Dave invited us to a weekly ride starting at the Bike and Bean Bike Shop every Friday. I knew it was going to be a hard ride and on my 2009 Sedona trip I went on 2 shop rides that kicked my ass both times. So I was a bit reluctant to accept the invitation, but I figured they’d show us some cool trails we might not otherwise see.
A-Man decided to test how tough he was on our morning ride to Coffee Pot Rock by going over the bars and body slamming some slickrock before making love to a small tree! Needless to say he made the smart move and stayed in the hotel where there was painkillers, beer, ice and TV…=-)
I was able to maintain contact with the main group for the first part of the ride and started to get a bit cocky thinking it wasn’t going to be as bad as I had anticipated. However, when they turned up Highline Trail I knew I was in trouble. I didn’t have the fitness and tech skills to rocket down the narrow ribbon of trail on the side of a cliff.
We ended up completing a loop on Highline similar to what A-Man and I rode earlier in the week. Except this time we did it in 2hrs rather than 4.5hrs! The group waited for me at the infrequent stops along the trail, but I had to ride at the edge of my puke zone the whole time to catch up.
I didn’t really even notice the scenery on this ride as I was focused so heavily on what was coming up and trying to get over all the tech as quickly as possible. Sections of the trail we stopped to play on for 20mins last time out were obliterated in a few seconds on this ride. It was an impressive pace [for me], but I don’t think I’d want to ride like that more than occasionally.
On the plus side I did get to ride a couple new sections of Templeton Trail and some unnamed connector trails. My Santa Cruz Nomad was working perfectly for this high speed riding over all the rocks and drops. I was even climbing pretty good until I was dead tired at the end.
I shared my Nomad stoke with one of the guys on the ride who had a Nomad on order and wanted to check out how it rode. Of course he came back all smiles – don’t let the photograph fool you…..I had just told him I wanted my bike back…=-)
Sadly my beloved 15yr old Dirt Rag jersey got snagged on a tree and got ripped. I’m going to have to see if Scott “The Gravel Pimp” Felter can help me cut the torn sleeve off and mod the damaged jersey to show off my muscular arms…hahahaha!
Dave is a fast strong rider who crushes all techy gnar in his path…so when he hung back with me at the end of the ride to ensure I didn’t get lost or just keel over and die that was a very considerate move. It was a bit pathetic to watch him barely pedalling ahead of me as I was driving my pedals as hard as I could and he still pulled away!
The ride ended on a high note for me for 4 reasons:
- the last part of the ride blasted downhill on the curvy Slim Shady Trail singletrack.
- the ride was over!
- there was pizza.
- there was beer!
Thanks to the Bike and Bean Bike Shop for organizing the ride and providing such tasty post-ride refreshments. Nothing makes you forget the pain of a hard ride like a cold beer and warm slice of pizza.