09 May 2018

Bikcation Part 2 - The non race part

After 5 days based out of Prescott, Arizona the group packed up, loaded into two RV's and hit the road to continue the bikcation.  Read part one here.

Day 6 - Monday - Sedona

We amazingly got on the road not too late, given it was our first day travelling and we had to pack up.
Ready to roll
We rolled into Sedona around 10:15 and by 11:15 we were riding. James and Jessie were our guides and lead us up, down and around to create a super interesting route. For this ride we had 10 people (Josh, Megan, Andy, JD, Dan, Jessie, Andrew, James, Clint and Me) with varying technical abilities; this makes for some interesting riding dynamics. 
Sedona is a interesting bike mecca in Arizona. The trails were a lot steeper than many trails I have ridden with a lot of exposure. 
Trails ridden 

long arm group shot
All smiles

Don't fall right

The views were stunning

The riding technical

more stunning views

We finished riding and had some food, then said bye to JD, Dan, James and Clint who were not joining us for the remainder of the trip.

Our destination was St George Utah, however due to time constraints (we rode way too late) that wasn't ever really on the cards. We did however find a secluded place to camp for the night,  right next to Horseshoe bend.

Day 7 -Tuesday - St George

Whilst we didn't make St George, the stop was perfect. We got an early morning walk in and this was the reward. 

Yes, that is impressive

And a long way down

still a long way down

Looks really far down really 
After that view as a start to the day most people would have been pretty content however, we were meeting Andrew to ride so, we hit the road and drove the remaining 2 hours into Utah to go ride. 
The first stop was at Santa Clara, by this point on the trip we were playing dodge the rain showers. The riding group was a little smaller though we had been joined by Andy's friend John. We also had Andrew still along with us. Santa Clara is rocky which means it doesn't get to badly affected with rain. We rode two Mesa's for this ride. 
Trails ridden,

Big drops

Fun switchbacks

Steep and technical switchbacks
Following this ride Andrew had to head back, it also started raining. We loaded up and headed to the next trail system where we headed out for ride two of the day. After the rain stopped we were treated to some fun trails that paralleled the cliffs,
Trails ridden
Dinosaurs impressions

riding the rocks

coming off Church Rocks

pretty flowers
I really enjoyed this ride, it was a lot smoother (less technical) than some of the other riding we had been doing and certainly on prospector you could go really really fast. Emma was the perfect bike for these trails.
We finished our ride as the sun was setting but riding in a little rain at a boy scout camp (free camping area built by some eagle scouts). They have also set up a trail network in that area however I didn't ride any of it.

Day 8 - Wednesday - Wire Mesa and Gooseberry Mesa

After a little breakfast and a short food resupply we headed up to try and ride Gooseberry Mesa. As we turned into the road it was decided that it would be unwise to drive out along the road due to recent rain. We adapted and headed to Wire Mesa which is a short 7 mile loop
Trails ridden,
This is a fun loop and had interesting technical sections, great views and not too much exposure. 
terrible views

selfie time

dead tree

group shot

After our hour ish long loop around Wire Mesa we headed back to ride Gooseberry Mesa. We parked at the top of the road where we turned around earlier in the day and set off on bikes.
Trails ridden
This was a great ride, it was also Megan's Birthday, so a fun way to celebrate. We started on an access road but once on singletrack it had it all: Loose sections, Step ups, step downs, slickrock etc. 
Access road

Emma sparkling in the sun

Desert flowers

Stormy weather all around us

Line checkers

Big drops

more terrible scenery!

Following the ride, we headed back to where the RV's were parked and had an excellent dinner followed by some birthday cake. It was at this point we said our goodbyes to Andy and John who had to head back to Prescott.

Day 8 - Thursday - Jem trails 

The day started off with a little shuttle run so that Josh and Dave could ride Gander trail. Jessie, Terry and I then took a short hike before heading back to wake the kids up for breakfast. 
Boy's ride before breakfast 2.0

more of those terrible views :D


Alfresco breakfast
Following breakfast we hit the road and headed to the Jem trail network. This was a family friendly ride for the first few trails then we split and the Adults rode Hurricane Rim to finish out our riding and finish off the legs. 
Trails ridden
It was a fun day on the bike again, the Jem trail network is mostly smooth with lots of opportunity to carry speed. There are many fun little jumps too. 
Group riding with kids

here we go

looking out over the trails. 

more panoramic action

All smiles
After this we moved across to Hurricane rim which was a lot more rocky. 

Trail next to the rim

more pretty flowers

ripping the singletrack - PC Josh

More flowy singletrack

Yet another Panorama

Following the ride we headed back to go swimming and to camp at the Boy Scouts camp again. I also managed to get another of my 50 States of running in (see here)

Day 9 - Friday - Zen and bearclaw poppi

The last day of riding, Jessie and Dave saved the best until last IMHO. An early ish breakfast and a short drive took us to the trailhead for Zen in the Green Valley network
Trails ridden
Zen is a simply magnificent loop (do this trail counter clockwise) It is a really nice mixture of flowy sections with technical climbs and descents thrown in. It also has some sections of slickrock so the grip is outstanding. 

Climbing up Zen

Last shade

Ducking under rocks

at the top

panorama fun

Following our Zen moment we headed up over a small pass and dropped down to the top of Bearclaw poppi, trail is named after a flower which grows mostly in this area. We also met up with Dave and Jessie's parents. The trail is around 2 miles long and flows downhill with jumps and lots of traction in the corners. It was a blast.
pre bearclaw poppi descent

Bearclaw poppi

Post bearclaw poppi descent

Our riding was over for the trip and I had a blast.
Bike packup in Ikea parking lot
I packed up my bike in the parking lot of Ikea which was a great location to do it, warm and clean.

Day 10 -  Friday - Flight home day :D

Owing to our early arrival in Nevada I had the opportunity to get another state in for my 50 states of running. See here So much winning on this trip. 
If you do happen to be flying out of Las Vegas and you have some time to kill I highly recommend heading to this trail head. It sure was pretty up there. 
Late Night trail head

Art in airports

Also if you are flying out of an airport take the time to soak in the artwork that all airports seem to display when you are walking around before your flight departs.

Las Vegas


 And finally

The friendships I formed during this trip will last a lifetime as will the memories. The only thing that could have made it better, would have been if Amanda and Fiona were able to join me. I guess I will have to go back with them and show them all the great trails I found. 

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