As day 4 of riding on this trip rolled around Sharon learned that plastic saddles can be a pain in the ass – literally. I spent 25yrs+ and several thousand $$ trying to make plastic saddles work for me with various combinations of saddles, padded shorts and lotions/potions. It never got sorted and late in the game I discovered I could ride leather saddles without bike shorts and without pain – day in and day out.
I suspect Sharon will try a leather saddle on her MTB soon, but that’s not going to happen this trip so she decided she should take a day off the bike to rest and heal. With 11 days of riding available on this trip I agreed that a rest made sense so she could come back ready to rock for day 5 or day 6.
I didn’t want to waste a day sitting around the pool at the hotel so I headed out to ride some shorter trails near us. I hit up Tea Cup Trail, Soldier Pass Trail and Adobe Jack Trail. Without anyone to wait for and having limited photo potential riding solo in the middle of the day I was able to cover a lot of ground pretty quickly.
I prefer to ride with someone else most of the time, but once in a while it’s nice to roll at my own pace and be alone with the trail. Especially when they are as entertaining as the ones around Sedona are.
Although I am not a Safety Nazi when it comes to rolling around town I do fall off my MTB frequently so I wear a helmet, elbow/knee pads, gloves, sunglasses and burly shoes. That way I can charge the trail as hard as my modest skills and fitness allow. When I inevitably do end up in the dirt the consequences are [usually] minor.
I don’t like hiking. I’ve done lots of it in the past in the army and for fun when I was a runner. Both hiking and running seem like a perfectly good waste of free time I could use to ride my bike! 😉 I know this is a minority opinion in the wider outdoor world and I don’t spend a lot of time talking about my lack of love for hiking. Just so you don’t think I’m totally anti-walking I will say that I think trekking around town getting my errands done on foot is not only very practical, but I enjoy it. Somehow that doesn’t translate to gratuitous hiking for recreation. 😉
However, being a get a long kind of guy I didn’t argue when Sharon wanted to hike the Airport Mesa after lunch. She was getting stir-crazy from an extended Kindle reading session while I rode, ate lunch and had a nap. Hiking offered a butt friendly way to take in some of Sedona’s amazing views and get the blood flowing through our veins.
It was also later in the day which meant better light for taking pictures. Our typical rides happened pretty much at the worst part of the day for photography, but getting up earlier didn’t sound like fun and waiting until the end of the day was dangerous for me as I might fall prey to a fridge full of beer and not hit the trails at all. I do like taking nice pictures, but I’m a biker who carries a camera – not a photographer who rides a bike!
Aaron and I rode this trail last year on our mountain bikes. The Airport Loop Trail has its moments of greatness, but there is at least 1/3rd of the trail that’s a hike-a-bike for average riders. So skipping the bikes and just walking isn’t a bad idea.
It felt a bit odd to be out on a Sedona trail without my bike, but the killer views made up for having to walk the whole time! 😉
Sharon was happy to not be sitting on a saddle and I was happy to get out in the fresh air again.
We chatted about the merits of hiking vs. biking and agreed we were both fairly bored of the walking after the first 20mins. With a garage full of bikes it’s a good thing we like riding them so much… 😉