Went mountain biking with David & Jeff along the trails at Pima Road & Dynamite Blvd. Ended up endoing when I didn’t quite get the front tire high enough to clear a rather large rock during a fast up-hill swoop. No serious damage, but my ego did get a bit bruised.
Commuted to work, then joined a couple of guys after work to ride in the Moutain Preserve off of 7th Street, across from the Point, before heading home.
Commuted to work, then to our auto insurance agent’s office to make a payment on the way home — there’s something oddly unsettling about making a car insurance payment while commuting via bicycle.
Rode with a small group from work at Pima & Dynamite Blvd. Lots of Loopty-loos around the power-line road. Just under 8 miles.
Consider This: Bicycle Commuting may be twice as effective at reducing pollution than any other Trip Reduction program. Not only does it produce zero emissions, but cyclists also help cleanse the air by forcibly filtering it through their lungs!!
Finally replaced my tired old tires — including the one “patched” with the Powerbar wrapper.
Rode with one of the guys from work, Jeff, in the Union Hills Loop area — from 7th Street & Happy Valley Road to Carefree Hwy and back along trails cut across the desert. But only three miles into the ride, my rear tire went flat, and after replacing it with a spare tube, it flattened again less than a 100 yards farther along.
I inspected the tire a bit more carefully, looking for the sharp object I must have missed earlier, and found a quarter-inch hole dead center in the tread. I still had two more spares, but figured the unprotected piece would probably be immediately punctured again. While munching on a Powerbar and looking at the few supplies and tools I had brought, I remembered reading that it was a good idea to keep a length of duct-tape wrapped around the seat post for occassions such as this — I found myself wishing I had followed that writer’s advice.
I finished off the Powerbar, and after a bit of thought, placed the folded wrapper in the tire between the hole and the tube. It worked beautifully — we continued and finished the ride without any further problems. Afterwards, as I was putting the bike away, I checked out the damaged spot on the tire again and was greeted by the smiling silver/gold circle of wrapper peeking through the tire. The tire probably needs to be replaced, but I’m pretty sure it still has several more miles left in it.
My brother came to Phoenix for Christmas. We were able to get out and ride a couple of days while he was here. On Christmas Eve, I took him on a 25 mile loop from the house south to where the canal intersects 25th Avenue, West to 59th Avenue, then back home along Union Hills. It was a good ride, but we started out later than originally intended, and it got a bit chilly after the sun went down.
The day after Christmas, we went out to the Union Hills Loop area, north of Happy Valley Road at about 7th Street and headed North, across the desert to Carefree Highway. We had originally planned to ride back across the desert, but the day was so nice, we decided to come back the long way and rode Carefree Hwy to Cave Creek Road, South to Deer Valley Road, West to 7th Street, and North again to where we had parked the truck. Approx 30 miles.
Due to the severe flooding that’s been occurring North West of Phoenix this year, the MS150 was shorted to a one-day event: Just out to Wickenburg and back. Although only 80 miles, it was raining when we left Phoenix and the number of riders were noticeably reduced. The rain stopped shortly after we turned around in Wickenburg and the rest of the day was clear and crisp — perfect riding weather.
West on Union Hills to 99th Avenue, North to Carefree Highway, then East past I17 to Cave Creek Road, and South to Union Hills. This is a nice 54 mile loop with a couple of hills, but otherwise flat roads.
You know, it’s probably my imagination, but ever since the problem with Firestone tires has been all over the news, I’ve seen an unusually high number of thrown treads along the side of the road. Of course, to be fair, these aren’t particularly bio-degradable, so they may have been collecting for some time now.
In the Desert Southwest, it’s not unusual to find dead snakes along the edge of the road. During the early morning hours, while the air is still [relatively] cool, snakes will sometimes slither out onto the blacktop to bask in the warmth of the dawning sun. Unfortunately, in many cases, they find themselves in the wrong lane and suffer the consequences as motorists unknowingly drive over them.
I rode to Wickenburg (from Phoenix) as training for this year’s MS150. Starting at Trader Joe’s on Thunderbird Road, we road North on 99th Avenue, West on Bell Road, and North on US60 (Grande Avenue) to Wickenburg, and back to Trader Joe’s, approximately 80 miles. This was a new personal best for me: an hour less than last year!
What does this have to do with snakes? At about 25 miles from the start, just North of Whitman on US60, I was riding at the tail of a train of about a dozen riders when they began to bail off the line, right and left. A large and rather confused looking snake was wriggling in the middle of the wide shoulder we had been traveling in! Having successfully passed the snake uneventfully, the line reformed and began pulling away with new vigor. I glanced over my shoulder briefly, saw the snake slithering off the road to safety, and pushed forward to catch up to the rest of the team.
Starting at Frank Lloyd Wright & Pima Road, went East on Frank Lloyd Write to Thompson Peak, North to McDowell Mountain Road, East around McDowell Mountain Ranch Road to Bell Road, and then to Pima Road. Went North on Pima Road to Happy Valley Road, East to Alma School, North to Dynamite Blvd, West, back to Pima again, then North to Cave Creek Road. Turned around and headed south on Pima to Princess Drive, West to Perimeter Drive, and South to Bell Road. Then East to Thompson Peak, South to Raintree, West to 90th Street, and finally north to the starting point on Frank Lloyd Wright. Approx 40 miles.
Road the 67th Avenue, Happy Vally, 7th Street, Union Hills loop twice. Approx 50 miles.
A much longer loop: From Union Hills, rode 99th Avenue North to Carefree Highway, East on Carefree to Cave Creek Road, South to Union Hills, and West to 67th Avenue again. Approx 50 miles.
From Union Hills, rode along 67th Avenue to Happy Valley Road, East on Happy Valley to 7th Street, South to Union Hills, and West back to 67th Avenue. Approx 25 miles.
Rode from the fountain in Fountain Hills to the intersection of Pima & Dynamite Road. This ride really showed how out of shape I am, the constant up hill climb, even though it’s only a moderate grade, really wore me down. But once you turn around and head back to Fountain Hills, all is well again. Approx 50 miles.
Here’s a nice ride: Start at the canal at approximately 16th Street and Glendale Avenue, and ride Northwest to 75th Avenue and nearly Bell Road, then back. In the early hours, the canal bank stays fairly cool and there are tunnels under most of the major intersections. This makes for a nice easy 30 miler, or turn back at any time to make it shorter.
Another week of commuting.
Nothing really interesting happening. I’ve just been commuting to work and back. It’s not particularly far, less than 6 miles, round trip.
Participated in the Best Dam Bike Ride last weekend. This is a 150 mile, two day ride benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We started early Saturday morning at Dysart High School in North Phoenix and rode out US60 to Wickenburg for Lunch. Then on through Aguila to Salome, where we camped for the night. Sunday morning, we continued northwest along US95 toward Parker and Parker Dam. This really was an excellent ride. There were sag stops every ten to fifteen miles and lots of friendly people to talk with along the way.