Thanksgiving comes and goes every year. Things slow down. It's an opportunity to spend time with friends and family, some of whom we don't get to see at many other points throughout the year. We eat too much. We drink too much. Easy living.
The day after Thanksgiving is yet another story unto itself. We use it as a chance to hang out with family of a different sort. We also use it as a means to atone for the sins of the day before. Invariably, we all show up at the trailhead feeling a bit slow from all of the good stuff we got into the day before. The motivation being the great weather, the great trails, the great friends and the promise of beer at the end of the ride.
There were three this year. Scoottay, El Gobernador and DB. The action plan was to park between Brown's Ranch and McDowell and to get a loop in each with the thought that those that wanted to jump in or drop out after a loop could do so. 8 o'clock sharp got us to the Fraesfield trailhead. We boogied south into McDowell hitting some of the highlights like Gooseneck and Bluff down and Delsie on the way back to Gooseneck. For the day after Thanksgiving, the trails were remarkably uncrowded. We were super stoked to see that the powers that be replaced the old ramada at the intersect of Pemberton and Delsie that was there for years. They rather appropriately named it Jackass Junction. It has a bunch of cool bike and beer related bits.
Dave had enough at that point after riding the day before so it was up to two to carry on the action. We rolled up Whiskey Bottle, Watershed, Cholla Mountain and down Balanced Rock and Black Rock to complete the day's mission of doing a double loop.
As a consistent theme, with wives and kids to get home to, we hit the road after a couple of beers. Parting was, as they say, such sweet sorrow, but it only increases the jones to return.
I'm going to preface my remarks by saying I hike. I'm fortunate to work really close to a great trail system (SoMo) that allows me to sneak out for an hour to clear my head and get some exercise in. It's not a bike ride but it might be the next best thing. Typically, there are three things that set me free:
I feel like I am being an elitist and that isn't what I'm attempting to do here. All three are bad for the trails. To put things into context, this week is Thanksgiving week which means that there are a ton of tourists and people that just simply don't know better here in town on the trails.
As I'm hiking today, I come upon a group of people including small children up on a ridge that has no trail leading to it. I'm sure that the intent was to get a view to show off to the kids and to snap some selfies. Great. There are two issues I have with the trailblazers. A.) Our desert is composed of cryptogamic soil, also referred to as biological crust soil. You see, here in Arizona, our soil is a living, breathing thing. When you cross cut off the trail, you're killing our soil. If you walk on it, it takes GENERATIONS for the soil to recover. The second thing that gets to me about these knuckleheads is that, on a daily basis, we have people that have to be rescued for doing the very thing they were engaged in.
Trekking poles on their own don't drive me nuts but there are those that drag the poles across the dirt creating a mini trench. I'm sorry, but if you're walking across a flat surface, do you really need the support that a trekking pole is going to give you? Answer is "NO". Pick the damn things up!!!
Idiot number three is the guy I run into on an Ebike. I think I might get some flak for my opinion here but the right for mtb'ers to use the trail has been hard fought over. The concern that I have is that if Ebikes access the trails, how long until all mountain bikers are kicked off. The concern is that, through the misinterpretation of the Wilderness Act, mountain bikers are already being kicked off of trails, since the Act interprets mountain bikers to be using "mechanized" transport, which the Act prohibits. If Ebikes are allowed, how long until you have guys riding dirt bikes tearing the trails up and we all get kicked off.
I probably need to adjust my tampon and have a beer. Rarely am I pissed off after being outside but today kinda tweaked me. Sorry about the rant.
I imagine having the time...
I imagine having the money to do it...
I imagine the having the fitness to crush 1000 km and 21 Alpine Mountain Passes in three days...
When I grow up, I want to be Mike Cotty.
Probably my favorite beer right now. A couple of cold ones after about 15 miles in the saddle and I'm like..."That'll DO!"
Brewed locally right here in Tempe, AZ and according to the Huss website it's a year-round brew. About $10/ 6-pack
Here are the stats:
Huss Brewing Co
Style: American IPA
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%
Notes / Commercial Description:
It's no secret. We ride on Thursday. Usually, if our wives, kids or lives in general permit, we sneak in some South Mountain or Santan. It's only on a rare occasions that luck taps any of us on the shoulder and points us out towards what we really love, like some Brown's Ranch. In the most organic way possible, a ride was thrown together with Ryan and I to meet out there. He had work until 2 and I had a couple of appointments that miraculously got scheduled out in that general direction. Almost immediately, our two went to four when DB and Scotty B relayed that they were on board. From there, the day of, I got the call from Gritz that he was very much interested in participating in our bike hoedown.
My hands get sweaty every time I watch the Red Bull Rampage. These guys must have one hell of a time walking with junk that big!!
I'm not sure who if anyone is reading this hot mic at this point, but there is the standard, industrial strength South Mountain Ride planned for 4:30 today (Thursday, 11/2) for anyone interested. We are meeting at my office. DC and some other stuff with beer after. If you're interested, let me know.