Please excuse this interruption to my summer storytelling. I hope I don’t confuse anyone with this post, but I just had an awesome weekend in Prescott and wanted to post about it before continuing my summer trip report…
So a few months ago my friend Allyn started hounding me to register for a dual sport ride up in Prescott called Howlin’ at the Moon he insisted last year was the most fun he ever had riding and I -had- to make it to this year’s event. I begged the time off work and registered well in advance. The event totally sold out at 200 riders.
I had a minor panic moment when my bike decided to freak out and fall apart. The starter switch failed, so I was kick starting it all the time. The exhaust was falling off -again- and the subrame nuts that the seat bolts into broke off. Joy.
My dearest friend Aaron came and got my bike while I was at work just days before leaving and had everything repaired by the time I got off. That guy is magic I tell you!
I picked up my bike and passed it off to Allyn to trailer up with his bikes. My friend Mike picked me up after work Friday and we drove up to Prescott, arriving around late and sleeping in the car. I fully expected to feel like crap, but woke up surprisingly refreshed and itching to ride. We drove to Allyn’s hotel, geared up and took our bikes to the launch point.
It was a wee bit chilly at the break of dawn.
Zeb hides in the crowd.
We hit the trails en mass. Riders splitting into A,B and C groups and roaring off into the mountains. It had rained just enough to pack down the dirt for the most unbelievably perfect traction I have ever encountered. The weather was perfect, the people were awesome and the trails were -phenomenal-. I rode the B route both days and I’m just mashing them into one post/day. Both days were awesome, the B route was generally harder the second day, but the first day had a rock garden that went on for freaking ever.
Me on the trail…
While the traction had me zooming around corners faster than I ever had before, the trail was so gorgeous at times it stopped me dead in my tracks.
We don’t get fall colors like this around Tucson…
There were a variety of bikes at the event.
I love this photo, I don’t know what the hell everyone is doing…
The lovely Megan was there (I met her at Chickfest and she’s an awesome rider)
Massive thanks to Allyn for trailering my bike, letting Mike borrow his and letting us use his hotel shower!
We were riding the crests of hills…
…the trail banking perfectly side to side when suddenly it plummeted into what was without a doubt the longest and steepest descent I have ever ridden. There are of course no photos of this part of the trail because I was doing everything in my power not to do an endo off the mountain. I turned a corner and was surprised to find a steep uphill.
It’s hard to tell how steep this climb is (photos flatten things so much)but there wasn’t much warning and I really had to romp on the throttle to make it up.
Mike stalled out on his attempt.
I made it up but had a close call with a shrubbery.
My best photo of the day:
There was an epic sand wash.
Who doesn’t love sand?!
This guy did a freaking wheelie in the sand, but I wasn’t fast enough for it.
Still got a nice picture though…
There aren’t any pictures of me riding the harder parts of the trail…but I promise B loop had its fair share of gnarly bits!
Climb Mike climb!
He eventually got a flat tire from this.
We thought we didn’t have too much further to go and some guys suggested he just ride it out flat. I zoomed ahead and then waited at crossroads for him to catch up.
I started to make a wrong turn and then stopped to go the other way and fell over. Just as I was lifting the bike up, some A loop riders came around the corner. I pushed the bike up quickly and leaned against it with my elbow in a ‘no I didn’t drop my bike, I’m totally just relaxing here waiting for my friend’ pose. They got a good laugh out of it. I chatted them up for a bit and then got worried about Mike not catching up. they followed me back to where I left him.
He had already found some helpers.
Seeing that Mike was already being taken care of, my helpers zoomed back off. This guy did that sweet ‘spin the bike around with one leg on the ground’ manuever, but with too much force and did like a 360 and fell over. I laughed pretty hard and he was a good sport and let me photograph it.
Even A loop riders mess up sometimes!
We spent about an hour messing with the tire and succeeded only in pinching the spare tube.
We surrendered and zip tied it to the rim for the long and slow ride out.
Kind of a bummer ending, but the weekend as a whole was wicked fun. Maybe next year I can do the ‘A’ route, but it looked pretty extreme. Here are some pictures I stole from Nightstalker (with permission):
Kathy kicked it with the boys on the A route!
YEEAAAAAHHHHH…so who is in for next year?!