Harsh beauty in Sedona

We went to Sedona, AZ for the SBFL last weekend.  Lynda raced, I just rode. 

 Chad warned that the first 10 miles were pretty harsh and rocky, but I read in the descriptions it also included the best views in Sedona.  I set the Lev up all super squishy to soften the course...but wow was I still hammered.  Seeing how a fall to the right shoulder would be really bad, it meant even more walking.  That first 10 miles or so took me 3 hours.  At times I wondered why I had my bike with me as it was slowing me down so much.

But of course it was worth it.

The route headed over this saddle.  Can you say exposed sidehill?

This must be that view Chad was talking about.

The descent off that saddle was interesting.  It was too steep to walk and I was too scared to ride.  Oh dilemna!

Finally across Oak Creek, figuring the trail would become rideable...

Then there was some rideable terrain for a one armed bandit.  The route went next to this huge sinkhole, I've never seen anything like it.  Sorta like a cave with the top shaved off.

Feet are getting sore...

Flourescent green in Oak Creek.

The south end of the route went near Bell Rock.

Somewhere around mile 45-50 I decided not to do the 5 mile lollypop.  I was hoping to get back about the same time as Lynda...

Lo and behold she caught me just past that junction.  She was having a fine race and working it.  I was limping and not so happy.  The route became entirely rideable to the finish...and we rode it together. 

This route is, hands down, mile for mile, the hardest race route I've ever done. 

 Ever.

 And that's a darn good analogy for the weekend.

Thanks for the challenging route Chad.  It was a real treat to see so much of Sedona linked up in a way I would never guess was possible. 

6 thoughts on “Harsh beauty in Sedona”

  1. Damn. I can’t believe you rode/traveled with bike for all that, with a bum shoulder. Even with a Reba my hands HURT Sunday night.

    Funny how so much of the hike-a-bike got lost in my memory….

    ;)

  2. Dave – me too, the hike-a-bike seemed like a really small part of the day. There was a lot of really, really fun riding and swoopy trails in there too. Following Chad made them flow better prolly tho. I know he flew thru some intersections that would have had me scratching my head and squinting at my gps if I wasn’t on his wheel.

  3. Dave,

    I salute you for getting out there with your bike despite your injury. I am not sure you run into this with your Trans Utah riding, but it is hard for me to quantify a ride that I do in 2 segments. While I was riding the last half of the SBFL on Sunday, I was surprised at the amount of time invested in the hike-a-bike sections.

    I am glad you and Lynda still came down to ride with us.

    Lynda,

    it was nice to ride and chat with you. Riding a bike for 9+ hours is always better when you are in good company.

  4. Chad –

    Races always seem to go by in a blur, they get a time warp applied. Usually when I pre-ride a route (if that happens) it feels long, then on raceday it feels so much shorter. So I guess quantifying a race is different than quantifying a route.

    The second half of the route – esp N of Oak Creek – I thought was super fun trail. I was jonesin for my SS in the worst way. In fact I think that course would be 10x the fun on a SS (faster too). But alas the Lev made it possible.

    I think the course got less tech/more flowy as it went on, generally speaking. Sneaky way to design it – then the hike sections leave the short term memory before you are done!

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