Out west – days 9, 10, 11, 12



Tuesday, Day 9 – Bike shops plus easy canal ride
It turns out that I was really lucky with my Mt Lemmon ride — today when I got ready to go for a ride, I discovered that a front spoke was broken. I had left the bike outside over night so maybe some animal had jumped through – or maybe the tension on one of the spokes just happened to reach the breaking point over night – or then again, maybe it was a gnome. In any case, I biked to two nearby bike shops carrying the wheel, but neither was able to have the wheel repaired by the time we are leaving on Thursday. I dropped off the wheel at the house and then headed out on an easy ride through the canals. By the end of the ride it was over 100 degF – hot!
Playground, shade, and water – I’m pretty sure a sign with those words doesn’t exist in Alabama or perhaps anywhere on the east coast.

Wednesday, Day 10 – Deem Hills revisited
I had so much fun on these trails on Sunday with Uncle Bruce that I wanted to go back at least one more time before we left Phoenix. That opportunity came today on the hottest ride so far of this trip. I got a bit lost missing a turn from one canal to another traveling an additional few miles out of the way. I had already drained three bottles of gatorade by the time I made it to the Deem Hills trailhead. Fortunately, there is a nice restroom / water fountain / shady place so I went ahead and refilled three bottles before hitting the trails. After exploring and climbing to the high point using three different trails, I was out of water again so I refilled one more time before heading back home. By the time I made it back to the house, I had drained all three bottles again – for a total of 9 bottles on a 56 mile ride. That doesn’t even count the water I drank directly from the water fountain when refilling my bottles!
My bike, the desert, lots of mountains, and an irrigation canal with water from the Colorado River all below the Deem Hills high point.

We went to Rubio’s for an awesome fish taco dinner, and then Josiah and I took off on a ride from Rubio’s up the sidewalk to the Thunderbird conservation area where we did some cool trail riding. On the way back we passed a mama roadrunner and her babies running across the road – one of the cutest wildlife encounters imaginable.
Even little guys gotta stay hydrated in the desert.

Thursday, Day 11 – Sedona mountain bike ride to Flagstaff
We left Phoenix today to head up to Flagstaff for the Barn Burner race this weekend. Kristine dropped me off in the canyons of Sedona so I could ride my mountain bike the rest of the way up to Flagstaff. I headed up the Schelby Hill Rd which is a 4-wheeler road over lots of really large rocks. Plus it climbs over 2000 feet so that by the end of the first hour, I had only gone 6.5 miles! At this rate, I wouldn’t reach Flagstaff until midnight. Fortunately, it was relatively flat across the top so that I could pick up speed. Still, it took over four hours to cover the 45 miles, which was a mix of jeep road, 4-wheeler tracks, singletrack, interstate (I-17), paved secondary roads, and lots of gravel national forest roads. The scenery was spectacular and I took a lot of pictures. I’ve included the best three below (the rest are in the gallery at the end of this post) –
View looking down from the Schnelby Hill vista
Super steep gradient on a trail that looks like it is heading to the Schnelby Hill Vista
Singletrack that parallels the Schnelby road

Friday, Day 11 – Flagstaff and the Barn Burner packet pick-up
You know that a race is going to be epic, when your ride to pick up the packet is over 40 miles long! I rode out to pick up my packet while Grandma Sandy looked after the kids and Kristine hiked to the top of the highest point in Arizona – Mt Humphries at over 12,000′ elevation. Earlier in the day, I had biked the kids on the Flagstaff urban trail system. We had lots of fun stopping at a playground along the way.
Josiah on the urban trail at a spot looking up at Mt Humphries where Kristine was hiking at the same time.
Playing on a playground alongside the Flagstaff urban trail

From my bike ride to pick up my registration packet …
Kendrick Peak – one of the tallest peaks in Arizona – the Barn Burner 104 circles the mountain doing 4 laps
Course markings ready to go for the Barn Burner 104 race tomorrow!

Highlight pictures from the previous four days – in reverse chronological order starting from today (Friday, Day 11)


3 responses to “Out west – days 9, 10, 11, 12”

  1. Joe Keays Avatar
    Joe Keays

    I read that the course is really fast. Which tires did you run for the Barn Burner 104?

    1. kartoone Avatar

      Race report coming soon, but I ended up completing it in 6 hrs, 46 minutes, and change. Lost about 5 minutes looking for my garmin which popped off on a downhill and I didn’t realize it until I was at the bottom – had to ride backwards on the course looking for it. Never did find it.

      1. Joe Keays Avatar
        Joe Keays

        Great job. I saw a few hours ago that you placed 4th. Incredible suffering!!!!!!

        Sorry to hear about the Garmin. You are not alone, I would have went back to find it as well. I hope Garmin, Inc hears of your loss and sends you a new one since you log more miles and elevation that anyone on earth. You should be their #1 product tester.

        Are you riding Leadville?

        Hoping to see the results for the locals here in CA. I’m sure they did great!

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