January 26, 2018

Short Ones

I'm quite fond of long bike rides. Over the past couple of years my average ride distance seems to hover around 40 miles. Those are trail miles, I don't own a road bike. The last two weeks I've been on vacation from my second job and I wanted to get in some mid-week rides. You know, rides in the 10 mile +/- range. Shockingly, those are really fun too!!

Here's what I was up to over those two weeks:
A quick rip through Hawes.

I had so much fun on the first one, I did it again two days later.
I had grand plans for a huge Friday ride, but my bed was too comfortable when the alarm sounded. I poked around the house a bit, then eventually made my way over to the NW corner of the Superstition Mtns. and then over to the Goldfields to check out a potential loop.
Cholla forest on Jacob's Crosscut trail.

Stay alert for crazy wildlife!! Yikes.

Not all horse trails are crap.

This trail has some serious potential.

Pockets of great singletrack await in the Goldfields.

Took a new-to-me trail to form a loop.

It was pretty good, minimal BS factor.

Pockets of water remained from a recent storm.

The money shot on Slice-O-Heaven.

A wee bit of HAB to gain a saddle.

Superstitions peeking over a saddle while I try to keep my tire inflated.

Soft rear tire and all, I made it back to the car without putting in a tube. Tire later sealed perfectly.
The weekend rolled around and I was able to get Seron out to Gold Canyon for the first time in a while. It was great to share the trails again with that guy.
Early morning glow through the spines.

Getting our gnar on up on Hoo Doo.

Neither one of us felt comfortable on the steep, loose descent.

Rut-roh, sliced sidewall.

Big turns and stunning views on Jodi's Dream.

Fun rock rolls on Phantom.

Again?!? This time a pinch flat on the replaced tube. Ugh.
I met up with Darch, a resident snowbird from BC, after work one day to do some scouting for a potential extension of the Meridian trail. We decided it would be a bit much to do by hand, the machines will need to be used if this trail ever gets longer.
The current Meridian trail cuts through extremely rugged terrain.

Still gettin' after it into his 70's!!

West side view of Pass Mtn.

Golden Hour bathes the Superstitions.
The Meridian trail in its current state is a nice add-on to a Pass Mtn. loop. Do it as we did for a 3 1/2 mile lollipop back to Pass Mtn. or drop down Meridian Rd. and enter the flat, fast trails in Usery Mtn. Park to the west.

I had a 2-for-1 ride coupon for Thursday. First, I went over to South Mountain for a quick Desert Classic spin and to check out the freshly remodeled Pima Canyon trailhead.
Now complete with an almost Scottsdale vibe.

Turnaround point at the Bus Stop.

Sky painters doing their thang.
I then made my way to the north side of town for a Thursday night group ride with some friends. I don't ride at Phoenix Mountain Preserve, PMP, too often. This was my first night ride there and the trails felt incredibly foreign to me. Fun route though.
Contemplating our next move.
The next day I went out from home to make a loop using the two multi-use paths running alongside Queen Creek & Sonoqui Washes.

Found a construction crew working on the Ellsworth Rd. underpass. Cool!!

Heading east on Queen Creek Wash trail.

Current end of the line near Crismon Rd. Eventually this will connect to the CAP canal.

More underpass construction, this time along Sonoqui Wash at Ellsworth Rd.

End of Sonoqui Wash trail.

Back on Queen Creek Wash trail to finish out the loop.
The bikepath loop was really nice. A quick one hour burner or so and not much elevation. It's exciting to see the construction going on, hopefully more miles of path are coming soon.

Time to get back to the M - Th grind. While these short rides were super fun, I'm itching for a long 12+ hour beatdown. I'll pick a few winners out of my route library soon...very soon.

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