I have the good fortune of knowing the most amazing and ridiculous people on the planet and, good for me, they all seem to like riding bikes and are also in some state of alternative or self or un-employment and can spend a random three or four days of any given week dropping everything to take a quick and relatively unplanned bike tour. The lack of planning only adds up points in the ridiculous equation and as our packing lists were minimal we wound up compiling quite the odd assortments of goods and whatnot to fill our bags. A trip to the grocery store yielded a great variety of ride food for Zach and myself. We packed a ham, a Tillamook baby loaf, twelve bagels, oysters, sardines, a three pound submarine sandwich, four blocks of cream cheese, some fresh fruit, and plenty of whiskey of course. Oh yeah, that coffee cake looked pretty good too for $5 so I figured I'd strap that along as well. It became known as der Kuchen. We would be riding the 80 mile section of hand built singletrack connecting Mayer to Greater Phoenix that has emerged in the past couple years as the Black Canyon Trail and would connect the ends via shuttle. And as shuttles go this one definitely maximizes the ratio of ride to drive time. One hour shuttle drive for three full days of riding. We set the shuttle Tuesday night and the rest of the crew met up at the start first thing wednesday morning to the sprawled out bags and foods of our camp at the dirt road on the ridge (read: the non-existent trailhead)
Within moments of our departure on bike, we knew through the shared conscious that we were onto a great thing. The trail showed great promise immediately as it snaked through the gray rocks and prickly pear cactus of the high desert grasslands. Most if not all of the land the trail passes through is BLM so it is open to grazing (read: there isn't much grass in the grassland). By the end we would drop about 3000 undulating feet at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains, crossing its fingered lower slopes as we traveled. Our hoots and hollers carried us through to plenty of rest stops and two creekbed campsites with trickling winter desert flows and only a minimum of navigational difficulties.
Shred der Kuchen
High country air
It makes me sad when my tractor doesn't work
We stopped at Rock Springs for food and pie and wound up calling it a day after that. We left with two whole pies and I think about four pieces were eaten onsite in addition to that we brought with...that was after beer and burgers of course. With der Kuchen there was pie everyday.
Saguaro cactus started to emerge after dropping off the rim where Uncle Rico parked his van....I wish I had a picture of that van.
Hey Evan: what do you think of this trail. Its alright. Yeah I've seen better.
Some people don't have panniers but that doesn't stop them from looking good or going on a tour.
The sequence of Amber riding through the cactus forest no hands lead to a crash of her ghetto booty Kona so she opted try the safer no feet sequence.
These things are cool
The last ten or so miles was flat desert straight dirt and cactus to puncture your tires with a prison for scenery followed by a road and a parking lot with Evan's truck waiting for us. It was a grind...so really the trail is about 70 miles if you stick to the good parts but man o man are they good. Ride this trail with your friends and you will laugh a lot I promise. Bye