January 7, 2017

AZT Jamboree '17

 I love me some Arizona Trail!! I wasn't about to miss the 9th edition of the AZT Jamboree. This is an annual charity event for our beloved state trail where a small donation gets you shuttled south for a 40 mile ride back to the post ride party. (There's also a 25 mile version).

Last year weather forced a venue change and the year before I didn't give myself enough time to drive south and missed the shuttle!! I didn't want a repeat of that, so I met Arturo at his place at 5am for the 2+ hour drive south.

I'd be riding the singlespeed (SS) Voodoo on this one because I dropped off the rear wheel from the Motobecane to get rebuilt. While trending downhill, there are plenty of climbs on the Jamboree route and I was curious to see how it would go.

Arturo's getting his riding legs back and we agreed to go at our own pace. Jeff & Nancy made the trek south too, but ironically Jeff was on a geared bike since his SS Ti bike broke!! Shannon was also doing the ride, but sans shuttle. I'd meet up with her as she rode the opposite direction, then we'd return to the staging area.
A short spin up an unusually washboard free Box Canyon rd.
 We turned onto the AZT and not 100 feet up the short hill Arturo's shifter broke!! While he figured out which gear(s) he still had we pedaled on. I had a short bit of HAB on an ensuing incline, but otherwise rode all the early hills.
Tall grass, sweet singletrack & blue skies. Ahhh.
Jeff & Nancy carving down an early hillside.
SS power!!
One of my favorite sections of the AZT.

We crossed over Helvetia rd. into the more rugged hills of Las Colinas. I rode some, walked some, but overall it wasn't too bad.
Nancy following my lead.
Find the bikers!!
It was a perfect morning to be out on the trail.
Old trail marker at the top of the second climb.
Had to get at least one geared HAB pic of Jeff for all the years of crap he gave me for pushing mine up hills!!
That's more like it.
These trailside rocks signal the beginning of the long gradual descent down to I-10, the 'magic' green gate is just around the corner. It's the more popular landmark.
Jeff flying along a super fun downhill stretch. 

We had thought we would've crossed paths with Shannon by now. I figured if I didn't see her by Sahaurita rd, she'd gone off to ride somewhere else. As soon as I rounded the final corner to the road, I could see a multitude of bright colors...she made it!! This was a perfect snack stop since the regular SAG station wasn't here this year.
We found Carlos & Tasha doing some tread work on the east side of SR83.
Caught in the act!! Snagging a beer from Carlos's truck. Photo by Shannon.
Did you know that if you ride with an ATA employee, they will open ALL the AZT gates for you? (It's part of their job)
Did someone say 'empanadas ahead?' She's gone!!

By the time we left Carlos & Tasha, Jeff & Nancy were long gone. Shannon & I were now heavily focused on the empanada stop at the Gabe Zimmerman trailhead. We were having a good 'ol time on the downhill cruise. There's a dumb gate at the I-10 underpass that I swear I have to re-learn everytime I go through it. There's a hidden latch that prevents the bar from opening and it always takes a try or two before remembering it's there. Ahh, yes, the gates of the AZT.

Tamara was holding down the fort at the trailhead and there were tons of empanadas left. Apparently not all the riders knew to go under the canopy for the treats.
Tamara & Shannon blinded by the light.
Synchronized drinkin'.

We must've hung out with Tamara for a good 30 minutes. There was another fella waiting for a few riders to roll through, they had been having a multitude of tire issues. We did get word that they spotted Arturo not too far back. I was ready for a brat, so we pedaled on to the end.
Goofing around near Colossal Cave. Photo by Shannon.
This giant saguaro was twice as tall as the photo.
Just beyond the La Selvilla CG.

 We came up to a big rock in the trail that Shannon had tried to ride earlier in the day, but couldn't quite get it. Let's session it!! I gave it a stab on the SS & somehow got my momentum just right on the awkward approach to roll up & over it. Shannon went for it and got so close on the first try I knew she'd get it. Sure enough, on the second attempt she made it look stupid easy. Boom!!
A couple of easy miles to round out the day. Photo by Shannon.
We finished up around 3:30p, lots of people hanging out enjoying the January sunshine. Perfect day for a trail ride. Arturo rolled in shortly after, sun still high in the sky!! Nice riding dude!!
Brats devoured, chillin' with friends at the end of a fun day.
Voodoo & Yuengling suds?
Will ride for chocolate...

Mark your calendars, typically the first Saturday in January. Next year will be the 10th edition, don't miss out. A special thanks to Southwest Trekking for providing the shuttles!!

Route flyover:

Long shuttle route:

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