Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gila River Ramble 2014 Day 2

The next day, we slept in late and began to ride up Box Canyon. Having only ridden *up* the canyon in the dark (the old AZT 300 route went up Box Canyon), it was a surprisingly easy, yet beautiful change.


Connecting to Martinez is the the hidden gem to this side of the river. Since the Gila Canyons AZT section has been completed, this area is often overlooked in favor of a point-to-point, shuttled ride. This is also one reason why the Gila River area is one of the best places to bikepack in Arizona...the options are endless.

As we got down to the river, we took the double track to connect with the Arizona Trail at Gila Canyons. 

After about 30 minutes, we took the turn to go up to Walnut Springs and saw Hermosa Tours out doing their thing.  We chatted for a bit and asked about their operation. They even let us top off our bladders for the steep climbing to the gusher.

Max pushing his bike up one of the steeper sections to the spring. This route is worth the view and water, but is a steep climb. 

 Where's Max?
Water in the desert, it is a beautiful thing when it is in this form.

We rested at the spring for about 30 minutes, enjoying the cliffs and drinking our flavored sports drinks.

Stunning cliffs are the reward for the detour and HAB

As I mentioned earlier, heading to the artesian spring is not the easiest way to get water. After topping off our bladders, we took a wash, hiking for about 30 minutes. I would recommend this route for anyone that has already seen the typical AZ Trail from Picketpost to Kelvin, along with Ripsey and is in need of a change of scenery. That said, if you have never seen the area, it is a must-do.

Back on the AZ Trail, we tried to beat the heat. 

We got to the train bridge before the last ascent up the AZT and decided to take a nap in the shade. Five minutes turned into 30 minutes; actually, an hour probably. The birds were singing and the small rapids of the Gila River were drowning away all our worries about the heat.

It is easy to see why we typically ride this route in late March, early April....great views, stunning wildflowers (although this year was mediocre). 

There was only 1/2 gallon at the Kelvin water cache. We used it all up, before pressing on to Ripsey.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gila Ramble 2014 Day 1

It has become a yearly tradition of sorts to ride the Gila Ramble. It is the classic AZ bikepacking loop, quite arguably the best in the state. There are many different options for parking, although the Cochrane Road is only about 2 hours drive-time from my house. Obvious decision.

No so obvious, what to pack or what time we would be leaving on Friday. As it turns out, we got a later start than anticipated.

We bombed down to Area 52, thinking we would stay the night there.

Gila Canyons in the background

Now, if we can just convince Max to go back to his all-mountain, riding days

We played around a little bit and enjoyed some of the views. Both of us were ready for some more pedaling, so we headed out down to the Gila River to see about crossing. The gauge was reading high before we had left, so it seemed unlikely of us crossing. It was too high, plan B was to ride dirt roads to the bridge on the canal.

We kept riding until the very beginning of Box Canyon proper, setting up camp for the night.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Big Bikes and Burritos

The Tuesday Techy Taco ride is slowly morphing into a 50-Year ride with the big bikes. This past week, Jonathan, Scott and I did the classic loop from the corral. New lines were done by all...

including this one, that still messes with me.

Ride, fail and repeat until successful. Repeat process until the sun went down.

A transition from TTT to BBB has taken place...the Big Bike Burrito (from Nico's) ride.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Someone has to ride all these beautiful rocks..."

It appears that someone *does* need to step up and start riding some of the harder lines at 50-year trail. .

Scott and I took it upon ourselves to do just that...ride some rocks with some friends. I have wrapped up both days of riding into one post (I need to catch up on some photo editing!)....add your own commentary or put this music on: Typhoon


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