January 6, 2018

AZT Jamboree '18

2018 is here. Holy cow. Let's get this thing rolling. Once again, the AZT Jamboree kicked off the new year. It's an annual charity ride for the Arizona Trail that my friend, Chad, has spearheaded for what, a decade now?? *Quick research says this was the 9th edition!! Proud to say I've been on board since year 3.

This year the weather was shaping up to be a warm one. I made my way south on Friday afternoon to hang out with Shannon & Beto. It's always a great time with those two and they're now only 15 minutes from the Jamboree start.

I cut it a little close to the 8a departure after getting caught behind an extremely long and slow moving train in Vail. I did make it on-time however and the SWTrekking shuttle was revved and ready to go!
The unmistakable short green bus of SWTrekking.
I didn't take many pictures this year, mostly because I was feeling really good in the saddle and didn't feel like stopping. Sometimes, even I, like to just pedal.

The first few miles I was riding, or trying to stay with, Jeff & Nancy, but I had to keep stopping for various housekeeping items: shed layers, retrieve a water bottle after my mount broke and adjust my saddle angle when it unexpectedly dipped way too low.

In spite of all that nonsense, I finally caught back up near Helvetia Rd. I noticed some trailwork had been done in the area, great to see as this section tends to get eroded often. I was feeling good and had to remind the others why I chose a 26T front chainring as I passed by on an early chunky climb. :)
Jeff showing good hike-a-bike form in Las Colinas.
Somewhere in the HAB I got ahead of Jeff & Nancy. My last time through here during the AZT300 in April, I was a mess, deep into the pain cave. Not today. I wanted the good vibes to keep rolling, so I did.
These rocks mark the final high point in Las Colinas, the 'Magic' green gate is a few turns below.

Sweeping singletrack leading into the gentle flats towards I-10.
I was going to meet Shannon & Beto just after the green gate as they were riding out from home. They got there early and decided to ride on since it was now warm. I set my sights on the Gabe Zimmerman trailhead, where Carlos was manning the refreshments. I thought I'd see Jeff & Nancy there.
New artwork at the I-10 underpass. Smoke 'em if you got 'em!!

The I-10 exit. Quite possibly the coolest underpass ever!!
Carlos had quite the spread of snacks & drink. Thanks to you and SAMBA for coming out and supporting the trail!!

I opted to head down to Cienega Creek while the others finished snacking, staying on the AZT instead of the easy road crossing up top. Of course, the trail was a bit obscured by vegetation causing me to wander around a bit. Jeff & Nancy must've passed me while I was down near the creek.

I finally tracked everyone down near Colossal Cave while they waited for assistance for a downed rider. 

Pistol Hill trailhead marks the end of the Jamboree route and it was great to see everyone hanging out enjoying the day. It's always nice to catch up with friends I don't get to see too often.

Make note: First Saturday in January each year for the Jamboree!! The AZT thanks you.


1 comment:

  1. Nice write up John. The first fifteen got me. The second 25 miles was just a nice long ride. I hope I get to attend next year as well.