A place to share words and pics. Mostly bikes, but my photog eye does wander.

Bikes let the good times roll. In solitude or with friends. For a half hour or 8 hours. Pedals become the gears that turn the earth as the sun seems to track their motion, day after day. Miles become food, and you're hungry. The bike stops being a vehicle, or toy, or transportation and becomes an extension of will, allowing you to journey beyond the pain of self into the realm of almighty, joyous nature, she that feeds our souls. Pedal yourself into the maw of creation. Pedal yourself silly.

Monday, March 21, 2011

50 Year Trail, I'ma get to know you.

The wife needed to go down to Tucson for a conference, and I was asked to come along as drive support, so what else better to do with a few free hours than try out some new singletrack? The 50 Year Trail was ripe for the picking, being just up the way from the conference. I'd heard good thing about it, the chutes, the boulders, seen some pics, but there is no better way to get to know the character of the trail than to get out and get the dirt in your teeth.

I started at Catalina State Park, took the road out to some nature trails then realized I had swing back the way I came a bit to catch 50 Year out of the Equestrian area. Baby heads of boulders abounded for about 3 miles, then the trail cleaned up and got good rythym to it, other than the hobbled bounce from one infantile rock to the next. Glad I wasn't on the rigid for that part.
The Santa Catalinas look good in any light.

50 Year really smooths out after a few miles away form the  park.

Some shades of the impending spring bloom can be seen in the green that's creeping from the desert floor.
 50 Year is a good fast rolling cross country trail. I wanted to get some good miles in, and it let me do that, all with fast, flowy sections and slow boulder crawls as I got up over the chutes. There wasn't but a whisp of clouds in the sky all day. The sun was beating, but not like it will in a few months. My flesh wan't vaporizing yet. My forehead wasn't raining upon my sunglasses. Visions weren't creeping before my eyes between each pedal stroke, the effect of a wandering mind being pushed out of your head by the blast of nuclear fusion. No. The trail kept me focused, kept me cool. This is the time of the year to sample these treasures. In a few months, I'm up north.

I had to wait for a few minutes for him to moooooooove.

Its easy to get 27 miles when the terrain feeds you tires this consistency of trail.

It's like a botanical garden out there.

As I rode to upper 50, I was really happy to find a nice slow, steep, attainable climb up through the boulders. It was the kind that fed your legs just the right amount of gravity to make you feel powerful, with energy to spare. I kept going up and up, to where a PB&J would find my hands. Lunch overlooking the chutes was devine.

Boulders make for good riding and lunching.

Lunch time view.
The Chutes roll on the tops of the ridges that fly off of the Catalinas. Fast and flowy, they're over quick, but fun enough to loop around for a third shot like I did.

The Chutes.


The new horse has been treating me very well.

Rollin back south to the car at Catalina State Park. Good ride. I'm ready for another visit.
 It was a really good ride. Got in 27 miles in four hours of playing around. 3000ft of climbing. Had lunch on some boulders. Felt the wind through my remaining hair, got dirty shins. These are days I like.

3D Color image of the ride. 

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