March 7, 2013

PMP - Land of Oz

For some reason I don't get up to the Phoenix Mtn Preserve (PMP) to ride very often. I sort of know my way around, but there are so many spiderweb trails I'm always finding myself on new ones. March is one of my favorite months in the desert as the harsh desert shows its softer side. March is the time for poppies, lupines, owl clover and tons of other colorful wildflowers. I wasn't expecting a flower show, rather I was looking forward to climbing trail 8A, VOAZ & Irregular Link. Outside of that, I didn't really have any pre-determined route.
AW house.
I went up 8A first and had a nice climb, a couple of dabs here and there, but it was a good effort. I look forward to challenging myself on that one again soon. As I climbed the trail I spotted a couple of golden patches across the way, poppies?? I cruised around the AW house and started to descend trail 8. All of a sudden it was there in front of me: the Land of Oz!!
Poppies & Lupines everywhere!

Field of gold!

PMP: Poppies Mass Producing!!

One of the more impressive poppy displays I've seen.
Thoroughly stoked by the poppy fields I made my way over to VOAZ trail. Although I dabbed 1.5 times (front tire slid out on a switchback, but I kept on rolling!) I still managed a personal best on the climb. Irregular Link was now on my radar. Let's just say that it wasn't my best climb, after 5 or 6 dabs I stopped caring about it. Hat tip to Seron for cleaning that one a while back, that's a tough get. I'll be back for more soon enough.
Irregular Link.

Views of lower Irregular Link.

There is a penalty for failure up here.

More views from the Link, Shaw Butte & the 51 Fwy.
I had a nice smooth run 'down' Irregular Link! I still had some time left, so I did the fun downhill section back towards the Dreamy Draw lot & over to the now 'dumbed down' switchback climb. One more fast section along the fenceline and I was back at the 40th St. TH were I started. Nice little ride with some outstanding views and displays of color. March is primetime, get out there!!
Canopy over the wash.
Into the rabbit hole.

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