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Usually I’m one to make sure the bikes are working tip top. And usually I pack everything needed to fix a bike when we are traveling to race. Nothing is worse than needing some spokes or brake pads and having to find a shop that has what you need then paying full retail.
I guess the winter made me forget that. No matter how short our winter is, the first event of the season is always a shakedown. This time Jen took off with a front brake that desperately needed bleeding. That’s something I could normally fix if I’d brought “the green box”. So she rode the entire Swizzle course without a front brake. Damn! That’s impressive.
Myself…long story. Remember a few posts back about my crankarm coming off? It did it again….3 times. First time was up the road climb and I battled the winds to catch the group…..just as we hit the single track. Times 2 and 3 were just after I spotted the leader. I asked my local shop to order in the little alloy bolt needed to help hold the cranks on, but it didn’t come in time. So I was relying on the pinch bolts only.
I finished a few minutes down and a bit bummed out. Jen finished a few minutes down on her leader after also getting a bit lost.
Speaking of getting lost….This was the first race or ride I’ve done using the GPS for navigation. Very cool. But there were still some tricky spots where I found myself zooming in on it to see where I needed to go. It’s a nice feature to have, but I still felt like Stevie Wonder out there.
Anyway….first event is done. 2nd place for both of us. No injuries, confident about the fitness, and we were able to work out some bugs with the trailer and the bikes.
I’d have some fantastic pictures, but the camera batteries were dead. Too bad because the full moon over the Cochise Stronghold was incredible.
Whew. The Puzzler is coming up soon. Too soon. After putting in some signs in the state park and making a big loop around the mountains, my back is fried. I’m nursing it hoping to be ready this weekend’s Swizzle.
So far we have good support for the Puzzler. With some financial support, we are only charging $15 for NORBA license holders. Don’t worry if you already paid $25 and you have a license. We will refund your $10. Other than our local businesses that are helping out, we’ve got some really cool industry sponsors on board.
WTB, Hammer Nutrition, Planet Bike, DT Swiss, Stan’s No-Tubes, and Salt Stick are all on board. Salt Stick is providing electrolyte tabs for every racer as well as a couple of their super cool dispensers for the prize table. Their dispensers are my new secret weapon.
Anyway, get your entry in this week. We may either close registration completely on the 21st or charge a late fee.
The first weekend of the holidays was a mess. My old man came out to pick up a camper I had purchased for him (with his money of course) that ended up not really fitting on his truck. So we had to build a spacer to lift it high enough to keep from bumping the roof of the cab. We also spent 2 full days getting his truck prepped with the bed liner, power plug, and tie downs as well as fixing and cleaning the camper. When we finished…it was tip top and ready to roll.
Luna had a tough time dealing with the old pug Yoda. He held his own though.
After parting ways with the old man who decided to hurl himself into the snow country of the mid-west, we headed to Vegas.
Luna got to try out her new shoes. The fronts were a little big, but she seemed to enjoy them in the rough stuff.
After slowly making our way through warm and sunny Arizona, we finally stopped on the other side of the Colorado River to ride Bootleg Canyon on Christmas day. We came across this beauty.
Of course I had to mount it on the bars, but it was too hefty to ride with on the SS….up a trail that is supposed to be ridden down. Word spread pretty quick about this beauty and it was gone when I went to get gps coordinates for it on New Years Eve. The skeleton is still out there though.
Vegas had beautiful skies while we were out there, but it was windy and cold, so we headed back to AZ for more sun and vegetation….
Jen always enjoys the upper reaches of the Sonoran desert. The little one hour loop on the Black Canyon trail is a blast in both directions.
That’s all the pics I took. We had a nice visit to Titus and watched the exogrid makers destroy some slightly blemmed tubes. I never remember to ask if I can take pics while I’m there. It’s such a cool place. One guy had about a hundred exogrid tubes stacked in his office. Very cool indeed.
Today I did laundry…6 loads. Jen yacked and we are both trying to get our legs back after 2 full weeks of single speeding. No regrets!
Whew…That was a lot of traveling and riding. The single speed was stellar until the final day when the sealant held no longer and the left crank arm fell off. But I got everything fixed ok and our final ride in Sierra Vista was sweet. They have some new trails down there now and it’s tight.
So we started in Tucson at fatnastyisland….the fat guy’s ultimate trail. Cruised up to Estrella in Pahoenex…the largest city in Arizona….the capital. That was some fun rocky goodness. Then we hit Vegas for 4 days total at Bootleg and 3 days total at Blue Diamond/Cottonwood. Then we cruised back down to AZ and hit the Black Canyon, then a visit to Titus, then Sierra Vista.
Having some problems with the running lights on the RV and trailer….so I’m going to be a bit busy this week. I’ll get some pics up later when I dig my camera out of the camper.