I went on a couple of mountain bike trips in 2006 and meant to share the pictures, but never quite got around to it. In May, I took a trip to visit my friend Guido in the mountain bike Mecca of Detroit.
OK, stop laughing. Maybe they d0n't have much elevation change to climb or descend and the trails themselves didn't have much in the way of technical difficulty, but they did have some awesome tight single track on packed dirt trails zipping so tightly between trees that I didn't think my bars would clear the opening. They can also fit an amazing amount of trail in just a few acres. We Westerners are really spoiled by the amount of real estate we have to play in.
Here is an example of the trails we rode. Can you believe how green it is? That bike I'm riding is a Gary Fisher 29er. Guido has some contacts at the bike shop and got me that demo to ride. In my opinion, it rode like a truck with all of the pros and cons of a truck. It was high off of the ground and rolled over things easily, but it was slow off the line and tough to steer in the tight stuff.
Have you ever ridden or heard of a velodrome? It's a wooden track for bike racing with 44 degree banked curves. The race bikes are single speeds with no brakes and no coasting gear. If you pedal backward you go backward. The way you stop those things is to force the pedals to go around slower. It was a really cool experience. My only regret was that the track didn't open until late afternoon so we had already done two mountain bike rides and were already pretty much shot.
My other MTB trip was to the White Mountains of Arizona. I wrote about it in my 10/31 posting, and here are the pictures to go along with it.
It was monsoon season in Arizona, so all we found to ride in was trails full of mud and standing water. This picture was taken after one of the rides, but there really seemed to be much more mud than showed up in the picture.
By the second half of the trip, we found some of the dryer trails in the higher elevations. It was a lot like riding at home.
And here's Punkin after her run-in with the manzanita bush. I think my shorts got the worst part of the the deal. I lost another pair of shorts in a similar grisly fashion a month or so later. It was the victim of a tug-o-war between my two dogs. Let's just say it was well ventilated in places it shouldn't have been after they were through with it.
The next picture is one of my favorite shots from the trip. The view says it all...
Finally, here is a picture of one of the fearsome man-eating cows. Sure, it may look docile, but it's just trying to draw you in so it can pounce when you least expect it. If you look closely, you can see its muscular flanks tensing up and getting ready to strike. I gave them a wide berth and managed to escape with my life.
I already have one mountain bike trip planned for 2007 and hope to squeeze in at least one more in addition to riding some local trails I resolve to ride every year and actually do ride only every few years.