Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maiden Bikepacking Adventure Day2

Day1 went off almost perfect which set the mood great for Day2. Right off the bat Day2 didn't start off as planned. I had forgot to turn off my phone which has my alarm clock turned on, so right at 6am it went off. Of course it also had to be hanging up in the near by tree with my bag off food so it was a scramble out of my warm cocoon to turn it off. Well I guess im up now. No going back to sleep. I just laid back in my bag for a bit trying to stay warm and keep looking at the ridge to see where the sun was at. Now that I was up figured why wait any longer might as well get things moving around camp and get some food in me. Its still gonna be a great day and you can see when the sun comes all the way up its gonna be perfect.  Eat my morning bagel and almond butter plus the other half of my cherry pie. Start slowing packing since I am still trying to wait out the sun. Go wonder around a bit with Joe and get a quick lesson in Geology. Find some bear signs very close to the camp but decide they are not super fresh. Get the rest of the bags packed and hit the trail. Its a pretty great start and the sun is nicely over the ridge when we spin out and head up to Kentucy Camp to fill our water. We spend a few minutes there filling up getting the food bags sorted and Joe starts already snacking on some liquorish. As we shoot up the road from KC we see a few riders up on top of the hill and as we approach one yells my name.

Its Cassi and she is out for a spin with the Tucson MTB Addicts. We chat for awhile and since they are headed at least for a bit the same way as us we join in with the group.

Im loving the day and just out enjoying the flowers. 

Taking our time and taking it easy since we know we have a hefty climb on the day. 

The hills around us were just covered in gold as far as you could see. 

The first few little climbs to warm us up for what is store. 

Little dude enjoying the craftsmanship of  Jeremy's bags

Some great singletrack with the looming climb a little off center to the left. 

They had been going by great we were enjoying the trails and the sun but then we hit the base of the climb. Once you peel off the AZT onto the Rosemont Ranch area you are greeted with a series of sandy roads. They are not the worst thing in the world but when you have a full bike and you know there is a big climb ahead of you they are blood suckers. We plugged away at the sandy roads for a bit I took a wrong turn but corrected before we went maybe a 1/4 mile. I think by now Joe was starting to feel a bit tired so we took a break in the shade before we started up the main section that climbed up outta the wash roads. For the most part I didn't think it was all that bad and was feeling pretty strong I think only pushing my bike up two small steep sections to save my legs. As the road kept winding around we thought we kept maybe seeing where the summit was but it wasn't until we had a nice downhill after a steep climb did it show itself. I guess it had to be after a small decent to really show you it didn't like you.

 After seeing the final pass I had a small snack and then plugged away to the top. Made the pass still feeling pretty good but knowing Joe was not having the most amazing day. Here though is were I really made my first big mistake or at least now that I look back. We just took a small break at the top of the pass and had a small snack. By this point we were about 19 miles into our day and the only substantial thing I had eaten all the was a bagel. The route I had made in Topofuion which we had been following pretty much perfect all day said this day was gonna be 25 miles. We are already at 19 so not much more to go and we are at the top of a mountain. Its all downhill. Ha!. We proceeded to ride the next few miles of the jeep road decent off the mountain in what I like to call ANIMAL STYLE. Its all just crazy loose rocks, small drops, and loaded bikes. You just have to ride it like Animal plays drums.

After a few sketchy moments we make it down to more civilized roads and continue our onward drive. 
 The route has us basically just riding back now on a flat jeep road back to the car. Sweet! We have made it off the mountain Im still feeling good and Joe is still alive and plugging along as well. We press on. The gps shows we are at like 23 or so miles and by then I am realizing that maybe when you hand draw a track into topofusion the mileage it gives you is probably a guesstimation. I can see way off in the distance where we have the car or the mountain at least that it is sitting next to and it is more then two miles away. We keep plugging away down the road. Its not the best road since it is filled with sand crossings and low spots and each one just zaps you a bit more each time you ride a loaded bike thru it. Buy now we are 5-6hrs in I still have not eaten any real food in forever but I still think I am feeling pretty good and even make a stupid comment to Joe that I have 15 miles or more still in me while we are riding that jeep road. Joe is cooked and I don't think I am helping by trying to figure out how many miles we stall have left to go and I am sure he hates my guts by this point in the trip. At least I have one redeeming quality left. I have a cooler in the truck with two ice cold chocolate milks sitting there waiting.  As the endless jeep road continues we can do nothing but keep riding and dreaming about chocolate milk.

Well and maybe about not getting shot.

FINALLY!!!!!!! After what seems like the worlds longest sandiest road every mad ewe hit the pavement. That means the car is just up that hill. Wait shit did you say up that hill. FRACK ME! I should have never parked the damn car up a hill. I thought it would be safer there. Right now I don't care. If it had been at the bottom of the hill we would be done and we would have cold chocolate milk. If it hadn't been safe and was stolen we could have had the police give us a ride. At least we wouldn't have to climb a god damn hill. Stupid. I told myself no worries you are still feeling good and we just have to get Joe up the hill its only a few miles. 

The sign says Madera B&B 4 miles and we are not even close to as far away as it so we only have 2 maybe. Lets get Joe up the hill and we are good. Hey wait why is Joe pulling away from me. My feet hurt, my stomach hurts, my fingers hurt, I want to stop pedaling, I can't pedal, I can't sit down, I need to sit down. I was bonking in a bad way and it was hitting me like a ton of bricks. I looked down at my food i knew nothing in there could help. I screwed up in a bad way and now I was gonna have to survive a few more miles. Sitting and spinning was just not gonna cut it since I was on E so I switched into my big ring and just stood up and pedaled. I stared straight down at my front tire and just pushed with my body weight to get my legs to make the pedals work.  I didn't want to look up and see how far I had to go I just wanted to get there. I caught Joe for a second and as soon as I did I tried to get into his rhythm and take it slow, bam he was gone again and this time I was done. I had to stop. I had to just stand on the side of the road for a minute and collect myself. I had to think about chocolate milk for a second. Back on the bike, back in the big ring, and back staring at my front tire. Final push to the car. Joe is there in the shade of the Xterra sitting on the ground. It looks so comfy on the ground I need to lay down. I tear into the truck for our treasure chest. I had Joe I cold one sit down next to him on the ground and smile. Time to enjoy. FRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who put this trap on the lid of this milk? Why is it so hard to open? Am I bonking so bad I can't get it open? Do I have enough energy to go get my knife and hack into it? One more push thats all I need and its open. We just rode 35miles today in 7.5hrs. Way more then I had planned. It can't defeat me. Its a simple piece of foil. One thing tiny thing standing in my way.   

I did it!!! I got it open!!!!!!!! 
We are done, we are alive, and we have amazing chocolate milk mustaches.


  1. Thanks can't wait to almost die again.

  2. Hmmm, this sounds awfully familiar!! Each time I've been out on a BP ride I seem to learn a valuable lesson!! Welcome & thanks for feeding the addiction.

  3. A well-told story and great pics!

  4. Your pictures are amazing. What kind of camera did you use? Any special filters or settings?

    1. G, I am using a Canon S100. No special filters or anything. Its not a cheap camera but is compact enough for the bike, has a wide lends, and takes amazing pics. I highly recommend Canon cameras just have to get one that works for your needs they make a ton of them. Email me if you want to talk more specifics.