After seeing the pics Mark took, I guess I didn’t take that many. But, here’s a tiny sampling of the scenic wonders all the KMC riders were treated to.
Fred W and his “secret weapon.”
The hosts. Not the best shot but it’s all I have. I tried SO hard to get a shot of Meridith. She’s camera shy defined.
You kiddin’ me? We get to ride on the rim of the GC? The canyon was filled with echos at this point. Multiple yahoo’s blending into one big woooooo…..
The tightest ribbon of singletrack anywhere, about an inch the either side of your tire (well, my 2.10 tire that is) is all you get. Slightly downhill with fat tailwind = more yahoo to woooo.
East rim views. You can see well over 100 miles. Oh my.
Taken from the same spot as the previous pic. You’re in the high mountains, looking into deserts.
Same spot again, other direction. The trail surface changed constantly but was always awesome.
After the AZT we bombed off the top of the Kaibab and into a P/J zone with difficult riding, ala the Paradox. 9-10 hours in and temps in the 90’s. Mandatory shade breaks started. I was soooooo happy I filled to capacity at the store up high as well as grabbing a liter of pepsi. I left the store with 260 oz of fluids, finished with 35.
This pic is heinous! These lenses were a friendly gift from MC a couple weeks ago. They also obscured the GPS. I had to remove glasses to see the GPS and consequently made a lot of navigation fubars.
The bike didn’t get shade. I was getting grumpy at it about this point…
The final climb was a doosy. All the steep pitches are over 20% grade. It’s also part of the great western trail, an off road vehicle route. When I first saw the GWT sign I almost cried. That meant we’d have moto’s torn up surfaces up the climb. And that’s how it worked out.
The climb was up through the burn area of the Warm Fire (odd name for a fire, eh?) so no shade to be had. But the wildflowers post-burn were off the hook.
Heading home I came across this scene. A ranger was blocking the road so I quized her:
DH: Is there a fire somewhere?
Ranger: No, were hauling water to a game stock tank above Vermillion Cliffs.
DH: That’s odd. What did the critters do before you started hauling water for them?
Ranger: Well, before we showed up the water table was healthy and there were many springs that are now dry.
A touch out of sequence, but here’s the profile of the route. My 10 miles of off route stuff was removed for this – this is the exact course.
Floating in the mid-day heat, dreaming about a trip down the big ditch rounded out the experience.
Hard to imagine, but the long awaited BC Bike race is just around the corner. Lynda and I leave next week. Hope I’ve got some matches left!