Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I've been slowly assembling gear over the last few months to begin a sort of new chapter in my riding that involves so called bikepacking. It's been something I've pondered for quite a while and after spending significant hours surfing bikepacking.net and other ultra-light backpacking sites, I put a gear list together and decided with the help of my Mom, we'd sew up some bags. The first two were a frame bag and gas tank that took us the better part of the day to create. Made primarily from x-pac material with some 1/8 inch foam sandwiched in between along the tubes, they turned out pretty well.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
With all the upcoming endurance races, I've been trying to up the ride mileage each week. On Friday, 11-11-11, I decided to take the day off and do just that...go out and put in a good long ride at my favorite trail, Black Canyon. My plan was to start at Emery Hendersen Trailhead off New River Rd, ride north, exit the trail at the Rock Springs Trailhead, ride through Black Canyon City (to get water), then up Maggie Mine Rd to the top of the climb at Arastre Creek, then come all the way back south on the trail. It was a perfect day for weather, overcast but topping out around 70F. All in all, the ride went quite well...although the final climb just south of Table Mesa Rd was a real sufferfest. That climb starts essentially at a small creek crossing north of Table Mesa Rd and gradually increases in grade until you top out roughly 4 miles later...not a huge climb by any means, but loose and rocky in many spots. I always feel that some suffering helps you get stronger both mentally and physically. Looking back and thinking about my "low" points, I really didn't eat or drink enough. When I did take a big swig of my homemade energy gel, my legs and mind woke up and I became more focused. (thanks to the instant coffee in the gel!) In any case, below are the ride stats...BCT can be a bit deceiving since there's really no long, truly brutal climbs. But since the trail winds in and out of several creeks and rivers, the climbing adds up...just ask my legs today.