wrap her arm. She insisted on riding back down the trail as I've learned quickly it's tough to slow her down. She said she took a bad line at the bottom of the gully and clipped a Palo Verde tree that sticks out. You don't have to be going fast or fall hard in these parts to mess yourself up. Rocks are everywhere and they got her.
Bandaged, but still pedaling.
 We made it back to the trailhead just fine. She told me she was going to head up to a Scottsdale clinic to get stitched up. We took bets on how many she'd recieve. We both thought over a dozen. I told her to text me when she was done and I rolled out onto Desert Classic for some more miles.
Not how we wanted the ride to end.
 I had a decent spin out to the west end of the trail. I kept debating my return options. I finally settled on a hoof up Telegraph Pass and was going to come back down National. It was now getting warm, so I figured I take a few minutes to cool down at the trailhead.
Gatorade break at the DC Bus Stop.
I popped my phone off airplane mode and had a message from Kelly: 3 stitches!! That's it? They only stitched up the upper cut. About two minutes later I received another text: My bike was stolen.
I couldn't believe what I was reading. She called a moment later in tears. Talk about a shitty day. It's bad enough to get hurt, but then have your pride & joy swiped out from under you while you get fixed up is beyond low.

She ended up going to a clinic near S. Mtn instead of Scottsdale, I don't blame her for that, just get it done. I would've gone along had I known that, but who knows, maybe I would've gone inside too and we'd have two stolen bikes. People suck sometimes.

I ended up taking the road back to the trailhead and we went out for lunch to try and sort through the mess. Kelly filed a police report and checked a few pawn shops in case someone tried dumping it right away. No luck.
STOLEN: Specialized Rhyme FSR Carbon, med. frame 27.5
It was a holiday weekend and I had a few hours free on Monday, so why not a redemption ride up at Brown's Ranch? At least she has another bike to ride while things get sorted out. Brown's Ranch is a good place to go when you just want to spin out your legs and ride. That's exactly what we did, not race pace, no technical features, just twisty desert singletrack.
Back in the saddle, complete with elbow pad.
We had some fun and swapped bikes for a bit. All of a sudden the Voodoo looks good!!
Granite Mountain is always a blast.
Back on 'ol Lefty.
Beautiful morning to be out on the trails.
Things started to warm up and we made our way back to the cars. It was a nice ride without incident!! Hooray. That's enough bike drama for one weekend.

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