October 9, 2016

Sedona: Modified BFL

I was locked & loaded for a massive 100+ mile ride in Flagstaff. It was a ride I tried to do back in May, but just wasn't feeling it barely 2 miles in. Then I started watching the 10-day forecast...50% chance of showers. Bleh. I wasn't going to ride in the rain if I didn't have to. What to do? Sedona's forecast was looking much better, but I still opted to hold out another day. I didn't want to do the Flagstaff ride on a Sunday because I'd finish way too late for my early work start on Monday. Sedona's not a bad Plan B. I had a big route there that was in need of redemption as well. I had tried a modified AES BFL loop back in March, but my cranks busted halfway through!!

I made a couple of minor tweaks to that route and set out for some fun on the red rocks.
Hiline did not need modification.
Hiline gets you in the proper frame of mind for the day, super views & stellar trail.

A slippery barefoot crossing of Oak Creek led to my first alteration of the route.
A short spin up the road from Oak Creek leads to Ridge trail, it's a 5 minute HAB at first, but it gets good quick enough. I took another trail, Secret Slickrock, that I had never been on. Wasn't overly impressed with it, so next time I'd just stay on Ridge before crossing the next road.

From here I linked up with Sketch, then a CCW loop on Carroll Canyon - Old Post to Skywalker. This was a really good route over to the top of Herkenham trail. I tacked on another fun loop going down Scorpion trail then returning back to the top of Herkenham via the pavement.

It was a little warm out, so I stopped into the hotel on the corner and asked for some water/ice. They were happy to oblige and I was topped off for the next big chunk of the day.

The main route continued onto Ledge-n-Airy - Drano - Last Frontier, but then I axed Girdner/Rupp in favor of Western Civilization over to Cockscomb. It was a huge win in my book. No frustrating Dry Creek crossings on Girdner, it was ALL rideable.

I was now on one of my favorite sections of the BFL route: Cockscomb - Aerie - Mescal Mtn. I ran into a large group of riders from So Cal at the Aerie trailhead and they commented that I must be out on a big adventure!! Not sure what gave it away. Our conversation soon turned to the AZTR750 and come to find out they are friends with Sarah Jansen, of broken crank arm fame!!
A little too crowded for my tastes.
Mescal Mtn trail.

I've been meaning to ride the upper portion of Canyon of Fools for a while, so why not today? I took a look at the time when I reached the split and departed Mescal Mtn trail. Canyon of Fools is a hoot, the faster you go the better it gets!! High banked turns, mini-wallrides, some jumps, rocks and hopefully no one stopped in the trail since it's nothing but blind corners through a gulley!!
More Mescal awesomesauce.
It took me just under 25 minutes to make the full loop back around, not too bad. I dumped onto Chuck Wagon and forgot how long and twisty that trail was, especially when you start craving pizza.
Twisting through the trees on Chuck Wagon.
I took the 1/4 mile detour to Famous Pizza on US89A for a much needed food break. I tried to make it quick knowing I still had a bunch more to ride.

I cut out most of the Thunder Mountain suckfest by taking Andante, which was a junior version of Thunder Mountain with slightly less suckage.
Coffee Pot rock from the Teacup Trail.
I got heckled by some 4x4's for HAB'ing up a steep section on Jordan trail. 'Is that one of those new bikes that work by walking next to it?' Hehe, always a comedian in the group. When I was done pushing I rode by them as they picked their way slowly over the rocks.

Grand Central took me down to US89A and through town. It was now getting long in the afternoon and I really wanted to get through my bonus loop in the Hogs area before sunset.

I was able to finish my double loop through the Hogs in twilight. Hogwash - Pigtail - Peccary - Hogwash - Twin Buttes - Hog Heaven - Mystic.
Pigtail is about as close to a downhill flow trail as you'll find around here.
I dumped out on Chapel road and put on my lights. I now had a decision to make. Bail off my route and finish in 20 minutes via the pavement. Or stick with my planned altered finish of: Chapel - Little Horse - HT - Easy Breezy - Templeton - Slim Shady. If I did that I was looking at another 1 1/2 hours of riding. I really wanted to stick to the trail, but also didn't want to get home super late either. So, for once, I actually bailed to the road for a quick finish. Next time I'm staying on the trail!! The shorter autumn days weren't helping any.

At the end of the day it was a fantastic route with minimal BS. I think I'd only cut out a couple of my 'just for fun' loops and create an 'official' new route for the BFL.

Sedona Modified BFL flyover



  1. Nice ride. Sedona is one beautiful place.
    Does BFL stand for what I think it stands for?

    1. Thanks, it sure is.
      BFL = Big Friggin' Loop or whatever else you like!!