Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sir, please take your spurs off before you come inside.

It has been a while since I have posted up here but cut me some slack, I have been busy riding. Plus it is hard to compete with those amazing alley cats that the Rochester crew is putting on. I just came back from a few days of riding around the desert and it was a wild ride for sure. Here is how it all went down:

I was reading a post that the Gnome put up over at drunkcyclist.com and it got me thinking about riding and how much I enjoy getting lost in the desert by myself. And most importanly, that I was way overdue to hit the trail. I decided on a route on the Arizona Trail from Superior to Oracle, camp and ride at the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo course where somebody will pick me up 4 days from when I started. This is a ride I have done a few times in the past and it seemed simple enough. I had alot of time to explore some new places I have never been, and test out my new setup

With my bike packed and headed to the trailhead, I meet up with the camp host and he informs me that most of the springs on the trail are dry. This is disturbing news but then he hits me with the info that there has been 14 miles of new singletrack cut since last year. and i tell you what, it doesn't get much more fresh than this.

I covered about 20 miles the first day and it was a glorious ride on perfect trails. I woke up to warm temps and pure sunshine the next morning and decided that i didn't want to go the same old way but head more east towards the ghost town of Cochran, AZ. The riding was amazing for the first half of the day, finding that stride and the miles were just flying by...then it all went to shit. The heavy winds overnight had spread Cholla balls all over the trail and dirt roads I was riding. 8 flats later, on my emergency tube, one patch left, and a good distance away from any paved road...I was just about screwed. I found myself crossing the Gila River near the ghost town I was aiming for. As soon as I get to the other side, I meet up with 2 honest to goodness cowboys and the first thing they do is put a beer in my hand. Dusty and Travis inform me that they just moved down here and they are going to be in charge of 20,000 head of cattle due to arrive at the end of the week so they have been stringing fence around an area the size of a small city non stop. Just my luck they were heading into town that night and they offered to give me a ride out of the desert. They determine that the fastest way to camp is to drive along the railroad tracks when their truck decides to break down.
We proceed to hang out and empty their cooler and then give the truck another try, and sure enough it fired up and we were on our way. They say that they will take me all the way home (about an hour drive) if we can stop at every bar we see along the way to the highway. The rest of the night is a blur of shooting beer cans, trying to rope fake cows, running over street signs in a flatbed, Cuervo, Beam, and a guy trying to start trouble with the boys because they still had their spurs on their boots inside the bar.

Sometimes you wander into the wilderness looking to be left alone and sometimes you stumble upon some really cool people. I never made it to my desination, but oh what a journey. I am even going back down there in a couple weeks to cash in on some horse riding lessons that they promised to give me, and I may have to bring along a couple bikes for them to rip around on. Because as my new friend Travis told me "Ridin' horses ain't much different than you riding that bike, it's all we know and we love doin' it"


Tony said...

Nice one Chris. The desert sounds like a good place to be right about now.

dirtybiker said...

It is indeed, come on down! you are always welcome at my place