December 30, 2011

AZT - Picketpost to Kelvin

A plan was launched for a group ride to complete the route from the Picketpost trailhead south to the mining town of Kelvin where a few vehicles would be waiting. This route would traverse the entire passages of Alamo & White Canyons, 17 & 16 on the Arizona Trail. The final segment of the White Canyon passage was completed on December 16th officially tying the knot on the AZT. This ride would be about 38 miles one-way with some serious climbing / descending, we knew it would be a big day, at least 8 hours.

We met under darkness at the trailhead around 7am. Made our shuttle vehicle designations, then set out to drop them off. 1 hour later we were back at the trailhead & ready to ride. We started off with 7 riders, all eager to complete this journey. Unfortunately only 1 1/2 miles into the ride, Tony had a mechanical issue and had to abandon the ride. Better to find out close to one end and not 15 miles out. We pressed on. This ride definitely rewards you for the effort exerted. We always tell new riders to the trail that it keeps getting better the farther you go, sounds cliche, but it's true. Miles 12 - 21 are some of the most memorable mountain biking miles I've had to date, they will be hard to top.
My bike works well as a color subject for Seron's new toy.

Really cool effect. Photo by Seron.

Overlook at mile 10, looking east

Picketpost Mtn leaving our view.

Snow to the east

Seron riding below the Moai?

We only rode down this one today.

Mile 12 is jaw dropping time.

The landscape makes you feel small

This section of trail just begs for photo ops.

Seron cruisin'

Almost time for lunch

Seron negotiating a few switchbacks.

Nice view for lunch, mile 14.

Saddle @mile 14.5, beginning of the 6.5 mile descent to the Gila River.
Another neat feature from Seron's new camera.

Great pano shot by Seron.

5 guys on their bikes.

Time for the new sections!!

White washed cliffs.

Towering spire was a cool landmark heading south.

Hard to wipe that permagrin off our faces.
Black & blue. Photo by Seron.

Riding among the giants. Photo by Seron.

Gila River down in the trees.

Stick 'em up!!
Almost January and the leaves are still hanging on. Photo by Seron.

Approaching the last HAB section. Photo by Seron.

Nearing the end of a long day, the final new stretch of trail. It meant one last HAB to the summit.

The brass cap marking the completion of the Arizona Trail.
Six tired & thirsty riders at the end of a long day, Cheers! Harry for the Fat Tire! Photo by Seron.
In the end we all made it, rationing water, craving a huge meal, and in survival mode for the back end of the ride, but it was so worth it!! A true gem of the AZT. Good riding with you Seron, Harry, Kevin, both Brian's and Tony for a bit.  Track for the day:

1 comment:

  1. i LOVE the stick em up pic!

    Nice stoke. got a ways to go before I'm up for this, but something to work towards