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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Piney Hills of Elden

Flagstaff was our destination this day, specifically Elden. Freeskier had never been there but I've been there to know enough of the layout to be familiar with our route. We got some beta from Maad and went to it. An early morning got us to flag by about 9:30 and ready to roll at 10:00. It was pretty tame fare, as far as an exploratory route, but for those with virgin Flag tire, it is super good. The route was up Shultz then L. Gnarly, around Jedi, back up to Upper Brookbank then zoom down Sunset and Shultz back to go.

We were to meet a friend up there, G. We were bringin his Proflex up for him as he was on vacation with the fam. Three bikes on the car was pretty impressive, if not silly. It did well, and all bikes survived. The MPG sure took a hit though. Lots of work to climb up the 6,000ft to Flag.
The car was going to work today climing the 6,000 or so feet up to Flagstaff.

Great international truck taking his message across the great southwest. The dicho on the ridght side is, "This is the pure life, but of a f*(&^ng dog." Hilarious.

We were soon rewarded for our driving patience with Shultz. Great trail, heavily traveled, but alway super fun. Steady climb and super flowy down. Some of my favorite 4 miles to ride.

G made it happen all day, making that Proflex look young a gain. Proof that its not the bike, but the rider. Any bike wil do. You don't need fancy parts at all. Just motivation.

After Little Gnarly we were at Dry Lake Hills. Great time for photo ops.

G coming back down an imaginary run on Jedi. Freeskier and I continued on as he took a breather.

Jedi would take us back down around to L. Gnarly where we would climb right back up. Just a few mile roundabout. It starts out swimmingly.

Then come the waves to play on. Lots of log drops, jumps. Some nice tech moves.

This one of note had me walking. Not feeling the uber exposure on this one. I think I had the same look on my face as well.

The G ride.

Rolling back up the top of L. Gnarly. The trees, such a difference from the desert I frequent, add another dimension to the ride. Most stuff in the desert gives way, even if you do end up being stuck all over. But the forest, the trees don't give, they're steadfast, unmoving, large. It feels like riding through another creature. The dirt is different. And shade. Not used to that either.
 We finally found Upper Brookbank and proceeded to make the climb up to Sunset. I've been down this trail but never up and it did not dissapoint. The grade steep, but no to steep to ride, and the switchbacks all makeable. I pushed it hard and steady an the 1x9 kept carrying me all the way to the top. Legs are getting stronger, I think. Strong climb, with more to spare. I love climbing legs. When they kick into gear and spin without pain, with strength and with resolve. Its like the world inverted and now I'm pedaling downhill. Little strings pull me to the top. Success is near. This was Brookbank this day. I look forward to taking it on again.

Git it up! For all the years I've been riding, rolling over roots has some novelty to it.
The final blast down Sunset. Which links into Shultz for a radical 7 mile downhill. I love that line. Great rewared after the work that was going up Upper Brookbank.

We finished the ride by cruising all the way back into town and meeting up with the wife and familiy, had a good dinner here before taking on the drive back into the valley. Which had two accidents which made us get home about 1.5 hours late. Ugh. Long day, but ultimately still smiling. It feels good to have a good day on the bike, spend some time with friends and the wife in the north, and make it home safe and sound. Life can be good.
21.5 miles and 3000ft of vert.
Up and around the mountain. The Sunset descent starts far left at the top of the mountain. Jedi is he loop on the right side of the mountain. Shultz runs along the bottom. Upper Brookbank wraps around the mound in the middle. Lots more trails up there too. This was but an appetizer.

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