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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Canyon Trail brought to you by Skyline Entertainment

The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is really some of the best trail around for extended miles and miles of singletrack weavery and nature viewery. I finally got on the Little Pan/Skyline segment one weekend, which runs south from Rock Springs, and it was all it was billed to be. Met up with a group of other riders and we proceeded to eat up the feast that BCT affords the strarving mountain biker. 

 Right from the get-go is a little climb/descent/water crossing. I took my shoes off and pushed across. I wasn't of the mind to wet my feet with 6 more hours of riding, but Gilamonster had water shoes with SPDs in them. Clever. We later learned, however, that riding in the river is not good, since it will corrode your hubs and bottom brackets. It certainly didn't help my BB, even though I just pushed across. Next time, carry. But on the bright side, it was hella fun.
"I don't care, thi is fun!"
 What the BCT really give to the rider is consistency. This trail is the same up, same down, in and out, in and out, with each climb graded perfectly, each rock bridge sturdy, every view worth stopping for. Every section out there is worth the drive and ride, if not more than once. I SSed the north section from Hidden Treasure Mine to Rock Springs and it was all doable, and I'm no mutant. The challenge is really of enduring the BCT, because it can go on for miles, 61 now, from Mayer to Emery Henderson. Longer if you take the not-talked-about-boring-section down to the Carefree Highway and some more new stuff up north. 74 miles in total.

The first good climb of the day, taking us away from the Agua Fria.

Ready. To. Go.
A bit of the descent after the climb out of the first river crossing.

Here in the lower elevations of the BCT there are lots of saguaro.

Resting by the river. Four crossings that day. The water was a bit extra refreshing.

Much of the trail hugs the sides of the foothills.

This sign has felt the force of the river, by the looks of it.

Gilamonster coming back up the Little Pan. Great loop, do it counter-clockwise. But I'll try it the other way someday too.

The walk of river rock shame. No fun, especially in riding shoes.

Lots of 4 wheelers out there that day. The river is a popular place. Watching them climb the rocks was impressive.

The look like they're having a good time.

Photo magic.

The Skyline segment heading back towards Rock Springs.

I ride this trail in my dreams.

We even got to see some wild horses. Well, some of them looked like donkeys, so I'm not sure what was going on.

Switchback delight. BCT has some good ones.

There's supposed to be an old indian fort around here somewhere. I'll bet up there is a good place.

The riverbed here was the consistency of clay. He didn't get much further than that!

Riding out on the second alf of the Little Pan Loop.

This is about as bad as the climbing gets. It might go on for awhile, but it won't destroy you.

Its a fine trail to ride there. Heading back towards Rock Springs.

Doubling up.

Heading back to the lot. I didn't really want it to end, even though we were at 6.5 hours.

Lucky us, we got to see an eagle on our way out. There are some that nest out there.

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