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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AES Kentucky Fried Camp

There comes a time every November when a group of mountain bikers converge on a lonesome dirt road just north of a border checkpoint to ride some AZT, and that time is Kentucky Camp, the second to last AES event for 2011.  North of Sonoita down near Rosemont Junction we parked and planned to ride a double lollipop out-n-back with a mix of road and AZT. I've been on the first 5 miles of this route when I rode the AZT Jamboree in January, but the trail further to the south would be new to me. I'm always a fan of getting more AZT miles. I've ridden just about 120 miles of the 300 miles between Parker Canyon Lake and Superior by now. When I do the Antelope Peak Challenge next January, I'll get even more AZT miles. Then They'll finish the last few miles on the Gila section and we'll check that out, getting probably another 15. Its a good time to be following the evolution of the AZT.

Good group for this race too. Certainly a bit more than the BCT event. Probably more Tucsonian folk present.

The terrain here has rolling hills that run off the flank of Mr Wrightson in the Santa Rita Range. The undulating ridges make for great MTB trail.

At Kentucky Camp, which is an old mining camp, there's a bunch of old stuff, that has character.

I think it needs an oil change.

Kentucky Camp's first singlespeed.

Part of the mining camp built it he early 1900's.
If you can find your way there from the Rt. 83, there is a little B&B you can stay at.

There was quite a bit of jeep road on this route, but I don't fuss about it like some people can.  I prefer singletrack, and it should be maximized, but I won't diminish a ride if it uses some road to get it done.

Mt. Wrightson gets larger and larger the more we pedal north.

Wildlife was here. I'm sure of it.
Lots of the road was pretty groomed.

We took the road up to Gardner Canyon where we caught the AZT and headed south.

First tarantula I've seen on the trail after a decade of riding in the desert. He was busy eating lunch when we came upon him.

"Whatchoo looking at?"

He eventually hid in the grass. He was really docile and didn't seem too worried about us.
He really wasn't all that big though. Photo by John

Freeskier enjoying some of the primo AZT from Gardner Canyon. All the way back to Kentucky Camp it was really nice.
There was good flow on this section. Freeskier's flow got a bit wobbly as he discovered that his rear hub had imploded and was seemingly hanging on by a thread. would it survive another 20 miles? It sure did, amazingly. I was waiting for it to seize any time, but it never did. I'm sure he appreciated the associated brake drag.
It was a bit chilly so I wore big socks. Photo by John

Zoom! Photo by John

Kentucky Camp was at the center of the double lollipop so it made for a great rest stop. Water, bathroom, and adirondack chairs. And comfy the were.  We took a nice break to fuel up for the final 15 miles. We'd get in just before light faded quickly beyond the mountains.

AZT. It'll be complete soon. Very soon.
Double lollipop brilliance. Nice route, but too bad just a bit further south from here it runs through a small bit of Wilderness, forcing bikes to take a detour.

Kentucky Camp is certainly tougher than BCT, for me anyway. Lots of ups and downs. The first six miles has 1300ft of climbing. I was pretty toast after that and was thinking about the 29 miler option, but then I got my senses back and recovered on a fast stretch of road. We were the last two to come in, and were happy to declare the trail empty of the days participants. It was a great way to spend eight hours.

In 3D stereoscopic vision. Stare long enough, and it'll pop out of your screen.

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