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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rockin' National Session Style

So I'm a miles guy, mostly. I like eating them up. Each one is worth about five experience points which I trade in for coins that I use in Strava for powerups, upgrades and nitroboost. Big mile days just tickle my fancy. But you've got to mix it up a bit or you solidify in your routine, your joints  move in pre-programmed, pre-meditated, pre-vious directions, your creativity wanes, your vision blurs, and your motivation is maintenance rather than exploration. The river of life stands still. So this calls for a day of sessioning, or riding over the same shit over and over for experience points, to move the waters along (and buy nitroboost).

JB from Rocks and Blogs was up from Tucson looking for a techy ride, and Schillingsworth was smart enough to advise National over my McD's suggestion. I guess I block out SoMo from my weekend plans, since I'm there during the week often! But with new company and new rhythm, it would be good.

Luck would have it that clouds were voluminous and plentiful! Shade for hours. Very rare for an August day.
Four Peaks. I like their beer.

JB had never been up National so it was fun to see him interpret lines, and give them several tries. Usually by myself I zip up and down the mountain. Today had a new mountain bike chill to it.
I tried and tried on this move, but the closest I came was about half a pedal stroke from getting over. The crease made it tough.

Taking the high left line around the turn.
Working on the center line through the Triangle.

Hey! You're fogging up my lens!

The man is on fire!

MMmmmm....tasty treat the water fall. There were already a few bikers hanging around, debating the merits of giving it a go. One fella had it down and blew through it like a steamroller on crack. All big bike eating the mountain in gulps.

The spine is the easy line to hit, but you've got to commit to the exit.
I was all in. It was time. It was well within my bag of tricks. The OctoCog and I are becoming one. Which isn't hard considering it's 80% Voodoo, which I liked quite a bit.

I was just itching to roll the water fall, especially after my by the lights first run a few days before so I have it to it while those in armor hemmed and hawed about the line and blah blah blah. Get on your bike! Your mouth ain't gonna pedal it! It felt good, but long overdue since I ride SoMo probably the most often of any place and this is one of the more well known features. Scratch it off the list now! I'm done sandbagging on this pile of rocks.

Taking the high road through the Triangle. Heading east on National you get the chance to hop up on the rock face and bypass a nasty little switchback, but you've got to heave to get your bike up there. Bashguard recommended.

Traverse the little left turn rock connector as you get both wheels up then roll downhill to the exit.

It's a bit of a drop, but get back off the seat and it's done.

Sitting at the saddle before turning back. I spied a coyote moving to the east amongst the rock. Can you find him? He eventually met up with another one and it looked like they were flushing rabbits out of the rocks. Teamwork.

I think JB had some fun. National has a lot going for it. Challenging but doable, tough but inviting. I've been riding there 14 years. Sheesh.