November 5, 2016

Tortolitas & KC Cruisin'

I had been pestering Shannon to give me a tour of the new-ish Ridgeline trail in the Tortolita Mtns for a few months. It was also time for the AES Kentucky Camp ride, so why not combine efforts and hit up both over two days?

Neil was supposed to join us, but got pulled away for some trail building activities at the last minute. I met Shannon at the Ritz Carlton TH and she led the way up a sandy wash for the first mile, but it was all rideable. The next bit, Alamo Spring Connector, qualified this ride as a #locorides board meeting!! A half mile HAB (Hike-a-Bike or Haul-a-Bike or Carry-a-Bike, whatevs) was the price of admission on this day.
That shiny arm means one thing, it was warm and we were sweating November!!
A couple of ladies came hiking down the trail with a puzzled look on their face. We told them we were headed to the top and they didn't seem convinced it was rideable, silly hikers.

The trail was a gradual climb over the next 4 1/2 miles, littered with techy bits along the way to keep things interesting.
Power up!!
The last 1 1/2 miles of the climb were pure bliss. Perfect grade and zigzagging up the mountainside. It reminded my of the Skyline climb on BCT. We soon transitioned onto the Ridgeline trail for the descent back down to close a loop.
So far, most of the views had been to the inner bowl side.
A quick stop at 'selfie rock' for a contest winning snap!! That's a pancakes & bacon flavored bar from JoJe, delicious!!

Time to pick up the pace.
Mile after mile of singletrack cruising down the mountain.
This trail was rapidly climbing my favorites list!!

Then I ate shit. That mark is from my left knee digging into the ground!!
I think my front wheel hit a soft spot on the trail shoulder, who knows, but the next thing I knew my knee was sliding across the trail and my body was beginning to scorpion to a halt by using my face!! Ugh. My ribs were still sore from my Moab wipeouts and I hit them again. What's my deal?? Once again I walked away with only minor scrapes. I'm hoping to re-learn this bike riding thing real soon.

We finished off the ride without further incident. The HAB down the Alamo Spring connector went by really quick and was a small price to pay on this ride.
Pizza was calling and Shannon knew a place where not only was the pizza good, but you were your own bartender!! Whaa?? The place is zpizza and there's one slated to open in Tempe soon. (There's a few in Phoenix now).It's a cool concept where you pay by the ounce from a series of self-pour taps.

I was feeling a bit sore all over from my repeated encounters with terra firma and wasn't really up for the 46 mile version of the Kentucky Camp ride. Shannon wasn't either and we rounded up Zach to hang out with us for a leisure spin on the 29 mile short course ride.

The fast riders took off and the three of us settled into a nice pace for day.
The first climb of the day. Photo by Chuck Hill.
Chuck is often snapping ride photos for this event every year, he sure does a nice job. Photo by Chuck Hill.
It was great to hang out with Zach on a ride, such a great dude.
Whenever I hear the words 'Kentucky Camp', this is what I think of. Singletrack & tall grass through the hills.
A few miles of rolling climbing to start the day.
One larger push to really 'warm' you up!!
Grass filter.
Find the biker!! (hint: on a ridgeline)
Where are your wheels?!?
Mt. Wrightson money shot
Miles of fast dirt roads down to Kentucky Camp.
Now it's serious!! Photo by Chuck Hill.
We all came prepared with our picnic packs. Photo by Chuck Hill.
Shannon grinding out a grunt of a climb.
Good locale for a picnic break!! This is where the fast 46 mile riders caught us.
It's all downhill from here, right?
Hey, look!! It's Todd!!
Crossing Box Canyon rd. Photo by Chuck Hill.
Overlapping the first 5 miles of the day, mostly downhill now.

We finished up to a bustling parking lot. A perfect day out on the trail with great company, just what I needed. No crashes either!!

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